Latest posts by Obelixx

sambucus black lace cutting back? confusing advice

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 18:06

My Black Lace is sick.  I have let it grow tall but with a raised canopy so its legs are bare and all the action was up top casting dappled shade below.

Very few shoots this year and feeble at that and bark splitting so I'm going to cut it right down to about 3'/90cms and see what happens. 

Gnome - If yours is growing too wide just cut out the branches that are growing in directions you don't want.  If you do decide to move it wait till autumn when it will be dormant and can spend the winter regrowing and developing new roots.


Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:58

I have thought of plant buying as HRT for years - horticultural retail therapy!

I am so fed up - chestikoff still here and it is persisting down.  I have potted up the 6 treasures I bought at Beth Chatto's garden and some perfumed dwarf pinks I found this afternoon when I went to buy potting compost and peanuts and that's it.  Too wet to do owt else.

Garden group at my house in 8 days' time and there's more rain forecast all day tomorrow when I have a garden helper all day and OH isn't playing golf so is, in theory, available for labouring.


Living chives question

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:51

Yes.   Just snip off the stems you need and they'll regrow.   Mint is a perennial and will last forever - do not plant it in the ground as it will take over the entire border!  

Coriander is an annual and needs replacing regularly but you can cut and come again like parsley while it's going strong.   Eventually it will want to flower and set seed.  If you let it do this you'll get volunteer coriander coming up in the garden but you can cut off or eat the flowers if you don't want that.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 17:45

I buy my clematis from a specialist who sells them in 9"/23cm deep pots and with about 3'/90cms of growth above.   Even so, I pot them on into bigger pots and grow them on for a season before planting them out in the borders as this gives them the chance to grow a stronger root system and thus have a better start.  I find clems take a season or 3 to get established and really start growing above ground and this system cuts that time to 2 years.

If yours are very small they are all better off going into bigger pots now and again at the end of summer as their roots will continue to develop over winter.   Each time you pot them on, bury them an inch or two deeper in the pots as this encourages extra shoots to grow and thus more flowers later on.   

Once they are fully established in 9"/23cm deep pots they should be big enough to bury 4" deeper in the border or in a 60cm/2' pot.   Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants so paint the inside of your terracotta pot with PVA glue or acrylic varnish to make it less porous.   Give them plenty of slow release food every spring and never let them get thirsty and they'll repay you with glorious growth and blooms.

Living chives question

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 16:24

As far as I know there are the ordinary purple flowered chives, the finer white flowered chives and garlic chives.   I suspect "living" chives is just describing a plant with roots that can be cut and come again as opposed to ready cut chive leaves sold in small bunches or punnets in supermarkets.

They can be grown in pots or window boxes or in beds and, as you thought, are good companions for roses.   The purple ones are prolific spreaders and self seeders and make great edging plants for veggie beds or paths.  The flowers of all three kinds can be eaten raw in salads along with the snipped leaves.


Posted: 20/06/2016 at 16:15

Mothers can be a nightmare Clari.   Mine is to the extent that she managed to miss out on Possum completely - her loss - so you have my sympathy.  When we did meet 3 years ago for an afternoon at Possum's request she behaved as though she'd never said or done anything dreadful and would be guest of honour at Possum's future wedding......    What?   And the things she said then!   Fairy land!

If your Bramley twig is on a dwarfing rootstock it may cope well in a pot for a few years but they do want to be big trees really so are best in the ground and also need two pollinators - http://www.orangepippintrees.com/pollinationchecker.aspx?v=1009 

The pear should be fine in a 20" pot if it's on a dwarfing rootstock.  Alpine strawberries are great in pots but will escape.  Ours did and are now coming up between the cobbles so we leave them be and scoff as we go past.


Posted: 20/06/2016 at 11:06

Morning all - just.   Had a good day yesterday - dry for once - doing the entries for friends holding an Open Garden.  80+ visitors in the end.   It closed at 5 so at 4:45 I decided it was probably safe to close the cash box and go round and do my own visit but 8 more turned up!   It's a one hectare garden and some people spend 2 hours in there taking it all in.   Flipping cheek.

We've had constant rain for 3 weeks now so the blousier roses were looking soggy and bedraggled but still lots of roses looking good, plenty of buds to come out and all the summer perennials still to do their thing.  Lots of variety of form and colour and texture in the foliage of assorted trees and shrubs, a new epimedium and hosta bed - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/160619%20Fleurisart?sort=2&page=1

Cold and windy again today with rain on its way but I have treasures to pot up and that can be done in the garage or shed if needed.   The weeds are having a laugh and the slugs a feast so I need to get cracking on those as and when rain permits.

DD - I hope you get things sorted as best as possible and don't have to give up the house after all the hard work you've put in to both B&B and garden.

Busy - sounds like you're having a fine time.

Panda - good colours.

Happy gardening to all who can and get well soon to all the crocks on the sofa.

Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 00:23

http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/the-potting-shed/chelsea-photos-2016/981488.html for photos of the gardens, big and small plus the pavilion and sundry other stuff.

Hosta alternative

Posted: 20/06/2016 at 00:18

Hosta - Years ago she came and gave a talk on hemerocallis to a gardeners' club in Brussels and cunningly left catalogues about.  I found myself ordering so many hostas and some of her husband's grasses that it was cheaper to drive to Apple Court and collect than pay the postage.  Then, having thus saved on the postage I squeezed in some extra plants..............

The hostas have nearly all thrived and spread and been swapped and offered but the only grass I have left is Ice Dance.  The others were either too invasive or too wussy.

Garden Visits

Posted: 19/06/2016 at 07:41

Absolutely but at the mo I have a large garden with wide borders.    For smaller gardens the 3 rule works very well.  Question of scale.   

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