Latest posts by Obelixx

Living chives question

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 20:52

They come for the aphids as, like hoverflies, their larvae eat them.  Try the RHS for a list of plants to attract pollinators - https://www.rhs.org.uk/science/conservation-biodiversity/wildlife/perfect-for-pollinators 

Hoverflies are pollinators and are attracted to plants with nectar and pollen so you need to plant simple, rather than double forms of flowers which you will find on the list.

Living chives question

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:58

The smell of onions and garlic deters aphids hence the advice to plant them with roses to confuse the pests.   I grow ornamental alliums near my roses but the best treatment for aphids are birds and hoverflies and ladybirds which hoover them up by the thousand so I put out bird feeders near my roses to attract the birds to feed the aphids to their chicks and other flowers to attract the hoverflies.

Slugs and snails can, apparently, be put off eating our treasures if they are sprayed with an infusion of garlic in water.  I have never tried it as I don't want a garlic smelling garden and, besides, it doesn't work in wet weather which washes it off. 

I just use wildlife friendly slug pellets around the most susceptible plants and leave the rest to get to get on with it.   When I find a slug in my treasures I lob it into the road to be splatted by traffic.


Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:51

Sorry FG - he's on dog walking duty and barn clearing if he can't garden.   We need a serious de-clutter.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:48

Slugs love baby clematis and the new shoots on established ones.

Small clems will easily get lost in your borders.  Best to grow them on in pots till they're bigger and stronger but it is, of course, up to you to decide to risk them or not.

sambucus black lace cutting back? confusing advice

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:46

Next year's blooms will be fine.   Cut back what you need to use the path and see your rose and it will simply produce new shoots on other stems which will flower next year.

Lavender not flowering

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:10

When and how do you prune it?

sambucus black lace cutting back? confusing advice

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:06

My Black Lace is sick.  I have let it grow tall but with a raised canopy so its legs are bare and all the action was up top casting dappled shade below.

Very few shoots this year and feeble at that and bark splitting so I'm going to cut it right down to about 3'/90cms and see what happens. 

Gnome - If yours is growing too wide just cut out the branches that are growing in directions you don't want.  If you do decide to move it wait till autumn when it will be dormant and can spend the winter regrowing and developing new roots.


Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:58

I have thought of plant buying as HRT for years - horticultural retail therapy!

I am so fed up - chestikoff still here and it is persisting down.  I have potted up the 6 treasures I bought at Beth Chatto's garden and some perfumed dwarf pinks I found this afternoon when I went to buy potting compost and peanuts and that's it.  Too wet to do owt else.

Garden group at my house in 8 days' time and there's more rain forecast all day tomorrow when I have a garden helper all day and OH isn't playing golf so is, in theory, available for labouring.


Living chives question

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:51

Yes.   Just snip off the stems you need and they'll regrow.   Mint is a perennial and will last forever - do not plant it in the ground as it will take over the entire border!  

Coriander is an annual and needs replacing regularly but you can cut and come again like parsley while it's going strong.   Eventually it will want to flower and set seed.  If you let it do this you'll get volunteer coriander coming up in the garden but you can cut off or eat the flowers if you don't want that.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:45

I buy my clematis from a specialist who sells them in 9"/23cm deep pots and with about 3'/90cms of growth above.   Even so, I pot them on into bigger pots and grow them on for a season before planting them out in the borders as this gives them the chance to grow a stronger root system and thus have a better start.  I find clems take a season or 3 to get established and really start growing above ground and this system cuts that time to 2 years.

If yours are very small they are all better off going into bigger pots now and again at the end of summer as their roots will continue to develop over winter.   Each time you pot them on, bury them an inch or two deeper in the pots as this encourages extra shoots to grow and thus more flowers later on.   

Once they are fully established in 9"/23cm deep pots they should be big enough to bury 4" deeper in the border or in a 60cm/2' pot.   Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants so paint the inside of your terracotta pot with PVA glue or acrylic varnish to make it less porous.   Give them plenty of slow release food every spring and never let them get thirsty and they'll repay you with glorious growth and blooms.

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