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Latest posts by obelixx

Worst Winter ....... .?

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 22:12

Not cold.   Last week we had temps up to 14C.   Usually in January we are down to -10C or -15C which is almost a 30 degree difference.

Today has been cooler at about 4 to 6C and we may get a frost tonight but not for long and not more than -1C.    It's about time winter came and got on with it.  I don't want to be frozen in April.

Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 12:50

I agree, Bookertoo.  I always do a raid on M&S for fair trade t-shirts when I'm in the UK.   I like cotton sheets and quilt covers too but steer clear of US grown.  

Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 21:29

It is indeed an orchid and a native of Mexico and central America where it is pollinated by a particular species of bee which made it impossible to cultivate commercially but then a slave boy on Réunion island discovered how to hand pollinate it and now it is grown globally.   Still very expensive though but so much tastier than the chemical essence versions.

Think I learned this on the A to Z of gardening or some such.

Clematis pruning and maintenance

Posted: 20/01/2014 at 16:11

Clematis are very hungry plants so, if you can't plant them in the ground,  give them the biggest pot you can.   It's a good idea to replenish some of the soil each year but not so much that you distrub their roots.   Scrape off a couple of inches and add fresh compost, preferably John Innes no 3.   Then give it a good watering to soak the whole pot and let it drain.   Clematis are thirsty plants too but don't like being water-logged.   Add a top dressing of clematis feed in early spring - available in good garden centres - and keep watered regularly with an occasional tonic of liquid rose or tomato food.

As yours bloom in mid to late summer, you can prune them back to the lowest buds on each stem in late Feb or early March depending on how cold your winters are and what the weather is doing.  Don't prune when it's freezing.



A Very particular rose

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 12:49

Try rambler Félicié Perpetue.  It will only flower once but has small white flowers with a pink flush and flowers quite late and maintains its leaves well into winter - .

Mlavern Hills is a lovely rose for but in my cold winters it loses all its leaves and can struggle to get going again in spring.

A very leggy rambling rose

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 12:45

You're welcome.   FP is a lovely rose.

A very leggy rambling rose

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 12:35

It is normal for roses to lose foliage over winter.   In hard ones, mine lose them completely.   Rambler roses flower on last season's wood so you should only prune it now to remove any dead or broken stems then tie in any which are flapping about and likely to get damaged by wind or interfere with passers by.

Formative pruning should be done after flowering to encourage new shoots and improve the shape.  Here is what the RHS advises -

Roses are hungry plants so I would also add a top dressing of dry rose food now and again in March.  When watering, occasional liquid feeds with rose or tomato food up until June will also help with flowering.

My Garden

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 12:28

Pleasure Joyce.  Typo so 2 acre garden, not 2 care!  He gets a lorry load of compost delivered from the local Council heap as his own compost heaps don't meet his needs. 

My Garden

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 10:24

Clematis don't mind being buried a bit.  In fact, the advice when planting is to plant them deeper than they were to encourage more buds to form stems.   The advice when planting new roses is to bury the graft join a couple of inches below soil level so they won't mind a mulch or compost either. 

I have a friend who mulches his entire garden with a couple of inches or more of well rotted compost every winter and his plants all come through just fine - 2 care garden with trees, shrubs, roses, clematis, perennials and bulbs.   The reasoning is that the worms will work it in to his heavy clay soil and gradually improve it and it works.

I would just get in there asap and put up some trellis or wire supports for the clematis before everything starts to shoot.    Roses can be pruned now if you have mild winters but not when a frost is forecast as this damages the fresh wounds and can introduce disease.  It's also OK to wait till March if you have cold winters.

hedging distance

Posted: 18/01/2014 at 09:46

It dépends how patient you are and how dense you want the screen to be.   The RHS Plant Selector says they will reach 4 to 8 metres wide -

As a rule, for a screen you need to plant trees and shrubs as far apart as their eventual width but as this can be varied and take up to 25 years to achieve you may want to plant them at the closer distance of 4 metres or compromise at 6.    For a hedge, you would plant much closer and keep them trimmed to thicken up but I'm assuming you want to enjoy their lovely conical form and all that blossom and leaf colour..



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