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Latest posts by obelixx

Climbers, fences and shade

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 11:59

I never think of alpinas as the ones I planted some years ago, along with two montanas, all got frozen to death in heavy late March frosts and as they flower on old wood that's no good.  They do have lovely flowers though.

Summer flowering clems do it on new season's stems so escape frost damage and their flowers would bridge the gap between pyracantha blossom and berries.

Climbers, fences and shade

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 11:37

If they're well fed and watered in in autumn they'll have all winter to grow some good new roots and get a head start on spring.  They'll only need a season or two to get to height and you can fill the gap with annual climbers such as sweet peas or just let a well chosen clematis have its head.

Climbers, fences and shade

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 11:24

Have a look at this article here on the RHS - 

I would suggest pyracantha which has woody stems so would support its own weight but can be tied in to a wire framework screwed to your posts and stretched across your fence panels so it hides the posts.   If you plant several of them at regular intervals you can cut the leader at the top of the trellis and train all the side shoots along horizontally.  Remove any shoots that grow out away from the fence and can't be bent in and tied to the framework.

It is evergreen, has spring blossom attractive to birds and insects and autumn berries attractive to birds.  When mature it provides good shelter for birds and insects and a good backdrop for other plants.

I wouldn't go for a montana clem as they are very vigorous and need constant training to stop them getting top heavy and bare at the base.   A viticella such as Etoile Violette will provide flowers all summer long from June to September but can be cut back in autumn once the foliage goes brown to reduce wind resistance.  It then needs to be cut back to about 9" in March and given a very generous feed of clematis food to encourage all the new stems and flowers and occasional liquid tonics of tomato feed.   Blue Angel is a good clem if you prefer lighter flowers but will take longer to get established and produce lots of stems.  Huldine will spread to 6 metres if well trained and has lovely pale flowers with a bar on the reverse.

As FG says, bulk up your soil with loads of well rotted manure and/or garden compost before you plant anything.


planting grasses

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 11:03

B3 - imperata Red Baron is not hardy here and nor are any of the pennisetums or stipas or uncinias.   Verdun gardens in the very mild south west so he can grow many plants that just won't do in a colder, wetter climate.

Miscanthus, molinia, carex and hakonechloa are much hardier.   When planting perennials in between, allow space for the foliage of the grasses to do their fountain thing.   They can be much wider than their root ball would suggest and you don't want the foliage spilling over and hiding your perennials.

compost heap discoveries

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 17:37

Secateurs.  Brand new Felcos when lost by daughter.  Now they need a new blade.

Trowel.  Left by OH after cleaning grass from under the Flymo.

Toads hibernating.  

Field mice nesting.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 17:23

Know the feeling BM.  I have boxes of stuff we cleared out of our kitchen when it needed re-plastering and new pipe work and they are still in the attic.  Things like old jelly molds I had on the wall and some copper pans.

They can stay there now as we are planning to sell this place and downsize when OH retires while we still have the energy to create a new garden we can manage more easily when we're older and also get a house the way we want it.

Removing Rosemary?

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 13:10

Dry or freeze the fresh green bits on the old plant and they'll still taste good in cooking.

Flower in Africa

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 21:24

Both are commonly available as houseplants in the UK.

Gardens we have visited 2015

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 17:10

Gorgeous looking gardens.  I do like that stone and slate seating area.  So many people neglect seating in a garden.

Looking forward to pics of the 2nd.


Container plant with year around interest

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 17:02

You could also grow something like a variegated holly which would give you year round foliage interest and berries in autumn and winter as long as you choose a female or self fertile variety.    They lend themselves well to pruning to a shape so you could easily keep it to a cone or a pyramid or let it grow a main trunk with branches.

The RHS has this article on trees in containers - 

If the pot is generous size, you could try quite a few of the flowering cherries.  Prunus serrulata will give you a lovely shape and fabulous, glossy winter bark as long as you pick one of the cultivars as they don't get as tall as the original.

Apples and pears on dwarf root stocks would be good too and you can now get "family" trees with more than one variety grafted to the main stem so they cross pollinate and you get blossom and fruit.  

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