Latest posts by obelixx

Planting Ideas Please

Posted: 24/07/2015 at 14:46

One of the sambucus family with golden foliage and white flowers or deep purple with pink flowers.   Very hardy and attractive with or without flowers.  Deciduous.

Eleagnus - evergreen with variegated silvery or golden streaks in the foliage.

Aucuba - evergreen with golden spots in the foliage and red berries.

Cornus alba sibirica - bright red stems in winter, good foliage colour in spring and autumn and flowers in between.   Needs pruning every spring to keep to size and reproduce the fresh red stems.   Elegantissima has mahogany stems and variegated leaves.

Salix - several forms with orange or black stems that need pruning like the cornus.  Good for a moist location.

I wouldn't go for hypericum.  It can be a thug when it starts to spread.  Ceanothus are lovely but are not reliably hardy so that depends on how cold you get.  

Whatever you plant you will need to give them a very good soaking before you go away and keep them watered regularly after planting and until they go dormant in autumn.   Make sure you dunk them in a bucket of water till no more air bubbles appear before you plant them.

Sad day for British Bees

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 16:28

This year my clematis and alliums have been covered with bees and the echinops and hostas are just getting going.  Earlier on the snowdrops, crocuses and other bulbs were busy and then the foxgloves.   The roses I bought last year and this are singles with open blooms that the bees can access and they love them.

what to grow on north facing fence/trellis

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 16:25

Minuet - purple and white bells all summer.  I have one on my north facing wall.   The photo shows it after being hammered by wind and rain.  I've tied it up and wound it in to its trellis again so it's looking perkier now and not so droopy.



Self planted rose?

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 13:50

I have a baby Kiftsgate which the birds have sown for me about 30 metres from its mum.   It has also taken 3 years to flower and identify itself and is now happily clambering up a nearby parrotia and also heading for a nearby hedge.  

It is glorious and perfumed and not an exact copy but I can't see that it's different enough from mum or Wedding Day or the Rambling Rector to be worth propagating and marketing.

Strange plant

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 13:45

It is a bulb and they do come readily from seed.   You can move it once the foliage dies down or possibly even as soon as the flower finishes but it looks like that will be a while given it's so small and not yet fully developed.

Strange plant

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 13:27


plant identification

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 12:16

The first one looks as though it's dying of thirst and the second lot look pretty thirsty too.   Give them all a very good drink - at least 2 galllons/10 litres for the shrubby thing repeated till it starts to plump up the foliage.   This may take a few days.  Then cut back all the dead stems to a live bud and give it another good drink containing some seaweed or tomato fertiliser.   After that just make sure it doesn't get thirsty again.   Post another picture when/if the leaves plump up.

The grassy plants could be all sorts of things from grasses to hemerocallis to liriope.  Give them a good drink too and then, when they plump up a bit, a feed and see what happens.  If they flower they'll be easier to identify.


Posted: 23/07/2015 at 11:28

I think chopping it at this stage of the year is a risky strategy.  

The best thing would be to replant it in a 60cm pot using John Innes no 3 compost and burying it 10cms deeper than it was in its original pot.   If you are unwilling or unable to do that, just remove all the flower buds and feed it with specialist clematis food and regular good soaks.   A good soak once a week is far better than a daily dribble.

In future, prune and feed it in spring as I indicated above and give it decent soakings to stop it getting thirsty and then occasional liquid tonics of tomato food between March and the end of June to encourage flower power.

Nettle feed for tomatoes

Posted: 23/07/2015 at 11:22

On Beechgrove last year the home made comfrey feed used in their tomato trials did better than the commercial products  - bit of a shock for old Jim - so he's doing it again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.    Comfrey feed is good for all fruiting and flowering plants.  Nettle feed is good for leafy plants like cabbages and hostas. 


Posted: 22/07/2015 at 14:52

Sarah5 - make sure that you make your planting holes at least 15inches/40cms and preferably even further from the base of your wall and bury them deeper than they were in their pots, angling them towards the wall and giving them plenty of rich compost mixed in with the soil and then very good drink.

Feed them generously every spring with clematis food and give them a mulch of garden compost to retain moisture.

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