Latest posts by Palaisglide

Help for a noob

Posted: 03/04/2017 at 11:32

Hogweed, you could say that of any plant, even bedding plants have a short life if you do not deadhead feed them and generally pamper them. My Rhododendron is in full bloom this morning and a glorious sight, certainly it will only be ten to fourteen days but not in the least leggy after nearly thirty years. My other love Peony's are also something you cherish for just two weeks bloom but what glorious blooms and as they flower at different times a continuous joy. One of those took seven years before I got one bloom you should see it now. You could just rake a patch throw seed down and wait, what would be the fun in that I ask. You plan nurture and set you stall out to have plants coming into their own in sequence Rhodo's and Peony are just part of the grand plan. Like a Sunday roast dinner, if part is missing no matter it be a sprout or slice of beef the whole is incomplete. My opinion only of course.


What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 03/04/2017 at 10:23

Stockton and the Tees, Sunshine, clear sky and warm with it. The Rhododendron has burst into full bloom and the Forsythia a picture, all those years of planning and hard work do pay off in the end a hundred fold.


Gardeners World- what's going on ?

Posted: 03/04/2017 at 10:18

Verschieden we called it in BAOR, different, Chloe does not like Lichens well I do not like Curry having seen what went into it in the Middle East many moons ago, it needed all the spices believe me, though I do not pronounce it on here time and again. If Chloe was trying to stir it then she only succeeded in people posting more lovely pictures of what to many is the history of all living things, something we could not live without and in my mind beautiful organisms. Thank you for the pictures.

Mad Woman, Blonde, Who on earth could that be?? no one I have ever seen on GW. If it was a sly reference to our CAROL then wipe your mouth out, I would marry her tomorrow as long as she lived in the Garden Shed and kept the garden pristine, I would do the cooking, "oh" and the cats would have to live with her I am totally allergic to them but "Hey" as I said at the start Verschieden.


Help for a noob

Posted: 02/04/2017 at 23:39

Fishtycuffs, two things come to mind, Rome was not built in a day, it took Centuries, and Anything worth having is worth waiting for. I have waited five years for a Peony to flower after planting, count the time it took to root call that seven years and it is now a lovely bush which gives me pleasure every year, care and patience are what gardening needs. So you made a mistake so what, every gardener on here has done that it is how we learn. We all yearn for the perfect garden it never happens Nature gets in the way so we work with what we have always planning two or more years ahead.

Right those Rhododendrons only need some TLC plus a bag of ericaceous compost, that is a lime free slightly acid compost from any Garden Shop, mix it into the soil around the Rhododendrons and wait, you will see the difference as summer goes on. You will then have to put in other plants that will thrive in the same soil, each plant has its own needs in nutrients and soil PH. Feeding loads of Fertiliser to plants is a bit like giving them too many big mac's, little and often in the growing season is all they need though if you can get good well rotted manure you could dress or mulch around the beds in Autumn and let the worms work their magic.

Sit down with a pencil and paper and plan with the help of Google Plant Books and this board what you want in the future, some plants will come and go in one year, that is it. Some need to be sown brought on and will flower next year then some will be finished others last years, the choice of plants is yours I would not advise on that as we all differ in taste. Make a list of what you would like in the garden, although a one year wonder which would be all bedding plants would be over in a year then a desert. Bulbs need to be planned by season and sown in the Autumn to flower the next spring. The same thing with Shrubs some such as Lavender will be planted as small plants get bigger year on year for about eight years then become leggy, I then dig them out and start again, it is the same with many plants, they grow away from the original root ball leaving gaps so you split them back into small plants again and replant them as Monty showed on GW Friday, nothing lasts forever unless you plant an oak tree, that will outlast you. It is a continuous job planning changing and maintenance, if someone tells you they have a maintenance free garden they lie because they do not exist. Slow down, Think long and deeply as to what you wish to achieve but let it happen as nature intended in its own time.


Help for a noob

Posted: 02/04/2017 at 11:57

Fishtycuffs, Rhododendrons are slow growing my own is thirty years old and has just reached the top of a five foot fence and is flowering now the best it has ever done. They also need an acidic soil and shade form direct sunlight, I never prune them. They get a spread of mulch once a year after flowering making sure the area is slightly acidic.

Soil testers cheap or expensive tell you what the soil is like where you do the test, it can vary depending on what you plant and how, plus how you feed or mulch. Take a small container, take a little soil from along the bed and mix it then do the PH test you will get a general idea but do not expect total accuracy. 

You have two choices with the beds drill the base push in a tube with holes drilled in it all round and be prepared to plunge it out now and then with a rod. Secondly dig out part of the bed, mix with sand and grit then replace this will give a drier top level more so if you drill the wall which once drained will then not hold as much water.

As to plants, fast growing plants are that, fast, they need to be pruned often, not my cup of tea, I like the slow growers. There are dozens of plants for shade, my choice would probably not be yours, I suggest you get some good gardening books, Charity shops often have plenty unused in some cases, they will all give differing information on plants but we are gardeners we try everything then make our choice or mistakes and yes we all make those. Good Luck


What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 02/04/2017 at 10:22

Stockton has Sunshine after a nights rain and high wind, every thing smells fresh and it is warm. Another surprise as i walked around a corner of the garden the Forsythia in full and plentiful bloom, a glorious sight. It does get TLC each year after flowering, I cut it right back as next years blooms are on this years growth. It has been there for thirty odd years and I ain't killed it yet.


Am I too late ??

Posted: 02/04/2017 at 10:13

Stephanie, Jacks Magic is a Westland product and contains Peat, wood fibre and sometimes sea weed, wood fibre I would not use, sea weed if you wash all the salt out also loses what little nutrient it holds, salt was used as a weed killer when I was a lad. Do not mention the peat to any greens around you will find you become a Whicker Woman. Leaf mould is perfect for potting on more mature plants, Vermiculite is the choice of many gardeners although after using it for several years then discarding the potting soil I discovered some of the beds I mulched were white with the stuff which is why I use grit, "oh" and your pots do not blow over in a wind.

You did the right thing sowing later, here in NE England we are starting to sow now, you are East Coast North Sea as we are and the climate about the same, I knew the area well travelling that way a lot and often finding it warmer than at home. You will probably find your seeds take grow and mature into fine plants, we sowed nearly all our seed in ordinary well riddled Garden Loam when I was younger, though it did get an extra treatment. When I lit the Pig Food Boiler I would stand the sieved Loam in a bucket with a lid on on top as the potato's cooked, the heat killed off any bad lads in there and was perfect sowing medium. We also prepared seed beds and sowed seed, all the old ways worked then we found Peat which we used for years, the big plant growers still do use it.

Use the Compost you like best, sieve out any of the extraneous  bits you find in it. plastic, bits of branch, dead mice and mix it with washed sand and grit, use the leaf mould later as seeds do not need the extra food at that point. Even at my good age I experiment all gardeners do, we find what works for us and that does not mean it will suit everyone. Good luck. 

BLT I spent my life telling my Daughters to read the instructions, do the listen??? well they are my Daughters. All on the way back from a Spa weekend, the place is probably wrecked and the Staff in trauma. Instructions I do read although using them as a guide, they are general and have to be modified for where ever you live.


Am I too late ??

Posted: 01/04/2017 at 14:46

Cler, John Inness seed compost is exactly that for seeds. It contains washed sand, heavy, grit for drainage heavy and loam in small quantity for some nutrient. Seedlings are not meant to sit in it for long. Like a Baby you increase the feed as the seedling grows hence the art of pricking out into a number two compost, part compost part sand part grit, then pot on into a richer mix. I cut out the middle man and mix my own.

Not all seeds need that treatment, some you can scatter on an outside seed bed when it is warmer, they wil mostly germinate and grow on. My way with Sweet Peas, start some inside in pots and when they are planted out as thriving plants I push more seeds into the ground under the supports to come later. Other seeds need a lot of bottom heat some just a little, it does pay to read the packet. Hope this helps.


Am I too late ??

Posted: 01/04/2017 at 10:54

Here in the NE of England we are starting the seeds now, it is too cold to start any earlier and all you get are weak straggly seedlings, saying that we are often still harvesting when others down the country are finished. We older gardeners were used to sowing seed in peat, that was taken away from us so we had to find another medium. Seeds do not need rich planting soil and J.I.seed medium is a mix of loam washed sand and grit, I have germinated seed successfully in sand. Now I mix my own seed compost, riddle the compost any type, then mix with washed sand and grit a mix of One Third Compost, One Third Washed Sand and One Third Grit works well for me, always water trays from the bottom and never over water, in the green house they get a big cloche put over the tray and some bottom heat. The bottom heat is essential I have a thermostatic sand bed, most seeds will start at 15c though some need up to 22c, as soon as they show  I lift them up on shelves above the sand bed. Seeds need Light Warmth and water but never over water, damp is the way to go. Once there are two proper leaves prick out into a mix of Half Loam and half sand and grit mixed, they need more nutrient though not too much at first. My last move is either into the ground or a further pot on into two thirds Loam and one third sand and grit, over many years this has proved to work for me with very little loss, you will always get some loss. Lack of germination was usually down to the incorrect bottom heat the seeds need, too hot is as bad as too cold and they all differ in that need.


What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 01/04/2017 at 10:20

When April showers should come your way they bring the flowers that bloom in May, and when its raining have no regrets because it isn't raining rain you know, it's raining Violets.

They should write a song about it. last Nights weather forecast showed a  dry UK with a dark blue rain cloud right over Tees Mouth from Saltburn to Hartlepool Headlands and inland towards Darlington, I feared the worst. In true April Fool style the sun is shining into the room as I write.

Quiet day today all the Girls in the family are luxuriating in a Spa Hotel for the weekend, Janet one of my Daughters birthday tomorrow, I got a picture last night she was carrying a notice "Where is the Cake" typical of my lot, the men are in charge expect chaos.


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