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Latest posts by obelixx

MD in current GW

Posted: 26/07/2013 at 13:19

I think just growing natives is a bit precious and very boring in the UK.  It's going to look like a bed of weeds with a short flowering season and not much other interest for most of the year.   I don't really like prairie style planting but I feel that does at least offer more variety of form, texture and colour for longer.

My garden is a mix of European natives and plants from other parts of the world.  There's no shortage of nectar available and I have a pond, an insect hotel, log piles and bird feeders plus a good range of trees, shrubs and perennials to provide food and shelter all year round for all sorts of wildlife.   The place is buzzing.

English forest design for front garden.

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 13:34

I agree about tree ferns and they're also difficult to get through winter without wrapping them up in unsightly fleece and straw.   It would also be overkill.  I have a bed out the front which measures 7 x 5 metres and can't imagine fitting even one tree fern in it as their foliage spreads so wide when mature.   They would also make it very dark in the room that overlooks this bed.

I should think native ferns and similar types would be fine for this situation and aspect and would give great foliage contrast to the hostas, especially if you go for the big boys like golden Sum and Substance hosta or blue and gold streaked June.   These can take a year or two to get to mature size so give them plenty of space and make sure the soil is improved with moisture retentive garden compost and/or well rotted manure.    You could also add aquilegias and Japanese anemones to extend the season of colour from the bulbs.  

Sangko Kaku is a very good acer and the red stems would make an interesting focal point through winter until the new foliage emerges and gives colour through to autumn.   I do have one of these in my bed and it's lovely in colour and form.

One word of warning.  This bed is going to be a slug fest in spring so start early with wildlife friendly slug pellets on Valentine's Day (easy to remember) and every week or two so you get the perishers as they emerge from hibernation or hatch and before they feed and breed.

Hakonechloa - poisonus to dogs?

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 11:48

My cats and dogs always seem to prefer the ornamentals I cultivate for display rather thatn the couch grass I could do with help getting rid of. 

They like hakonechloa, new shoots on miscanthus and so on.  Hasn't harmed them yet.

can anyone tell me what this plant is?

Posted: 24/07/2013 at 11:46

Ligularia needs moisture retentive soil to do well.

Clematis not flowering

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 19:08

Feed with specialist clematis food which is granular and slow release.  Give an instant tonic of liquid tomato food and check you are using the correct pruning regime for each clematis variety.

can anyone tell me what this plant is?

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 14:07

Ligularia -

Eremerus have strappy leaves and, as their other common name - Desert Candles - indicates, need good drainage and full sun to do well.



Rose help please

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 11:24

Don't feed it any more now as any new growth won't have time to ripen and harden off before the winter frosts come and freeze it to a mush.

If you can, re-plant it in a deeper pot with the graft union a couple of inches below soil level.  This will help protect it and encourage new shoots from the variety and not the rootstock.  Keep it moist but not wet and with any luck it will recover and grow.

Iris Sibirica

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 11:19

In that case they are probably congested and need lifting and dividing to re-invigorate them.

You can do this from mid summer to early autumn while they're still green but you must water them thoroughly first and leave them to soak it up before you dig up teh clumps.  Then you can split them with a spade and replant them in well prepared soil containing lots of well rotted garden compost and/or manure to feed them and help retain moisture.  I would chuck in a couple of handsful of pelleted chicken manure too.

Once re-planted, they will need monitoring and regular watering until established, established if you do it sooner rather than later. 

Iris Sibirica

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 09:25

My pleasure.  I have some of these myself and love the rich colours of the flowers.

Iris Sibirica

Posted: 23/07/2013 at 08:49

Iris sibirica do well in full sun or partial shade but they need moisture at their roots. 

The maple will be providing huge competition for food and water, especially during this heatwave, so water them throughly and then, in autumn when the foliage dies back, consider either moving them or giving them a very thorough mulch of garden compost and well rotted manure to retain moisture and again next spring.

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