obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Mystery plants

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:23

I had a happy leycesteria that made babies so I kept one and potted the others up for friends.  However they have both fallen victim to last year's bad winter and the one I rescued and tried to nurture in a pot died after this spring's late frosts.

Isn't a thankyou in order?

Posted: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

I'd like that too.  Get enough emails a day without adding any from here and I do like to follow threads to which I've contributed.

A thank you is also nice, if only to show someone's actually read your attempt to give advice or help or support.

 

New hedge suffering

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 16:39

Beech doesn't like being sodden so it may just be struggling with all the wet. Not much you can do except wait and see and hope we get some dry weather soon - unless drainage is generally poor in that spot, in which case you'll need to improve it somehow.

plants for indoor swimming pool

Posted: 08/07/2012 at 16:00

I can smell chlorine in London water when I visit and I'd have thouught you need rather more than that quantity in a swimming pool purification system unless you go for something more modern.

I'd have though most tropical origin houseplants would do well in the warmth and humidity so ficus elastica, ficus benjamina, anthuriums and so on.

Clematis Rhapsody

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 17:53

Clematis do thicken up with time.  i planted one Etoil Violette some years ago and it did take a couple of years to get going but now that one plant produces dozens of stems from the base each year and is rapidly outgrowing its arch support.   Same with a Princess Diana that has outgrown its obelisk so i now train it over onto a tallish acer Sango Kaku.   Red Robin is another that grows very thickly and other clems are finally beefing up too.

It's that age old thing of gardeners having the patience to wait for the full effect whilst growers have to display their plants as best they can and in tip top condition, especially at shows, so use tricks to get the effect of mature plants.

Coverage of Hampton Court Flower Show

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 15:31

For me there's nearly always too much hard landscaping in the show gardens and this is where most of the expense lies.  I'd much rather have flower beds and grass and a veggie plot than all that paving and pool stuff. 

If we all worked out the cost of our gardens , even without including them as a proportion of the cost of our house, plus all the time and money we spend on them each year and the current value of our bigger plants like shrubs and trees rather than their purchase cost I don't expect we'd be far adrift.   I know that when we left Harrow I took with me an acer in a pot that had cost me £25 to buy.   6 or 7  years later and careful nurture made it the same size as one they were selling in the same garden centre for £750.

Unfortunately it didn't survive the winters here but I've found some that do.   Add the value of what I've lost to hard winters to what's left and surviving and even thriving and the sums soon add up.

Coverage of Hampton Court Flower Show

Posted: 06/07/2012 at 13:30

There was a Bee Friendly garden at the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show.  The RHS then introduced the Bee Friendly plant labels at last year's Chelsea Flower Show and in cahoots with the horticultural industry and it had clearly been in the planning for some time before Sarah Raven's programme went out on the Beeb.  The RHS also does a great deal of work to support gardening projects and classes in thousands of schools across the UK so it's a bit rich to say they're slow.  They just don't plaster it across the tabloids for all to see.

They could probably do more to catch public attention and recent appointments to their Council should help but they have done very well in signing contracts with the Beeb to get extensive coverage of Chelsea and air time for coverage of shows like Malvern, GW show, Hampton Court and Tatton.    Now it's time for the Beeb to wake up and promote gardening as physical and spiritual therapy for all and careers for some with some decent programme content and scheduling across the year.

I didn't see the first Hampton Court programme but thought the second was interesting.    Many of our favourite garden plants, which also help pollinators, coem from far flung countries so those gardens were relevant if not always to my taste.  The slots on sweet peas and campanulas were interesting and the horticultural careers debate worth raising but there'll always be a stigma against gardeners and gardening as a career as long as most people continue to think of them as nothing more than unskilled cutters of grass and hedges deserving of low pay and little respect.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 19:12

Thunderstorms have arrived. Only 8 hours later than predicted.  Much noise and light show, heavy downpours, flash floods in the road outside and all set to continue all night.  Should be less steamy though so we'll sleep better and my veg patch will enjoy it.

Clematis Rhapsody

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 10:46

You may have accidentally damaged the stem so it has wilted.  Just cut it off with a pair of sharp scissors or secateurs and leave the other buds alone to open as they may.  tis is a group 2 clematis which means it will produce a second flush of lowers in late summer if you remove all the dead heads as they go over.

However, as yours is young and only flowering now, you may not get so many 2nd flush flowers this year.   Next spring, don't prune it at all except to remove any obviously dead stems after the new leaf buds start to open.   Then give it a good feed of general purpose blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure and a liquid tonic of tomato food for extra flowers.  You can also buy specially formulated clematis feed which is designed to promote flower growth.  Clematis are hungry plants so don't scimp on the feed but don't feed after June either or you'll get soft sappy growth which won't withstand winter frosts.

small tree suggestions please

Posted: 05/07/2012 at 10:15

Have a look at Ptelia Trifoliata Aureum which has golden foliage in spring and  scented flowers.  http://www.bluebellnursery.com/catalogue/trees/Ptelea/P/2210 It can be grown as a shrub or small tree which will get, slowly, to 15' but has a light airy canopy.  Insects love the flowers.  I saw it in a garden I visited and have just ordered one to be collected from Wisley plant centre in a couple of weeks.

You could also consider a Tibetan cherry which is slow growing  to about 15' in 20 years - http://www.mailordertrees.co.uk/Prunus+serrula+%27Tibetica%27+%28Birch+Bark+Cherry+Tree%29/0_caaa102_caaa133/PRAA192.htm?page=Prunus_serrula_'Tibetica'_(Birch_Bark_Cherry_Tree) and has wonderful bark for winter interest.

I have both golden and purple/black leaved forms of sambucus.  I find the golden form does best as a shrub but have been able to cut out the lower branches of the Black Lace form to raise its canopy and make a small tree in my woodland corner.   I did this in autumn 2010 and it's looking great.  

I've done the same with a viburnum Bodnantense Dawn which provides scented flowers in early spring.  It does take a few years though before these shrubs are big enough to train as small trees.

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