Latest posts by obelixx

Repotting time of Pieris,

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 19:05

The best time is in early spring but if your plants are showing signs of stress or starvation I'd do it as soon as they've finished flowering.

The RHS has this to say about re-potting rhodos which are also ercicaceous shrubs:-

Container cultivationJohn Innes ericaceous loam-based compost makes a good compost choice, generally providing easier management of watering and feedingRHS research has found that soil-less potting media including ericaceous peat-based and peat-free potting compostsare suitable for rhododendron growing. However they can lose their structure over time leading to poor drainage and an airless root environment, causing leaves to brown and die back. Re-potting every other year into fresh potting compost in early spring as soon as signs of growth are seen is recommended. In the intervening year, replace the top 5cm (2in) of compost. You can re-pot back into the same pot if you trim off up to a third of the roots to make room for fresh potting compost.

and this is what Wyevale's has to say about azaleas in pots:- 

To care for azaleas in pots, choose a wide container and stand it on pot feet to ensure good drainage. Plant azaleas in an ericaceous compost - soil based composts have a better structure than soilless ones, supporting plant growth for much longer and making watering and feeding easier. If you can only find a soilless ericaceous compost, ensure the best care for your azaleas by repotting them every other spring into fresh compost. Give container-grown azaleas a frost-free, shady spot on the patio and water them regularly in summer. To ensure the best care for azaleas, use rainwater if you can, which is less alkaline than water from the tap. Don't worry too much though if supplies run out in a dry summer, a month or two of tap water won't cause too much harm.

blue geranium gone mad

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 18:32

Glad it worked for you too Dove.  I prefer the flower on Johnson's Blue but it flowers for a shorter period and mine get their leaves chewed by some beetley thing so I'm really pleased that Rozanne has settled down and is flowering well despite the weeks of constant rain.

Drainage problem

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 16:39

Being paved over means her garden cannot absorb water so, since she's at the bottom, water will just sit.   This is why there are new rules in place about using absorbent materials when paving over front gardens to make off road parking in order to improve drainage and reduce local flooding.

The problem and the solution are definitely hers.   She needs to consider lifting some or all of the slabs and replacing with gravel or slate chippings on a porous membrane or installing concrete drainage runs - http://www.diy.com/help-advice/how-to-fit-a-paving-drainage-system/CC_npci_100144.art - leading to a soak away or drain.

Garden Visits

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 12:46

Looks lovely DD.  Thanks for sharing.

blue geranium gone mad

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 11:36

Rozanne - I got fed up with mine taking over the world so cut it back hard and moved it to a spot that gets full sun all day and that seems to have calmed it down and its now a lot less lax and floppy and looks great.


Posted: 29/06/2016 at 11:34

That's a cracking salvia Dove.  Hope you can get it through this time.  I have to plunge Hot Lips in the greenhouse for the winter and cross my fingers - gifts from friends - and this year both have survived and thrived and are now rather large........

I've been given another with violet purple flowers.  Stunning plant but also tender and no-name.

Dry here again - 2nd day on the run after weeks and weeks of rain but I don't feel like going out an getting mucky today.   Might dead head some roses though.    Kiftsgate is looking stunning but the repeat climbers and shrub roses are looking abit wet and wind blown and bedraggled.

Labrador rescues

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 23:28

Such lovely photos and such good work you're doing.

Both our dogs are rescues and the Lab is still nervous and fearful of anything or anyone new despite being with us 4 years now and going walkies every day.   He spent the first 3 years of his life cooped up in a terrace house and never going out so his first walk with us was a bit too exciting - he met tractors, cars, horses, cows, goats, sheep and, heaven forfend, other people walking their dogs.  

Didn't know about sniffing or marking and peed like a girl.   Now he does things properly and enjoys nothing better than a good long run across the fields - unless its his dinner.

Hail - awful damage from weekend storm... Any advice on how to help recovery?

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 19:19

I had this happen a couple of years ago in late May and it's devastating but not a total disaster.   Some of my shrubs and trees still bare the scars on their bark.

You need to cut the broken stems of plants like rhubarb and hostas and any stems with shredded leaves back to ground level and then give them a bit of a feed with something like pelleted chicken manure.  I did this and they regrew.

Where stems of flowering plants and shrubs and fruit bushes have been broken you need to cut them off below the break or wound and make it a clean cut so disease can't get in through torn tissues.  Again, a light scattering of fertiliser will help them recover.

Zebra grass

Posted: 28/06/2016 at 18:21

I take it you mean miscanthus zebrinus and that the plants were tiny because they were cheap.

If so, they will take a while to establish and gardening is all about patience.  When they are so tiny it is often best to pot them up in good quality potting compost and let them grow on before expecting them to cope with life in the borders.

There is some info about it here on the RHS site - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/99154/Miscanthus-sinensis-Zebrinus-(v)/Details?returnurl=%2Fplants%2Fsearch-results%3Fform-mode%3Dfalse%26query%3Dmiscanthus%2Bsinensis%26aliaspath%3D%252fplants%252fsearch-results 

It is a deciduous grass which means that next spring you need to snip off the old foliage before the new growth starts so the new leaves come through with their points intact and not snipped. 


Posted: 28/06/2016 at 18:13

At Great Dixter's plant shop there is a low head-banger beam with a sign on it "Duck or Grouse".

No grouse here but partridges are occasionally to be seen on the edges of local woodlands.   First dry day here (so far) in weeks and weeks and my garden group actually managed to sit outside for coffee and cake and lunch later on.  We were treated to yellowhammers singing, buzzards mewing, herons flying from one stream to the next, swifts swooping overhead and all sorts of little brown jobs and woodpeckers at the feeders.   The only fly in the ointment was Rasta doggy bringing us sodden and chewed bits of a fox-killed pheasant carcass from our woodland corner.   Lovely.

PP - I was just thinking earlier today that we need a good dose of Strictly to cheer us all up and change the subject from Brexit and the awful weather so many of us are "enjoying".   .

Hope we all get a sunny evening, or at least a dry one.

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