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Latest posts by obelixx

geraniums and anenomes

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:05

I've been lifting and cleaning and clearing and refereeing my garden all this year following a forced, post-op absence of almost 2 years.   In that time, along with several nasty, pernicious weeds, my garden has been overun by a pink geranium that has spread and seeded itself about with gay abandon.   I've been digging them up since early spring and have potted some on to give to people who I know like pink or need some fast ground cover but there are limits and huge amounts have gone in the compost bins.

Whilst clearing the borders, clumps of any plant I want to jeep get bunged in buckets and troughs and any container I can find and can stay there for weeks sometimes while I dig over and clear the beds and then clean their roots.   I've had very few losses doing that.  

Where I haven't yet got other plants to replace the geraniums I've simply cut them back hard once the flowering is starting to fade and then they at least grow back healthy, fresh looking foliage so look better.   I will even get a second set of flowers to keep things looking good till the new babies get big enough to plant out in their place.

Japanese anemones aren't a problem here but I do find phlomis russelliana a bit too happy and either pot up for swaps or bung on the compost heap.   As long as you can keep things you do dig up sheltered from strong sun and adequately moist I find them very forgiving when needs must but the best time for lifting and dividing most plants is still spring and autumn.   

planting a holly tree in a pot?

Posted: 11/07/2014 at 10:57

Yes.   But give it a decent sized pot and good quality compost and make sure you keep it fed and watered so its growth, through restricted, stays healthy.   You can also clip your holly to size and shape.


Posted: 11/07/2014 at 10:55

I suggest then that you dig it all up and replant a bit in a  difficult corner where it will cope better than something that might struggle in poor light or poor soil.  That will help control its vigour a bit.   Bin the rest.

If you haven't a difficult corner, get a deep plastic pot as wide as you want it to grow, remove the bottom and bury it to its neck in the border.  Replant a bit of your lysimachia in that and it will keep it under control.


Posted: 11/07/2014 at 09:47

I really dislike the yellow lysimachia but I like the white version - clethroides alba aka gooseneck - as it has pretty white flowers in a bent cone shape that resemble a goose's neck.  It's also vigorous but not as much of a thug as the yellow one and Fircracker has proved not at all invasive so far in my garden but there are better ways of getting the deep purple foliage without the nasty yellow flowers.


Posted: 11/07/2014 at 09:43

A general food will also promote new growth which won't now have time to ripen and Harden before winter frosts so I would get bonemeal.

what to grow on north facing fence/trellis

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 19:42

Whether you choose a rose or a clematis you are going to have to some serious soil improvement as both are hungry, thirsty plants and will need all the help they can get to establish and grow.   Dig in plenty of well rotted garden compost and manure to as wide an area as you can.

Roses that will grow on a north facing aspect are Golden Showers - scented yellow flowers; Teasing Georgia - also yellow, scented and repeating; Iceberg - white, repeating; New Dawn - pale pink and lightly scented;

For clematis, there are loads of possibilities.  I find the group 3s easiest to manage as they are pruned back hard in February or March depending on your local climate and then flower all summer on new growth.  Betty Corning is scented; Duchess of Albany has strong pink bell shaped flowers; Gipsy Queen is a deep, rich purple with a redder stripe but you may want a paler colour to stand out in shade; Caroline has pale pink flowers for months; White Magic has pretty white flowers.   If you prefer a group 2 that will flower in May and June and then again later in summer, try Silver Moon.    You can check all of these here - and then maybe order them from a good supplier such as or or

Remember to plant roses so that their graft union is a couple of incjes below the soil and clematis at least 4 inches/10cms deeper than they were in their pots and then feed and water them well till estabished.

Monkshood problem .......

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 17:47

There are at least two purple/blue varieties and one doesn't flower till later but try the feed anyway.

Monkshood problem .......

Posted: 10/07/2014 at 16:53

I have both blue and cream ones in flower now and more blue ones to come later in the season.   Maybe yours are short of potassium which helps promote flowering.

Try giving them a liquid feed of rose or tomato fertiliser to see if that helps and next spring, scatter a generous handful of rose fertiliser granules round the plants.   If you're organic, then make a soup from comfrey leaves then dilute and water that on.


Posted: 10/07/2014 at 13:55

This kind flowers on wood formed the previous season.   When you bought it it, it would have been forced into flowering early and is unlikely to flower again this year.   Give it a feed of bonemeal around the roots noow to help it form strong roots and shoots for next year's show.   Feed it some rose or tomato food next spring to encourage flowers.

Chilli Seed Swap

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 13:34

I am growing Hungarian Black, Bulgarian Carrot, Spanish Padron and Basket of Fire.   They're all a bit slow after being battered to bits by a hail storm during Chelsea week but, when they do get as far as flowering and fruiting, I'll be happy to save seeds for swapping.   I'm not interested in macho volcanic varieties though as I like to taste my food and not have my palate anaesthetised.

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