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Latest posts by obelixx

Painting garden ornaments

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 11:00

For painting pots and concrete you need first to make sure they are completely clean and dry with no bits of hidden dirt or algae in nooks and cracks.

Then you paint with a layer of PVA glue which acts as a primer and will help the acrylic paint stick.   Do at least 2 layers of your final colour allowing a  day to dry between coats no matter how quick the tin says it dries.   Once done, finish with up to 3 layers of acrylic varnish allowing a thorough dry between coats - no more than 3 as it will go milky. 

Please help identify this shrub

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 17:08

Looks like spiraea thunbergii - short, dense, twiggy shrub with white 5 petalled flowers and a tendency to sucker.

Clematis in bud dying

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 15:46

As long as there is no damage to the base of the plant and the stems on oyoru side of the fence the part left growing on your side should still flower.   Try and cut off all the wilted stems below any breaks to tidy up the appearance and also tidy up torn stems that can allow bugs and viruses and bacteria to enter and damage the plant.

Give it a good feed of proper clematis plant food to encourage more flowers and good growth.

How high is the fence?  Might be worth adding some trellis panels to the top or in front of it to allow your clem to grow higher before it flops over to your neighbour's side.

Clematis - summer flowering

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 12:51

No.  Let them grow but keep tying in the stems a horizontally or diagonally as you can to increase flower power.   Make sure you feed them with some slow release clematis food and give occasional liquid tonics of rose or tomato food and they will amply reward you.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 20:30

Sanjy - try putting a short cane in to mark where you have planted bulbs and yes, label too.   Then you'll know to be careful when weeding and planting in spring.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 13:42

Never let OH loose in a bed to weed because he just blitzes everything as it's "easier".   Now I make him pay for new treasures at plant fairs so he can see why I tell him we have the most expensive compost heap in Belgium.

Labelling - yes and don't forget shrub and rose cuttings heeled in the ground too.

Sowing later than earlier yes, but also this year sowing less of each variety and on appropriate moon days - better germination and less pricking out and less waste from excess plants

Don't turn your back on a nettle or a buttercup or a lump of couch grass or bittercress.  They'll be all over the place 10 minutes later.

Don't plant evergreen/winter flowering or early spring flowering clematis as they die here in heavy late spring frosts.

Mystery plant

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 23:02

leycesteria formosa -  Attractive and can get to about 2m high and wide.

Self seeds happily but, in my experience, doesn't survive hard winters.

What is wrong with this shrub?

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 18:25

Plants are like humans and animals and need a balanced diet to keep them fit and well.    Pale leaves like that indicate chlorosis which is caused by a shortage of magnesium as well as iron.   It can be remedied with applications of Epsom salts poured over the the leaves as a foliar feed - 1 tbs/15ml to one gallon/5 litres of water.  Do this once a month till improvement shows.

For iron deficiency, you need to water it at the base with chelated or sequestered iron which is available in several forms from the garden centre so follow the instructions given.   

For either treatment, use rain or distilled water and not tap water as this often contains chlorine and calcium and won't help at all.   Feed the plant every spring with some pelleted manure or blood, fish and bone and give it the magnesium and iron treatment from time to time once it recovers.   Give it a mulch of well rotted garden compost or manure every autumn once the soil is good an moist from autumn rains and you should have a happy shrub.

Soil improvement around Acer

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 18:15

Use a wee hand fork to loosen the soil if you can so that it is less compacted and better able to absorb water and nutrients then put on a one or two inch layer of well rotted garden compost or manure which will feed soil organisms and improve soil fertility.  Think of it as a top dressing like you would if the acer were in a pot.

Do this each spring until you and the acer are happier but don't build the level up too high too fast at the bottom of the main stem as this can be harmful.   Once happy, I suggest a permanent mulch of gravel or chipped bark or slate depending on the style of your garden.


Posted: 19/04/2015 at 13:20

I like the hollow too.  Important to have seating areas even if they do just get used as holding areas for plants.   One of mine is doing just that after I cleared two beds of too happy geranium phaeum and endressii and some hemerocallis.

No gardening yet today but thinking about it.  It's bright and sunny but there's a chilly breeze so only 8C and the bed I want to do is in shade till 3pm so until then I might just go and take some photos of all the daffs so I know where the big gaps are for next autumn's planting and then prick out some babies in the shed.

Hope your head clears Yvie.

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1 to 15 of 16 threads