obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

watering systems for holiday periods

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 09:36

We have been tied to holidaying in high summer while our daughter completes her schooling.   I bought one of those watering pod thingies with individual pipes coming off into each pot of toms and so on in the greenhouse but I find it a pain to set up and the number of pots allowed is restricted to the number of pods you buy so it can get expensive.

I solved the problem by buying a simple timer from Gardena which attaches to the outside tap and runs on battery power.  I put a Y connector below that to run two hosepipes.  One ends in a sprinkler in the greenhouse and the other is set in the middle of all the outside pots and hanging baskets which I gather into one spot behind the house for the duration of our holiday.

I set the time to run for 30 to 40 minutes at about midnight so the plants get a good drink and time to soak up what they need before the sun comes out.  Simple, cheap and effective.

 

Support for Sarah Bernhardt

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 09:27

I grow Sarah Bernhardt without stakes and she's fine.  So are my other peonies, despite the strong winds which occasionally blow through my exposed garden.

 

Protecting railway sleepers, what have you used?

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 17:37

This has been discussed on another thread - http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/garden-design/worn-looking-railway-sleepers/285659.html where the general consensus was also to leave them natural.

The only reason to paint them would be as a design statement - like those fuchsia/orange/turquoise walls Diarmuid Gavin used to put in his garden designs for TV.  In which case Cuprinol is a good quality, water based product but you'll need several coats and will have to maintain it over the years to keep it looking fresh. 

Faded Cuprinol is not pretty.  OH and I have just been replacing posts and trellis panels following storm damage.  The posts were once blue and are proving a nightmare to sand down.  In my case, I want them natural for another project but it would be just as hard to clean them up for repainting.  I shall probaly end up buying new and cutting these down to make new coldframes.

clematis

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:10

I cover all my new clematis with an upturned terracotta pot whose bottom I have gently bashed out with a hammer.   This saves them from OH who can be very gung hoe and has decapitated several.

I've had cleatis come back after being decapitated and after being frozen to death above ground so I suggest you give the roots a liquid tonic of rose or tomator fertiliser every week or so until mid summer and again next spring.  Don't give up on it for at least two summers.

"Bug. Hotel"

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:06

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/42188.jpg?width=300&height=350&mode=max

This is mine with its roof garden of assorted sedums to attract pollinators.   The bits on the side are from a collapsed obelisk and were for a campsis but it was clobbered by frosts and one of the supports has now been clobbered by gales.

Friends bring me pine cones form their gardens or walks in the Ardennes and I cut up bamboo canes and other hollow stems to renew the accommodation each spring.  It tends to get a bit messed up by wind, birds and hedgehogs burrowing for winter shelter. 

The gravel mulch on the roof garden includes some upturned mussel and clam shells so they catch rainwater for insects to drink.

 

Food makers

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 15:09

A lid too, for the pong.

what are you propagating?

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 12:12

Cuttings - penstemon, pink buddleia and clematis but it was too soon for the latter so only one is doing anything.  I shall layer some and take cuttings of more at the normal time in summer.   Might try cornus alba sibirica when I prune those this weekend.

Divisions - assorted hostas and hardy geraniums, pink and white perennial cornflowers, shasta daisies, physostegia, basil mint, lemon balm, ginger mint, echinops ritro, giant scabious and there'll be lysimachia clethroides, hemerocallis and phlomis russelliana to come as I work my way round the borders.

When's the best time to do Bowles Mauve cuttings?  I have a variegated form that I'd love to propagate.

 

Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 10:54

Get there as early as you can so you can see the exhibits before the crowds arrive.  Wear comfortable shoes and take layers of clothes as it is often hot in Chelsea week.  Take a plastic dustbin liner to sit on as there are never enough seats available in the refreshments area and none in shade.

Take a bottle of water, a sandwich (limited choice and steep prices at the stands) and make sure your camera is fully charged with battery power and has an empty memory card.  

There are usually some good deals to be had on small items such as gardening gloves and seeds but you can only order plants in the floral marquee apart from one or two stands that have seeds or lily bulbs to buy on the spot.   You'll need a bag to carry all the brochures and plant lists and a pen to note which plants you liked at which nursery.

Enjoy your day.

 

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 20:31

Speicmen plants need to have good stems, good foliage, good form and/or good flowers.   This lysimachia is best with other plants to hide its lower stems.  The flowers are lovely but not enough on their own for life in a prominent pot.

This lysimachia is very polite compared with the more common purple and yellow flowered forms so I'd just plant it in the ground and see what happens.

Lysimachia Clethroides (Goose Neck Plant)

Posted: 10/04/2014 at 16:13

I planted 3 about 10 years ago and they have now spread to fill an area about 3 or 4 sqaure metres in total so they're not fiercely invasive and it's easy enugh to dig chunks out and pot them up for swaps or local plant fairs.

My patch has now met the more vigorous phlomis russeliana and I need to referee so this spring I shall be taking it all up, renewing the soil with some garden compost and replanting healthy clumps in the same spot and in some bare patches in other beds where I have taken out couch grass and nettles that have invaded during this mild winter and which also took advantage of my convalescence from two foot surgeries which kept me off the garden for a year.

I wouldn't grow it in a pot as it's not interesting enough as a specimen plant but it does associate very well with other plants in the border and is easy to control.   Just dig up the bits your don't want.

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10 threads returned