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Latest posts by Tetley

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Posted: 04/03/2015 at 22:37

When you consider how Buddleia grows wild all over the place - even in cracks in the paving stones, in gutters, and on walls, I think yours will be thoroughly spoiled in those pots.  I would be tempted to add a climber in there too - maybe an early flowering clematis?

New hedge

Posted: 03/03/2015 at 00:36

Nicky,  I would suggest that you approach this hedge like an artist would approach his blank canvas.   30 metres is a wonderful space to create a masterpiece.  Dont be in too much of a hurry.  If you  do your homework,  draw a rough plan - intermix leaf colour, flowers, deciduous or evergreen, and get a good balance.   Then start with a few basics.   

My work before I retired was propagating shrubs, and some are much easier to grow than others.   I found the most difficult ones were   Photinia, Cotinus, Eleagnus - and these would be the ones to buy a few of.   Most of the others are really quite easy to grow from cuttings, and privet - green or variegated is one of the easiest to grow - so you only really need one plant to start with.  Some of the others that root easily from cuttings are choisya, wygela, physocarpus, escallonia....the list goes on.

If you buy one good sample of the shrubs you choose - and go forth and multiply saves a whole lot of money, and is so rewarding in the long run.


Posted: 03/03/2015 at 00:11

Gillian, I usually buy Thompson & Morgan seeds, and look for any that say "dwarf"  it`s the climbing ones to steer clear of.  I think the ones I have at the moment are "Tom Thumb"   " Whirlybird"  " Princess of India"   and  "Ladybird" 

Every year I promise myself not to even look - but usually find some must have variety to add to the collection.

As for the Buddleias....they are so tough, I consider pots a good idea.  If the roots are somewhat contained they dont get so out of hand.

Both plants need to be treated mean in my garden - they seem to thrive on it! 



Posted: 01/03/2015 at 23:30

Nasturtiums are great for producing lots of colour and are very easy to grow.  I have them all over the place.  The best ones are the newer varieties that dont trail.  There are some amazing variations in colour, and although they seed readily on their own they dont behave like triphids - as the trailing ones do.  Prune the buddleias hard.  The mauve one (common one)  seeds like crazy.  I would stick with the cultivars "black knight"   " royal red"   and there`s a lovely white one - cant remember the name.  You`ll never be short of butterflies.

New hedge

Posted: 01/03/2015 at 23:15

I have grown and planted  about a mile of hedging over the years, and the one that gets all the applause is the mixed one !     It is planted in two rows - staggering each plant alternatively.   Using both evergreen plants and deciduous ones.   This way you get flowers as well as foliage.   Red leaved shrubs like physocarpus diablo and cotinus and photinia red robin mix with variegated ones (common variegated privet is good)  The beaty of eleagnus is in the winter.  The tiny and insignificant flowers send out the most beautiful scent in the darkest months.  I find the variegated varieties struggle to compete as they are weaker growers.  Choisya ternata has to be the favourite evergreen.  It is scented both in leaves and flowers, is easy to clip, and even has a variety called sundance which looks fantastic with the purple leaves of physocarpus diablo.   I`ve included a variety of escallonia, deutzia, leycesteria formosa, and wygela in my hedge.   The finished result is a haven for birds and bees and very pleasing to the eye and nose.    Good luck!


Grass cutting

Posted: 06/12/2014 at 00:09

I dont think you can kill grass whenever you cut it.  Having looked after a camping site of four acres (or thereabouts) for the last 30 years, I would take my tractor mower out whenever it`s dry enough as long as I`m in the mood.  I think the mulching deck helps- as it swallows up all the fallen leaves as well as the grass clippings and feeds them back in.

Evergreen hedge screen

Posted: 25/11/2014 at 00:56

I have four acres, and have planted several hedges over the last 30 years.  My favourite evergreen plants to use are photinia red robin, for the bright red new shoots, and choisya ternata - a lovely fragrant shrub that is easy to prune and has white flowers.  There are several lovely escallonias to mix in, and the purple leaves of physocarpus diablo, and cotinus (the smoke tree) although not evergreen make a good contrast if planted in between the evergreens.  I`ve tried to plant in two rows to stagger the plants and create a thicker hedge.

Regular pruning is needed to encourage new growth low down and stop the plants from getting "leggy"

The word "instant" has to be taboo here - too expensive!  All my hedges are grown from cuttings.



Do you know where your pets are tonight?

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 00:37

My hyper sensitive rescued yorkies hate fireworks and thunderstorms, so I`ve created a "safe" place for them.  When "war" starts, I usher them into their bomb shelter with a very matter of fact instruction.  SAFE BED NOW.  They all huddle in there ( a largish doggie crate)  and I drape a sheet over the top.  They are then best ignored - they calm down best if I tell them - "just leave it"  As long as they see I`m not bothered - they aren`t either.  

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 00:10

A friend I used to know turned his squirrel problem into a full time hobby and entertainment programne.  He built a climbing frame with a involved lots of difficult and intricate puzzles for the squirrels - who were rewarded for their efforts with tasty treats.  Every time he saw that they had worked out how to get the treat, he would invent another hurdle for them.  There was more pleasure from studying these clever creatures than problems, and he turned his easy chair towards the window instead of the tv.....magic!

If only we could learn to work with nature....and maybe smile more.


Budlea Bush Pruning

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 23:59

Have to say, I try to cut them all back to "slaughter" level as soon as they are near end of flowering, and every year they are bigger and stronger than ever.  I have a few different varieties and treat them all the same way.  Some varieties can become a nuisance as they seed all over the place and can be difficult to get rid of.  Buddleia is very easy to grow from cuttings.

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Discussions started by Tetley

Talkback: Plants for dry shade

Sorry to disagree, but I`ve never yet found a hydrangea that will tolerate a dry situation - they all need lots of water. 
Replies: 9    Views: 537
Last Post: 28/11/2014 at 08:52
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