Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 27/09/2015 at 11:45

When they are dormant and have lost their leaves or by mid November - whichever comes first.    You can cut them back to about 12 to 24 inches as the first two are group 3s for pruning and group 2s like the General can be treated as group 3s.  I do with mine.

Make sure you water generously at least an hour before you move them and then dig out as deeply as possible as their roots go very deep down.   Prepare their new planting holes first and add plenty of well rotted garden compost and manure to the soil.  Re-plant a few inches deeper than before to encourage extra shoots to form and water in well.

In spring, apply a generous dollop of clematis feed and when shoots start to show, give them a liquid tonic of tomato food.  Repeat the liquid feed occasionally till flowering starts and then into summer to keep them growing and flowering well.

Raised beds on a previously weedy lawn

Posted: 27/09/2015 at 11:25

Turn over your turves as planned then layer on cardboard which is an earthworm magnet and then any grass trimmings, weeds, raw kitchen waste, manure and spent compost you can get your hands on.    Make sure you have some brown, dry waste in there as well as green stuff.  Cover with more cardboard or black plastic and leave to cook over winter.

By spring, you should have wonderful fertile soil that just needs a bit of a fork and rake to level it before planting up.  It should also be moisture retentive so will save on watering except in very dry spells and immediately after planting..

This winter

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 22:31

Our house is on the crest between the Meuse basin and the Scheldt basin.  Small beer as hills go but enough to make for very local weather.  We often have sun while all around is clouds and I also note that often enough we have rain in the back garden and none in the front and vice versa.   It's an old farmhouse 8 metres deep!

I love snow business - as long as we're not snowed in.   That's not so funny.






Choisa cuttings

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 22:24

I had a lovely choisya that died after a very severe frost - -32C - which killed off other shrubs too.  Have't bought another as I didn't want to risk it again but a kind friend gave me a small shrub this spring, grown from a cutting and it now has pride of place in a pot in the terrace so I can shelter it over winter.

In other words, cuttings are possible.  Good luck.


Last grass mowing

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 13:04

Grass keeps growing as long as the daytime temps are about 8C or above.  In a normal year our last cut is late October but the last two years we've had to cut well into November.

The main thing with lawns is to leave the grass long enough to nourish and protect the roots over winter.   I wouldn't bother about a few leaves as the worms pull them in.

Very important not to walk on grass when it's frozen as the stems will break.

Keeping hydrangea over winter

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 12:58

They are naturally hardy, especially if in the ground where their roots don't get frozen as easily as in pots.  

The macrophyllas and lace caps don"t do well for me as they flower on last year's wood and my winters can be hard enough to kill all the top growth so I'd get foliage but never flowers.

The paniculatas flower on new wood and get pruned in mid Feb to March so it doesn't matter if they freeze above ground.

The first frost

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 10:43

Been a good summer here too with lots of sunshine.  A very dry period too which has harmed a few plants but we've had enough rain recently to moisten everything again.

Very cold last night but not quite a frost.  Set to get to 17C for the next few says and stay sunny so plenty of opportunity to start the autumn tidy, switch plants around and harvest the last of the soft fruits - damsons and blackberries and raspberries.   Toms just about finished but chillies a-go-go and lots of stuff still flowering in the borders.


Posted: 26/09/2015 at 10:05

Clematis require rich soils so you'll have to improve yours with loads of well rotted garden compost and manure to provide all the nutrients they need and improve water retention.   There are many varieties to choose form but none that flower most of the year.

There are some evergreen ones that flower in early spring.  The deciduous ones come in many shapes and forms of flowers but you should look at the Group 2s which flower in May and June and then, if fed and pruned well, again in late summer.  The group 3s, which are easiest to prune as they just get cut back hard in spring, can flower from June through to September if well fed.

Have a look at this site which lets you select plants according to group, flower colour and aspect - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemlistsearch.cfm   You can then seek out the varieties you like at your local nursery or garden centre or from nurseries that do mail order such as Taylor's or Thorncroft or Raymond Evison


Posted: 26/09/2015 at 08:18

You can buy metal U-shaped prongs used for holding down weed suppressing fabric and use those to hold down your cardboard.  My guru gets hers from shops that have deliveries in large packing - household shops and supermarkets.  They're happy for her to take it away rather than have to recycle it themselves.

What'll I do with me hostas

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 08:15

I have a couple of dozen big ones in the ground, a dozen or so smaller Gold Edgers which grow and split very easily and another couple of dozen in display pots plus a dozen or so babies in pots to give away or swap.

I do my splitting in spring when the noses show and sell spares at a charity plant sale.

Hostafan - have you thought of offering your spares to a charity sale or taking them to a car boot sale?  Or even seeing if people on here would home them for you?

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