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Latest posts by obelixx

What can I plant in a shaded north facing garden?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 21:36

Hostas would love it and astilbes and astilboides and some of the hardy ferns.   Eupatorium should like it and will add height and then there's forms of pulmonaria for early spring flowers and spotted leaves for later interest and filipendula.  

You could also try ligularias at the sunnier end - purple leaves for contrats with the other foliage forms and hemerocallis which is very adaptable and has many different flower colours now.   For early spring colour from bulbs I would suggest snowdrops and snake's head fritillaries.

Climber for a north east wall

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:16

Have a look at these - and for rose pruning advice to boost your confidence.

help me choose a rose. white blooms, climbing, partial shade

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 13:11

New Dawn is pale pink.   Bobbie James and Mme Alfred Carrière are white and may suit you - 

Beetroot and radishes

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 11:29

Beetroot needs fertile soil that doesn't dry out.  They are prone to bolting if they get stressed by a cold snap or thirst.  Here's what the RHS says about growing them -


Talkback: Bulb layering in a pot

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 10:39

Bulbs go completely under the soil and buried so that the soil or compost above them is twice the depth of the bulb itself.  Shoot end upwards, root end downwards but they find their way if you can't tell and get it wrong.

bare soil

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 10:01

Sheets of cardboard will block the light and prevent weed seed germination whilst also allowing rain to permeate and they will break down to add to the soil over time.  You can hold them in place with metal pegs or just stones.

On the other hand, it may be advisable to let weed seeds germinate and just hoe them regularly to kill them.  If you do it when they're still small they can be left in place to break down and add to the soil structure and nutrients.  A cheaper and easier option than a green manure which needs to be dug in once done.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 08:14

After a heavy frost and a misty start, yesterday eventually turned out very well for pottering in the garden.  I have put up two spring hanging baskets filled with primulas and swapped primulas into the front door pots replacing the cyclamen that are done and can now go out in the front bed.

Cleaned up and top dressed several post of hostas which are now out in the elements but sheltered against the front wall, divided another pot of hostas to make 2 to keep and 4 to swap or sell for charity and sowed 6 kids of tomato, 4 kinds of chili and one of sweet pepper.

Today is very wet and cold so I'm taking 5 pine kitchen chairs to Waterloo to be dipped and then hope to be able to sow some beetroot and get my red onions sets in cells as it's too cold and wet to plant them direct in the veggie beds.

my huckleberry friend

Posted: 25/03/2015 at 08:04

I grew these from seed over 20 years ago in my garden in Harrow.   I remember them being very tasty and easy to grow but our neighbours wouldn't touch them as they looked a lot like deadly nightshade.   Haven't seen any since.   Enjoy.

Monty's wildlife garden

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 22:36

I have a pond, log piles, 3 compost heaps, trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs to provide nectar and pollen and I feed the birds all year round.    My garden is ex cow pasture with agro-chem arable fields to the north and west plus boggy paddocks to the south and east and woodland a few hundred yards away which are supposed to be havens for a wide range of birds and insects - all to be found in my garden which has food and/or shelter for most of them.

I should have thought most of Monty's garden is already a haven for wildlife too but I can see why he'd decide to turn a neglected corner into a new wildlife area to show others with less experience how to go about it.   About time he did something on a normal garden scale that viewers can relate to more easily.

Climber for a north east wall

Posted: 24/03/2015 at 22:17

They are vigorous and get quickly out of hand and if not regularly pruned they flower at the top and not all over.  They flower early when it's too cold to sit out and enjoy the view of their flowers.   They are dull for 49 weeks of the year but make a good backdrop to other plants when in leaf but not a good solo feature except for the 2 or 3 weeks they are in flower.

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