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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis - summer flowering

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 12:51

No.  Let them grow but keep tying in the stems a horizontally or diagonally as you can to increase flower power.   Make sure you feed them with some slow release clematis food and give occasional liquid tonics of rose or tomato food and they will amply reward you.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 20:30

Sanjy - try putting a short cane in to mark where you have planted bulbs and yes, label too.   Then you'll know to be careful when weeding and planting in spring.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 13:42

Never let OH loose in a bed to weed because he just blitzes everything as it's "easier".   Now I make him pay for new treasures at plant fairs so he can see why I tell him we have the most expensive compost heap in Belgium.

Labelling - yes and don't forget shrub and rose cuttings heeled in the ground too.

Sowing later than earlier yes, but also this year sowing less of each variety and on appropriate moon days - better germination and less pricking out and less waste from excess plants

Don't turn your back on a nettle or a buttercup or a lump of couch grass or bittercress.  They'll be all over the place 10 minutes later.

Don't plant evergreen/winter flowering or early spring flowering clematis as they die here in heavy late spring frosts.

Mystery plant

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 23:02

leycesteria formosa -  Attractive and can get to about 2m high and wide.

Self seeds happily but, in my experience, doesn't survive hard winters.

What is wrong with this shrub?

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 18:25

Plants are like humans and animals and need a balanced diet to keep them fit and well.    Pale leaves like that indicate chlorosis which is caused by a shortage of magnesium as well as iron.   It can be remedied with applications of Epsom salts poured over the the leaves as a foliar feed - 1 tbs/15ml to one gallon/5 litres of water.  Do this once a month till improvement shows.

For iron deficiency, you need to water it at the base with chelated or sequestered iron which is available in several forms from the garden centre so follow the instructions given.   

For either treatment, use rain or distilled water and not tap water as this often contains chlorine and calcium and won't help at all.   Feed the plant every spring with some pelleted manure or blood, fish and bone and give it the magnesium and iron treatment from time to time once it recovers.   Give it a mulch of well rotted garden compost or manure every autumn once the soil is good an moist from autumn rains and you should have a happy shrub.

Soil improvement around Acer

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 18:15

Use a wee hand fork to loosen the soil if you can so that it is less compacted and better able to absorb water and nutrients then put on a one or two inch layer of well rotted garden compost or manure which will feed soil organisms and improve soil fertility.  Think of it as a top dressing like you would if the acer were in a pot.

Do this each spring until you and the acer are happier but don't build the level up too high too fast at the bottom of the main stem as this can be harmful.   Once happy, I suggest a permanent mulch of gravel or chipped bark or slate depending on the style of your garden.


Posted: 19/04/2015 at 13:20

I like the hollow too.  Important to have seating areas even if they do just get used as holding areas for plants.   One of mine is doing just that after I cleared two beds of too happy geranium phaeum and endressii and some hemerocallis.

No gardening yet today but thinking about it.  It's bright and sunny but there's a chilly breeze so only 8C and the bed I want to do is in shade till 3pm so until then I might just go and take some photos of all the daffs so I know where the big gaps are for next autumn's planting and then prick out some babies in the shed.

Hope your head clears Yvie.

Plant ID please

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 13:12

If it flowers at all they will be insignificant.   Dig it out now before its roots get too happy as they spread far looking for moisture and competing with plants you want to nurture and encourage.

As Nut says, the plants you mentioned are all herbaceous perennial which mostly disappear below ground for winter and then shoot again in spring assuming that their crown and root system have survived.

There are hundreds of veronicas - 

and verbascums - 

and over a thousand forms of salvia -

Your best bet for identifying plants whose labels are lost is to go back to the place you bought them and see if they're selling the same ones then note down the name.   Then you can look up the cultivation info on sites like the RHS to see how to care for them and keep them going from year to year but note that some verbascums are biennial (2 year life span) and others are short lived perennias but they'll self seed if you let them and this maintain your supply.


Plant ID please

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 12:01

Salix or willow.  Looks just like the ones that self seed with gay abandon in my garden.   

geraniums not growing

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 11:59

I suspect you mean pelargoniums which are native to South Africa and not hardy.  Give them time to send new roots out and then you'll get the top growth you want.  Do not over water as this will kill them quickly.

Here's some advice from the RHS which may help with regard to compost, feeding etc -


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