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Latest posts by obelixx

I'm so so bored stiff

Posted: 06/01/2014 at 09:46

I swap babies and divisions and cuttings with members of my garden group.  I donate plants to a charity sale but, as I help run it, I buy some too and I swap plants with the lady who comes and helps me once a fortnight.   She has plants she thinks I should have and I have plants she can use in her garden or give to other clients, including my nieghbour across the road who gifted me half her gardener's time while I was laid up having new feet.

Gardeners are very swappy, generous people but I do have masses of seeds I've put off sowing because of lack of space or time and am determined to get those treasures popped and growing so, like I said, no new seeds - just yet.

I'm so so bored stiff

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 10:59

That's what worries me too Nut.   Too many babies and not enough space to prick out and pot on till they're big enough to fend for themselves in the garden.  I'll be working on that when the weather improves - making a new work and grow space behind the garage so they're more easily supervised.   No frost protection yet though so no point getting excited too early.

I'm so so bored stiff

Posted: 05/01/2014 at 10:21

I enjoy the Chilterns catalogue as it has humour as well as great goodies.  Plant World have good things too.  If you belong to the RHS you can also get seeds from their seed collection and distribution service.

Shan't be ordering any myself thiough as I find I have an embarassment of seeds in my box, both bought and collected - the perils of sorting out the garage and organising the new womanshed.  I shall be good and sow those and see what grows before I buy any new ones.

Bird feeders

Posted: 04/01/2014 at 15:14

Our garden birds get peanuts, mixed seed and fat balls prepared for birds and sometimes those square slabs of fat mixed with fruit or mealworms.  Very occasionally they get leftover cake or muffins which are usually fruit based so not salty  but they don't get bread.  We don't eat much of it ourselves and any that is left gets blitzed for crumbs for freezing and cooking later.

I've seen peanut butter for birds on sale but never bought it as I reckon there's enough choice on offer in my garden including seed heads and insects and so on.

Front Gardens & Evergreens

Posted: 03/01/2014 at 14:57

I have a box hedge round a rose and perennial bed which includes some heuchera and geranimum macrorhizum which keep their foliage.     In another bed I have a picea abies Rydal whose new growth is a deep red in spring so I grow it with a couple of red stemmed cornus.   Another bed has a large cornus Midwinter Fire for stem colour and green and purple leaved forms of bergenia backed by a conifer hedge.   Everything else is deciduous or herbaceus.

I find some evergreen is good for structure and interest but bare stems of trees and shrubs with some grasses and perennial seed heads add their own beauty in winter.

I'm so so bored stiff

Posted: 02/01/2014 at 10:23

Too wet to garden here as the soil is waterlooged so can't even risk getting on it for weeding.  However, I have a newish womanshed which needs its new shelves finishing and an OH on hand to help.  Then it'll be a case of transferring garden stuff in to there from the garage so we can do something radical like get a car in it.

A few pots big left to move into greenhouse or shed and the bay tree to bring indoors before winter hits.   Need to call a man about lanwmower maintenance too and, food to plan and prepare as ever.

Not going anywhere near seeds till the days are longer and there's more light.

winter jasmine

Posted: 01/01/2014 at 15:09

I find winter jasmine very tricky as it's really too cold for it in my garden and it's desperately dull for 50 weeks of the year.

Have you thought about winter flowering clematis such as cirrhosa Freckles or Wisley Cream?   You can look them up here -  Both do well on a sheltered wall.    You could also try an evergreen honeysuckle such as Dropmore Scarlet or Halliana or Sempervirens.   They don't flower in winter but you'd have the foliage.   Another possibility is one of the large leaved variegated ivies which have the benefit of being good habitat and food for wildlife.

Can any holly be made into a standard?

Posted: 30/12/2013 at 09:45

It looks undernourished to me so feed it and, if possible, trim back any nearby growth which is shading it from light and rain.   You'll be able to see your standard much better if it has less visual competitition too.

Cut down Clematis now?

Posted: 28/12/2013 at 16:41

If this is a Montana - and it seems likely - then you will lose one season of flowers if you cut it back hard before mid April asthey flower on old wood.   On the other hand, by cutting half back now to leave a manageable bundle, you will have an easier time replacing the old supports with something stronger and more extensive and then you can more easily train in the new shoots come spring to have a more manageable and attractive plant in future.  

Montanas are pruning group 1 so usually they are tidied up once flowering finishes in spring but only pruned enough to remove any dead wood and keep them in bounds.   They are vigorous so it will need to be regularly monitored and trained in to its support.   They recover well from a severe haircut as long as the new growth isn't zapped by untimely heavy frosts which is why I suggested earlier that you could take it back by a half - as insurance.

Cut down Clematis now?

Posted: 27/12/2013 at 10:45

You can safely cut back half the growth now to tidy it up and reduce wind resistance.  This will leave plenty of stems to produce new buds next spring even if some get clobbered by early frosts.  i'm about to d this on a Little Nell taht has been torn of its supporting arch by the high winds.   As it's a group 3 which regenerates from th ebase I can safely do this.

Given yours is an unknown quantity, just prune off what you need to make it manageable.  What's left can be untangled from its support and leaned away from the house wall while you put in a stronger support.   If you are attaching new trellis, screw it to battens fixed to the wall as this will allow air to flow and reduce the likelihood of disease.  

Come the spring, feed your clematis generously with clematis food and then wait fo it to flower.  You can then use the month of flowering and the colour to try and identify it and see what pruning regime it needs for the future to keep it looking good.  This site has a search facility and lists over 3000 clematis so yours should be in there -  it also has advice on pruning.

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