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Latest posts by obelixx

Training climbing rose

Posted: 17/02/2013 at 13:00

If you remove the stems growing away from your fence, energy will automatically be diverted to the others which are where you want them.   Tie these remaining stems in as horizontally as possible as this will encourage the formation of flowers.    Every spring you need to repeat the process to keep the shape and, once they're established, you'll need to remove a main stem occasionally to encourage the plants to renew their vigour.

Chris Beardshaw to join Beechgrove Garden

Posted: 17/02/2013 at 11:13

Hi Yakram.   Good to see you popping in.   How's tricks?

Very pleased they've got CB for Beechgrove and even more pleased it'l be on nationwide Beeb 2.  GW had better look to its laurels.


Posted: 17/02/2013 at 11:04

It depends what kind they are.  Paniculata forms can be pruned to size or shape at any time of year except once they've begun forming their flowers in summer.   Best done in early spring to remove any frost damaged stems or immediately after flowering to improve shape.

Mopheads and lacecap hydrangeas should have spent flowers removed as soon as they go over or by the end of July before they set buds for next year's blooms.  Just remove the flowers by hand without damaging the bud forming below.  They can be pruned at any time to remove dead stems.    Removing any other stems to tidy up the plant or reduce size will reduce flower power as they flower on old wood so bear in mind that any new stems will not flower till their second year. 


Posted: 16/02/2013 at 17:29

Unless you have laods of money to pay for man power, grit and organic material to break up the soil and improve its texture, you're going to have to be patient.   You can go round with a large tined fork poking it into the soil as deeply as you can, wiggling it back and ofrth and then pour sharp sand down the holes to improve drainage and aeration.    Annual mulching in autumnw ith a few inches of well rotted garden comost and/or manure will also help.  The worms will work it in over winter and, in time, you'll end up with lovely soil.

There's another thread about clay soil and teratment advice here -


Planting for a Philosophy Garden

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 17:09

I think it's far too late to be trying to produce anything form sowings or cuttings now so would try and source some plug plants of bedding plants that you can bring on quickly at home.  If you have enough money left, rhodos and azaleas should be in bloom then and can be grown in pots for easy moving.  

Problem Clay soil

Posted: 16/02/2013 at 11:37

As Bob and others have said, clay soil is very fertile and will grow many plants very well but you do need to be patient and very generous adding layers of well rotted manure and/or garden compost every autumn.   The worms will work it in for you over the winter and the prodding with a garden fork will help aerate as well as improve drainage.

Friends of mine have just such a one hectare garden they started 9 years ago.   They make their own compost and also buy in tonnes of council compost every autumn.  He then spends December and January barrowing it around the beds.   Even after a few years it's making a huge difference and they grow a wide variety of trees, shrubs, roses, climbers and bulbs and hardy perennials so there's something to look at or smell all year round. 

The Potting Shed.

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 22:57

We have a garden gnome OH inherited when his dad died.  I'm hoping it dies of frost bite.    I have birds in my garden - 4 different guineau fowl made from clay sculpted in the UK and 2 in Belgium, 6 made from metal in Zimbabwe, one clay owl, one metal heron, one metal cock, one metal hen, one metal cat and a metal frog.

I really dislike gnomes and fairies and twee stuff but that's a matter of taste and they'd look very foolish in my garden.  Don't think it's stuffy of the RHS to ban them from Chelsea but I expect the designers and exhibitors will have some fun with them this year.    The RHS does a lot of really good work promoting gardening for children, schools and communities as well as research and advice on plants, diseases, design and so on.   Most of its experts and committee members are professional gardeners and nurserymen and women earning a modest living, not landed gentry and toffs.

modest hellebores

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 18:46

I agree.  They don't like root disturbance either so are best planted out and then left in situ for a few years.    You could try growing them in a raised bed or large trough to reduce the bending but I find most of mine show off their flowers quite well especially after I've pruned out the old and tatty foliage once flowering starts. 

Joys of Spring

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 16:28

Not yet.  Still grey and damp here with bits of snow lying around and temps hovering around 0C for the next few days.

Happy though.  Early spring just means stuff gets excited, puts on tender, sappy new growth and then gets zapped by a whopper frost in March or April.   Slow spring is much better.

RHS refugees

Posted: 15/02/2013 at 15:05

I belong to both boards and was on the Beeb before they closed their boards.   Lots of different kinds of poster here from old hands to complete novices and everything in between.    More going on here though.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1387
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 644
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 839
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1212
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 669
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3701
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1721
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 973
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2423
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 8195
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned