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Latest posts by obelixx

climbing roses

Posted: 06/04/2015 at 14:17

Just lean the roses back at a slight angle when you plant them and then tie in the flexible new stems as they grow.  They'll be fine.  Remember to give them well prepared soil with lots of added garden compost and well-rotted manure to grow their roots and find food and water.  

They are very hungry plants so will appreciate an annual spring feed of rose fertiliser and an occasional liquid tonic of tomato food between April and the end of June. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 04/04/2015 at 19:48

Be careful Oltyke and Hostafan.  Clematis fever is easy to catch and there's no real cure.   I have learned to restrict myself though after losing all my alpinas and montanas and winter flowering clems to early, heavy frosts.   I now concentrate on Group 2s and 3s which will withstand -25C.

It has been perishing here today with strong, bitter easterly winds and a high of 5C so I have limited myself to checking on the seedlings in the greenhouse, setting up a new potting bench in the shed and tidying up the work area at the back of the house.   Tomorrow should be warmer and by Tuesday we should get into double figures so I'm hoping to get the veggie beds forked and raked for the new babies.

What can I do under this hedge?

Posted: 04/04/2015 at 17:26

Pine forest floors tend not to be as densely planted as hedges in gardens so light and air and water can get in there as well as decaying plant material from other trees and plants which helps with soil fertility.    If you go to a pine forest planted by the forestry commission or any other commercial venture the trees are so tightly packed that nothing else grows and teher's no wildlife either - hence the recent move to bigger spacing and mixed woodland plantations.

Making a deep bed under them isn't an option as the extra depth of soil and compost to grow things will rot and damage the trunks of the conifers which the OP wants to keep.

What can I do under this hedge?

Posted: 04/04/2015 at 15:22

That looks lovely and clearly you can grow healthy plants in front of conifers but not underneath as the OP wants to do.


Posted: 04/04/2015 at 13:36

Yes, and give it the best compost you can and don't forget to feed it as well as watering regularly as most composts only contain fertiliser for 100 days.

Be careful about the shape of pot too.  I have had a Sum and Substance in a pot for several years and needed to pot it on this year.  The top of the pot curves in so I ended up using a bread knife to carve it into 9 portions like a noughts and crosses board and then lifted out the centre so I could free the remaining chunks.  Now I have 2 lumps in straight sided pots for me to grow on and 7 more potted up to swap with friends or sell at our charity sale in May.   Hostas don't mind being divided in spring but the big leaved ones take a couple of seasons to regain their size of leaf.

What can I do under this hedge?

Posted: 04/04/2015 at 12:18

Hi GM.  It's a small tree at the moment and barely showing buds for new leaves.  Don't blame it as it's perishing here today.

Here it is last July behind the purple cotinus and in front of the hedge just before it's annual trim.   The gingko is on the left of the picture and there's an acer negundo in the foreground and lots of perennials that do their thing from the hellebores and bergenias  in Feb/March to the physostegias which flower into October.


 The weedy cobbles were laid at the turn of the 19th and 20th century and are the old road to the village and show the grooved tracks of the allied tanks (British in this case) that chased the Germans back east in 1944 so we keep them as the ones that remain further along on the road to the village have now been classified as "Patrimoine" but they're a nightmare to weed.   Sometimes I give in and just nuke them with a weedkiller.


What can I do under this hedge?

Posted: 04/04/2015 at 11:03

Have to agree.  We have an inherited conifer hedge in part of our garden and it makes a very useful windbreak to shelter our greenhouse and shed but they do suck the goodness out of the soil and make it very difficult for other plants to get the food and water they need.  

We've left ours green to the base and then made a 2' 6" wide path of chipped bark which allows us space to trim it.    The bed in front of it is planted up with shrubs, a parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood), a gingko and lots of perennials and bulbs which are now much happier.

The bits you have cut will not regrow so I suggest you lift the base to the same height across the width of the hedge and maybe use the freed space between the trunks for compost heaps and storage of pots, trays, toys, whatever.    You could then put a path in front, as I have, and then do as Gemma suggests and erect a rail or maybe trellis fence to about 1m25/4' high and make a bed in front to disguise it all.


Low inflation I think not

Posted: 03/04/2015 at 16:57

Naturally.  They are in the business for profit and will use low prices on one lot of goodies to get you in and tempt you to buy other stuff with a higher profit margin.

I have been back to my spring goodies supplier and come away with 5 more lychnis Vesuvius, 5 coreopsis Badengold, 5 geum Mrs Bradshaw and 5 Lithodora diffusa Heavenly Blue which are new to me.  Could also have bought dwarf phlox and dianthus and hardy geraniums and saxifrage and achillea The Pearl and red lupins but I have all those already in sufficient quantiies.    

I also picked up 12 beetroot plugs, 6 each of fennel, broccoli and kohl rabi plus some compost.    No more plant buying for awhile as I need to keep some pocket money for the spring plant fairs that start at the end of April and into May.....

Low inflation I think not

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 17:34

No price changes here for my usual spring supplies of perennials in 9cm pots.   They start at 2€45 for one , é€15 each if you buy 5 and 1€95 if you but 10 so they tend to leap into my trolley 20 at a time and I go once a week till they run out fo supplies which change each week.  Last week it was all hot colours - achillea, lychnis Vesuvius, potentillas and dandresomething.  This week I'm hoping for more hot colours but will be happy with cooler one when I pop in tomorrow.

Good quality plants with good roots which I grow on in bigger pots so they transplant more happily into the borders in mid May.   Baby salads and cabbages start at about 25 cents a plug in trays of 6.   They fill in nicely till my own sowings of veggies and flowers are big enough to cope.

Greenhouse exposed to wind advice needed

Posted: 02/04/2015 at 16:39

Be sure to use very sturdy supports for your windbreak. I put this fabric up to protect my garden this winter, attaching it to posts buried in 2' of concrete and the increased wind resistance has meant the recent gales have blown every post to a drunken 45° angle because the soil is so wet it had no resistance.   We'll be addressing that problem over the long weekend.

On the other hand, the fruit bushes and overwintered curly kales are still standing in the veg plot and there has been no wind damage in the rest of the garden except for a few old plastic chairs blowing about.

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