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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis nelly moser

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 13:29

Montana is a spring flowering clematis which you can prune after flowering finishes to keep it in bounds and/or renew vigour.   Nelly Moser is a group 2 so you prune afet the first flush of flowers in May/June.  remove some or all of the dead heads and prune back any stems taht are hetting too long.  You can also take out a main stem or two from the base to renew vigour and encourage flowering lower down.

Give both a good feed after pruning and also from spring to flowering end.  Nelly Moser will produce a second flush of flowers in late summer if she's happy and well fed.   This website will help you identify your clematis and gives info on pruning and cultivation care - 

Monet's Garden, Giverney

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 11:03

Everyone I know who's been says the best time to see it is early morning before the coach parties arrive so I would consider staying overnight somewhere nearby if poss and getting an early start.   My friends have spent the whole morning and part of the afternoon, even those who've been more than once as there are different things to see at different seasons.

I have yet to persuade OH to take me so might have to plan a solo or girls' trip once I have two functioning feet again.

North Facing

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 10:56

My back garden faces north so only gets full sun before 9am and after about 3pm when the sun is up.   We have no neighbours t cast shade but the house does so parts of the garden are in full sun in mid summer but the couple of metres immediately behind the house get none between 9 and 3 though there's plenty of light.

I grow clematis Nelly Moser, Blekitny Atholl/Blue Angel and Ravarrhinne on the back wall and have tried roses New Dawn, Guniée and Falsatff, all of whom grew well and flrwoered well for several seasons but all of which have been clobbered to death by frosts below -20C in recent winters.

I use the area at the back of the integral garage as a work area and the aea behind the hall and dining room as a terrace.   Then there's a dampish bed planted with Japanese anemones, ferns, chelone, astilbe, assorted primula, snakes head fritillaries, astilboides, hostas, a couple of dwarf conifers and some hackonechloa grass in there and very happy.    Further along I have a mix of hostas and hardy geraniums.

The rest of the garden gets a fair amount of sun so I plant all sorts of things - clematis, assorted shrubs, aquliegias, thalictrums, hemerocallis, phlox, hardy geraniums, sedums, peonies, rheums, roses, persicaria, iris, ornamental grasses in the carex and miscanthus families and many more.

We also have a veg patch which does very well with rhubarb, soft fruits and salads  and things like fennel, beetrrot and broccoli but is now proving too cold for winter veg but I doubt your winters are as cold as ours have been recently so no reason for you not to try.

I suggest you spend your first year in teh garden waiting to see what grows as much will be lurking under the soil waiting for spring..    There'll be plenty for you to do cutting away the old dead growth from perennials, tidying up shrubs and cleariing paths.   Be ready with wildlife friendly slug pellets in case hostas and hemerocallis emerg as slugs love to munch their new growth.    Take photos and make notes of plants you want to keep, multiply, rejuvenate or get rid of and also gaps where you can introduce new plants.  Fill any obvious gaps with easy annuals this year till you see what you have and what you need.

Most of all, take the time to observe and enjoy whilst deciding how best to improve to meet your needs and ambitions for the garden.


Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 10/02/2013 at 22:08

Au contraire - there are so few gardening programmes that the ones we have should be done well, from the initial idea to the setting of budgets, choosing of camera teams and editors, researching the gardens or subjects to be visited and final presentation.  Monty's French Gardens is going out in a Friday night gardening slot so should be more than pretty pictures and a travelogue slapped together any old how.  It should have some metaphorical gardening meat to it.

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 10/02/2013 at 11:00

I agree about Villandry being a waste and think that, with a bit more effort and research, he could have shown us productive and beautiful potagers such as those mentioned by Busy-Lizzie.    I say again it's not enough to see the thing.  I want information about how it's done by the best.    If his French is no longer  good enough there are interpreters available.  

 Gardening is, after all, a very practical activity and gardeners are practical people who love to share tips and plants and produce.   This programme is missing that spirit - with the exception of the lady on the allotment. 

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 14:04

I agree.  Hornbeam is good for a damp site or heavy soil but is less wildlife friendly as pyracantha which can also be kept quite narrow.

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 13:16

I have a low box hedge around one of my front beds - 7m x 4m and bounded by 3 trellis panels for climbing roses in one corner and then box hedge for the rest.  It's planted up with Gertrude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle and William Shakespeare roses plus geranium marcrorhizum, aquilegias, alliums, oriental poppies, cyclamens and other bulbs plus assorted clematis on obelisks and the hedge just keeps it all together especially in winter.

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 13:12

Yes, to the point of naivety.  Lyon G - i'm all for a sense of place but thought he could have done more to communicate how to achieve that chez nous.

small veg patch

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 12:15

Yes, divide it into 3 or 4 equal parts so you can rotate crops and avoid building up pests and diseases in the soil and then grow what you love to eat and what is expensive in the shops.  A basic book such as the Vegetable Expert will help with soil preparation, varieties and How To info to get you off to a good start.

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 09/02/2013 at 11:31

I don't know how he does it but he managed to make even potagers seem "weary, stale and unprofitable".   Far too much time wasted in that flipping 2CV and tasting food in markets which could have been better spent actually talking to the gardeners about how they grow their fuit and veg and make it tasty and attractive too.    He also missed a trick not asking the oinion man how he manages to grow healthy onions year after year on the same ground without being infested with disease and pests.  I'd have liked more depth on the Potager du Roi and a lot less faffing. 

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