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Latest posts by obelixx

Pruning a Multi Blue clematis

Posted: 13/08/2015 at 08:47

Hello Richard - growing plants in a garden is not the same as growing them in a nursery to sell.

I get all my clems from a pair of brothers who have a clematis nursery and they do just as you do, cutting back all their stock in summer, regardless of pruning group,  because it prepares the plants to have fresh, green growth for their next big selling period in autumn and means they don't have to do constant re-potting.

For those of us growing individual plants in gardens and wanting second flushes or long flowering, the cultivation methods I use are what they advise and what I find works in a garden situation.

Busy is also right.  Clematis can take a couple of years to get settled before they put on strong displays and they need feeding and watering well till they establish..


Big Butterfly

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 14:19

I'm in central Belgium, 30 miles south of Brussels.   One of these turned up in my garden about 8 to 10 years ago and laid eggs on my fennel.  The caterpillars were amazing too and only eat the foliage which I thought was very civilised.

Never saw what happened after that and haven't had any adults since.   Gorgeous butterflies.

Pruning a Multi Blue clematis

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 13:59

Multi-blue is a group 2 for pruning which means it gets a light trim after the first flush of flowers in late spring, early summer.

However, I think the main problem with yours is thirst and hunger.  It looks very dry and, in its first year, won't have had time to send its roots down deep looking for nutrients and moisture.   Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants so I suggest you start by giving it  a generous drink - at least 5 litres - or diluted tomato food.  Repeat after a few days and until the autumn rains set in in September.   Then you can give it a generous mulch of well rotted garden compost or manure and leave it till spring.

In spring, give it a generous feed of proper clematis food and cut back all stems to a healthy pair of buds.   Give it some more trellis either side of the existing panel as it will want to spread and training its stems horizontally or diagonally will encourage extra flowers.  Feed it with weekly drinks of tomato food.  When the first flush of flowers is over in June, dead head them and keep up the feeding and you should get a second flush in late summer.

What will simply not thrive for you....

Posted: 12/08/2015 at 12:16

Buttercup - I have quite a few DA roses; selected for having perfume and being disease resistant.  Like you, I can experience extreme conditions in my garden and I have discovered some are more robust than others and do well whilst I've had to rescue some from the borders and grow them in pots taken into shelter for winter.   

I'm hoping that after a couple of years of being nurtured so they can grow strong roots, they'll be fit to go back out and my 3 new roses have gone straight into pots to fatten them up till next year.

What will simply not thrive for you....

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 19:49

Verdun - as you know my garden gets a lot colder than yours with -15C for weeks being normal.   Wusses are plants that don't stand up to my usual winters and I'm not about to invest in the price and P&P of Wild Swan to find it can't cope.  No space in the greenhouse for molly coddling either.

What will simply not thrive for you....

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 17:35

Can't get Wild Swan here and getting it sent mail order would be expensive.  I prefer to stick to good doers or good value plants these days.  Spent too much on wusses.

What will simply not thrive for you....

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 16:05

Rhodos and azaleas et al as I have alkaline but very fertile loamy soil.

Leucanthemums do very well here but I can't get Chinese lanterns to grow and am on my 5th and last attempt with white Japanese anemones.  Pink ones fine.   Whites always give up but I have some that came through their first winter OK - but we didn't have a winter.  Barely got below zero last year.

Crocosmia won't grow for me either so I've given up.  

These have been fabulous

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 15:55

I have a white flowered version too and it's just as prolific a self seeder.  A friend tells me that if I plant them together I may get stripey babies.  I'll let you know next year.

calling the forum cooks

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 13:34

I use buttermilk in my scones when I can and often also add an egg but I usually only make cheese or cheese and ham scones, maybe with some herbs added.  I mix them in the food processor and add the wet stuff just before baking.

My Belgian dance committee colleagues love them.

Haven't tried them on jam and cream scones yet.

Hope it went well Nut.  Agree about milk in coffee unless it's a proper capuccino when I'm in the mood or in Italy.    Don't do tea either.

Potential jam??

Posted: 11/08/2015 at 10:49

Doubt if it's damsons in France but there are small, dark purple plums native to Namur in Belgium - pruneaux de Namur - and probably something similar in France.

If there are thorns at the tips, it's buckthorn.

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