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Latest posts by obelixx

Plant of the Centenary

Posted: 08/05/2013 at 12:28

I thought the choice of plants to vote for on the RHS site was pretty poor.  I ended up voting for the rhododendron as its diminutive size made rhodos available for people with small gardens and they do look good all year round.

Clematis montana to cover a 5' high fence

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 22:58

.This montana - will do 7 to 10 metres.    So will this one -  This one will only do 5 to 7 metres -

All are easily available and all will grow well.   I suggest you plant whichever montana you choose in the middle of the sunnier 9' of your fence and in a good deep hole enriched with plenty of garden or bought in compost.  Give the new clem a good soak to wet its rootball then plant 4 to 6" deper than it was in its pots a sthis will encourage new stems to form.   When planted, remove any ties and its cane and train onto your wires.  It will grow into the shadier part eventually if it wants to.

Clematis montana to cover a 5' high fence

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 21:58

Defintely not plastic net.  It will sag and snap in no time.  best to start with decent wires and vine eyes from the start and keep on top of tying in and pruning once it gets to the size you want so it stays looking good..

Native/traditional British plants for office plants?

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 17:18

Too right.  Native plants are meant for temperate conditions with wind and rain and sunshine, not dry, heated, processed air with chemicals from office furniture and technology.   Also, lamp light does not equate to sunlight.

On the other hand, the usual office and house plants are often known for their ability to deal with such conditions especially if given a regular misting spray and can be used to absorb and reduce harmful chemicals in office atmospheres.  That's  why they're planted in offices.

Dieffenbachia, dracaena and spathyphyllum are particularly good at air cleaning.

gravel bed/border ... replace with bark?

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 16:27

Bark does rot down over time but then needs replacing so you have to factor that in as a continuing cost and chore.    Some people also worry about the rotting of wood depleting nitrogen from the soil but I think the levels would be negligible.  A far better soil improver is well rotted manure or garden compost or bought in compost.

I understood you would be planting beyond the gravelled area but if you're planning to remove all the membrane and plant that area I would just remove all the gravel and put it somewhere else. as without a membrane it will work its way into the soil and get lost and look naff then be expensive to replace.  

There isn't really a short cut to good soil preparation but it does pay dividends and your plants, if well chosen, will cover the soil and supress weeds and look beautiful.  You can use annuals as fillers while they get established.

gravel bed/border ... replace with bark?

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 15:38

As long as the gravel or bark is spread on a weed suppressant membrane neither is any good to the soil and neither will harm it.   You can scrape back the gravel pebbles, flatten the membrane and repair it as needed then just put the gravel vback witha  few pebbles and larger stones to break it up and add texture.  I wouldn't recommend replacing the gravel with bark as it can be blwon around in strong winds, can be pecked and trewn about by birds looking for insects and also allows weeds to self sow quite easily.

For the soil you want to plant up, yes, add well rotted compost or manure, some fine grit if the soil is heavy and fork it over thoroughly removing any perennia weeds and tehir roots.   Plant up and water well.  Keep new plants watered till well established.   Lots of plants love acidic soil and clay can be very fertile once its structure is improved with houmous and grit so you should be able to find a wide range of plants to suit. 

Sting in the Tale

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 15:29

Thanks Goldi.  I've bookmarked it for later.

clematis suggestion please

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 15:27

Nelly gets bleached pale by sunlight but keeps her colour well on a north facing wall and, like I said, is good contrasted with a darker on like Rahvarinne.

clematis suggestion please

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 08:35

The Hull site is excellent and I use it a lot but it doesn't indicate hardiness.  My local supplier here does and I now only buy those labelled hardy down to -25C which I suspect would be good in north Scotland too.

Try Blue Angel/Blekitny Aniol -; Caerulea Luxurians - ; Nelly Moser and Rahvarinne look good planted together but have to be treated as group 3s, Omoshiro 

I've just bought Minuet to plant on another bit of north facing wall.   Others you could look at are Etoile Violette, Little Nell and Betty Corning.  

Clematis montana to cover a 5' high fence

Posted: 07/05/2013 at 08:25

Montanas can be pruned back after flowering to keep them in bounds and encourage new flowering stems down below.  They are vigorous and will always want to grow well so need decent support in the form of trellis or sturdy wires stretched taught across the fence and held in place by vine eyes.

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