Latest posts by obelixx

St.James's Park - Plant ID

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 14:02

It's a tender Mexican annual and the seeds are quite easy to find.  Sow under cover, bring on the plants and then put them out after the last frosts in May.   The flowers can last well into October so a good one for late interest.


Posted: 17/08/2015 at 11:00

Keep well watered and give it some liquid tomato food too.  Clematis are hungry, thirsty plants and can take a year or two to get their roots established.  One that's just been moved will need extra care.

A challenge of a lawn

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 18:41

I too have a garden that backs on to fields and get all sorts of weeds coming through.   I don't mind clover and speedwell as they are pretty and green but big leaved stuff like plantains and dandelions are a bit obvious.

You could use glyphosate as a spot weed killer on big stuff like dandelions but otherwise wait till autumn and apply the appropriate weed and feed mixture, following instructions on the pack.

You can also aerate the lawn by going over it with a large garden fork, piercing the lawn to a depth of several inches and wiggling it about to enlarge the holes.  Then you scatter lawn sand and brush it in.  This will improve the health of the grass roots and let them grow stronger. 

Lastly, raise the level of the blades.   Healthy grass needs enough leaf to feed strong roots and fight off weeds and that lawn looks scalped.

Garden Pictures 2015

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 16:27

Lovely pics Wonky.   Only one of my dahlias has flowered so far but I hope yesterday's deluge will have broken teh drought enough t get them going.

Berghill - your garden is looking great.  I love all the nooks and crannies and changes of style round each corner.  Am I right in thinking you kept the pesky tabby kitten after all?  Has she calmed down?

To edge or not to edge ...?

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 10:55

I agree with Nut too.  Keep the grass formal or lose it all together and go for deep planting with lots of shape and form and texture.

If you do want more colour, there's a lot of bare wall that could be covered with more baskets, troughs and pots.  Depends on how much time you have for watering and dead heading and general tending.  If you can make a decent planting hole, you could also think about planting a climbing rose to cover the walls.

Whichever you do, Dove's suggestion of big pots in the corners is worth considering.

Climbing Roses Advice

Posted: 16/08/2015 at 10:48

Your Lady Hillingdon is a vigorous rose and will recover.

Do as Dave advises and take the opportunity to provide it with support - horizontal wires stretched between vine eyes screwed to a wall or fence or else trellis panels.   My preference based on experience in my garden is for wires - easy to install, discreet and needing no further maintenance if done well whereas trellis panels weather, break, need repairs or replacement.

Pruning (of sorts)

Posted: 15/08/2015 at 18:14

You'll need to go round with sharp secateurs and trim any torn edges on stems and branches to reduce the likelihood of disease and pests attacking damaged tissue.   Give the magnolia and camellia a drink of sequestered iron to encourage them but I suspect you've lost any wood and buds that would have flowered next spring.

I suggest you hide or disable the hedge trimmers so he can't do it again.



Posted: 15/08/2015 at 16:51

Yes, just cut off the top of the stem to remove the spent flowers just above a leaf axil.   Helps to give them a feed and leave the foliage till it dies down completely so the bulbs can fatten for next year's show of flowers.

Any idea's as to what this is?

Posted: 15/08/2015 at 13:50

Looks like the bay hibiscus I find in my garden.

Raising the level of a lawn

Posted: 15/08/2015 at 13:31

Sounds like a plan but I would just make sure that all the old turf goes in first and upside down.   It should be enough to prick the existing lawn deeply with a big garden fork and then wiggle it back and forth to widen the holes as that will add air and improve drainage.

Sowing seed is much cheaper than laying turf and will also mean you don't have to barrow yet another load of stuff down the narrow passage.    Best time to sow seed is September or April when temperatures and moisture levels are at their most favourable for germination and growth.

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