Latest posts by obelixx

Suggestions of plants for a hedge

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 15:57

Tell us more about the soil as that makes a difefrence. for example, beech doesn't like to have its feet wet but hornbeam doesn't mind heavy, claggy ground.   Both will grwo quite fast and dense if kept clipped and can be kept quite narrow too thus saving space.   Both are deciduous but keep their autumnal brown leaves if pruned before the end of July.

Hawthorns are also fast growing but are thorny - good for deterring unwanted visitors and protecting birds.  It plays host to lots of insects and has spring flowers for nectar and then fruits for birds in autumn.   

In the evergreen ranges, yew is good and can be clipped very neatly but it's very dark green and the clippings and fruits are poisonous so not a good idea if you have small children around.    Other conifers will grow rapidly but can easily run away with you and do not recover if you clip back into brown wood.   Laurel is a thug.  The more you prune the more it grows and its large leaves look dreadful when cut with hedge trimmers.   Privet is an option if your situation is not too exposed.

As ever, good soil preparation is the key to success so dig a decent trench and backfill with plenty of added compost and/or well rotted manure.  Don't buy the biggest plants as they take longer to establish.  my hawthorn hedge started as single stemmed whips which I pruned back to 9" after planting.  It grows 6' a year which is something else to consider - maintenance.

Flowers we don't like?

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 11:46

I have a space like that and grow snowdrops, daffs, hostas, astilboides, hellebores, primulas, hemerocallis, chelone, Japanese anemones, hakonechloa, ferns, a couple of dwarf conifers and lily of the valley which all cope with winter, a bit of damp and no direct sun most of the year.

No wussy plastic busies.


Flowers we don't like?

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 11:10

I always think begonias look plastic so really don't like them.   Most busy lizzies too.

Seeds are up

Posted: 04/03/2013 at 19:41

I'd use one of those for slug hunting.  

I now have two kinds of tomato babies so have sown six more of each in order to have some for swaps with a friend and to sell at a plant fair for charity in May.  OH very kindly emptied all the pots from the greenhouse and stashed them agains the house wall facing south where they've had a lovely time today after an overnight frosting.   We're supposed to get to 17C tomorrow afternoon!    Good for cleaning up and sowing more seeds in there as I've run out of warm, sunny window sill.

out of season plants

Posted: 04/03/2013 at 13:17

I agree.  Sounds all wrong, like pink daffs and the hunt for red delphiniums and true blue roses.  Why?   They're all beautiful enough in their natural colours and seasons.


Posted: 03/03/2013 at 20:20

If you're plant is miscanthus zebrinus it will eventually get to between 1 and 1.5 metres talland spread 50cms or more wide.   You plant the whole thing together.

Soft yellow or hot pink climbing roses

Posted: 03/03/2013 at 17:22

I have Malvern Hills - a short, repeat flowering soft yellow rambler - and Teasing Georgia - a more golden but mellow yellow rose which can be grown as a short climber.  Both flower well for me.

I think Gertrude Jekyll is an excellent pink rose with good perfume and strong flowers but it is quite thorny.   David Austin do some very good pink roses so have a look at their site.

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Posted: 03/03/2013 at 17:14

Hi Betty.   Is you knee a permanent fixture or to be mended?

I've been out pruning clematis and sedums and such like and pottering with pots of hostas and stuff that OH has brought out of their winter hibernation in the greenhouse.    All very satisfying but the foot is now swollen and sore again so is propped up while I blob on the sofa.    I sowed a few seeds mid week and already have baby tumbler tomatoes shwoing through so opportunities for pricking out are limited as yet.  However,, now th egreenhouse is empty I can get cracking on more sowing.  

Flowers we don't like?

Posted: 03/03/2013 at 13:34

I'm not a fan of cut flowers at all except sweet peas if I grow them. I prefer my flowers live and growing outside.   Also, in the past, kittens and young cats have always seen flowers in vases as toys with ensuing watery accidents.   Much rather have healthy house plants indoors and flowers outside.


Posted: 03/03/2013 at 13:31

Yes.  You can do it now before the new growth starts so you don't damage the tips of th enew shoots.  If growth is already visible, cut off the old growth just a bit higher.  Secateurs will do for smaller plants but our zebrinus is now well established and very chunky, we use hedge trimmers. 

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