London (change)
Today 12°C / 7°C
Tomorrow 12°C / 12°C


Latest posts by obelixx

To prune or not to prune

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 12:02

Lavender can be cut either as soon as flowering finishes or in spring just before new growth starts.  I've done both and they've been fine.

Clematis get pruned according to their variety which dictates their pruning group so you'l have to be more specific but I wouldn't be pruning any now before spring except to remove unsightly dead growth on obelisks and arches and to reduce wind resistance.  I have Princess Diana, Silver moon, Sunset, Nelly Moser, Huldine, Alba Luxurians and flammula still flowering and will leave well alone till spring but Etoile Violette, Little Nell, Westerplatte, Omoshiro, Perle d'Azur, Arabella, Hendryetta, Star of India, Rahvarinne and Caerulea Luxurians have finished and started turning brown all over so they can be trimmed .  My  Red Robin and Red Ballon don't get trimmed at all as they are group 1s.

Gadioli need to be left to die down so the foliage can feed the corms for next year's flowers.   If you're in a sheltered spot you may get away with leaving the corms in the ground but otherwise it's best to lift - once they've died down -  and store them somewhere frost free till next spring.

Roses don't get pruned till Feb or March except to remove any long, whippy stems that may get caught by strong winds and rock the roots loose.

If, by Russian Ivy you mean Russian Vine, I personally would prune it now and dig it up and get rid as it's a thug that will spread and swamp other plants and there are far more attractive climbers for covering walls and fences.

Pleached hedging advice

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 11:17

The whole point of pleaching is that the plants are pruned and trained to shape. You'll need a support structure until the stems and horizontal branches become established but once they harden up you can take that down.   You'll need to do at least an annual pruning and training session to maintain it.   You'll also need to prepare the ground well to make sure that the chosen plants stay healthy.

Hornbeam makes a lovely pleached hedge but I've also seen it done with catalpa and beech.  There was a lovely one at Chelsea with copper foliage.

 See these articles for some hints -


what color is your garden

Posted: 24/10/2014 at 14:13

Whites from japanese anemones and Michaelmas daisies, purples and pinks ditto plus cyclamens, purple verbenas and pink and red roses and persicaria.  Orange geums, heleniums, rudbeckias,   White agapanthus and acidantheras with purple throats, lilac hostas, vivid fuchsia pink, white, scarlet and burnt orange dahlias.   Deep pink and creamy white clematis.   Pink penstemons.   Deep pink and red sedums.   Mauve pink physostegia.   Golden foliage on cornus midwinter fire, red stems on cornus alba.   Other foliage and stem colours.


Posted: 24/10/2014 at 13:00

If you want British suburban 30s style it will be rather different from Aert Deco UAS stuff or high end design in the the UK.   I rtaher think it was hard landcaping, square lawsn, narrow beds, shrubs and annual bedding such as alyssum and lobelia maybe with some pelargoniums and standard roses with bare soil in between .   Definitely not cottagey.

You could contact these people - 

Have a read of this too -



pots in beds

Posted: 24/10/2014 at 12:43

You can certainly plant things in pots in beds but it's usually a technique for filling in gaps eg pots of tulips in springor lillies in summer which then just get lifted and left to die down quietly in a corner once flowering finishes, or cannas or dahlias that need winter protection so get stashed somewher frost free for the winter.

Neither rock rose nor broom will produce enough roots to do damage to your house wall or foundations so you should just plant them direct so their roots are free to seek out moisture and nutrients which will be challenging enough up against a wall without being confined in a pot.   Depending on the state and type of your soil you could also grow roses, lavenders, hibiscus and many more. 


Posted: 23/10/2014 at 17:45

The flowers do fade to brown as they age and it is the end of their season now.

Fat balls in plastic NO

Posted: 23/10/2014 at 11:51

I buy what I can get, sometimes in tubs, sometimes loose and sometimes in bags but nearly always with the plastic strings.   It's a simple matter to cut off the strings and put them in the assorted holders I use to hang them up safely for the birds.

Just need to educate people to do it.

Acitanthera plant (peacock orchid

Posted: 23/10/2014 at 11:10

I grow mine in pots and take them in for winter, either in the pots or lifted and wrapped in paper.   They don't like to be frozen.   

This year I discovered that they'd made babies in one pot which is permanently placed on a manhole in a sheltered spot facing south and they have grown and flowered this year - but then last winter was exceptional and we had no real frosts, certainly not more than 2 or 3 degrees even in the exposed north facing parts of the garden..

Talkback: How to lift and divide herbaceous perennials

Posted: 22/10/2014 at 09:32

As long as you're moving before the winter frosts arrive, they should be fine if you water their roots thoroughly and leave it to soak in at least an hour before digging them up.    Once in their bags, tie up the tops of the bag as much as possible to reduce water loss to air and also to keep the roots form drying out.   If it stays warm and dry, trickle in some extra water for them but don't drown them.    Keep them out of the wind till you're ready to plant.

Empty Space??

Posted: 21/10/2014 at 17:45

Why not just pick a colour you like and then research plants that fit the bill - although I think blues are difficult to mix but delphiniums would go with your blue salvias as they have several shades of blue available or mix blue and white for a fresh look.   Remember also to contrast foliage shapes and sizes.

As for designing it, get out several sheets of paper and some crayons or water colours then experiment with formal and informal lines and shapes.  For example, two diagonal lines across the middle to give 4 blocks of colour or shape; scalloped shapes drawn along the edge and the middle filled with something tall/spiky/airy/frothy according to taste or a bird bath or sculpture or an obelisk; concentric lines of planting working in from the edge to the middle and so on.

Discussions started by obelixx


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 278
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 284
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 9    Views: 447
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 281
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 588
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1952
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1938
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 940
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1354
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1737
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 925
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 4653
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 2150
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1329
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 3187
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12
1 to 15 of 16 threads