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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 16/04/2015 at 22:00

I would dig them out and plant them in deep pots so their roots can run.  If they're big enough, plant them a couple of inches deeper than they were as this encourages the formation of extra shoots which will bear more flowers.   Grow them on till they're big enough to cope in the hurly burly of life in the border with competition, wind, rain and so on.

Use the best quality compost and add some proprietary clematis feed as these plants are very hungry and need lots of building up to get the best flowering display.   Keep them watered but not drowning and give them occasional liquid feeds of tomato or rose food.  

When you do finally plant them in the border, bury them a few inches deeper than they were in the pot to encourage more new shoots - also helps protect against clematis wilt .  They can take a year or two to get going once planted out and will need annual spring top ups of clematis food but are worth the wait and the bother.   Use organic slug pellets to protect the juicy new shoots in spring as slugs love them.

Maintaining Clematis

Posted: 16/04/2015 at 10:51

Clematis are very hungry plants so I suggest you go and buy some proper clematis food and give it a generous top dressing of this every spring as well as regular liquid feeds of tomato or rose fertiliser between waterings from March up to mid July.

If it flowers in May/June it is a group 2 and you can trim it back after the first flush of flowers finishes, dead heading and pruning back to a pair of buds.  This will encourage fresh new growth that should flower at the end of summer.

You can also cut one or two stems at the base and let them wilt before pulling them out.  This will encourage new shoots to grow - as long as you're feeding it well - and provide flowers lower down the following year.  Doing this each year will keep your plant invigorated for better flowering.

If it flowers in July/August and later then it's a group 3 and all its stems ca be cut back to the lowest pair of buds in March every year when frost is not forecast for the following couple of days.   

If it flowers in April, it is most likely to be a Group 1 which just need pruning back to maintain form and size after flowering finishes and you can cut out one or two stems as explained above to re-invigorate it.


Name of plant

Posted: 16/04/2015 at 01:47

Looks like an pieris in need of some TLC.   New foliage starts red in spring and fades to green. Give it a feed of slow release blood, fish and bone and a tonic of liquid rose or tomato food now.

Water it only with rainwater as it doesn't like calcium or lime.   You can also give it a feed of something with sequestered iron in it to help green up its foliage.  When the flowers have finished, give it a foliar feed of Epsom salts diluting 1 tbs in a gallon/5 litres and pouring over the leaves.   This will boost its magnesium levels and help make healthier foliage.


Posted: 15/04/2015 at 22:03

Swap them or donate them to a charity plant sale.  It's what I do and this year I have nearly 2 dozen hosta divisons going spare from potted ones I've split using a large bread knife to saw them up into chunks.  

Just waiting for a few more in the ground to show their noses in my shadiest bed and they'll be dug up and moved/divided to give them more growing space.

When does cherry blossom?

Posted: 15/04/2015 at 17:39

It depends firstly on the variety and then how cold, wet and windy winter and spring have been.  My bird cherry is just showing buds and is nowhere near ready to flower.  My prunus cerasifera nigra has been flowering on and off for a couple of weeks but has really started to show its colours in the last 2 very warm and sunny days.

If it doesn't flower well this year try giving it some slow release blood, fish and bone or rose fertiliser and a liquid tonic of tomato food to encourage flower power for next year.


Favourite "Weed"

Posted: 15/04/2015 at 09:49

Ramsons isn't a weed here yet.  I'm nurturing a patch of 3 whole plants and looking forward to eating some one of these springs.

Forgot to mention sticky bud and volunteer brambles and willows.

Greenhouse - reglaze or buy a new one ?!

Posted: 15/04/2015 at 09:47

Just buying ordinary 3mm replacement panes can be an expensive pastime so I would go to your local glass suppliers and get an estimate for the whole lot and then check that against the price of a new one which would have the advantage of build instructions and glass cut ready to size.

Favourite "Weed"

Posted: 15/04/2015 at 09:43

I used to leave a patch of nettles but, to be honest, my garden is surrounded on 3 sides by arable fields or pasture and there are paddocks opposite, all with loads of nettles and creeping buttercup and dock and couch grass and thistles and dandelions and bindweed and bittercress and groundsel and herb Robert and ground ivy and mare's tail.  All of these feel free to spread their roots and seeds into my garden and grow with gay abandon if I let them.

I now have a no tolerance policy and clear them when I'm doing the spring clean, the autumn clear and intervening weeding programme.  This doesn't mean I don't still have weeds as they seem to grow again the minute I turn my back. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 14/04/2015 at 22:27

Have had a cracking day in the garden with sunshine and temps up to 21C despite a breeze.   Have cleared a semi circular bed of all the geranium phaeum and endressii which had thugged it to pieces, rescued a couple of hosta Gold Edger and.potted them up and 5 giant scabiuos babies.   Forked over the bed and transplanted a prostrate golden conifer from the damp bed and planted 2 new blue ones and another bronze/gold one along with the chamywotsit that I transplanted there 2 weeks ago?  Looks great now and just needs a mulch of chipped bark.

Thence to the bed above the terrace wall which is huge so started at the base and weeded my way up.  Lots of bittercress, creeping buttercup, grass, sticky bud, nettles but loads less than last year so I'm winning.   Pruned a buddleia and took cuttings and potted up lots of babies from a clump of centaurea which was riddled with nettles.  Poted up 6 echinops ritro that had self seeded in the wrong place.

Have to agree with Busy about OHs and weeding.  Mine only blitz weeds which means that for a while, till I banned him from my beds, I had the most expensive compost heap in Belgium.

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