Sue Higham

Latest posts by Sue Higham

1 to 10 of 70

Celandine problem

Posted: 21/04/2017 at 22:32

Hmmm ... It's such a pretty plant, and a cheery welcome to Spring, but there's nothing Lesser about Celandine is there? Mine is under a box hedge too and is so difficult to weed out as the bulbils are so tiny and can be about 6" below the surface - tangled in all those fibrous box roots.  

I decided management was best.  I just pull off all the leaves, which removes the food source to the bulbs for next year.  It hasn't completely eradicated them, but at least they're not multiplying!


Posted: 21/04/2017 at 22:04

As part of my garden regeneration project last year I lifted all the plants I want to keep, (200 pots and counting) but quite forgot about my sunshine yellow Erythronium so it got buried under black polythene. How on earth could I have accidentally covered one of my very, very favourite plants with black polythene????  Autumn - that's how.  When I remembered and lifted it last week it looked very sorry for itself with about 20 peely-wally tentacles all desperately searching for daylight. There are signs of new leaves coming through but the question is ... will the old tentacles green up?  Or - if I remove them will that further damage the plant or stimulate more new growth to feed the bulbs for next year?  All suggestions gratefully received!  

Last edited: 21 April 2017 22:05:08


Posted: 05/09/2016 at 10:49

Thanks, all.  

Austin's have advised me that all their English roses are grown on the same rootstock, but that the height is determined by the breeding process and the Alnwick Rose won't grow much taller than 4 feet. Given its very upright habit (the blooms do rather look as if they've been crammed into a vase that's too narrow!) I might try training it along wires and see what happens.  

Will report back next year!


Posted: 02/09/2016 at 17:35

Thankyou Marlorena, there's lots of interesting info there - I'm greatly encouraged to give it a go!

My Alnwick Rose (and the other half dozen I was seduced into buying after I fell foul of David Austin's catalogue) all did quite well for the first couple of years but I think the problem lies in my sloping garden and free draining soil. It's my own fault ... 


Posted: 01/09/2016 at 13:54

Thanks, both!  I'd forgotten about the rootstock element.  Mine is the Alnwick Rose which just now is 4' tall.  It's not terribly happy in the ground and I wondered if putting it in more appropriate soil alongside our new garden building might encourage it.  Perhaps I'll ask Mr Austin, being as I bought it from him!


Posted: 27/08/2016 at 15:29

Is it possible to entice a 4' high repeat flowering shrub rose into becoming a climber?

Wild orchids

Posted: 10/08/2016 at 17:32

Lovely to read your success story, cornelly!  

My solitary specimen is now back in it's original position. Seeds are forming, which are still green, but we had horrific winds over the weekend and the stem flopped a bit, just below the seed head. It is now in a splint, secured to an upturned hanging basket.  Fingers crossed.  

Wild orchids

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 18:59

Many thanks everyone!  

I need to cut back the rest of the grass and create bald patches for yellow rattle but I'll put the orchid back where it came from - caged!

I was so thrilled to find it ... it was right below an apple tree branch, so I wonder if I acquired it courtesy of a bird?  It was also right at the edge of the mowing line and I might so easily have missed it if it hadn't been in flower ... wonder how many I might have killed on previous mowings?  

Also, a few years ago I bought a paeony, which has never flowered - but the unexpected bonus of orchid growing through the middle of it has.  Twice blessed, so I am!! 

Wild orchids

Posted: 03/08/2016 at 15:34

Advice needed please!

I was so thrilled to find this orchid in my garden, growing underneath my apple trees, in the wild bit, where the fritillaries flower in spring. It's now time to cut back the long grass and because the orchid is developing seed pods, I've lifted the plant, with plenty of its surrounding soil (and grass), and it's in a terracotta pot in the shade where I can keep a close eye on the seed development.  The thing is ... what should I do next? Put the plant back once the grass is cut, and hope it will self seed - or should I collect ripe seed and sow that later on? Any help welcome!

Last edited: 03 August 2016 15:35:20

Moving azaleas and rohodendrons

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 18:31

I'm in the same position ... I have a rhody which is 10 years old now, has been healthy in the past and flowered well. It is about 2ft tall, with a very open 'canopy' but this year, after flowering, it looks very feeble and spindly. There is only leaf growth right at the end of the stems. I suspect it's undernourished so I thought I might cut a circle around it to cut through the roots and encourage more fibrous ones, then give it extra watering and plant food before moving it away from competition later on in the season. Would a rhody welcome this kind of treatment?  I might add, it's right next to another dwarf variety which is older and seems perfectly happy where it is!

1 to 10 of 70

Discussions started by Sue Higham


Greening up! 
Replies: 3    Views: 172
Last Post: 22/04/2017 at 20:54


Replies: 8    Views: 654
Last Post: 05/09/2016 at 10:49


Replies: 4    Views: 759
Last Post: 08/04/2016 at 16:33

Allium Christophii

Lifting bulbs? 
Replies: 2    Views: 573
Last Post: 22/08/2015 at 12:21

Savoys and Cauliflower

Giant leaves - no hearts! 
Replies: 6    Views: 786
Last Post: 07/08/2015 at 19:15

Crab Apple

How far to prune back? 
Replies: 2    Views: 531
Last Post: 17/04/2015 at 09:28

Guitar Strings as Plant Ties

Replies: 7    Views: 749
Last Post: 11/02/2015 at 22:29


Has 2014 been a good year?? 
Replies: 67    Views: 5107
Last Post: 24/05/2015 at 14:15

Lower leaves on tomatoes going yellow

Replies: 11    Views: 1056
Last Post: 25/06/2014 at 17:21

Clematis Montana

Why has it died? 
Replies: 4    Views: 916
Last Post: 27/04/2014 at 21:02

Glass Cullet

Heat sink for greenhouse 
Replies: 7    Views: 1218
Last Post: 23/09/2013 at 23:25


Replies: 3    Views: 865
Last Post: 27/08/2013 at 21:19


.... or are they Triffids? 
Replies: 2    Views: 1201
Last Post: 08/08/2013 at 13:09

Help! Health of Red Pepper Plant in Greenhouse

Replies: 4    Views: 1166
Last Post: 16/06/2013 at 11:40

A Cautionary Tale .....

Ever wished you'd not bought a plant? 
Replies: 58    Views: 5967
Last Post: 14/06/2013 at 16:48
1 to 15 of 18 threads