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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis only flowering at top

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 15:18

I've always thought montanas were much earlier and had finished by now but yes, horizontal training and masking the bare stems would work well.


Clematis cuttings

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 15:15

I took 5 lots of cuttings this spring and only one has succeeded but it was a bit early so I'm not despondent.   I shall have a go at giving bottom heat in shade and try some new cuttings in a few weeks as I have some favourites I want to share and it's so satisfying when cuttings do take.

Clematis only flowering at top

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 14:40

Flowering now indicates a group 2 for pruning which means a light pruning after the first flush of flowers finishes.  If you feed it as well, you shoud get a second flush fo flowers later in summer.

However, having said that, I treat all mine as group 3s as their tops tend to get frozen to death in my winters.   Every March I prune them back to about 9 inches and give them a generous feed of clematis food followed by several liquid feeds of rose or tomato fertiliser until flowering commences. 

Nelly Moser is always first for me and is already in flower with all it stems producing fresh foliage and flowers low down.  The others follow in due course.   This pruning method also means they don't get too big and there are no bare woody stems.

You could try feeding yours now with both the slow release clematis fertilser and the liquid tomato food to see if it produces new shoots to flower next year.  Even if it doesn't it will help grow stronger roots and then you could also try the hard prune and big feed next spring and completely renew your plant.   As the new shoots form, train them along horizontal wires attached to your fence at 12 to 18 inch intervals as this encourages extra flowering.   


Posted: 07/06/2015 at 14:16

I always have loads of nettles in my garden - a sign of good, fertile soil and they do make a great addition to the compost heap and a good tea for feeding leafy plants.

They come up between treasures now, rather than in great clumps, so no question of spraying.  However they're easy to pull up, especially after rain and they do get fewer every year although my garden is surrounded by pastoral and arable fields so they're always trying to invade under the fences too.   

Regular pulling will do it eventually and if you clear a bed or area for replanting, take the opportunity to fork it over well and remove extra bits of root.

Stachys byzantina

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 14:06

I always thought the fluffy silvery grey version was stachys lanata.  It does produce flower spikes which are fluffy too with added colour from little deep pink petals and yes, it does make good ground cover from creeping as well as self seeding.   Bees love mine.

Low Germination Rates

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 18:41

I've given up sowing directly as weather, soil temps, charging dogs, indiscrilinate weeding OH and so on are so hit and miss so I sow in trays or modules, prick out and grow on and then plant out.  Works exceptionally well for brassicas as they get a good root system and I've only once had problems with club root on bought plugs.  

I even planted onion sets in modules and they're doing really well and this year I have beetroot and Swiss chard which have failed for the last three years when direct sown. Just need to crack carrots now.

What are you planting in your pots and containers?

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 18:37

A hosepipe at the front.  Another at the back.  Two water butts and a watering can for the acid lovers.   It's therapeutic going round watering and talking to your plants and lets you check what needs feeding/dead heading etc.

What are you planting in your pots and containers?

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 12:11

Out the font in the sun mostly singular plantings - lilies, acidanthera, agapanthus, mints.     Three roses under-planted with pansies, one mixed herb pot with rosemary, sage, thyme and summer savoury.   The window boxes this year each have 5 chilies in them.   By the front door I have two pots of variegated euonymus, pieris and ivy to be brightened up this afternoon with shocking ping pelargoniums.  Up until recently they had deep red cyclamen which are now in their own pots waiting to go into the border.

Out the back which is north facing but gets plenty of light and full sun from 3pm, about 20 single hostas big and small, pots and troughs of fuchsias, a Japanese maple, a pineapple sage, parsley, white chives and ginger mint and some plants waiting to grow big enough to go in the borders - a young spiraea, a choisya, 4 clems, 3 roses, a golden rain tree and a gunnera.

If I do hanging baskets they tend to be trailing pelargoniums which are forgiving of neglect and easy to deadhead and keep flowering.  Don't like the stickiness of petunias or fussy mixed plantings.  If I had a sheltered garden I'd do frothy flowers but not mixed.

Plant ID

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 21:12

I agree.  It looks like a montana to me.

Making most of new Garden in new Home

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 17:12

You can buy weed and feed lawn products to use in spring and autumn that will help strengthen rhe grass and weaken the weeds.  Do not be tempted to mow too short as the buttercups and daisies will simply shorten their stem lengths and too short a grass blade means they can't feed their roots and thicken up and grow strongly.

I suspect amphibian wildlife will be very pleased to have blanket weed forked out of the rhine and left on the sides as it will clear the water for their use but, as said  above, nitrates from the fields will run off and encourage aquatic and marginal plant life beyond what is normal so you will have a constant task.

Leave the nettles as long as they're on the other side.  Wildlife loves it for nectar and feeding caterpillars and shelter..

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