Peter Reason

Latest posts by Peter Reason

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Can you grow edelweiss in the UK?

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 18:41

I grow all my Edelweiss outside all through the year - if you give it good drainage you should be okay, with full sun.

Rock Garden

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 18:33

Yes, but drill plenty of biggish holes in the bottom for drainage and you can put in some old broken clay pots above the holes to prevent them getting blocked up.

Rock Garden

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 09:13

Additional thoughts (my brief comment was too brief!)....

If you plant up the trough and leave it outside and if the compost is not bone dry, then let the rain water them in (but obviously it will need watering in the hotter months).

There are one or two plants, like Sempervivum, that won't like being put into a lot of compost at this time of year, but most will be okay.

I would not recommend planting the trough and keeping it in a glasshouse until it is warmer, because it will start to grow a little and the shoot tips become susceptible to Grey Mould (Botrytis).

Rock Garden

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 21:18

Thanks Dovefromabove I missed "are a business dependant for their income on advertising" from the small print.

'Have a go Nick': You can start doing a stone trough at anytime - provided you use hardy plants, but it obviously won't start growing until it warms up slightly.

Pruning Leylandii

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 18:41

Yes, they really aught to come with a 'Garden Health Warning'....

Rock Garden

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 18:35

Most people mean a small raised alpine bed or small rock garden, which needs plants that don't grow wider than (say) 20cm.

It's different if you have got a massive area, then you can choose the alpines that are bigger than that.

Don't choose any rockery plants that require protection from the winter wet - meaning that they will almost certainly die over the winter.

For a list of suitable alpines with a width of 5cm to 20cm see

Physalis Little Lanterns

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 17:47

I grow Physalis franchetti Gnome on a north facing wall (our house!) in East Anglia and it has the red fruits. It is better to get a plant and not seed, because it can take a number of years to reach fruit bearing age.

Gnome is one of the varieties that is shorter and less invasive than straight Physalis franchetti.

Wet sioil

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 17:30

Also, if when you are treading around on the soil and its oozing out water and you sink into the soil, then you are driving out the air from the soil and destroying its structure - leave it for another day. 

How to get berries

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 17:24

Hi clk

As a general rule on pruning berry producing plants, prune them after their berries have finished to give them as long as possible to produce some more.

So for example Cotoneaster, the berries are being picked off by birds into the winter, so prune in early spring.

In my experience, sorbus/ rowan, cotoneaster, and lycestera formosa don't need male and female plants, but holly generally does and the varieties in catalogues will often say whether they are male or female.

For more info see:

Pruning Leylandii

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 16:56

I agree with Hostafan1, it is extremely important to leave some green foliage.

The cuts will let the frost in and will then probably be very conspicuous (turning white) for quite a long time until new growth takes over.  

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