Latest posts by Obelixx

Pot growing Mahonia x media "charity"?

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 15:01

You can prune back after they've finished flowering but if you don't reallly like them and can place your pot against a sheltering wall, why not grow Winter Sweet instead.  It has pretty, perfumed flowers through winter so shoud be very good for any insects that are about - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/howtogrow/3297316/How-to-grow-wintersweet.html

Chelsea chop

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 14:52

I once spotted 4 species of bee on one sedum flower head so will be keeping all mine but they do benefit from a chop or they flop on my fertile soil.    I take the specatibles back quite short and cut the purpley one by a half.

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 11:04

My garden is right next to a site of special scientific and biological interest so there is a list of all the vertebrates and invertebrates and flroa to be found.   Most of the birds listed actually feed in my garden and many of the insects too and invertebrates live and feed here too.   No bats on the list though they also don't list all the birds I see.

The list was complied by th elocal eclology and conservation group so I might just join and get them to do another one from my garden instead of the boggy pasture and wood and scrub land next door.


Chelsea chop

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 10:55

Cheslea is a month away.  Plenty of time for plants to catch up and for gardeners to take stock of their local conditions.

Mahonia leaves turning brown

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 20:31

I had a 2 metre high and wide mahonia Charity which was cut back badly 2 winters ago.  All the foliage turned brown and I thought it was a complete goner.   I cut back all its stems to very low down witha view to digging it out once the spring bulbs around it had finished but it put out new shoots and is now a couple of feet high again.

Leave yours anoher month and then prune back to new foliage shoots.  Give it a  slow release fertiliser now, such as blood, fish and bone plus a liquid tonic of rose, tomato or seaweed to give it a boost.

Best method for a hedgerow in tarmac.

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 19:50

As long as he doesn't get a very cold winter.  Lost all my lonicera balls in just a minus _15C but with no snow to make a blanket.

Laurel has large leaves that look dreadful when trimmed witha machine as their edges go brown.  It can also get badly frosted and take ages to recover.

Privet is good and comes in gold and green forms.  Yew is great as long as there are no grazing animals nearby.   Trimmed foliage must be carefully swept up though. 

Escallonia is evergreen in mild winters and also has blossom in spring.   Pyracantha can be grown as a hedge plant and also has spring blossom and autumn berries but it does have thorns.

Best method for a hedgerow in tarmac.

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 12:47

If you want a hedge, or any plant, to grow well you have to give it good soil.  Digging isolated holes in tarmac and planting into compacted clay is unlikely to work as the roots will find it hard to penetrate and grow and then they'll find it short on air, nutrients and water.

You could dig the same holes and plant fence posts in concrete or you could clear a trench the length of the boundary at least 2' wide and then dig over the soil to a depthe of about a foot and work in plenty of well rotted manure and/or garden or bought in compost.  If the clay is very solid, you'll have to dig deeper to loosen it up and add some fine pea grit so the roots don't end up sitting in a sump and drowning

The best time to plant a hedge is autumn when you can plant cheap, bare root whips.    They'll grow roots over the winter and will then need little maintenance apart form an anuual top dressing and a regular trim when they get big enough.    Hornbeam does well in heavy soils.   

Beechgrove Garden Goes National.

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 10:14

I'm enjoying Beechgrove too and am quite happy that they're not doing much outside, other than show ways to protect plants and get the soil warmed up as most of their Scottish audience and a lot of the rest of the country is clearly in the same boat.

As for Monty, I keep telling my own garden group that th best way yo get ideas and inspiration and see what's possible is to visit other gardens.   I think he needs to get out more too as his sole influence seems to be Sissinghurst.  I'm glad he's finally trying alpines but didn't think much of his choices for his pots.  Bit dull given the variety available in both form and colour.

I find myself fast forwarding through a lot of the A to Z - anything on exotic orchids, jungle gardens, Joe Swift or Toby.   Love the native orchids though and wonder if they couldn't distribute some seed for trying in gardens as so much natural habitat is being lost.

Garden Patio Ideas

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 09:50

As I said, they came form the barn and cowsheds.  We got a man to lay them.  Far too heavy for us.

Garden Patio Ideas

Posted: 24/04/2013 at 20:28

OK.  Mine is 6m x 6m and made from old blue stone slabs and granite paver cobbles taken form th eold cowsheds and barn when we bought thi sold farmhouse.  It has a retaining wall along most of one side and part of another and built to knee/sitting heaight from wine bottles laid horizontally and topped with the slabs form old marble fireplaces.  

A metal arch leads onto the grass and the beds in the main garden.  The arch is clotehd in clematis viticellas Etoile Viiolette and Little Nell in summer.   behind theretaining wall there is a large bed filled with roses, hellebores, geraniums, Japanese maples, echinops, aconitum, thalictrum, peonies, phlow and so on.

A brick chipping path leads along the back of the house, veg plot and work area and there's a trellis fence dividing theterrace form the veg garden and planted up with a Generous Gardener rose, honeysuckle and Cicciolina and Niobe clematis.    On the other side there is a damp bed planted with astilbes, astilboides, hakonechloa, hostas, daffs, fritillaries, snowdrops, dicentras, primulas, ferns, hostas, chelone, hemerocallis and Japanese anemones.

On the terrace itself there is a large teak table which stays out all year.  The parasol and metal and teak chairs go under cover for winter.    In summer there are pots of hostas and lillies.   

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