London (change)


Latest posts by obelixx

Growing Hakonechloa

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 22:00

Mine grow happily in fertile, alkaline loam in a  moist, shady bed.    North facing bed so full sun from mid May to August but no direct sun the rest of the year; though plenty of light except for winter months when it's dormant anyway.   Spreading slowly with no fuss..  

Wheelbarrow Tyre

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 08:29

Our tyre kept going flat and we had difficulty re-inflating so I bought OH a new tyre which he promptly pranged on some thorny hackings.  He's now bought a new wheel with a solid tyre - bright yellow - and it's fine over paths and lawn.  Got it at the local builders' merchants.  Take the old one along to make sure you get the right size.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 15:56

Not sure it counts but we've tied down our windbreak fabric along about 50metres of the back fence cos it had been blown loose in the gales.   OH then took down broken trellis panels between fence posts and rescued 3 good ones to go elsewhere.  I can feel a bonfire coming on.

Lots of snowdrops out now and daffs emerging at last.  Hamamelis Orange Peel is covered in flowers for the first time ever - thanks to the windbreak - but too breezy for much of a pong.  Pity. 

Gales and downpours expected tonight and tomorrow.   Nuff now.

Care for new gingermint

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 14:29

As above.   Water and keep sheltered then pot on to a bigger pot as soon as strong growth starts.   Keep well watered but make sure it can drain.    I now have mine in a 60cm square pot which I take under cover in winter.  However, some escaped into a veggie bed and has withstood temps down to -6C in the ground.   Doesn't like it any colder though and certainly not that cold in a pot.

Which clematis?

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 12:40

Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants which need deep, cool root runs so a planter on a south facing wall is not going to be ideal.  I would suggest instead a pyracantha which is evergreen and can be trained to cover a trellis and will provide year round interest.  It will have blossom in spring and berries in autumn and green foliage all year and not require much pruning except to take out stems that insist on growing away from the wall.

A repeat flowering climbing or rambling rose is another option but will need regular feeding and dead heading to keep looking good.

Whatever you choose, buy or make the biggest planter you can afford and fit in the space and fill it with John Innes no 3 compost after putting crocks over the drainage holes to stop it getting blocked and water-logged.   Top dress with extra fertiliser every spring and water regularly especially in hot weather and strong, drying winds. 






Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 09:02

No gardening for a while here.  Last week was the build up to the dance club's annual ball.  Sunday recovery.  Monday preps for a trip to Amsterdam and the Hague because for once, in the 25 years we've been in Belgium, all the Vermeers were at home and on display.   Saw some other good stuff too.

Today I'm returning 2 fridges and 320 champagne flutes and then getting ready for a Carnival ball this evening.   

At some point I'll have to go and repair the windbreak which the gales have loosened because we're expecting more gales on Saturday.    Lots of new growth on the daffs in the last 2 days but heavy frosts forecast and the ground is still sodden after all the rain so no proper gardening for a couple of weeks  yet.

Have fun if spring has sprung for you.

Is it ok to heavily prune Vibernum tinus now?

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 08:55

Don't do it when frost is forecast.  It will damage any new buds that start to form and can also damage the cells at the newly cut edges and that lets in disease.

Viburnum tinus is supposed to be tough but I had 5 wiped out completely by severe frosts in 2009.  

Job Done!

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 13:57

Huge list I've been saving for OH's retirement but haven't actually written down for fear of frightening him so I plan to spring them one at a time after preparing the proverbial and metaphorical ground.   He's had January off to get used to not having to get up and catch a train to work and we've just had the build up to the dance club's 40th anniversary ball this weekend and are off to the Hague tomorrow so nothing doing till next week really.

He knows about the compost heaps needing turning and emptying and fixing.   He knows about the trellis panels swaps and repairs and replacements that need doing.   Just waiting for decent weather.

Then there's finishing the edging of the holly hedge bed with granite pavers and laying chipped bark.  Ditto one edge of the back lawn without the bark, pruning dead branches from our prunus cerastifera, cutting back other shrubs, wading into the pond to clear flag iris and so on and so forth. 


would you ???

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 10:32

Grass likes sunlight.   You have shade.   Go with the flow and redesign.  Loads of fabulous plants like shady woodland situations.   The RHS Plant Selector lets you search for plants by aspect, available light, soil etc.  I typed in perennials and partial shade and it returned 1358 plants - 

You could do the same search entering your soil type, drainage, more shade etc.  

It may be worth looking at raising the canopy of your oaks to let in more light.  This just means removing the lower branches to a a certain height without changing the shape or size or look of the rest of the tree.  You can consult a tree surgeon if you like and they should chip any small offcuts and leave bigger ones  so you can use them as mulch or woodpiles for habitat according to preference.

Have fun.

Plant supports

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 10:24

I loathe the look of cane supports in gardens plus tehy rot and have to be re-done and they can poke your eye out.  I use the bent metal rods with great success - discreet, can be made to order for the plant and cheap and everlasting.

I buy 5m lengths at the local building supplies shop and then cut them in half or 3 depending on the height of plant to be supported which can be 2m high helianthemums, slightly shorter echinops, then phlomis (the purple one), occasional floppy roses and so on.   I bend them round an upright railway sleeper which supports a retaining wall then stand on a plank to bend the legs up.   They push into the soil easily, go deep without snapping, no need for strings and become invisible very quickly as the plants grow.


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1 to 15 of 17 threads