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Latest posts by obelixx

Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 14:24

Clematis have different vigour and sizes depending on variety.   Have a look at this site which allows you to select on colour, flowering time, aspect etc -

They do need guiding onto their supports but will then cling with their own tendrils.   you just need to go out once a week in spring and help it along as the new shoots grow and spread.   Training any flowering climber as horizontally as possible will encourage more flowers.

If you do go for ivy, choose one with cream or golden variegation or it will look very dark and dull.

Planning new 'grasses' path

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 13:31

Just a word of warning.  I have a group of bronze carexes which looks really good all year but I took it into my head last autumn to liven it up with some daffs interplanted and some alliums.  It looks awful with the solid green foliage of the bulbs detracting from the finer stems of the carex and impeding their flow in the breeze.

Once the bulbs have finished I shall be digging them up and moving them.  

Elsewhere in the garden my daffs are surrounded by all sorts of flowering perennials whose new spring growth soon hides the dying foliage of my daffs whilst letting it do its work to replenish the bulb for next year's display to the maximum.

Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 13:25

It dépends on the plant.  Ivy and Virginia Creeper will cling directly to the wall and need no support.

Clematis, roses, honeysuckle and so on will need to be trained to the wires.  Clematis will usually self cling once guided there but beware of integrifolias which do not self cling.  Honeysuckle can just be wound round the wires and will hang on by itself.  Roses will need tying in with string, wires or clips according to your preference.

The wire system is very flexible as you can go as high and as wide as you need and it's also very unobtrusive.  I use it on the front of our house to support a Kiftsgate rose which covers the wall but not the windows.   As the rose gets bigger we just add a line of wire above the last one.   This winter has been so mild the rose has kept most of its leaves and the hips have added to its attractiveness.



Trellis or Wire?

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 12:54

You can do something else which is simpler and will let you cover the wall as pennies permit and growth requires.

Buy some strong wire and a set of vine eyes from a good DIY store.  These are screw fixings with a stem and round eyes on the end through which you pass and stretch wires to which you loosely attach your climber.   You can buy tensioners which will stretch the wire taught or you can just pull it tight using a pair of pliers and then twist it to secure it.  Maybe add proper tensioners later.

You need to set the wires horizontally on the wall and space them at 12" to 18" or 30 to 45cms apart going upwards.   You can then train the stems of a rose, clematis, honeysuckle or maybe a grape vine or blackberry depending on aspect and soil type.

When you plant your climber, make its planting hole away from the base of the wall so its roots are not in a rain shadow and make sure you work in plenty of good quality garden compost or well rotted manure to improve the soil in and around the planting hole.  Keep your plant watered during its first year until the autumn rains arrive.

Grow Wild - Campaign to get UK people to grow more native wild flowers

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 07:49

As with any plant it's a case of right plant right place.    Here's the article -

As well as growing specific wild flowers to support particular species of birds or butterflies and other critters it's important to consider habitat such for shelter and butterflies, for example, will often take nectar from many non native plants they require a specific plant for their eggs and caterpillars.

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 20:02

Fish blood and bone will do fine mixed in with the compost and some potting compost such as John innes no 3 if you have some or else some good garden soil.   Don't just use the council compost as it won't have enough nutrients.  If pennies allow, there are proprietary clematis foods available now.- which release their goodies slowly ovet the season.

A quick tonic to get things going is an occasional liquid feed of rose or tomato fertiliser which are both very good for flowering plants.   Don't expect too much of your clematis this year.  It needs to devote a lot of energy to making itself a decent root system to sustain production of stems and flowers in future years. so may just produce foliage and not so many flowers this year.

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 17:34

Pretend terracotta is fine.  I have a Silver Moon in one.

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 15:52

Buy a pot 4 times as big and use best quality compost and feed it every spring.   Don't let it dry out and if hard frosts are forecast in winter wrap the pot in bubble wrap to give it some insulation.

gardeners world

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 13:07

Well, I for one loathe football since it became all about WAGs and outrageous payments for boys and men with two good feet but, in teh main, no brains or sense and I will resent every minute of TV time given over to it this summer, just as I resent losing GW to snooker on a bank holiday weekend where it would have been so much cleverer of the Beeb to give us an extra half hour instead of none at all.

Having said that, Monty and his box and yew hedge saga is a bit like watching paint dry when you don't even like the colour.   Why, having discovered the sense of space and light he has gained by removing the sick box hedge from his grass borders does he then go and replant other beds with something so dark and dull and claustrophobic?   I get big yew hedges for security or shelter or to divide spaces or even for topiary but not this little tiddly space control freakery chez Monty.

Loved the erythroniums but, as stated, they are expensive and probably out of the reach of most gardeners on a budget.

Once again, far too much time on shots of him pushing a wheelbarrow.  Beechgrove uses the time available so much better and packs in variety and info.  Thank heavens for that programme and its excellent presenters who work so well together.


No to everyone who asks for donations ? Do you agree or disagree with this ?

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 10:54

I agree with Dove. You have to offer something in return such as a sign saying Sponsored by xxxx or else publicity in the school brochure and at events to do with the garden.  Otherwise, as they say, they get so many requests it's impossible to respond to all, even when times are good.   We have managed to organise sponsoring for our dance club this year and they will get publicity on our website and in the programmes for our end of year show and in the publicity flyers for our recruitment drive at the start of the next season in September.

If that doesn't work, you're going to have to think laterally.   You could also ask parents to donate a small sum such as one or two pounds per child to go towards buying seeds and compost for sowing plants and growing them on.

If that's not a  possibility, organise a tea and cakes event asking parents to contribute cakes and biscuits to sell to raise funds or ask them for donations of items for a bring and buy (mini car boot) event with all proceeds going to the garden

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