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Latest posts by obelixx

What to do after daffs?

Posted: 07/05/2014 at 13:13

Matt's right.  Bulb foliage should never be tied up but left to do its job of replenishing the bulb's energy to make next year's flowers.  

You could plant permanent ground cover to disguise the dying daff foliage.   Hardy geraniums - various flower colours, leaf forms and sizes available, geums, alchemilla mollis are all easy to grow and maintain but you'll need to cut the flowers off the alchemilla to stop it self seeding all over the place.

dafodil leaves

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 23:23

Too congested?  In which case lift, divide and replant.    If new, planted too late?  If older, maybe leaves not left on long enough to feed the plant after last year's flowering?


Posted: 05/05/2014 at 22:26

The Beechgrove garden is like Geoff H's was when he was at the helm of GW - lots of different plots designed in different ways but mostly about the size of an average urban plot so he could feature different plants and designs in both context and scale to which ordinary gardeners can relate.  

I like all the experimenting with plants an dplanting conditions and tecniques and composts, open ground, raised beds, plytunnles and greenhouses.  They have relevance for  a wide range of gardeners, gardens and micro climates.

They pack in a great deal of info on a wide range of topics yet never seem hirried or superficial and the addition of Chris beardshaw to the team is inspired whetehr he's at Beechrove or helping new build gardeners.




What can i plant

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 10:56

You would do better to scrape off the existing soil from the concrete and stand another large 60cm or larger pot on it,    You can use gravel to hide the remaining concrete.  A big pot can hold anything from a  shrub or a rose to a columnar fruit tree depending on how much sun it gets.  

Is my wisteria going to strangle my tree?

Posted: 05/05/2014 at 10:13

Wisteria can be kept under control in terms of growth and direction of growth and judicious pruning in July and January will increase the display of flowers.   See here -

To make a new plant you're probably best off layering but you could also try softwood cuttings from late spring to mid summer or hardwood cuttings in winter.  Scroll down here for info on propagation -

I also think that left to its own devices your wisteria will end up strangling your magnolia so ask yourself how long you plan to live there, how much it would cost to remove a damaged magnolia and the comparative costs of relocating or removing your wisteria and planting a new one.


dafodil leaves

Posted: 04/05/2014 at 10:59

All harsdy perennials are putting on masses of growth now and some already flowering so surround you daffodils with a mix of what you like and leave your daffodil foliage to die down naturally.  As Hostafan says, they need the leaves to make the energy stores for next year's flowers so don't trim them or tie them, just disguise them.

triangle garden design

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 16:50

The number of plants needed depends on the plants you choose so check their height and width when making you selection so you can place them where you want them and in the correct numbers.   

Other blue plants for spring are pulmonarias but check the variety you buy as some do all blue and some do pink and blue.  They have attractive spotted foliage which can be refreshed by cutting it all back once flowering finishes and then giving a good drink and a bit of a feed.   Also grape hyacinth, chinodoxia and scillas which are all bulbs and will die down 6 to 8 weeks after flowering finishes.

For oranges and pinks, look at hemerocallis, geums, potentillas, rudbeckias, oriental poppies, helianthemeums - all perennials which will come back each year. 

If you want annuals, just go down to the garden centre and look at packets of seeds or their bedding displays.

Forest Pansy Tree - cercis canadensis

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 16:37

Yes, you'd think something with Canadensis in its name would be a bit more butch.  I had one, supplied bare rooted.  Soaked the roots, planted it out and it grew for one summer and then turned up its toes the following winter.

Veranda versus conservatories

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 16:31

As with anything, it depends on how much you spend on either and then how good the ventilation, shading and insulation are and so on.   Done well, a conservatory is useful all year round but a true verandah with open sides will be no use at all for about 10 months of the year - too cold, windy and probably wet too.

Lining a container inside for frost protection

Posted: 02/05/2014 at 10:03

I had a fig tree in a thin metal pot for years but I did line the Inside walls with two layers of bubble wrap so that even when heavy frosts killed off the top, the roots survived.  It is now in teh ground in my greenhose and very much happier.

You could try lining a large wooden or heavy ceramic pot with bubble wrap but, franky, I wouldn't risk it unless you can take the whole thing into shelter in winter.   Badly frozen plants can take till teh end of June to show life so yours may well spend 8 or 9 months of the year looking like nothing at all.  From the look of it, your polygala flowers on old wood from spring so you risk never having any flowers if the old wood gets frozen to death.

Plants in pots in prominent positions need to look good most of the year  so I advise you to plant something hardier.

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