Latest posts by obelixx

What can I plant in a shaded north facing garden?

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 21:36

Layer on inches of garden compost and/or well rotted manure in late autumn once all your perennials have died back.   The worms will work it in for you over the winter and the new shoots will burst through in spring.   No need to dig.  Just the effort of barrowing and spreading.

Is this normal

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 12:02

I talk to mine too.  I split one big ceramic pot's worth on Tuesday after spotting the tiny tips of new purple shoots.  It gave me 2 quarters in fresh compost in ceramic pots and 4 eighths in plastic pots to grow on and swap or give to a charity sale a friend and I organise in early May.  No idea what it is as the label is long gone but it has 3 to 4" wide pointed glaucous leaves and lightly scented lilac flowers.  

In another pot I have a huge Sum and Substance which is desperately in need of dividing and re-invigorating but I'm going to have to butcher it in the pot to get that one out as it's a curved pot.  Not making that mistake again.  I see today that it has wee purple points showing so will be tackling that one tomorrow or Saturday.  

The others in pots are fine for another season but get a daily pep talk.  The ones outside in the ground are sensible keeping shtum till April is here.   I always grow new hostas in pots for a season or two to let them bulk up and now I also pot on new perennials and grow them on in bigger pots so they can cope better when planted out a few weeks later on.

Is this normal

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 10:23

No sign of any of my peonies in either the back or the sunnier front.  Also, you'd expect established plants to start sooner than newly planted ones.

Be patient.

Having said that, I find myself checking one bed with hostas in every day for signs of life because I need to lift, divide and re-home them so their existing bed can be replanted with something completely different.

Why have my box plants turned orange?????

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 09:58

Bonemeal is Poudre d'Os and is good for promoting strong roots.   I have no more Blood, Fish and Bone so can't give you the exact French translation.  However, if you can get it, pelleted fumier de vache, poule et cheval will do the job too and is clean and easy to handle.

Bleu bordelaise treats algae and fungal infections and is not a fertliser.  I would give your box plants a generous helping of the slow release fertilsiers mentioned plus an instantly accessible liquid tonic of engrais liquide pour tomates.  

You can also make your own liquid feed for greenery by soaking nettles in a bucket of water (with a lid on for the smell) for a couple of weeks and then diluting the resulting nitrogen rich stew 10 to 1 with water and using as a foliar feed by pouring it over the plants.   You can do the same with comfrey and the resulting stew is good for flowering and fruiting plants because it has a wider range of nutrients.

science behind frost protection?

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 08:32

Such a simple, neat idea.  I shall definitely keep it in mind for my greenhouse if we get a real winter next year.

What can I plant in a shaded north facing garden?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 21:36

Hostas would love it and astilbes and astilboides and some of the hardy ferns.   Eupatorium should like it and will add height and then there's forms of pulmonaria for early spring flowers and spotted leaves for later interest and filipendula.  

You could also try ligularias at the sunnier end - purple leaves for contrats with the other foliage forms and hemerocallis which is very adaptable and has many different flower colours now.   For early spring colour from bulbs I would suggest snowdrops and snake's head fritillaries.

Climber for a north east wall

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:16

Have a look at these - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=189 and https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=169 for rose pruning advice to boost your confidence.

help me choose a rose. white blooms, climbing, partial shade

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:11

New Dawn is pale pink.   Bobbie James and Mme Alfred Carrière are white and may suit you - http://www.britishroses.co.uk/acatalog/climbers_for_north_facing_walls.html 

Beetroot and radishes

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 11:29

Beetroot needs fertile soil that doesn't dry out.  They are prone to bolting if they get stressed by a cold snap or thirst.  Here's what the RHS says about growing them - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/beetroot


Talkback: Bulb layering in a pot

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 10:39

Bulbs go completely under the soil and buried so that the soil or compost above them is twice the depth of the bulb itself.  Shoot end upwards, root end downwards but they find their way if you can't tell and get it wrong.

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