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Latest posts by obelixx

Trees For Containers

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 12:16

No worries PF.  There's been a thread on here for some time about poor plants from Parkers but new posters won't have seen it, hence my warning.

Which garden would you pick?

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 11:33

I'd go for Great Dixter too.  Lovely garden and lovely atmosphere.  I have visited in May, June and July and it's been glorious each time.

I was disappointed with Sissinghurst when I went in May 2013.  First of all I found the entrance and parking fees expensive as was the café and the quality and care of the plants on sale was poor.  In the garden there were beds that desperately needed weeding and replanting as the spring stuff had gone over, the white garden hadn't got into its stride and was a bit bare and the vegetable garden was almost empty but then it had been a hard winter. 

Another vote for Hidcote and Kiftsgae too although it's years since I've been.

I would love to visit Beth Chatto's garden but it's very much out of my way on my trips to to England so I'll have to make a special trip.

Daily Bird Sightings 2015

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 11:18

We have hawks too in the surrounding fields and they perch on the phone wires along the road edge so they can watch for rodents in the boundaries.  However, they are too quick for me to see exactly what they are.   Some are small and mostly grey and others mostly brown.

I did see a hen harrier just the once in a local field whilst out walking the dogs and we do have buzzards too who raise broods in the nearby woods.  Gerat to watch them teaching the young about thermals over the big back field.

Floralies, France is rather a large country so I expect there are some in the less populated parts but they are more likely to be predated by hunters and game keepers.  Found this on the RSPB site.  Scroll down to comments -


Trees For Containers

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 10:21

Don't buy anything from Parkers.  They have a dreadful reputation.

Japanese maples would be fine if you go fo rthe low, hummocky type as they won't get above fence height.   I have the more upright Sango Kaku growing in full sun and in a windy position but sheltered by a trellis and it is now 3 metres high - coral red stems in winter, fabulous foliage shape and colour from spring to autumn.

Growing it in a pot would mean you have to be vigilant to keep it fed and watered so the foliage doesn't dry out so get the biggest you can, minimum 80cms I'd say.  You can underplant with small daffs such as Thalia or Minnow for early spring interest and a contrats with those red stems.

You coud try a prunus serula which has shiny mahogany bark for winter interest and white blossom in spring but it's prone to diseases and often short lived.

The Italian pencil conifer suggested above would be good in pots but I personally think you need something more rounded to offset your already very angular garden and would echo the suggestion of a choisya Sungold which has evergreen golden foliage and orange smelling white blossom once it's settled and happy.  Great contrast too for the black paving and furniture and sunny on a dull day.



Herb Planters

Posted: 14/01/2015 at 10:03

Welcome to the forum.  I hope you'll enjoy meeting us and exchanging info and ideas.

I can't help with sourcing a plnater but I do find growing herbs in pots makes for flexibility and means I can give them the different feeding and watering they need as well as moving them into shelter for winter.

I grow rosemary, sage and thyme together in one big 60cm pot and they get on fine because they all enjoys good drainage and I can shift the pot to a sheltered position for winter.  I have a bay in its own pot which goes in the greenhouse for winter.  I grow several kinds of mint in their own pots to keep them under control and because they need more water than Mediterranean herbs.  

Parsley, basil and chives grow in window boxes which I perch on the veg plot retaining wall for easy access.  Marjoram has escaped from a former pot and is in the garden.  Tarragon is in a smaller pot currently on my kitchen window sill along with basil and dill so I have supplies in winter.

growing orchids

Posted: 13/01/2015 at 22:04

I am not an orchid lover but have managed to keep one hale and healthhy so it can't be that complicated if you start with he easily available varieties.    I was given one 16 months ago by an Indian friend who does like them.

The thing flowered for just over a year from Setptember 2013 to October 2014.   I let it be and blow me if it hasn't produced another pair of leaves and 3 new flower spikes since late December.  I expect it to start flowering in a couple of weeks' time.   

It is in a clear glass pot on a north facing window sill where it has all the light it wants but no direct sun before 4pm in high summer.  It is in our bedroom so is kept cool.    As I know nothing about orchids as house plants I just bought some orchid feed sticks and bunged a few in the pot, watering whenever the compost felt dry.  It seems to like it.


Rambling roses

Posted: 13/01/2015 at 14:22

Just bear in mind that clematis are extremely hungry, thirty plants and prefer alkaline to acid soil.  You are going to have to dig a very good hole, nourish it with plenty of well rotted garden compost and some manure and plant the clematis deep and well away from the conifers and then guid it in till it gets established and takes off by itself.

You'll need to give it an annual winter mulch plus slow release feed clematis food in spring and some liquid tonics of rose or tomato food te minute sprong starts it into new growth as montana flowers early.


Posted: 13/01/2015 at 14:11

Yes, indeed, to principles but with some relevance added and, of course, to Mr Beardshaw.   Lovely man, great gardener and designer and communicates both  enthusiasm and his love of plants so well.


Posted: 13/01/2015 at 12:23

Presumably he is a fully grown man who could and should have relied on his own integrity and self respect as a gardener not to go along with all the stupidity.  Having said that, he showed little respect ot the plants and tools he used either so he just saw it as a meal ticket. 

What I most enjoyed about the GH ears was that he had purpose built plots desigend to show different styles of garden using different plants, materials and budgets so there was something for everyone and he communicated enthusiasm and can-do.   AT was also a good communicator when he was the helm and I felt as tho I learned something new every week form their era ieven if I didn't necessarily have or want the plant or feature in my garden.

GW from Monty's garden is all too personal and idiosynchratic and not very inspiring for me even tho I have a large garden with a variety of aspects and soils and drainage.  It must be so frustrating for people with small plots/little free time/ restricted budgets and probably no garden shed to hang or stash all the variety and quantity of paraphernalia Monty seems to need, let alone the greenhouses for storing the banana over winter..

Has Anybody Got This Rose?

Posted: 13/01/2015 at 11:55

I have several DA roses and some do better than others in my somewhat exposed garden with long, wet winters that can also turn bitterly cold and dry for 2 to 3 weeks at a time.

My newest, Jacqueline du Pré has yet to experience a real winter as last year's was very mild so her hardiness remains to be established but Gertrude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle, Generous Gardener, Constance Spry, Queen of Sweden, Teasing Georgia and Crocus Rose all do well.

William Shakespeare is a wuss but did well this summer cos he wasn't frazzled by a normal winter.  Benjamin Britten always seems in two minds about thriving or struggling.  Molyneux and Grace curled up their toes in a -25C winter as did one of my Malvern Hills, a New Dawn and a Guinée but they had been bashed by a -32C the year before.   

Tess of the D'Urbevilles had to be moved so I could take down her trellis panel and let a mini bulldozer pass and she positively thrived in her year in a pot against a south facing wall.  It remains to be see how she'll cope now she's been moved to a sligtly less exposed position than before.   Geoff Hamilton was being swamped by a creeping juniper and Munstead Wood, new last year, didn't do well so they are in pots in the greenhouse to recover and shelter and I'll find them somewhere better later this spring or just nurture them in big pots against that south facing wall.

I don't see the point of a rose with no perfume.

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