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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis back from dead.

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 17:18

I have several "Lazarus" clematis which have sprung back to life after an apparent death.  Mostly the gap is 2, 3 or 4 years so 8 may be exceptional.  I would expect it to survve now and do well as it porbably has a decent root system going now.

I'd encourage it by giving a couple of watering cans full of tomato feed now and then next year in early spring and weekly until the first blooms appear.  That'll do wonders for the other stuff in there too..

coverup climber wanted

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 17:14

A grapevine?

Attractive and bountiful once established and good at being baked on a SW wall.


Posted: 11/06/2012 at 16:19

I get stung regularly too and whilst it helps with arthritic bits in my hands it does nothing for my arthritic spine.  Arthritis is also hereditary and not inevitable.  After a day among  nettles, thistles and sticky bud I get a fine itchy rash up my arms and take an anti-histamine to help.

Other than that, nettles form only part of the jig saw required to make up a wildlife friendly garden.  I have nectar plants, a pond, shrubs for birds to perch, feeders all year round, nest boxes, an insect hotel, a pond, wood piles and I leave seed heads on most perennials till spring as these provide food for birds.  I also use wildlife friendly slug pellets instead of the nasty metaldehyde version.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 14:12

It is cold, grey, windy and intermittently very wet.  Not conducive to gardening.

Talkback: Moles

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 10:20

Moles can cause havoc which is dangerous to humans and livestock as they walk, unsuspectingly, on undermined turf. Ankles can be sprained and for horses and cattle that's expensive to get fixed. For me personally they cause pain in my spine when I lose my balance in some new tunnel or hole.  

I fail to see what useful purpose moles serve as the earthworms they prefer are actually doing good work in the soil.  When mole moves on his tunnels are inhabited by voles and other rodents including rats and the shallower tunnels are occupied by ants.  And now we have a dog we get craters as she tries to dig them out when she hears them tunnelling.

Moles are all round bad news.

We have tried noises such as windmills and bottles to no avail.  Humane traps don't work very well and the perishers complain all the way to their new home in local woods.  

There is a wonderful device on sale here in Belgium which involves an explosive cap and a solenoid.  Moley makes the connection and bang, mole compost.   Very staisfying but I haven't used it since we got the dog. 

I shall try chilli powder.

Clematis in pot.

Posted: 09/06/2012 at 10:07

Mushroom compost has the lime content.  Pelleted chicken manure is a good general fertiliser.


Posted: 08/06/2012 at 16:02

I grow hostas in my borders after getting fed up of a) watering so many pots b) keeping them waterd when away and c) OH complaining about having to carry so many big pots into shelter every autumn and out again every spring.

I use the wildlife friendly slug pelllets and they're fine with birds and the dogs and the cats. Offspring old enough to know better and has no interest in the garden anyway.

Clematis in pot.

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 12:06

My ophiopogums do best in well drained soil and lmine is naturally very fertile being ex cow pasture.  I don't feed them specifically but do scatter pelleted chicken manure on all my beds in spring.   I grew them in a gravel bed on clay soil in my previous garden and they were deleriously happy and spread very well.

You can use the Plant Selector on the RHS website to look up specific cultivation needs for plants or just google plant name+cultivation.  I'm afraid I can't help you with erythroniums as I've never seen any to buy here.

Talkback: Native versus non-native plants

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 12:01

Last October I had 4 different types of bee plus hoverflies and a tortoiseshell butterfly on one single sedum spectabile plant.  The bees also love echinops ritro.

Clematis in pot.

Posted: 07/06/2012 at 14:18

Jean- ophiopgon should look good but as mine is about to flower soon I would wait till autum to start transplanting or it'll get too stressed.  May also be a bit short to hide bare clem legs.

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