Paul N

Latest posts by Paul N

1 to 10 of 224

Climbing Roses

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 21:33

In addition to roses dotted around the garden, we have a Rose Garden with raised beds. As I get free horse muck, there are over thirty barrowloads in there all mixed up with the soild. So the soil is very very fertile. How to look after roses? Firstly make sure they are planted deeply enough. Many plant them far too shallowly. The scion (graft) should be an inch below the surface. Now is the time to prune HTs and floribundas - between 6" and 10" (it's not critical) to an outward facing bud. I have five water butts so in prolonged hot weather I pour a watering can full of rainwater beneath each rose once a month say. I don't spray unless I get bad black spot or an infestation of greenfly. I may try seaweed extract as a foliar spray as a lady in the village reports good results. I visit the roses most days and keep an eye on them. 

Climbing Roses

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 09:45

Yes we do but this year we are taking a break. Something you might consider this year. A couple of years ago I 'collected' a rose hip from a wonderful Rosa rugosa, stratified the seeds, which later grew into lovely healthy shrubs. I also brought back a hip from my travels in Arizona in 2006, which I later identified as Rosa foetida bicolor 'Austrian Copper' and my one solitary bush refuses to bloom. I live in hope in 2013.

Climbing Roses

Posted: 26/02/2013 at 17:19

'Zepherine Drouhin' is not more popular for a good reason - it's highly susceptible to black spot. And that is a great shame as the scent is exceptional. 'Compassion' is terrific and pretty disease free, my favourite climber. 'Constance Spry' is another terrific rose but once flowering. If you are going to really get enthusiastic about roses - I've 90 - you really ought to visit David Austen's garden in Albrighton or Peter Beales show garden in Norfolk, and actually seeing them growing.

under the spreading catalpa tree

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 18:12


We also have a catalpa in our garden.

Moving a rose

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 16:39

No, always aim to prune above a low bud but if there are no obvious buds, look for leaf 'scars'. If it scares you, no bother, just prune as low as you dare this year then next year prune lower and lower. By this time the rose will have generated substantial new growth.

Moving a rose

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 22:06

You can move a rose at anytime at this time of the year provided the ground isn't frozen. Presumably the rose is a climber or rambler. After planting I'd prune the rose down to 12" or so from ground level. Dig a decent size hole and obtain a few bucketloads of decent soil from elsewhere. Mulch with well rotted horse muck.

Best bricks and materials for laying Brick Garden Paths : Advice needed please!

Posted: 28/01/2013 at 09:23


No need to scalpings nor ballast. Provided the soil is nice and firm and you plonk down a nice depth of moist or wet mortar, the path will be plenty strong enough. I found in the past that laying bricks or paving slabs on a dry mix and brushing in dry sand was a guaranteed way of discovering later on you have a loose brick or three. I don't know if Tommy Walsh has any film clips on YouTube but that's the way he'd do it.

As much as I admired dear Geoff Hamilton, his method of laying paving slabs with five spots of mortar was always guaranteed to fail as well. I did this once when laying a patio and I was sweeping dry mortar into the gaps for months as it searched out the voids beneath the slabs. Tommy's method of a good sloppy bed of mortar works a treat for me.



Overgrown rose bush

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 13:28

You say your neighbours says it's no longer the cultivated rose variety but what do YOU say? Did the flowers resemble those of the Dog Rose or did you find you had two varieties? As has been said, roses are usually grafted onto dog rose stock but sometimes suckers spring out from below where the cultivated variety was grafted on. If you can see the graft (a bulge just above soil level, and if there are branches coming out BELOW this graft, PULL them off from the main stem. What is left will be the cultivated variety. From mid-February onwards, but not when the ground is frozen, prune the entire bush. Now you can do this two ways - prune to say 3ft from soil level above a bud this year, then down to 6" to 10" next year, alternatively go straight to the 6"-10" in one go, a bit risky but it should work. Use clean, very sharp saw, loppers or secateurs, then feed the rose after pruning. Lots of lovely horse muck and if it's fresh, leave a 4" gap around the stem. Before anyone leaps in with the old fresh v well rotted argument, I've 90 roses and have never ever burned one, and they all trive on both fresh and well rotted horse muck.

Best bricks and materials for laying Brick Garden Paths : Advice needed please!

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 13:11

I have some brick paths so ignore weight querries unless you are expecting a delivery of bank safes. As for spalling (for that is what it's called) this is when water is absorbed into the bricks which then freezes. I lose about one brick a year but it's a simple matter to chisel out the remains and insert another one. Laying the path is really all about commonsense although I wouldn't use the dry mortar mix method, or at least it never worked for me. Lay a pair of lines of engineering bricks on edge in wet mortar (3:2:1 mix, builders sandharp sand cement) about 2ft apart, check how many infill bricks would fill the gap. Next day when the mortar has set, whack in a load of wet mortar (same mix) then lay the infill bricks tamping level with the bordering bricks. Brush in fine sand into the gaps. Done. My paths have been down about eight years or so and no problems. Of course there are other ways to do it, this is mine. It's not rocket science, just play around with it and you'll find your own best way.

50mm rain water diverter

Posted: 27/01/2013 at 13:00

Ah sorry you mean RAINWATER. Have you tried Google? There are dozens and dozens on there.

1 to 10 of 224

Discussions started by Paul N

Carol Klein's Glebe Cottage

Replies: 11    Views: 13117
Last Post: 21/04/2016 at 18:12

Himalayan Balsam

Replies: 9    Views: 2266
Last Post: 08/10/2012 at 21:21

Giverny in September

Replies: 7    Views: 1786
Last Post: 07/10/2012 at 17:39

Chelsea Flower Show

Replies: 3    Views: 1489
Last Post: 23/05/2012 at 20:09

Robinia pseudoacacia 'Frisia' problems

Replies: 5    Views: 5636
Last Post: 18/05/2012 at 19:39

Globe Artichoke

Replies: 7    Views: 1646
Last Post: 26/04/2012 at 23:53


Replies: 2    Views: 1189
Last Post: 25/04/2012 at 14:36

Britain's Oldest Rose Bush

Replies: 5    Views: 3415
Last Post: 11/06/2016 at 00:03
8 threads returned