Latest posts by obelixx

Which Hozelock Automatic Watering System?

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:57

A few years ago I bought a watering system with central pods from which small tubes came out and were pegged into individual pots.  The pods were attached to the tap and had a timer.  However I had so many pots it became a nigtmare sorting out all the little extensions and some visiting critter dislodged a couple of the tendril feeders and I lost plants .    I couldn't bring myself to go through it all the next year.

I now collect all my pots together at the back of the house and put a sprinkler on a timer to go off for 30 minutes every night.   I carefully check the reach of the spray so everything gets some water.  It works a treat and is simple and easy and I can add or reduce the number of pots just by changing the reach of the sprinkler.

The timer is a simple Gardena T1030 and I now have it connected to a Y fitting so I can run two hoses and water the greenhouse too.   I've just got back to find all the plants looking very happy despite a week of heatwave.   Just need to put them all back weher they belong now - when they've dried out a bit and aren't as heavy!


Dead Heading Roses

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:47

If it's a repeat flowering rose you need to cut off the flowers as soon as they go over and either lose their petals or turn brown.  Cut each one back to a set of leaves coming from the stem.   Give it a feed of liquid rose or tomato feed to encourage new flowers.

However, if it is an old fashioned rose or a rambler that flowers just once in a season, dead heading means you will lose any hips that will look decorative in autumn and also feed the birds.   

Ask the neighbours if they can remember whether it flowers again.  Failing that, dead head half and feed it and see whether you get new flowers or good hips and then you'll know for next year.

Come autumn, give it a good mulch of well rotted manure and/or garden compost and next spring give it some blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure or special rose food to help it make more flowers. 



Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:41

Lots of clematis now come without tendrils.  I have 3 integrifolias, a purple leaved recta something plus an Arabella, a Hendryetta and a lovely blue one whose label I have lost - all without tendrils.   Alyonushka was another but she was didn't like my winters.


HELP! plant identifying its ruining my life

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:32

Doesn't the law say you can prune any neighbouring plant which overhangs your garden space as long as you give back the prunings to the owner? 

I don't see why you can't spray a menace which is coming over and invading and ruining your garden, especially if you happen to need to spray weeds in your won and his just get in the way because they're invading.    Do it when he's out, although with all those windows covered in Boston creeper I don't see how he could see you at it.    He might however take his revenge later when you do get some good plants of your own in the garden so..........

Take the advice to consult the local environment officer about waste and rubbish and rats too and they may just serve an order on him.  If he doesn't clear it up, they will and they'll send him the bill.

And then spray if you have to.



Non- flowering Acanthus Mollis

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:19

They are best treated mean as they flower best in poor soils.   While we were looking for this house we rented one and neighbours had 3 fine specimens growing in gravelly soil at the foot of a brick gate post.  They flowered their socks off every year and were stunning so I planted 3 when we started this garden.

I have extremely fertile loam soil and only ever get lush, healthy foliage.

We've just got back from hols in the Charente region of France where we saw masses of them in roadside verges in villages and at the foot of garden walls - full sun, well drained, alkaline gravelly soil, not a lot of food or water and flowering magnificently.

This autumn I will move mine to the one bit of poor soil I have, right on the edge of the road, well drained and in full sun.    Fingers crossed for flowers next year.

Fed up with the heat!

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:14

Young plants and plants in pots are like babies and toddlers - entirely dependant on us for their care and safety in whatever heat or rain we get thrown at us.   They need help to stay warm enough not to freeze to death when it's cold and help to stay cool when it's hot plus appropriate watering and the correct nutrients to survive and thrive.

Chocolate cosmos is from Mexico so can cope with heat and sun if it has the right growing conditions and sufficient mositure.

The heat and sun are very welcome here, especially after last year's cold, wet, summer with insufficient light levels.    Enjoy it while you can and take better care of your treasures.  They'll thank you for it by putting on a good display and growing strong.  


Clemaitis lovers - please identify

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 16:05

You can use the text search facility on this website - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/ - to tell it what colour are the tepals and stamens and it will come up with a list you can then search to compare and identify yours.

It's an academic research website so won't try and sell you plants but it does list thousands of them.  It also gives info on pruning groups, flowering times, how to prune and how to care for your clematis. 

Have fun.



Posted: 29/06/2013 at 08:33

Very true.  My roses are also very late in coming into bloom and look like they're going to do it while wer're off on hols for the next two weeks.   Very frustrating as it has taken my Kiftsgate until this year to recover from being blasted by a -32C frost in January 2009 and it's going to be glorious this year.

My May and June flowering clems are only just showing flower buds and no doubt wil also bloom while we're away and it looks like the birds will get all the redcurrants this year.

Not going away in July next year, that's for sure!



Posted: 28/06/2013 at 17:12

When they do flower, you can use this site to identify them based on colour of the tepals, the colourof the stamens, the time of flowering and that will give you their  pruning group for future years.   There is pruning info on the site.

In the mean time, to encourage them, give them some specialist clematis food granules plus an instant tonic of liquid tomato food.

Generally speakig, the large flowered hybrids (group 2) flower in May and June an dthen again in late summer if they've been given a light prune to remove spent flwoer heads and a good feed.  Group 3 clematis flower in mid to late summer so haven't yet got going.   These are the ones you cut right back in spring.

Group 1 clematis only get pruned when you need to keep them within bounds or renew vigour.  This group includes early spring flowering clematis that flower on old wood but also things like the tanguticas which flower in mid to late summer on old wood.   You can't really expect any flowers this year if your 5 included one or two of these.

Some clematis

clematis infected

Posted: 28/06/2013 at 13:07

Take Berghill's advice and be patient.   I've known clematis do a Lazarrus and come back to life after 2 years with no sign of growth.

You can buy specialist clematis food but I would also give it an instant tonic of liquid tomato food which your rose will like too.

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