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Latest posts by obelixx

Neighbour garden issues

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 23:13

I would also suggest a letter sent to the appropriate Council department and copied to you local councillor.   Sometimes seeing something in print gets a better response than an email on a screen. Keep a copy yourself and if that doesn't work write to your MP with a  copy of your letter and a clear but succinct history of the problems..

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 17:44

I gave up doing flowers in vases cos the cats always seemed to think they were for playing with so we had sevral accidents.     Possum is 19 and I haven't done an Easter tree since she was about 9 or 10 so no pics, sorry.   Funnily enough I've just been sorting in the attic and came across our Easter decs box which can go to Oxfam now.

I was at a flea market in Maastricht on Saturday and very nearly bought an old enamel bucket which had a floral pattern picke dout in thin blue lines.  Very pretty.   And then I started thinking about how to use a bright green enamelled colander thingy as a planter but OH dragged me away.

I shall just have to see what's going in the local street markets when he isn't looking and when we go to France next month.........

Plant Hunters Fairs 2014

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:39

Haven't been to one in the UK but there are several each spring and autumn here in Belgium and I always go to my favourite at the Abbaye d'Aywiers.   There are nurserymen and women form Belgium, France, The Netherlands and sometimes England and Germany depending on which fair.

I look for good herbaceous perennials in colours or forms you don't find in garden centres where the plants are mass produced and bog standard.   I have a favourite clematis supplier, another for roses, another for bulbs and another for hostas and hardy geraniums.   The quality is always good and I like to chat to the groers and make sure a new plant will cope with my garden conditions.

I also find things like seeds, obelisks, garden ornaments,a  supplier of chipped bark in bulk and so on.

For anyone looking for a plant fair near them in the UK, check here -    For Belgian plant fairs you can PM me.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:12

I prefer to leave my flowers out in the garden and, in the case of sunflowers, I especially like to leave the heads to go to seed for the birds. 

i did once grow sweet peas for cutting and liked them in old jugs on the kitchen table.

When Possum was young I used to do an eatser "tree" using cut branches from my cornuses and hanging them with tiny eggs and rabbits and so on.  For those I used a galvanised container I'd painted and decorated with découpage topiary trees.

summer pruning

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 08:49

Try googling "RHS+plant name+cultivation".   It works very well for many plants and you get expert advice.

Potatoes in containers very poor yield

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 21:41

Beechgrove garden did a comparison of the results from gowing 3 spuds of the same variety in pots and in the ground and the ones in the ground had double the cropping weight.  

It must have a lot to do with pots having restricted rot runs and needing watering every single day as well as feeding whereas the ones in teh ground can be left t get on with it except maybe in a drought.

Magnesium deficiency

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 16:30

Epsom salts are usually used as a foliar spray which you can do now.   I would suggest proper clematis or rose food as a slow release fertiliser mixed in with the top layer of their compost in spring and again when they first flower.  Use liquid tomato or rose feed in between times and till mid summer as they will quickly consume all the nutrients in the compost..

Clematis are very hungry plants so, if you can, move them to bigger pots in the autumn when the foliage has died back and you can cut the stems to make it easier.   Give them a pot of at least 60cms wide, deep and high and a good John Innes no 3 type compost.   They will need feeding as above every year.

Prevention Better than Cure

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 16:23

I wouldn't feed it any more now as any new growth needs time to Harden before the frosts zap it.   Make sure it has plenty to drink though.   Can't help with rust as I don't get it except on hollyhocks and then I just ignore it but remove all affected leaves and bin them as they die down.

I don't have either of your new roses so can't help with hardiness.  I have Gertrude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle, Falstaff, Generous Gardener, Teasing Georgia, Queen of Sweden, Crocus Rose and Benjain Britten all doing well.   William Shakespeare, Malvern Hills and Geoff Hamilton don't do so well buthave been OK this year after an unusually mild winter.   Tess of the D'Urbevilles had to be dug up so I could dismantle her trellis to let a mini bulldozer pass and is much happier in her new home with less east wind.   Hot Chocolate,  Jacqueline Duprée and Munstead are new this year so have yet to be tested.

Molyneux, Grace, Guinée and New Dawn all curled up after two very hard winters in 2009 and 2010.  Even Kiftsgate was nearly wiped out at -32C but has finally grown back and has been glorious this year.

Prevention Better than Cure

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 15:06

Roses are hungry plants so add as much manure and/or compost as you can.  They prefer heavy soils that retain moisture but are not soggy.   

If you plant a lot of roses together you are asking to concentrate pests and diseases so I would plan to space them so you can grow other things between them - hardy geraniums make good ground cover and the macrorhizums keep low and don't sprawl and will flower earlier so won't compete either.   They have perfumed foliage which turns red in winter so are very good value plants.

Planting lavender in and around the bed will help keep pests away and also alliums such as Purple Sensation which will add a vertical accent.  The onion scent is weak for us but strong enough to deter greenfly and so on.

When your bare root roses arrive, steep the roots in a bucket of water for at least an hour before planting and give them a handful of bonemeal each at planting time and water in well.  Microrhizal funghia - also available form DA - will help them establish well.    Plant them with the graft join an inch or two below soil level and protect from strong winds for at least their first winter.

Which roses did you order?  i find some are very gutsy and can cope well with our colder winters but some are definitely wusses and need coddling.

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11 threads returned