Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis when to prune?

Posted: 07/02/2015 at 10:31

Depending on the harshness of the winter, I do mine any time from late Feb to mid March, cutting them back to about 9 inches and then give them a generous dollop of clematis food and aliquid tonic of tomato food.  Here's the RHS advice - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=347 

Big Allotment Challenge

Posted: 06/02/2015 at 17:05

Really don't care.   I find the programme has such a stupid format and challenges that I only watch it for the tips for growing veg and flwoers at the start of the grow and make challenges.   As for Thane Prince saying she'd never heard of rhubarb chutney!   I've been making that for years and I loathe pickles.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 05/02/2015 at 10:31

-6C and sunny spells with snow.   Definitely no gardening.

The plant sellers in the markets pack up and go on hols in January and won't be back till mid Feb.  New perennials won't arrive in the garden centres till March. 

No point starting seeds off yet as there isn't room in the greenhouse till I can take out the stuff that's hiding from the cold.

Thinking of moving a conifer when it's a bit warmer and might have to think about making some cold frames and I have metal obelisks to paint but first a nasty cough to shed so am staying tucked up.

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 13:57

I'm afraid I don't know the name.  I bought it years ago at a plant fair and it has quietly spread.  Looks lovely with the Gold Edger hosta and the glaucous ones too.  I pick up the gold with yellow hemerocallis and yellow flowered liguria and there's purple in the astilbe and hosta flowers as well as the Japanese anemones.    

As you can see that whole bed is heaving now so one job this spring is to take most plants out and replant the divisions with more space.  I may remove that golden conifer to another place too in the next couple of weeks as it is starting to block my view from the sofa onto the garden.

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 11:24

Thank you Jess.

Mine have a purple rib and the whole leaf goes purpley in autumn then fades to straw.  Still looks good till late winter when I cut it back to let the fresh new growth through.

shady, wet spot plant recommendations needed

Posted: 04/02/2015 at 10:31

I have hakonechloa in just such a place bordering the terrace.  It has golden striped foliage that waves in the breeze.   My bed gets sun in high summer but is otherwise shaded by the house all year.    You could also go for members of the primula family - wild primroses, cowslips, candelabras etc.

 The plant with big round leaves is astilboides which produces a tall stem of tiny, froty white flowers.   I also have chelone, hostas big and small and ligularia in the mix along with Japanese anemones and astilbes.


Biodynamic Gardening

Posted: 03/02/2015 at 16:11

This link simplifies things a little - http://www.the-gardeners-calendar.co.uk/moon_planting.asp  and the calendar is updated online for easy reference.  In busy periods with limited time available this helps me choose jobs to prioritise.

Birdfood = worms = MOLES!

Posted: 03/02/2015 at 09:52

It's nothing to do with feedingthe birds.  It's just the time of year when moles start tunelling about to find a mate.   Our "lawn" looks like a bomb site at the mo and it's nowhere near the bird feed.   They're also tunnelling in the veg patch and its paths.

Once they've mated, it will go a bit quiet during the gestation and suckling period and then all hell breaks loose again when the babies set off to make their own territories.

The reason you can see the tracks on the surface is because the soil is sodden so the water table, and the worms, are higher up.  In colder and drier weather the tunnelling is deeper and you only notice the tunnels after heavy rain make sthem sink or you walk on one and twist your ankle as you sink.

Nasty pesky critters.

What's on your wishlist?

Posted: 02/02/2015 at 13:53

Shorter drier winters and one bed with acidic soil so I could grow pieris and azaleas but other than that I no longer hanker after prima donnas, just good doers that cope with fertile alkaline soil but hard winters.

Clematis - Group 1 & Group 3 pruning mess!

Posted: 02/02/2015 at 10:18

You really do need to separate them if they are ever to perform well as, apart from their very different flowering and pruning regimes they will be competing for limited food resources.  Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants and need loads of food to do well as well as adequate moisture.

Can you not buy another pot?   

The group 1 will naturally produce buds high up on old growth and will do this early as it flowers in spring.  To renew it and encourage buds lower down you need to remove a main stem to the ground every year once flowering is finihsed and then prune all stems back to a tidy framework.   This encourages the plant to produce healthy new growth at all levels and thus flowers each spring.  They can also be left unrpuned but then you will only get flowers at the top.   Either way, the best tip for flower power is clematis food given in generous dollops in early sprng and some liquid feeds of tomato food.

The group 3 will show buds lower down when it starts in to growth.  It's still very early so patience is required.  You then cut back to just above these buds and remove all the top growth and feed as above but, as they flower for longer, feed more generously.

See here for more - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=344 

and https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=347 

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