Latest posts by Obelixx

Gardeners World Tonight

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 22:34

No she can't.  She's in France.   Can you not set it up weekly Busy?   

Too late to cut back cornus Alba aurea?

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 21:10

I haven't pruned any of my cornus yet as we've been having a long run of frosts until this morning and I don't like to do major pruning when the wounds can get frozen.    They should get done by Easter Monday with any luck and I shall use som eof the stems to try and strike cuttings.

Gardeners World Tonight

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 21:05

I find that clematis need a couple of years to get their feet settled before they take off.  Sometimes they fail and disappear but most pop up again after a year or two - after I've binned the labels and forgotten what they were!  

I've always planted deep but I'm finding that some clems are just more sensitive to winter cold than others so now I buy them from a pair of brothers who have a nursery about an hour away from here and they advise me on suitable varieties and also label most of their selection with degrees of frost they can take.  I no longer buy any that can't cope with -25C.

As long as they get a good, deep root run I find clematis don't care about being planted in full sun or full shade but they do need to be planted with the aspect that suits them best.  Some like full sun.  Some like shade.   Lots of plants are like that - roses, hardy geraniums, Japanese maples......

You just need to get the right plant for the right place and that's easy with google and forums like this. 


Imagination required!

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 17:26

Your new seating area needs to be the width of the table plus a minimum; I would say, of a metre either side for chairs and movement round it.

I wouldn't make a stepped bed but I would raise the height of the existing wall.  If you can bring it up to chair seat height it will be extra seating for having a casual cuppa.   I would fork over the soil first and then push it back while you raise the wall and then level it and fork on plenty of well rotted manure and garden or bought in compost to improve the soil.

Planting can be anything you fancy really as long as it likes full sun.   You could include spring bulbs and then a selection of perennials to take you through the seasons with annuals to fill the gaps for the first year.

I would also consider getting a whirlygig clothes dryer so you don't have to trample your new treasures to put your line out.


Tempoary home for roses

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 14:29

I use big deep round or square ones, about 40 to 60cms across and deep but that's because I keep mine in them for at least a year and sometimes 18 months.  That way their roots can grow well and not freeze to pieces if I put them in the unheated greenhouse for winter.

I either mulch with chipped bark to keep weeds down or underplant with pansies.

Tempoary home for roses

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 13:55

Yes.  Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour or overnight to rehydrate them then pot them up with good quality John Innes 3 compost and bury the graft union between 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5cms).  Keep them watered and give an occasional liquid feed of tomato food up until mid July.

I do this with all my new roses now so they can spend a whole season developing good roots with no competition before they go out into the borders.


Talkback: Bulb layering in a pot

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 12:09

If you have enough of each to fill a pot I think they look better as single varieties.   That way, once the iris die back you could plant a top layer of summer bedding such as pelargoniums but if you want your iris to flower again, you need to feed them and leave the foliage for at least 6 weeks to feed the bulbs for next year's show.

The others will flower later so maybe put a layer of pansies or other hardy bedding plants to extend the season while you wait for the bulbs to come through and flower.

Bushes Growing Top Heavy

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 12:05

Absolutely.  Laurel is a thug and will outgrow the conifers.  It also has large leaves which look dreadful after being clipped with hedge trimmers - lots of brown scars on the broken leaves.

Bushes Growing Top Heavy

Posted: 21/03/2016 at 11:04

You need a dose of patience.   Conifers grow upwards quite rapidly but need time to spread sideways, even without other shrubs in the way.   Yours are planted quite far apart for a hedge so it will take even longer.

By all means, keep the tops trimmed both horizontally and on the sides facing the two gardens as this will encourage more lateral growth to fill in the gaps but you may also want to consider putting small conifers in those gaps too fill them like a proper hedge.

Clematis - pruned it too hard

Posted: 20/03/2016 at 10:28

It should be fine and all the betetr for it as Richard says.

I treat all my group 2s as group 3s because most if not all of their top growth usually gets frozen to death in winter and it's easier than trying to clear out just the dead stems.  I give them a good handful of slow release clematis food about now and if it's dry, a drink of liquid tomato food as a tonic around Easter.

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