Latest posts by Robot

Day lily not flowering

Posted: 25/06/2012 at 17:17

I think the problem here is sunshine and I'll try to illustrate it with photos if I may without sounding like a flipping know-all. It is just that I notice different flowering patterns with my own day lilies. 

You say you have a north facing garden and DLs do need a lot of sun.  I have various sizes of clumps in the garden and most do well without any attention like these in an open sunny site -


but notice how these lean towards the sun as it comes around the corner of the house at about mid-day.  Also this lot are in very poor soil -

but some are behind high shrubs and don't see the sun until late afternoon and are like these - the one at the back hasn't flowered at all in 3 years and gets the least sun but I haven't got around to moving it yet and the other two are this year's bits from the larger clumps, but they have flowered sparcely. 

 On the other hand - perhaps you have the smaller variety (sorry don't know name) which prefers a moist soil.  I have two such little 'uns in my bog garden and they are just coming out now.  They get the sun for most of the day and the soil is rich and always moist.

Perhaps if you look at how many hours of sunshine your parents' plants get and then compare to yours there could be the answer.  I believe that crocosmia and spirea will do well almost anywhere.

Finally - and sorry to bang on so long - it may be that the clump needs to be divided but not this year - do it early spring after the frosts or else the plants will be damaged.  I only dig up bits off the perimeter of my bigger clumps and dot them around - hence they are all the same colour.

Quality of photos not too good as we are very overcast today.


They are at it again - more flipping bird food....

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 20:05

My LBJ's (I believe they are tree sparrows) have definitely got the love bug.  All day I've seen then at it - on the fence, in the trees, even on my bean supports.  I've hung up a bag of nesting material - mostly my dog's fur - and they've been taking bits and bobs.

So, I guess it's off to the supermarket for more bird food then..........

Should my bargain do this?

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 20:00

I've repotted it in some good compost and given it a feed but it still wants to hang down so I've nailed the pot (it's an old aluminium pot) to the wall and it looks rather nice .  I put in a couple of poached egg plant seedlings for company.  Yes, you're right, I'm completely bonkers....

Calling Mrs P - or anyone who can grow Verbena bonariensis from seed

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 19:55

Same here.  We had a terrific frost following a hot spell which followed 3 weeks of snow back in Feb/March and I lost loads but the Verbena B's still popped up everywhere despite being slightly tender.  

My garden book says you should sow the seed in early spring in a heated greenhouse and cover the seed finely with compost and then black polythene until they germinate.  Haven't tried that myself since I get loads of little plants appearing in the spring and I just dig them up and put them where I want them.




Peppers & Margarites - the same malady?

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 19:48

I'm growing my peppers in the polytunnel this year - first time - as well as outside and they've been fine and strong but I noticed two in the tunnel were looking odd and smaller than the rest so I got them out.  Now another is starting to look the same - photo below.  I don't know what it is and there are no pests on them and I've checked the soil beneath the two I took out and there was nothing there either.  Good root system on both.  The peppers outside are slightly smaller but are fine.

Coincidentally, in another part of the garden, well away from the polytunnel, a patch of margarites which I grew from seed are showing the same symptoms.  There is a patch of about 25 or so and over the course of a week almost all are starting to look like the photo below. Margarites planted in other parts of the garden and from the same pack of seeds are fine.

Help anyone?

Here are the pepper leaves

 and here are the Margarite leaves

 I don't mind if the Margarites have to come up but I would hate to lose all the pepper plants as we eat a lot and they are so easy to freeze and store.

Evergreen Shrubs

Posted: 24/06/2012 at 19:40

You're very welcome M.C. 

What is this little bird please?

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 13:50

I've been watching with interest today and there are definitely two birds visiting the nest.  In fact both birds were on the fence together this morning but of course my camera was in the house.  They both look the same though.  I would expect the male to be bigger or fancier.  I'm amazed at how much stuff they are finding in my garden to catch.  I'll have nothing left soon.

I have spent a while looking at both the pictures I took yesterday and the top of the left leg is a bit less feathery on one of the birds.  Could it be that I have taken a photo of both birds or am I kidding myself?

I've had a Google and young Black Redstarts look similar and the males look like the females in winter apparently.  Is it winter still?

I've told my neighbour he has them nesting in his barn and he's not to disturb them and in no way eat them.  You know the french - they'll eat anything which flies, swims or crawls.  He thinks I'm a crazy english lady.  No change there then....

Evergreen Shrubs

Posted: 23/06/2012 at 08:55

Hi M.C.

I think you are going to have to be careful with your choice as the shrub will be facing east and get the sun first thing.  Trouble is, after a frost a lot of shrubs, Camellia for instance, will be damaged by the sun so early on its frosted leaves and buds. 

I suggest you look at the small leaved shrubs like some of the Hebes, Ceanothus, Chaenomeles or maybe Pyracantha (the birds will love you for the berries but your cardie won't love you for the thorns).

I'm sure you'll get some more suggestions.  There's lots more knowledgeable folk than me here. 

Jerusalem Artichokes

Posted: 22/06/2012 at 19:05

Are you going to devote that whole section to them?  If so then they'll be happy there for a while. 

Did you know that fartichokes - oops! sorry, artichokes - are really good for the digestive system and really good for the liver and for lowering cholestorol?  It's such a shame they have the side effect.  Personally I love them.

I first had fartichoke soup many years ago at a friend's house and later that day went shopping.  I was in the middle of Sainsbury's when the hurricane started. 


Posted: 22/06/2012 at 18:51

I feel guilty now.  We were forecast rain and it's been a lovely afternoon/evening and I've a nice bottle of wine ready for Janine & Michael's wedding.  Yes, I know I'm sad

Discussions started by Robot

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