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Latest posts by obelixx

Epsom Salts

Posted: 22/02/2014 at 14:19

The ratio is 15ml of Epsom salts to 5 litres of water.    Pour over the plant with the spray nozzle on the can so it is absorbed by the leaves as well as the roots.


Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 21/02/2014 at 11:30

Did a lot of weeding and pruning and transplanting of several shrubs on Tuesday.   Took lots of clematis cuttings from those prunings and had a word with some of the roses.

It's been too soggy and/or windy since but I'm hoping to get OH in the garden tomorrow to clear away my piles of clematis prunings and turn the compost heaps.

Not sowing seeds of anything just yet.



Monarda/Phlox/Liatris/Dicentra (roots & bulbs) - plant now or pot up?

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 13:00

I think soils are going to take their time to warm up now they're so wet and that will be hard for new plants to get established in so I suggest you plant them in pots and keep them in a sheltered spot so they can get acclimatised.  

Give them a good drink once potted up and then water as needed and don't let them dry out.   Plant them out in a month or two when growth is well established and spring is really on its way and the soil has dried out a bit and warmed up.

Worst Winter ....... .?

Posted: 18/02/2014 at 22:57

Lots done here too from pruning clems and taking cuttings from some to pruning roses, cutting down old stems on perennials and transplanting shrubs and snowdrops - none of which I can usually do before late March or early April.  Temps throughout January and Feb have been between 25 and 30C warmer than in the last few years.  Today we got up to 12C.  Usually in Feb we're down to between -15C and -20C.

To cover south side

Posted: 18/02/2014 at 10:43

According to the RHS, wisteria can be grown in pots as a standard.  See below.  presumably this is because being trained a sa standard limits growth and thus food and water requirements.   If you want to cover a bungalow wall with a wisteria I suggest you plant it in th eground on the other side of the path and lead it across to teh wall with an arch or pergola of some sort.  That way it will be able to get its roots down deep and seek all the nutrients and water it needs for such strong growth.

RHS advice -

Container cultivation

Wisterias are usually thought of as climbers, but you can grow wisterias in containers, and train as a standard. This is particularly suitable for a small garden. See the advice profile on pruning and training wisteria for more information on container cultivation.

Containerised wisterias can be fed with liquid tomato fertiliser, phostrogen, miracle grow or similar flowering plant foods. Mixing controlled release fertiliser granules into the compost is another alternative.

Talkback: Growing hellebores

Posted: 18/02/2014 at 10:22

Depends how subtle you are about digging it up.   Will OH mind?   Less to mow and trim.

I was out tidying my hellébores up yesterday.  Labels long gone but I have some luscious black flowered ones and some deep purple and deep red plus cream with spots and 2 out of the 3 clumps of the green flowered foetidus have been flattened by the doglets chasing rats.    Bah humbug.

No sign of babies to grow on so far but I have 3 more big clumps to trim back today so we'll see and I'll be collecting seeds when they ripen..

Get if off your chest.

Posted: 12/02/2014 at 16:19

As far as I'm aware there has never been a case of so many storms following each other so quickly and on top of an already wet winter that has saturated the ground so it can absorb no more water. 

A hydrology expert on the news today said that no amount of dredging would have saved the Somerset Levels from flooding in these conditions and the current climate trend is for wetter, stormier winters.    As for the Severn and Thames basins, a lot of the problem is from what is happening higher up nearer the source and the inability of the ground to absorb water.   Springs bubbling up through floors and gatdens are not about river management but soil saturation.

I think that councils could and should have called in the army earlier to help with pumping and sandbags but I also think that any building along rivers and flood plains and catchment areas should be required to have flood defence in mind and raise ground floor levels.  The Dutch manage to do it so the technology is there.

I also think that there needs to be joined up thinking in land management from farming techiques and crops grown to industrial and housing developments using porous materials in landscaping and for parking.

I feel desperately sorry for all the people who have been flooded, their businesses and jobs, their pets and livestock and the wildlife.   I hope they get all the help they need to recover when the rain does finally stop and they can dry out and repair their homes and lives.


Group 3 clematis pruning

Posted: 12/02/2014 at 11:13

In normal winters we are frozen solid in February with -15C being usual and worse not unknown so I try and buy only those which are hardy to -25C and keep my fingers and toes crossed for the ones that only do -20C.  They don't usually start shooting till mid to late March and even then new growth can be blasted by a late, heavy frost.

This year we've had no serious frosts and temps of 13C in January which is a 30C difference.   I've been out with the slug pellets and the secateurs but am leaving the major pruning till a bit later and am only pruning the clems in sunnier beds where the spring bulbs and new perennial shoots are already showing through and needed some weeding and cutting back of last season's growth respectively.   

japanese style but new to it all help please

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 09:37

I've replied on the other thread.   In a garden this size, a Japanese courtyard style would suit best and would not include any grass.   Once a seating area is made there's be so Little garss left anyway it would be a pain to mow and maintain once the rocks, gravel, usual lanterns and water feature went in, let alone the plants.

It could work out very calm and restful though.   Nice project.

starter garden japanise style help please

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 09:33

I think you need to go to the Library and read as many books as you can find on the Japanese style.   It's not just the plants, it's the whole balance of rock, stone, water, moss and a limited palate of plants.

You'd have to do a lot of ground work to prepare the soil and lay weed reisistant membranes for the gravel areas.  You'd also need to source and price rocks and think about getting all the materials into the garden.

Usual plants include bamboo, Japanese maples, spring flowering cherries, azaleas, hostas and moss.

Have a look at this site too -  It explains the basics and gives examples of Japanese gardens and their creation.

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