Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 29/02/2016 at 09:48

Begonia - how very unpleasant!   Remember the old adage about honey and vinegar?

Specialist growers are just that and can advise you about plants suitable for different aspects and conditions in your garden.   Some clematis are hardy down to -25C and can take a bit of wind but won't like being blasted if you're expecting a huge flowery show from them.  Some are tender and will curl up at the hint of frost.

I buy fully grown, multi-stemmed clems, never less than 3' high and propagated and cultivated by a specialist who advises me on such things as he knows my garden is cold and exposed in winter so I need the hardiest.  Even then it can take 2 seasons for them to settle down and start to thrive.  In the intervening period they are busy getting their roots down.

Look yours up and then grow them on carefully for 2 or 3 seasons before planting them out in suitable spots.

Anyone else strapped for space?

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 09:40

This year I've been very restrained and haven't sown a thing yet - too cold at night, too little light, greenhouse unheated and full of treasures sheltering form the worst of winter till they're big enough to cope.........

It froze again overnight, is set to get several degrees below again tonight and snow.   March can't be trusted to be clement so I'm waiting till the end of March but even then OH and I will be away the first week of April and Possum doesn't do seedling sitting so I might wait till we get back and I can give them my full attention and the space they need.


Posted: 28/02/2016 at 12:18

Inches are old measurements.  Cms are "new money".

I don't think anyone is being negative about the offer, just pointing out that the clems will be too small to cope with life in the border and should be grown on in pots till they have developed a decent root structure.  

Clems which are planted out too small are easily scoffed by slugs and snails or accidentally hoed.   It is also advisable to plant clematis deep so they produce better roots and more shoots.  You can only do this once they've reached a certain size so they need growing on in pots anyway.   They need plenty of food and water to thrive too so good soil preparation is essential as is subsequent feeding and watering for strong flower production.

There are specific clems which suit shady sites.  Others need more sun and some need more shelter to thrive.  You can look up by name the ones you are getting on this website to see if they will suit your intended positions - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemalphasearch.cfm   It will also give you their pruning group for subsequent care.


When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 11:47

Yes, tolerance is essential on a written forum where typos, technology and all sorts can wreak havoc.  As long as we understand questions and comments we can communicate.

That said, books, articles, programmes etc need some editorial input to maintain standards of accuracy of information for people hoping to learn from them and not make potentially expensive or harmful mistakes.   

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 09:40

Knowing how language works is important.   When we came to Belgium 25 years ago I trotted off to classes to improve my schoolgirl French.   Being old enough to have had serious English grammar lessons and being able to aprse a sentence I coped happily with all the lovely French pedantry of agreeing adjectives and particles with their object and the intricacies of the subjunctive.

Friends only two years younger who had gone to schools who thought grammar was a snobbery bore had no idea and never learned more than enough French to buy things in a supermarket where you only need say hello and thank you.

My daughter has had little formal English education as she went to the local Belgian school where English is the third language and thus has learned her English from us and, unfortunately, lots of USA TV and films plus the Beeb.  I correct her vocabulary and grammar quite often as she will need good English for her career.

Being able to construct a sentence, punctuate it and use the correct words is essential to clear communication but not a barrier to friendship with people of greater or lesser ability in languages or any other knowledge than oneself.  

That is down to personality.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:31

Suits me too.  I just wish winters were shorter and drier and less grey.......

All my hostas, big or small, are slug magnets so they get regular but sparse sprinklings of the wildlife friendly slug pellets and now look good all year from the first shoots to the last faded leaf. 

knee pads

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:29

I can't kneel much since I had surgery on both feet which means it puts extra pressure on my double jointed 3 middle toes.  

When I do, I use a kneeling pad. 

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:08

I'd have thought so Hosta.   I have spares every year now when I divide them and always find homes for them.  First thing to go at the charity sale.

Belgians do irony but they're more likely to do surreal.   They need both to cope with their politics and politicians.   Great fun.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 10:46

Getting back from the ridiculous to the sublime - if you worked out how many hostas you need to grow/buy/divide to fill a 6 metre square bed rather than 6 square metres you could end up with just a few too many homeless plants.    Not good.

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