Latest posts by Obelixx

pruning Hibiscus

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 14:58

The hardy ones - hybiscus syriacus types - are deciduous and often don't get their new leaves again until June in may garden if we've had a hard winter.   This year it was early May.

Hibiscus rosa-siniensis is from tropical China and not frost tolerant at all so, whilst it may enjoy a sunny spot outdoors in summer, it needs to be brought in once temperatures cool and protected till the last frosts are well past in May.   

See here for info from the RHS - 



Scarifying lawn

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 12:36

Pile in a quiet, sheltered corner with some bits of log and old wood for critters to shelter in or put it on the compost heap.  

Ornamental trees

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 11:30

Very nice but horse chestnuts are susceptible now to a pest that turns their leaves brown in summer so they'll never thrive and there's the fast spreading ash die-back disease that has arrived and is killing trees.   

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Thanks Busy.  I shall be putting it where it will be contained by a path edge so should be OK.

Yellowing Rhododendrons

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 08:49

Yes, it works for any chlorotic plant.

Yellowing Rhododendrons

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 00:04

Could be magnesium deficiency.  Try a foliar feed with Epsom salts diluted at a rate of 15ml of salts to 5 litres of water.  Pour over all the leaves using the rose on your watering can.

Ornamental trees

Posted: 02/10/2015 at 00:01

Liquidambar for fabulous spring and autumn foliage and magnolia if your soil is right and you are not exposed to heavy spring frosts that will spoil the magnolia flowers.

Cercidiphyllum japonica smells of caramel at this time of year and has good autumn leaf colour.   



Geum Totally Tangerine

Posted: 01/10/2015 at 23:31

Living where you do Busy, you should be able to acquire a machine called a détaupeur at your local garden centre.   Google it for a demo video.

When to cut back hemerocallis foliage pre Winter

Posted: 01/10/2015 at 23:27

Hemerocallis need to be divided regularly or they become congested and lose flower power.   They are very forgiving and can be done now.   

Water the clump thoroughly and leave for an hour then dig up as much as you can and split it with your spade or a bread knife depending on how big and thick the roots are.   Replant in small clumps in the ground or in pots if you want spares for swaps or insurance.   Trim the leaves back to about 6" to reduce moisture loss while the roots recover.

Overwhelmed re: front garden bed design

Posted: 01/10/2015 at 11:16

Lavenders like well drained alkaline soils so I wouldn't advise those if your soil is acid.   You could try salvias if you want the blue flowers but you won't get the perfume.

Other evergreens to think about are viburnums such as Eve Price which flower in late winter/early spring tho all mine died in a very cold -25C for weeks winter.   Then choisyas (mexican orange blossom), eleagnus and mahonia which will provide different foliage colours and forms and perfumed yellow flowers if you go for mahonia Charity.

Pyracantha will provide spring blossom, autumn berries and evergreen foliage and, when mature, shelter for birds.   You could use topiarised forms of box or yew if you want formality.

As far as I know, Arts and Crafts is all about geometry in garden paths and structures, softened by planting so I'm not sure your lovely curvy path fits the style.   Try having a good google for info or visit the local library to get design ideas.

Whatever you do, get the soil right before you plant.  Work in plenty of well-rotted garden compost/manure/soil conditioner first as this will provide the conditions for nutrients and beneficial micro-organisms which will benefit your plants.

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