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Latest posts by obelixx

I think I've fallen in love

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 16:57

Hello Dove.  My friends tell me the new hellebores have been flowering constantly since bough on 15/12 and planted out the following day.   They've left them whole so they can get established in their new home but may divide in a year or two.

They have acid clay soil which Jon mulches every year with his own garden compost plus a truck load bought in from the local council every November.   We've had a mild winter so far but temps down to -15C are normal for them and good rainfall most of the year though we had a long dry spell last year which cost them several trees and shrubs.

They belong to the Belgian Yellow Book scheme. last April.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 11:52

RM - my Sceptr'd Isle has a great perfume.  Not as strong as GJ but still good and the flowers are lovely and some still going since we've had such a mild winter.

Fantasy garden

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 11:50

There needs to be a long pergola walk to enjoy perfumed climbing roses and honeysuckles and clematis.

No weeds!  And a lovely potager with no heebie-jeebies, large or small, to spoil the crops.


I think I've fallen in love

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 10:27

No, but I can understand your loving them.

I did see large specimens of this on sale at my favourite Christmas garden centre trip - Intratuin at Aarschot for any Belgian posters.  Absolutely gorgeous but 25€ a pop and even though they were splittable I decided not to risk winter arriving and upsetting them.

My friends, who have a hectare of garden and very deep pockets bought 3!  I can ask how they got on if you like.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 17:04

GWRS - I did restrict the roots but it's a variety that stands up to harsh Belgian winters (in the ground) so clearly thought the cold greenhouse was just too cosy.

Cuttings do better without strong direct light as this can lead them to produce early top growth before they have roots to support themselves so a north facing aspect is perfect.

What new seeds will you be trying this year?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:49

I once saw ruby chard and cavolo nero grown with dahlia Bishop of Landaff in an ornamental border at Kalmthout arboretum.   Looked stunning.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:05

I ordered loads of bare roots DA roses years ago when we first started doing roses here.  I wanted the perfume and disease resistance.  However, harsh winters meant quite a few didn't survive so now I buy DA roses from  Belgian grower who orders them in and then grows them in pots and thus takes the winter risk for me.  i then collect at my favourite spring plant fair in May and get a good, established plant for the same price as the bare rooted ones sent direct.  He doesn't have the full range as not all DA roses stand up to our winters.

These days, I grow them on in bigger pots for at least a season before putting them out in the hurly burly of my borders.   Generous Gardener is excellent, as are Gertrude Jekyll, Constance Spry, Queen of Sweden and Sceptr'd Isle.   William Shakespeare is a wuss that needs nurturing and sheltering.  Teasing Georgia is magnificent now I have given her a some shelter form northerly winds.

Moluneux didn't make and nor did one of the Malvern Hills I planted either side of an arch.   Benjamin Britten, Geoff Hamilton and Munstead Wood are back in pots while I clean bindweed out of their border.  Jacqueline Duprée, Tess of the Durbevilles and Crocus Rose are all doing well in the garden.   Graham Thomas almost died so is now in a pot in the greenhouse and Grace couldn't cope at all.

None DA roses are Hot Chocolate - no pong but glorious colour - and Kiftsgate which I have spreading over our south facing house front.  It was almost wiped out by a -32C in 2009 but has recovered well.   Guinée and New Dawn didn't survive.

I find these days I select single flowers for the bees so will have to see if I can get Dove's suggestion which looks gorgeous. 

Removing leylandi

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:51

We had a 15 m row of these 30' high when we bought our house in Harrow30 odd years ago.  They cut out light and moisture from us and our neighbours and took up loads of space at the base.

No access for diggers and no funds for tree surgeons (mortgage rate 16% in those days) so we cut off the bottom branches to a height of 4' and then lopped the tops.   We left the stumps as they were so the roots would die of starvation and I grew plants to disguise the trunks.   After a couple of seasons we were able to wiggle them loose enough to take an axe to the thickest roots and remove the lot.

The remaining roots rotted quietly away and we added lots of compost to the heavy clay soil and ended up with a lovely border and very happy neighbours.

Which subjects............

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:43

Tetley - my comment was neither rude nor unkind but a dispassionate observation.  I note that V's own self imposed stricture not to post on anything but garden topics didn't even last 24 hours.  Clearly he can't contain himself and needs a lot of pampering!

I have been to check my snowdrops despite the wet.   The precocious ones in the front have long since finished and the ones out the back aren't even showing their noses.  This may just be because last year I divided a lot of the clumps and spread them around.   Hope so.

What new seeds will you be trying this year?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:35

Flower sprouts.   Saw them on Countryfile a couple of weeks ago, found them in teh supermarket the next day and liked them.  Tasty, quick to prepare and cook and full of vitamins.

Can't stand sprouts and our kale is a bit tough by this time of the year so I'm hoping these will bridge the gap.

While I was on I ordered other stuff to spread the P&P so I'll be trying new chillies and toms and squashes and Chinese greens and some flowers too but can't remember what I ordered now.

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