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Latest posts by obelixx

Idea's for a North American Themed garden

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 16:58

Loads of garden worthy plants come from the USA.  Trees and shrubs such as firs (abies and pinus forms) then amelanchier, cornus florida, hamamelis virginiana, liquidambar, cercis canadensis, rhus typhina, blueberries, viburnum forms and so on.

Perennials include the Michaelmas daisy asters - nova anglicae and novi Belgica plus penstemons, some iris forms, liatris, monarda, lobelia cardinalis, caltha palustris, phlox, eupatorium, rudbeckia, heucheras, heliopsis and helianthus, camassia, choreopsis and loads of hostas.

There are plants for sun and shade, dry and moist soils but you do need to check for acidity to grow some of them so google for info or check them out in the RHS Plant Selector -


Dead Wisteria

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 16:40

I think perhaps you should have been more patient.  My wisteria was frozen at just the wrong moment so produced no flower buds at all this year.  I gave it a good feed of pelleted chicken manure and a pep talk.   I noticed foliage on just one stem a week or so ago and thought I'd have to cut most of it back but, lo and behold, there are leaf buds breaking on most of the rest of it now.  i shall give it another week or two to be sure all the stems are dead before I cut out any wood.

The plant pushing up from your base is probably shooting from the original rootstock.  Give it a feed of liquid rose or tomato food to help it along and some slow release pelleted chicken manure or blood fish and bone.


Posted: 27/05/2012 at 15:33

Glad you liked them Yakram.  Are you gearing up for Tatton?

Ornamental alliums

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 11:10

I grow several alliums with no problems despite the extreme cold so they are among my faves.    I shall be planting more every autumn for the foreseeable.

Tulips, on the other hand, don't like my conditions except for the small botanicals in well drained spots.  Lilies are OK in pots if taken in to shelter for winter but they don't do well in the ground.

Gardens devoid of life

Posted: 26/05/2012 at 19:14

Chelsea gardens are a lot better at seasonal planting now than when I first went in teh late 80s and, as Berghil says, they are stage sets but that deosn't mean there aren't ideas and plants to stimulate us to try new ideas and combinations.  It's ot all about teh gardens either.   The floral marquee is full of world class nurserymen and women from whom you can order top class plants - after chatting about whether they will suit your situation.  

There are also seed companies, garden art and architecture, tools, machines and alls orts of garden accessories to see and buy.   It's a great day out and great value at £55 for a possible 12 hours of entertainment.   Like any fashion show, you just have to adapt the ideas for normal folk.


Posted: 26/05/2012 at 19:05

Glad you've enjoyed the photos.  I snapped what I liked or what intrigued so it's not a complete collection.   For instance, while the concept of the Korean war garden is interesting it didn't work as a garden for me precisely because it looked untended and weedy and plants like the clematis just looked hungry.  The only photo I took of that was a corner with water dripping from a bit of old wood. 

I loved the colours on the carniverous plants but they're not hardy enough for me so I'll have to settle for bronze grasses, irises and verbascums and so on.

Did anyone else spot Nikki Campbell telling Goldie the tree ferns in the ripple garden were palm trees?   That woman has to go - even if she did air her doubts at the end.


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 16:12

The Beeb always shows the same gardens over and over and ignores some.  It's been complained about year after year on the old Beeb boards but we never get an explanation.

I went on Tuesday and had a thoroughly enjoyable but exhausting time having got there at 10am and stayed till 6pm.   I go to see what's new, what's back, what's gone, what can inspire me in my garden and yes, I do accept it's all completely unrealistic for the average gardener in the average plot on the average budget but it's still excellent quality and plantsmanship - mostly.

I found there was too much hard landscaping and water in nearly all the main gardens and got irritated that none was child/dog/family friendly.   Cleve West's garden had lovely planting combos and NO ornamental grasses visible.  Joe Smith's garden looked fab at first glance but was very short on plants  from some angles and that red cedar would need an awful lot of maintenance to keep it glowing red like the Tibetan cherry bark and once those copper irises and verbascum's go over it would be very dull.  I loved Chris Beardshaw's garden but unfortunately cannot grow acid lovers but it was lush.  Diarmuid's was just mad but the ground level planting was lovely.    I liked the planting in the Blue Water garden but it didn't go with the blue water.   I liked the sculpture in the water in Andy Sturgeon's garden but too much water and hard stuff and not enough plants, as in the Renaissance inspired garden. l I did not like the dry garden and it stank of curry plant.  I didn't get the Fresh gardens but loved most of the Artisan gardens.  Most of the "naturalistic" planting looked like it needed a good strim and weeding session and was short on flowers and with no foliage structure to compensate.

The floral marquee was a joy with some lovely displays from nurseymen and women.  I didn't bother with the flower arranging or boys toys.

Photos here if anyone wants to peruse -  



What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/05/2012 at 06:59

The predicted storms arrived with a vengeance and the paddock across the road is flloed.  Misty start today cos of all that moisture in and on the ground.   Hope it clears before I drive to Dunkirk cos I'm off to Chelsea.

Clematis Montana killed during winter

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 14:11

It wasn't as cold as last year but we had a warm spell early on and then a very hard frost.  

If a heavy frost comes soon after the sap has started rising and the plants are juicy and set to burst forth with leaf and flower, it will kill them.  That's what's happend to several of my roses, some other shrubs, my wisteria and a couple of clems too.  Usually, we're still in perma frost till mid March or early April so growth starts late.  This year we had an unusually warm spell in February and things got giddy, to their cost.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 20/05/2012 at 12:27

Central Belgium and 21C and sunny but clouding over.  Thunder expected later on so better make the most of this weather for weeding and sowing.  More of the same expected tomorrow and Tuesday but I'm off to Chelsea so won't see it.

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10 threads returned