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Today 18°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 18°C / 16°C


Latest posts by obelixx

The first frost

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 10:43

Been a good summer here too with lots of sunshine.  A very dry period too which has harmed a few plants but we've had enough rain recently to moisten everything again.

Very cold last night but not quite a frost.  Set to get to 17C for the next few says and stay sunny so plenty of opportunity to start the autumn tidy, switch plants around and harvest the last of the soft fruits - damsons and blackberries and raspberries.   Toms just about finished but chillies a-go-go and lots of stuff still flowering in the borders.


Posted: 26/09/2015 at 10:05

Clematis require rich soils so you'll have to improve yours with loads of well rotted garden compost and manure to provide all the nutrients they need and improve water retention.   There are many varieties to choose form but none that flower most of the year.

There are some evergreen ones that flower in early spring.  The deciduous ones come in many shapes and forms of flowers but you should look at the Group 2s which flower in May and June and then, if fed and pruned well, again in late summer.  The group 3s, which are easiest to prune as they just get cut back hard in spring, can flower from June through to September if well fed.

Have a look at this site which lets you select plants according to group, flower colour and aspect -   You can then seek out the varieties you like at your local nursery or garden centre or from nurseries that do mail order such as Taylor's or Thorncroft or Raymond Evison


Posted: 26/09/2015 at 08:18

You can buy metal U-shaped prongs used for holding down weed suppressing fabric and use those to hold down your cardboard.  My guru gets hers from shops that have deliveries in large packing - household shops and supermarkets.  They're happy for her to take it away rather than have to recycle it themselves.

What'll I do with me hostas

Posted: 26/09/2015 at 08:15

I have a couple of dozen big ones in the ground, a dozen or so smaller Gold Edgers which grow and split very easily and another couple of dozen in display pots plus a dozen or so babies in pots to give away or swap.

I do my splitting in spring when the noses show and sell spares at a charity plant sale.

Hostafan - have you thought of offering your spares to a charity sale or taking them to a car boot sale?  Or even seeing if people on here would home them for you?

What'll I do with me hostas

Posted: 25/09/2015 at 15:52

I have found that hostas divided in autumn sulk and sometimes die so best to wait till spring.  However, if you need the pot for something else, there's nothing to stop you simply separating the two hostas and planting them while the ground is still warm enough for them to recover and re-root.  

You can then divide them in spring assuming they're big enough and that that's what you need to do.   You'll need to be vigilant with the wildlife friendly slug pellets once they're in the ground though.  Start sprinkling lightly on Valentine's Day cos it's easy to remember and then weekly, still thinly, through the season.  This gets the perishers as they emerge form hibernation or hatch from eggs and stops them feasting on your treasures and breeding.


Posted: 25/09/2015 at 14:23

Have a look at this thread Macava - 

Winter colour

Posted: 25/09/2015 at 13:43

I suggest you go to your local market or nursery or garden centre and see what's available.   The obvious contenders are pansies and primulas and hardy cyclamen with trailing ivy and/or evergreen grasses such as carex for movement.

If the baskets are large enough not to freeze solid, you could add small bulbs such as crocus, iris reticulata and miniature daffs.  

Look also at small variegated euonymous which can be planted out in bigger pots in spring and gaultheria if you use ericaceous compost and have soft or rainwater for watering.



Posted: 25/09/2015 at 13:35

My gardening guru friend swears by cardboard for keeping weeds down on bare soil.  Lets in air and moisture but not light so no weedlings except form old roots.

By the end of winter when you want to work the soil again it's often broken down and can be forked in rather than having to take it away.

Helianthus Lemon Queen

Posted: 24/09/2015 at 21:59

I was given an innocent looking clump of these several years ago and planted it in my very fertile rear garden whose soil has been cow pasture for centuries so well fertilised.  It went berserk - very tall and spreading madly but very good as a tall, back of border plant with clear yellow flowers.

Since then I have dug it all up, split and shared with friends and the bits I kept have been planted in poorer soil with more fierce drainage in full sun.  There it doesn't spread as fast and gets to between 3 and 6 feet high and is perfect.   Lovely plant and colour in the right place.


Posted: 24/09/2015 at 14:36

Sorry, no.  It's fiendishly expensive to buy here if you want one with decorative coloured stems and either tries to take over the world or dies after flowering.  I decided not to bother and grew ornamental grasses instead but not as a screen or hedge.

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1 to 15 of 16 threads