Valerie J

Latest posts by Valerie J

1 to 10 of 12

Winter plants

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 18:44

Snow43, you're welcome.   Wishing you every growing success during winter. 

could someone ID this please

Posted: 31/08/2014 at 09:50

Not a daft question at all.  I'm trying to remember what I used to do because it is such a long, long, time since I grew tender plants (in a different garden, elsewhere) and my penstemons in my present garden were only planted this year.   

I would use the pots only as a temporary measure if the weather turns very cold.  Penstemons vary in temperature tolerance.  I shall treat mine as if they cannot tolerate being frozen.  While I keep my garden tidy to avoid slugs and disease, I do tend to allow any top growth to remain on tender plants as it acts like a protective mulch. 

I use terracotta pots when I can as they afford more insulation than plastic and are more likely to stay in position.  Also, terracotta pots tend to have only small holes in the centre which would allow some ventilation.  The hole can be blocked in severe weather simply by placing a rock on top (this would also keep plastic pots in place).  If you leave pots on in warm weather you might create a  problem with mould, pests, and other disease.

It's not an exact science, I'm afraid.  It's just something I once did to keep the chill off and my plants alive. 

Bee/Butterfly friendly flowers, but space efficient. :)

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 23:14

I was pleased to see this post as I am forever pushing the need to Save our Bees.  I have a gardening blog and created a category of Plants for Pollinators.  Perhaps you might see something under that category.  I am constantly adding to the list as, like everyone else, I learn as I go along adding new plants to my small garden.



Winter plants

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 23:08

I only have a mini-greenhouse and during the winter I put all my herbs in there including chives, lemon balm, lemon verbena, apple mint, and rosemary - all still in their pots. 

This webpage might help you further:

VJ -


could someone ID this please

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 22:57

I didn't think it looked to have penstemon buds although the growth looks like penstemon.  It's a shame we couldn't see it in full flower.  I grow several of them and although they can be a bit tender in harsh winters here in West Yorkshire, high up on the Pennines, I shall merely protect mine with fleece or an upturned large plant pot if the weather gets tough. 

VJ -

Spots on leaves

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 22:50

I have planted a Shasta daisy this year and so far it has been ok.  I cannot really see by your photograph but this webpage might help you:

Best wishes, VJ

Training/Pruning this honeysuckle?

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 22:46

Honeysuckles tend to be vigorous climbers and need controlling.  Some are taller than others and it sounds like yours doesn't want to be confined to a height of 6ft 6in.  If you keep cutting it back then you will probably reduce the amount of flowers you get.  Have you space to erect another pole a little distance from the first one and form an arch, or putting trellis between two poles and training it over that?  You'd still have to prune now and then. 

I grow Lonicera periclymenum 'Scentsation' on a north-facing fence which is supposed to be a shorter one but I grow mine up a 6ft fence and have today cut it back - some of it quite hard and closer to the ground, and some of it to just below the top of the fence.  It likes to get its head in the sun and topple over in a tangled heap to show off its flowers to the neighbours.   I'm not having that!     

VJ -

Edging my lawn - what to do with the cuts?!

Posted: 30/08/2014 at 22:30

I trim back my lawn quite often as I have been reducing the size.  I like to return most garden waste to my soil so, with offcuts of turf, I bury it upside down, ensuring that it is covered in soil.  In time it breaks down and enriches the soil. 


Winter flowering violas

Posted: 08/06/2013 at 14:01

When I bought them they were labelled winter flowering violas and they have smaller flowers than I one usually sees on pansies, so I mean violas. 

help please

Posted: 08/06/2013 at 12:31

Do you mean you have left spaces in the brickwork in which you can put plants, rather like people insert plants in the side of a hanging basket?   I don't know what kind of soil you have inside the brick container but my immediate thought was alpines as alpines happily grow in dry stone walling and between rocks.  It also depends on drainage and whether your container gets a lot of sun, partial sun, no sun at all. 

1 to 10 of 12

Discussions started by Valerie J

Pruning Prunus avium Stella Gisela 5

How and when to prune 
Replies: 0    Views: 2172
Last Post: 08/06/2013 at 12:26
1 returned