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Latest posts by obelixx

Birch in hot climates

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 18:12

Birch trees grow very well in cool, damp climates and don't like being dry at their feet so I suspect you're on a hiding to nothing trying to grow one in Sicily, even if you plant it next to a stream that never dries out.

I assume you' like it for the bark which can be pale white or pink or brown depending on the variety.  I would suggest a eucalyptus which is far better suited to the heat of Sicily and won't need constant watering.  Some of them have very attractive bark in colours similar to birch.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 17:52

It's been a very unusual, but lovely, late summer going into autumn with dry spells, warm days, clear skies and cool nights giving us late flowers and fabulous foliage colour.   Dahlias still blooming well and roses having yet another strong flush.  Rudbeckias, choreopsis, Michelmas daisies, chelone, hardy gernaiums, sedums, persicaria and Japanese anemones still going strong.

We've had some rain this afternoon but it's set to stay dry and warm for the next week again.   Good - I still have bulbs to plant and perennials to move around.

Normally by now we've already had heavy rains and deep frosts gales.  I can cope with this kind of autumn.

Cleaning decking next to plants.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 17:45

Once it's clean, try the chicken wire option - stretch taught and staple down with a  nail gun or heavy staples.   It will be unobtrusive but give grip.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 14:10

Vinca minor atropurpurea.  Good root system and it's even got a purple flower but then temps this week have been around 19C so maybe it thinks it's spring.

Overwintering Convolvulus and young lavender.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 13:41

Health warning TT.  Verdun is in the balmy south west of England and never gets anything like an Edinburgh winter.

Plants in small pots are more likely to get their roots frozen to death so pot on and take into shelter.  A window box indoors will be fine and then you can plant them out next spring when the first of the frosts are over - either in pots, troughs or your borders.

Tracking Down Plants

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 13:38

I have just seen these in my local garden and pet store - €4.95  for a 2 litre pot with 20% off as part of a November planting promotion - so I bought one.

Overwintering Convolvulus and young lavender.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 09:24

Windowsill then.

How big are the pots your lavender is in?  They do need some moisture but don't like to sit in wet and, as far as I know, the pink and white French varieties (except lavendula Edelweiss) are much less hardy than my Hidcote or Munstead Dwarf which are British varieties better suited to British weather.

Consider transferring yours to a window box with John Innes no 2 or 3 compost and keep them indoors on a cool, light windowsill till next spring.

Overwintering Convolvulus and young lavender.

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 08:32

Convolvulus is not very hardy and won't cope with temps below -5C or winter wet so really needs a cool, light windowsill or frost free greenhouse or cold frame to survive. 

Lavender, big or small, doesn't like winter wet so may be OK in a light, sheltered spot where the pots won't get frozen or drowned.   I grow mine as a low hedge in full sun along the top of a retaining wall where drainage is good and they have survived -20C but, for their first winter, they had had an entire summer season to grow big enough to cope.  I lost about 5 that first winter - Hidcote variety - but the rest and the replacements have survived and thrived since.

Annual Cosmos

Posted: 06/11/2015 at 08:21

They're annuals - germinate, flower, seed and die in one year.  You'll need to sow new seeds for next year.

Wierd ice like stuff on grass

Posted: 05/11/2015 at 15:57

Bay doesn't do well in cold winters so I'd go for apple.  There are plenty suitable for growing in pots if you buy one on a dwarf rooting stock but you need a pollinator to get apples so may have to buy two.  You can also buy "family" trees which have 2 to 4 pollinator compatible varieties grafted on one root stock.

Have a look at these sites and ask questions of them before choosing and ordering:-



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