Latest posts by Obelixx

Hydrangea rooted in water

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 18:04

It needs potting up so the roots can grow into soil later on.   Remove the flower head first so you don't risk stressing the plant while it gets accustomed to its new home.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 16:47

Thanks BF.  I grew Japanese onions in wet old Belgium and they were fine.  They just don't have the keeping power of the usual onions so don't store well.  No point growing more than you can eat in the gap.

We have rain - that is to say a couple of good downpours yesterday and drizzle on and off today.  No strong winds so it's soaking in and might make it more than one inch down now.   That'd be good as I've loads of bulbs to plant out from last year's finds and pots plus the new ones that jumped aboard when OH took em to buy 6 bags of compost for potting and also improving soil...

The next generation

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 15:55

Aunty Rachel, it's a double whammy isn't it which is why the RHS has developed a programme for horticulture in schools.  It helps get kids interested in plants and wildlife and where food comes from but also gets them learning in different ways and outdoors which has to be good for all kids with different learning skills.

I reckon the way to Possum's gardening heart will be thru her stomach - as long as she doesn't always find extra protein in her broccoli!

Autumn sown sweet peas

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 15:52

I sowed some old ones found when I sorted out my seeds this spring and they took forever to germinate and then got hit by a seriously of May and a heatwave in June and sat and did nothing.  Busy-Lizzie, who gardens inland in the Dordogne, warned me they go over quickly because of the heat.  I finally potted the surviving half dozen all together in one pot in July which I kept in semi shade and, lo and behold, I now have a few, short stemmed, small flowered but highly scented blooms.

I shall try sowing some this month wit a view to getting an early start before things heat up next spring.  Should be OK as I don't get anywhere near as cold as Busy here near the Vendée coastline and I shall sow some more in January to try and extend the season but keep them in shade for most of the day.

Agapanthus Propagation

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 14:13

Cling film will trap moisture and probably lead to rotting.

I sowed seeds a few years ago and just used compost to cover them.   Got lots of babies.

The only way you'll find out if yours are still viable is to sow and wait and see.


Posted: 02/10/2017 at 14:02

Once they've reached the maximum size of pot you can find or manage, just make sure you remove and refresh the top couple of inches of compost each spring.  If that becomes full of roots then all you can do is make sure you keep it adequately watered and give it a spring top dressing of slow release food and regular drinks of something like liquid seaweed or home-made nettle or comfrey tea to keep it healthy.

Finding that balance

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 13:50

Try and find the latest episode of Beechgrove Garden in i-player.  One of the gardeners discusses the problems of rabbits and deer on the estate he manages.   Assuming you can't build a high fence or bury a barrier to prevent rabbits burrowing, you're gong to have to erect specific defences such as cloches and cages and tunnels which can be movable or permanent fixtures.  I'd suggest chicken wire for small things and builders metal mesh for reinforcing concrete for bigger ones - light and indestructible and can be cut to size with bolt cutters.

You might also want to try chicken wire hats for individual veggies, such as this one made by a new gardening friend to keep pigeons off his brassicas and salads.   Roll a strip into a cylinder the diametre you need then hold it round a sturdy object while you scrunch one end to make the handle/top.  Reinforce the sides with a bit of garden wire of needed and peg down over plant..

Climbers for north facing wall

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 13:42

I think 40cms is way too small.  It needs more width and depth to ensure better moisture levels for root s and also some protection against severe cold.  60cms minimum or maybe a wider trough about 60cms deep.  You'd need to use good John Innes 3 compost and make sure it is regularly fed and watered.

There are many clematis that would be happy on a north facing wall but they'd need a deep root run as they are hungry beasts and thirsty in the growing season.  Lonicera periclymenum 'Serotina' would be happy there and so would roses such as Souvenir du Dr Jamain and Wedding Day - if you have space for that one.

You could also think about a fan trained morello cherry on a suitable dwarfing stock.

No flowers on my Cosmos !!

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 13:34

I think you're right.  They need sun and warmth.  I sowed some old seeds on the off chance and then planted them out in early July after looking after the increasingly large seedlings thru a fierce June heatwave.   They have grown to about 60cm high and are flowering prolifically.

We have had bright sun and a drought which has just ended after 14 months.  I've had to water them even thru a coolish July, for here, in the low to mid 20s because it was so dry at their feet.  They're flowering prolifically even now that we've had a day or two of steady, but not heavy rain - not looking at all sad or bedraggled.

Perennials amongst grass

Posted: 02/10/2017 at 13:29

Quite.  I suspect it's going to be a half-baked idea but will watch with interest to see how it goes.   

I do cut back foliage on hardy geraniums and pulmonarias after their flush of flowers - different times of year - but I don't scalp them the way a mower will.

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