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Latest posts by obelixx

Alan Titchmarsh designs a Chelsea garden

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:54

The Beeb has decided to "update" the show and Alan declined to be apart  - 

Alan has won gold in the past for a garden at Chelsea.  It will be interesting to see what he comes up with this year


Posted: 18/03/2014 at 17:44

More or less any clematis can be trained to grow horizontallly rather than vertically so you really do have to find one that won't exceed the wall length by too much.

I suggest you have a look at alba luxurians, caerulea luxurians, alpina, Beauty of Worcester, Betty Corning (scented), Brunette,  Cicciolina,  Gravetye Beauty, Hagley hybrid, Jackmanii, Little Nell, Madame Julia Correvon, Perle d'Azur, Polish Spirit, Red Ballon, Sliver Moon, Sunset .

Plenty of variety in form and colour and flowering period.  If you do plant one at eache end of the wall make sure they are form teh same pruning group or you'll get in a terrible muddle once they've settled in and start to cover the wall.

I find alpina and Brunette are not hardy enough for my garden but I have all the others doing well.

Plantsava watering systems

Posted: 17/03/2014 at 09:27

I have successfully used the old paddling pool trick when I was first starting this garden and had plants and divisions to nurture before I could plant them out.  It's easy enough to prick holes in teh sides to stop water getting too deep in the event of heavy rain.

I did invest in one of those pod systems which has small pipes coming off and pegged into individual pots to keep my greenhouse going but I only used it once.  Very fiddly.

These days, I gather all my pots, window boxes and hanging baskets into an area at the back of the house and set up a sprinkler system on a hose and on a timer so it goes off during the night.  It works brilliantly so now I've bought a Y connector for the outside tap and have a second hose and smaller sprinkler going into the greenhouse.   Simple, inexpensive and effective.

I also gather houseplants up and give them a shower to remove all dust from their  leaves and to make sure their compost is thoroughly soaked but drained.  Then I place them in the bath with a bit of water and close the door.  They make their own Little micro climate and I come back to very healthy plants. 



Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 09:36

That's true.  This way he can burn the blight and dig up the roots and leave them somewhere to dry enough to burn.  

Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 00:49

It's a TV programme set in someone's garden and he isn't following a script.  Presumably each week there is a discussion between hima nd the prodcution team as to which topics will be covered from his garden and then they slot in the visits such as sweet pea man, cyclamen men and the Cornish garden but those visits will be planned and often filmed months in advance to have as stock.   

Monty is paid to present it all in his own eloquent words.   Whether or not we agree with those words is another matter entirely.




Monty's box hedging

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 00:11

Me too.  So pleased to see the back of the endless box hedging.   It was boring and monotone and monoform and it will all look so much better opened up and with less of the control freakery that the hedges implied.   I didn't see the point of all those box balls in that courtyard either.  More monotony.

Have to agree about Joe Swift but for a slot on design I'd rather have JAS than Alys.

Does piling up potatoes make that much difference?

Posted: 15/03/2014 at 10:26

Last year on GW MD found that he got excellent yields growing potatoes in raised beds and without all the earthing up that growing in traditional rows entails.

As WO says, to get bigger spuds for roasting you have to choose a good variety and grow them for longer.  It can be done in pots or raised beds but in pots they depend entirely on you for all their food and water as rain will not give them enough.

I actually prefer small new or salad potatoes for roasting but I do them Italian style with rosemary, garlic and a bit of olive oïl and no parboiling.   For traditional British roasties you really need Desirée or Maris Piper. 

Holly hedge from cuttings

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 22:54

PP - Holly, being evergreen, tends to come with a root ball rather than bare-rooted, so is more expensive than a deciduous hedge would be.   Why not try beech or hornbeam instead as you can get them bare rooted and they will grow much more quickly.   Hawthorn would be good to and grow fast.  It is deciduous too but if trimmed regularly the branches will thicken up and hide the chicken wire and it will also be very good for wildlife as it provides food and shelter for a wide range of birds and insects.

Have a look at cornus alba sibirica too.   It has bright red stems which are usually thicker and hardier than Midwinter Fire and responds better to pruning back for new stem colour.

I personally find that Kilmarnock Willow is depserately dull for the 50 weeks of the year it doens't have its catkins and Russian Vine/Mile a Minute is unattractive all year round and can quickly get out of control.   There are willows which have far more attractive habits and stem colours and more interesting climbers. 


Holly hedge from cuttings

Posted: 14/03/2014 at 12:26

Holly is very slow growing and doing it from cuttings would add several years to the time you'd have to wait to get a hedge of any size.   I think you should ask yourself how quickly you need a hedge to be acting as a boundary and how long you expect to be in the current garden.

If the answer to the either is less than 10 to 15 years I suggest you go and buy some small plants from a hedging specialist and plant them in very well prepared soil so they get away quickly and grow strongly.


Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 13/03/2014 at 08:21

Pleased you've had some sun Punkdoc.   It can indeed make you giddy.    We've had an exceptionally sunny few days and the plants are giddy too.   I shall be out there shortly pegging some Sceptr'd Isle roses to form floriferous hummocks as it seems too cruel to cut back all the growth they've put in this week. 

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