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Latest posts by obelixx

beginner's advice please

Posted: 19/10/2013 at 12:25

Plants need water in order to keep their cells turgid and allow them to function.  You should water the bulbs at the time of planting and then make sure any excess water drains off so the compost is just moist.  Then you leave them in a frost free dark place until shoots appear.

Check weekly and as soon as you see shoots about an inch high, they need to be moved to the light so that photosynthesis can occur to feed the plant.


Posted: 18/10/2013 at 17:16

I usually split hostas in spring just as the very first new shoots show their points because, if done in areas with cold winters, they can sulk and even die.

I have several in pots too and they'll all need dividing next spring and many will go in the ground to reduce my watering jbo in high summer.  Getting a Sum and Substance out its pot will be fun as it's a huge pot that narrows at the neck.  Oops.  Howevr it needs doing as the two out in eth eborders are now producing much larger leaves than it despite being the same age.

With the very large leaved hostas, dividing them can lead to smaller leaves for the new  season but then they go back to normal.   Most hostas respond well to being divided and show renewed vigour.


Posted: 18/10/2013 at 16:38

Yes, after the worst frosts and when you see new growth starting.


Posted: 17/10/2013 at 20:40

I used to be given ordinary mophead and lace cap hydrangeas which flwoer on wood produced the previous season.  trouble is, that wood in my garden gets frozen solid and dies so I only ever had new stelms and foliage and never any flowers.  If you are pruning the old wood and buds back each year you won't get flowers either.  Mopheads and lace caps also like some shade from strong sun and moisture at the roots.

I have now discovered that hydrangea paniculata forms do well in my garden and it doesn't matter if the old wood gets frozen to bits as they can be pruned back hard each year and flower later in summer on new wood.  Paniculatas can cope with full sun and drier soils.

Both types need good fertile soil so make sure yo're feeding and mulching too.

Foxglove babies

Posted: 17/10/2013 at 20:35

Some foxgloves are perennials but the ones most often grown in UK gardens are biennials which means they germinate and grow basal rosettes one year then grow bigger, flower, set seed and die the second year.

The native biennial ones and their variations are very hardy so should be planted out asap in tehir final positions.   I find the perennial ones can be short lived so last just 3 or 4 years and they aren't as hardy so, to survive winter here in an exposed part of central Belgium, they need to be in a sheltered spot in my garden.

Wisteria Pruning

Posted: 17/10/2013 at 19:53

The RHS offers this advice -

As you will see, there are two pruning sessions to keep a wisteria looking good.  You may want to wait till Jan/Feb to follow the instructions for the winter pruning and then you do it again in July/August.

Talkback: Give borders an autumn boost

Posted: 17/10/2013 at 09:20

A friend of mine has a stunning specimen about 5' high and wide and covered in purple berries.  She's over near Zaventem and more sheltered than my garden which is a frost pocket.

Talkback: Give borders an autumn boost

Posted: 16/10/2013 at 23:23

I've tried this shrub twice and neither survived winter.   Callicarpa's another wusspot.

Both are gorgeous though and at their best in autumn so good value.

hedge cutting survey

Posted: 16/10/2013 at 14:57

We have a Stihl electroc job which needs a service and a good sharpen.  OH hate sit so has bought himself some hand shears - to do 7m x 2m of hawthron hedge, 10 m x 2 m of conifer hedge and he's also done my 20m x 60cm box hedge after the leccy trimmers shredded the leaves.  We do the holly hedge with secateurs.

Good Berries

Posted: 15/10/2013 at 22:25

Skimmias have good red berries as long as you choose the right one as some need a boy and a girl plant to get the berries whilst others are hermaphrodite and produce berries on tehir own.  They need acid soil to do well -

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