obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Benefits of Comfrey

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 14:37

They both contain lots of minerals that make good plant feed but comfrey ahs just a bit more and doesn't sting when harvested.   It also makes good ground cover and has pretty flowers in spring which bees and other plloinators like. 

It does spread very easily though so harvest as soon as the flowers go over.  Just cut off all the foliage just above the ground and it will come back fine.   Warning - i've been trying to clear it from a couple of places where it went mad and bits still shoot up. 

moving irises - is it too late?

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 13:35

I've assumed bearded iris.  I'm actually in the pricess of sorting out a huge clump pf iris sibirica which ahs been invaded by couch grass, creeping buttercup and bindweed - along with half my garden - while I've been laid up after double foot surgery earlier in the year.  I'm hopng it will feel suitable regenerated and flower its socks off next year but, if not, at least it will be weed free while it gathers energy fo rthe following year's performance.

in or out fig

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 11:32

It depends on the variety.  Brown Turkey should be OK in a cold greenhouse in Norfolk and you can give it a fleece blanket if it gets extra cold - not bubble wrap as it won't be able to breathe and will rot.

I have had one do OK outside in a deep 60cm pot but recent winters have seen us regularly going down well below the usual -15C and it has suffered so last autumn I planted it in the ground in an unheated greenhouse lined with bubble wrap for extra insulation and it still was frozen to bits.  However it has recovered well and grown plentiful new branches which I plan to train in the next couple of weeks once the bubble wrap goes back on the greenhouse walls and I've repaired the panes broken in recent storms.  I shall give it a fleece blanket too as I really want figs next year.  They are luscious.

moving irises - is it too late?

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 11:24

The usual advice is to move them immediately after flowering finishes but I don't see why you can't do it now while the soil is still warm and there's plenrty of rain to help the roots settle in and some warm sunny days to encourage them.

Make sure you water them well first and then trim the foliage on each section you plant to reduce wind rock which will disturb the roots.  They may not flower brilliantly next year but, by all acouunts, they didn't this year so you've nothing to lose and in a sunnier spot they'll do better in future.  

Windswept

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 09:06

I'm not sure hydrangea petiolaris will cope with windy exposure as it's a woodland plant from Japan and Siberia, so, while it can cope with cold, I suspect strong winds in spring will damage new young shoots.

On the other hand, it will cope very well with the cool, shady side of a north east facing wall so if you can give it plenty of organic matter to retain moisture and stop it drying out it is probably worth a try.

Other than that, I would suggest a group 3 clematis which is pruned back hard in March and then flowers in summer on new season's growth.  Have a look at http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=30 which has small flowers less likely to be damaged by wind but with good colour.

Another to consider is http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=365 or maybe http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=398 or http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=550 or another small flowerd one with a long flowering period - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=3206

All are suitable for semi shade but be aware that clematis can take a couple of years to settle in before they really perform well.  They are also very hungry, thirsty plants so need a deep hole back-filled with plenty of organic matter to feed them and retain moisture for their thick, fleshy roots.  

Clematis need to be planted 4 to 6" deeper than they were in their pot to encourage more shoots to from and protect against clematis wilt.  Make the hole at least 2 feet away from the base of the wall so they don't sit in a rain shadow or dry spot and feed anually with a good mulch of garden compost in spring and a generous handful of clematis offd at pruning time.   A liquid feed of rose or tomato food every couple of weeks from pruning to flowering time will help too and  make sure you have wires or a trellis on battens attached to the wall for it to cling to.

I also find dead heading helps prolong flowering in the first couple of years and then they look after themselves apart from training the new stems out along the supports for maximum coverage.

No flowers on gladioli

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 13:22

I don't really like glads but planted sme in a pot this year after they were left unwanted at a charity plant sale along with one each of purple and white petunias.  They all did well and flowered well and the glads turned out to be a rich, deep purple rather than the gaudy candy shades I dislike.  I shall keep them for next year.

I also planted acidanthus in pots and had lots of flowers but not on every plant.  I suspect they were overcrowded so, once the foliage dies down I shall lift them and separate them and plant them less densely next year.

Both pots had full sun and regular watering and feeding.

Autumn Hanging Baskets

Posted: 18/09/2013 at 11:35

I've just replaced my summer baskets at the front door with deep fuchsia pink hardy cyclamen and silvery white cineraria which picks up the marbling on the cyclamen foliage.   The baskets by the garage doors will be replaced by the fuchisa baskets which have been hanging on teh north side of the house.

These will do well until the first frosts and then I'll plant out the cyclamen to increase my increasing stock in a shletered front bed and take the fuchsias indoors for the winter.  

It's too cold here for winter baskets but I do things like skimmia, euonymous, bronze carex and variegated ivy for the two pots by the front door with some cheery faced violas for extra colour.  I've learned not to try phormiums, pennisetum, heathers, heucheras and so on in pots.   They just die of cold. 

Neighbour's Garden is Damaging our Wall

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 16:06

Inecting higher up would protect the wall above the injection point but not help much with the part below and if you have electrical wires and sockets in that part you'll end up with rusty back parts in your sockets.  We did before getting our walls fixed and had to have some replaced.  Another expense to take into account.

Good luck with the solicitor.  It should help clarify your situation.

Neighbour's Garden is Damaging our Wall

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 15:31

I agree that your neighbour's gardening activities are causing damage and he should be liable a) to remove the nuisance causing the damage and b) pay for repairs caused by his neglect or wilful damage.

A survey should have identified this problem so if you had one, you may have recourse against the surveyor.

As for damp injections, we've just had our entire house injected again after problems with the road outside led to water finding its way up our walls again.  The garage wall has land raised to about 3' high on one side so they simply injected just above that height to protect the rest of the wall and the bedroom above so it is possible to inject from inside and higher than usual.   However, it is a garage wall so no plastering or decoration needed. 

Gardeners world

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 14:09

Alys on her own programme.  Toby never again.

I've just watched GW from Friday and it was seriously dull and uninspiring and rather a waste of 30 precious minutes which could have been devoted to informative, interesting and inspiring items on plants and gardens - what to grow, how to grow, where to grow.  Ditto propagation.

Can't say I'm too disappointed though as I've been thinking this about GW for months.

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