Latest posts by obelixx

Monty's Hedging

Posted: 17/10/2015 at 13:02

Nice enough chap but a tad naive and impractical for this flagship programme.

The problem is that people think he knows what he's doing and follow and then have to take the consequences of his getting it wrong which, when you have limited time and budget, can be extensive and demoralising.

Monty needs to realise this and be a bit more responsible when doing his greater flights of fancy.   We can't all keep terracotta plants outside in winter or take huge bananas into a handy greenhouse for winter or afford to re-do a large part of the garden such as his doomed wildflower garden with fire pit.   Did any gardener other than Monty think that would work?

I'm in the "rip out the box hedges" corner too.  His have looked dreadful since he first did GW from Longacres and he should dig them up.

Oleander's Overwintering

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 15:47

You need to wrap the pot in bubble wrap to protect the roots but the plant itself needs ventilation so you should either take it in to a frost free greenhouse, porch or conservatory or wrap it in two or three layers of horticultural fleece which is porous but gives a degree or two of frost protection.

Feeding it with liquid rose or tomato fertiliser once a week from mid spring should encourage the flowers.

White foliage?

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 14:11

You can have too much variegation.   I like some in darker corners and against darker foliage and in pots by the front doors to brighten up dull winter days.

In French, variegation is called panaché which I find a very good word.  It needs to be used with panache and not to excess.

black flowers and grasses

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 14:06

I first grew ophiopogon over 30 years ago when I planted some in a gravelled border I put round a new pond.  It looked stunning and spread happily.   I still like it but it does need to be in a pot or trough or against a pale background.

I like having a rhythm of dark purple and golden foliage through the garden and love the white flowers of dahlia After Eight against its dark foliage plus the penstemon digitalis that has a similar colour way earlier in the year.

Dark coloured flowers are fine as long as they have a background that shows them up and they are offset by bright flowers with dark centres that pick up the purple/black.


Relocating my plants

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 12:15

If they're not going to be loved then you have nothing to lose in trying to pot them up and take them with you.   Cut the climbers back to a manageable height for whatever transport you will use and stick some canes in the pots to support what's left.

Use good compost to pot them and then add plenty of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure to encourage new growth when you replant them.

Good luck.


Posted: 15/10/2015 at 22:52

There was snow in the Belgian Ardennes this morning.  That's early.  I hope it's not a sign of things to come this winter.

Poisonous Plants

Posted: 15/10/2015 at 17:05

Nanny - I think people were a lot wiser and more clued about what was poisonous when they all lived close to the land and foraged for roots and leaves as well as growing their own veg.   The move away from agriculture to an industrial economy severed the ties and the knowledge.

WO - indeed, it's not safe to step outside is it?   Not to mention all those germs and diseases being spread by sharing the same air as other people and toxic vehicles.

Poisonous Plants

Posted: 15/10/2015 at 15:13

Cats and dogs and children and adults have survived millennia living alongside a huge range of plants which, if used correctly, can feed, clothe, heal, make you sick and also kill you if mistreated.

The only plant I know of that can harm cats is the lily whose pollen is poisonous to them if they brush against them and then lick themselves clean.  The simple, rational solution is to cut off the pollen sacks and not ban lilies.

I assume you live in a home full of potential danger - stairs, hot oven and hob, iron, glass windows, sharp knives, electric sockets...... - and yet don't feel threatened.  It is the same with plants and gardens - grow your plants sensibly in the best conditions and right place and you will have a beautiful, safe garden.

Irrational fear needs to be recognised and accepted as such and will be part of the healing therapy.

Plant advice

Posted: 14/10/2015 at 12:32

I've lost too many new treasures planted out in autumn when the soil is supposed to be warm enough for them to develop their roots but they then get blasted by long, cold, wet winters so now I pot on and keep in a cold but insulated greenhouse or the shed depending on whether they need light or not over winter.  

Most herbaceous perennials disappear underground for winter so don't need light but they will appreciate being potted on to let their roots grow a bit over winter.  They'll then get a head start in spring and are easier to protect against slugs and snails while those all important juicy new shoots emerge.

Lychnis and lavender plantlets

Posted: 14/10/2015 at 11:20

In my experience lychnis is tough so could be planted out in a well drained spot that doesn't get water logged in winter.  

If your lavender is one of the hardy English varieties it should be OK too in a sunny well drained spot but I'd be tempted to keep all the lavender and some of the lychnis under cover for their first winter as insurance.

Discussions started by obelixx

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1 to 15 of 19 threads