Sue Higham

Latest posts by Sue Higham

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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!


Posted: 08/04/2016 at 16:33

Thanks for the suggestions.  Penstemon back in greenhouse - fingers crossed!


Posted: 05/04/2016 at 10:42

Thanks Hostafan ... I'll try that.  Any other year I'd have said March was too early as well, but it's been such a mild winter (even here in East of Scotland!) that I was worried the greenhouse was too warm for them all!   I have verbena and echinacea that were all treated the same but it's only the penstemon that has suffered.  

1 to 10 of 68

Discussions started by Sue Higham


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