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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 21/06/2012 at 12:38

We had a couple of hour' respite - but it's now raining again.    Oriental poppies took a bit of a battering last night, but less harm than I had expected given the downpour.  Goodness knows when I'll able to get out in the garden again, looking at the weather forecast. <sigh>

@ Rain - re the problem you have with cats, I've just been reading Amateur Gardening mag. and a reader has said that she drove any number of cats away with a black plastic Cat Repeller bought from Homebase.  It runs on 2 x 9v batteries and works using a high pitched whine.  I've no personal experience of the product, but when I read about it, I thought of you.  I wonder if you would find it worth a look?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 23:17

It started to rain a couple of hours ago, as predicted.  It is now absolutely chucking it down.  Goodness knows what havoc I'll find in the garden tomorrow.

Any ideas what has happened to my foxglove?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 23:13

I suspect you're right Alina.  It must depend on the strength of the flawed gene as to whether or not the problem is repeated down the generations.  I think I'll see if the mis-shapen flowers set seed, save that and see what happens.

Of course, this won't prove anything one way or another, since it will probably be cross-fertilised from nearby "normal" flowers.  But I shall be interested to discover what results.

btw if I can find it and work out how to post it, I'll try to look up the original photograph.  (It may have been lost on my previous laptop though).



Any ideas what has happened to my foxglove?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 20:41

I had a spectacular example of this the other year, and I saved the seed and sowed it to see what, if anything, would happen.

All the plants from the saved seeds have either had mis-shapen flowers (rather attractive, but not the traditional bell shape) or the top of the stem has had one extra large flower over a spire of normal flowers.

This suggests to me that it is not damage to the growing tip (which I had believed was most likely the case) but that there is some inherent genetic problem.

Mind you, this was not a truly scientific experiment, just a one off.  But I am not so convinced about the external damage explanation as I used to be.  It probably would need a boffin experiment to be conclusive.  And I'm not a boffin

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 13:16

Lovely sunny morning - and quite warm.  Clouding over now - wet stuff on the way!

sweet williams

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 14:13

@Ross Gravett:  sorry - seem to have rather got away from the original question you posed.  It seems to me that these plants do have more than the traditional one year's flowering in them, so your question about dividing them perhaps needs some consideration.

Not having done it, I can only theorise.  But the good rule of thumb is to remember that plants are at their weakest when in flower if you are wanting to divide/move them.  So I think I would wait until they had finished flowering (and dead-heading them will give many weeks of blooms) and then give them a bit of a feed.  Come the autumn, when the soil is still warm, dig them up, divide and re-plant, watering in generously, but making sure that the roots have good drainage under them.  (Add grit if your soil is heavy). 

It must be worth a try - after all, what have you got to lose?

Candelabra Primulas.

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 14:05

Thankyou backyardee - very useful info.  I'll try "in the green" and also try to be patient! 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 14:03

Bright and sunny though a fair bit of cloud and still a cool 'nip' in the air.  Should be warmer tomorrow.  But Thursday onwards - we have a yellow alert for - guess what?  Rain! Again!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 18/06/2012 at 23:12

Oh Rain - what a shame.  The pic is lovely.  A couple of thoughts:  first - have you tried the product "Get off my garden":  it's readily available in GCs and there are green jelly-like crystals that you sprinkle around to deter cats.  I've found it's worked in the past.  Secondly - if you still want to sow grass seed, then, as I understand it, this is not a good time of the year to do it, unless you are prepared to ensure regular watering (though we may get enough of that naturally!)  Late summer/early autumn is often given as being a good time, since the heavy dews help with moisture, and the ground is warm to promote rapid germination.  And since we've had a cool spring, the ground has a way to go to warm up properly.  Hope this helps. 

Candelabra Primulas.

Posted: 18/06/2012 at 21:59

@yarrow2:  thanks for the reminder about the Harlow Carr way of getting them to germinate.  I've just watched it again.  The chap said it could be done either in the autumn or the spring, although they favoured the spring sowing so they could identify each plant's colour.  Nothing about planting the under-ripe seed, though.  Perhaps I confused the other advice with ordinary primulas. 

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