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Latest posts by obelixx

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 20:31

Speicmen plants need to have good stems, good foliage, good form and/or good flowers.   This lysimachia is best with other plants to hide its lower stems.  The flowers are lovely but not enough on their own for life in a prominent pot.

This lysimachia is very polite compared with the more common purple and yellow flowered forms so I'd just plant it in the ground and see what happens.

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 16:13

I planted 3 about 10 years ago and they have now spread to fill an area about 3 or 4 sqaure metres in total so they're not fiercely invasive and it's easy enugh to dig chunks out and pot them up for swaps or local plant fairs.

My patch has now met the more vigorous phlomis russeliana and I need to referee so this spring I shall be taking it all up, renewing the soil with some garden compost and replanting healthy clumps in the same spot and in some bare patches in other beds where I have taken out couch grass and nettles that have invaded during this mild winter and which also took advantage of my convalescence from two foot surgeries which kept me off the garden for a year.

I wouldn't grow it in a pot as it's not interesting enough as a specimen plant but it does associate very well with other plants in the border and is easy to control.   Just dig up the bits your don't want.

Replacing conifers with hedge

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 14:43

Nut is right, and you can always add some pelleted chicken manure or similar organic product at planting time to boost soil fertility.  

Before planting any new plants where conifers have been you will need to add plenty of well rotted garden compost or manure to revitalise the soil as the conifers will have sucked it clean of moisture and nutrients and there'll be a lack of beneficial soil organisms.   Let the soil settle for a few days after digging it all in and then rake, plant, water well and mulch if possible to retain moisture and suppress weeds..

Clematis for a dry bank

Posted: 09/04/2014 at 13:28

A plastic pot will be too restrictive for clematis which likes to send its roots deep.  Much better to let the roots spread out and find food and moisture at their will - and they will if you get the initial soil preparation and watering right as indicated above.

Clematis for a dry bank

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 20:04

If you can dig a big planting hole and sink your new clematis very deep with plenty of moisture retentive garden compost and well rotted manure and then keep it watered and fed for the first couple of years (and protected against slugs) you should get something tough like a viticella Etoile Violette or the afore mentioned Montana and tangutica to establish but you'll also need to train their stems to avoid having just a messy tangle.

What's eating my clematis?

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 19:59

Slugs love clematis and you'd be surprised at their agility and stamina.   Bit early for earwigs which do similar damage to dahias so try a double whammy with wildlife friendly slug pellets and some straw packed into wee pots upside down on the end of sticks to trap any earwigs.

Lavender hedge

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 16:42

I planted a hedge of alternating Hidcote and Edelweiss lavendrs at the top of a retainer wall made from sleepers.  the soil is fertile but they have good drainage and full sun so cope well with my usually harsh winters.

I find the blue ones flower a bit earlier on shorter stems than the white ones so I get a longer season of flowers and the white ones disguise the blue flowers going over.  They are always all covered with masses of bees and hoverflies.

If I did it again, I'd probably be more formal and do all Hidcote or all Edelwiess and keep it uniform but they do the job I wanted - attracting pollinators to my soft fruit trees and bushes.  They've even made babies in the gravel bed below so I can spread them to another sunny, well drained spot.


Lupin from seeds

Posted: 07/04/2014 at 21:02

Use special seed compost for the initial sowing in modules then transplant them into smaller 3" pots filled with something like a John Innes no 2 or no 3 compost to grow them on.   Different composts have different levels of nutrients suited to different stages of growth.

Good luck. 

How you choose fertilizers ?

Posted: 07/04/2014 at 13:07

I have very fertile, deep alkaline loam soil on a clay sub soil in a gently sloping garden so drainage varies.   I add my own garden compost every time I plant, be it single plants or a spread to revitalise a bed.  I scatter pelleted chicken, cow and/or horse manure every spring and add it to the hole when planting hungry plants like roses and clematis.  These plants also get a dollop of specialist rose or clematis food in spring.

Veggie beds get garden compost every time I clear a crop and scatterings of pelleted manure at planting time and in spring for the fruit bushes, rhubarb and strawberries which are permanent crops.

Any soil, be it sand, loam, stony or clay, free draining or moisture retentive, can be improved by mulching with well rotted manure or compost every autumn and after planting something new.  As said above, good soil structure is essential to plant health and soil fertility an dthe ability ofplants to take up the nutrients available..


Posted: 06/04/2014 at 15:41

I cut the old foliage off when I see the flowers starting to come through.   I also give them a feed of pelleted chicken manure lightly forked in around the base once the old leaves have been cleared.

I do let mine self seed as I have several varieties in cream, pink, purple, almost black and cream with splodges so I hope to get some interesting offspring.

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