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Latest posts by obelixx

clematis montana

Posted: 16/09/2012 at 11:01

Probably just confused by a long, cool, wet summer with low light levels.

Giant Scabious

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 23:53

The giant scabious finishes flowering earlier than the field scabious and other smaller varieties.  Nor does mine seem to replenish itself if I dead head as each flower goes over.    Unless you want new plants from seed, cut off the flower spikes as soon as they've finished.  Take them down as low as you like so the cut is hidden in the foliage.

Then just leave them be.  The foliage will die down as autumn gets under way and the plant will go dormant for the winter.  Once it's all gone brown, you can cut it all off and compost it.   

Helping plants through Winter

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 16:51

It depends on how cold you expect to get.  We have severe winters with regular dips to -20C and well below on occasion so I move all my pots into the barn or the greenhouse.. I wait till their foliage has died down, clear it away and then just trundle them all in when dormant.  No watering. 

I've never lost a hosta but last winter, which wasn't the worst by a long chalk, I lost all my agapanthus and an acer because, after an early warm spell, we had heavy frosts just after they'd started growing again and been watered and fed.  This year several hostas were turfed out into the garden and the pots planted up with annuals and pelargonius which will die anyway and go to the great compost heap - thus reducing the need for pot stashing.

Ideas required for climbers over metal archway

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 16:44

You could try Betty Corning which is a scented, group 3 clematis which flowers in summer -   Group 3 means she flowers on new season's wood so is cut back very low in early spring and all the old stems and foliage are removed.

If you want an evergreen clematis with scent you need to find something like Apple Blossom - or maybe this one 

I have two very good scented honeysuckles, one deep purpley and pink and one creamy and yellow - but Ican't tell you their names as their labels are long gone.  However, clematis associate very well with roses so have a look at small ramblers such as Malvern Hills from David Austin.  This one has soft yellow, fading to cream flowers that are pleasantly perfumed.

Snails - the French have the right idea

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 16:35

Digitalis (foxgloves), aconitum (monks' hood) are poisonous so left alone by slugs and snails.  They don't like hairy or highly scented foliage or anything oin the rosacae family which includes more than just roses.

Howevre, a goo dtip is to scatter wildlife friendly slug pellets (not metaldehyde based) around your garden on St Valentine's Day or the Ides of March or some other date that's easy to remember in early spring and repeat every 2 weeks till June.  This way you'll get them as they emerge from hibernation, as they hatch and before they get the chance to scoff your treasures and breed again.

clematus problem

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 11:08

That's good news.   Gardeners have to be both patient and optimistic.

Give it a good feed next spring and you should get a good show next summer.

Geranium blight

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 10:21

Maybe it's starving then.  Have you re-potted or freshened up the compost in the time you've been growing it?

Also, in such a cool, sunless summer, it will have needed less watering than usual so maybe it is, after all, just over watered for the conditions.

Acer flamingo

Posted: 14/09/2012 at 09:49

That's a good tip too.  My cotinus often loses a few branches to winter freezes.  Too late this year but next year i'll be pinching its tips to make it bushier.  Thanks.

A double thats gone single

Posted: 13/09/2012 at 21:36

This one? -

Did you prune it this spring?  If so you'll have taken out the flowering wood and it's gone staright to producing the scond flush on this season's wood.

Or it may just have had a hard winter or been badly frosted when forming the double flower buds for the June display or just be too hungry to produce the usual first flush of doubles and has gone straight for the second flush of singles.

Don't feed it any more now and don't prune it either but do make sure it gets a good feed of proper clematis food next spring and see if that does the trick.   In future years, prune lightly after the first flush of flowers and feed it again to encourage the second flush in late summer.

Acer flamingo

Posted: 13/09/2012 at 10:32

Japanese maples tend not to take kindly to pruning except for removing any branches killed by winter frosts and a little modest re-shaping.

Interesting about your Flamingo Christopher.  I have a young one in my big front triangular bed which needs some re-jigging for extra winter interest and a better summer display so it's good to know I can decide it will be a shrub and not a full blown tree.


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