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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis nelly moser

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 17:00

Between now and the end of March, Nelly and other group 2s need to have all dead growth cut back to a pair of healthy buds to remove unsightly stems.    After the first flowers they need trimming to remove some dead heads and induce the plant to put on more flowers in late summer.    Simples.

Edging for bed

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 13:16

We've used railway sleepers to make a mowing strip between the lawn and the beds and also as a retaining wall to get a level veggie plot.   We've used roofing beams to make reaised beds in the veggie patch.   We've used 9" high concrete "log roll" to edge paths in the woodland garden and hold back the soil and plants.

I can recommend them all as edgers but you'd need something stouter than the log rolls to retain soil so I would go for wooden beams screwed to upright posts sunk into the ground so they don't sink away to your neighbour's garden.


Suggestions for a South-facing wall

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 12:16

A cherry sounds good and when it gets to a decent size there should be plenty to share with the birds.   However I think the idea of training one to grow and fruit above your wall will require a stout framework to support it and I wonder if having cherries dangling visible above the wall is not an invitation to passing hands?   Also, unless you can afford to buy a largish pre-trained plant, it will take some time to get that high.

I'd grow a grape myself but that wouldn't fit with your need for an early harvest.

BBC Archers Message-Board

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 10:46

Nutcutlet - if you have Sky you can get BBC radio on your telly and a lot is available to listen to on-line too.

DK - why not start an Archers Potting Shed on here for refugees?   Those of us who don't follow the Archers can easily ignore it and those who do may find new friends.

Clematis not developing

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 10:43

A generous dollop of blood fish and bone and/or pelleted chicken manure every  spring to get growth going then a top up of special clematis food from spring until flowering.   Some clematis can take a year or two to establish their roots before putting on a lot of top growth and flowers.  I have several like that despite having deep, fertile, alkaline and mostly loamy soil.   When planting any new ones, scatter some mycrorhizal fungae (as for roses) on their root ball before planting at least 4 to 6 inches deeper than they were in their pot. 

the pope

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 09:15

As with any institution be it religious or governmental, there is good and bad.  Unfortunately, while there are no doubt good Catholics who live good lives, the Church has a long track record of centuries of bigotry, dodgy politics, cruelty and repression.   Recent revelations about exporting of children to the colonies, locking up and abusing women in the Irish Republic and the sex scandals around the world are cases in point.  This pope was deeply implicated in early sex scandals and preferred to cover up than deal with the problem.

I can well understand the earlier poster's anger if they have suffered through anything the church has done.  I can also understand deep scepticism about the amount of wealth the Church hoards but feel myself that all those magnificent buildings are our joint heritage and are worth preserving as testament to the ingenuity and skills of our forebears.   They don't, however, need all those grace and favour residencies, fancy frocks or limos.  

World poverty will not be solved till all politicians and business people are free of greed and corruption - pie in the sky really but getting better in some quarters though progress is slow in others.  Just look at all the bribery and 'lobbying' that goes on in US politics and all the lobbying in national parliaments and the EU and the diverting of international aid to the third worl to private swiss bank accounts.

Let this pope retire and look to his conscience.  Let the Catholic church elect a modern, forward thinking pope who will recognise the equal humanity of women and gay people.  Some hope I expect.

More importantly, let everyone recognise their own responsibility for their own moral behaviour within their family, social and national circles and not seek to hide behind religion and divine absolution.   And yes, gardeners are practical, pragmatic, optimistic and patient people and we could do worse than require our leaders to be gardeners too.  It would do wonders for their hubris and teach them humility.




Clematis nelly moser

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 22:14

Well, I love a good browse through a clematis website but I can't open that one from here or via google.

Bumblebee walls

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 17:37

Bumble bees start visiting flowers very early in the season so appreciate snowdrops and winter flowering pansies, primulas and other early nectar plants, some of which would make good winter window box subjects.

Found this list on a bumble bee help site - which should give you some ideas for summer baskets and planters.

Clematis nelly moser

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 17:05

Integrifolia varieties trail nicely as they are non clinging and often quite small.   I have alba and rosea which get to about 3'/1m each year in the ground.  They'd need regular feeding and watering to do well in a basket and it would need to be fairly deep for their roots.  I grew some in a long conical basket a few years ago but then moved them to a bed.

Species clematis can be grown from seed but for named cultivars you need to do cuttings or cultivars.  I found this which explains how better than I could -

Some species start well from cuttings; others do not. The vining types, especially cultivars, are usually started from cuttings or layering. Cuttings should be taken from healthy semi-mature stems of the current year’s wood. Each cutting should have one pair of leaves. The lower end of the cutting can be treated with a rooting hormone and then placed in a medium such as perlite, peat, sand, or a mix of these. Cover the cuttings and containers with plastic to maintain high humidity, then place them in bright light but not direct sun. Once rooted, plants can be potted individually and later placed in the garden.

Many clematis can be propagated by layering (Figure 14). Select 1-year-old stems with good buds. Cut a 1-inch slit in the stem. Pin the stem to the soil in a container or on the ground with a wire. Cover the slit stem with soil and keep moist. Sever the stem when it has developed roots at the slit, gently dig up the rooted stem, and move it to the intended site.

It was on this website -

The RHS offers this advice on cultivating and propagating clematis - 

having a moan about...

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 15:26

Winter does officially go on till well into March and after last year's late frosts which came and zapped a lot of plants excited by early and untimely warm weather, I have to say i'd rather winter dragged on a bit longer and that spring came later and without such frosty setbacks. 

Plenty to be getting on with in the mean time- structural maintenance, painting obelisks, tuning compost heaps (OH's job) and clearing paths of weeds.   Next month i'm hoping to buy and erect a new shed but will need a man to dig a level hole and fill it with a good concrete base.  Time to chat up the farmer neighbours and their son-in-law who does landscaping...........

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