Latest posts by Verdun

Shy cosmos

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 18:44

Yes, pansy is spot on.  

However, Rosie, be ready with some long support canes. ,it will flower and look pretty good if you support the stems.  Give it another couple of weeks

I deliberately grow a couple of cosmos to be very tall.  Look good in the autumn so not a lost cause Rosie.

Is gardening good for the soul?

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 14:42


for me gardening became a must do from a have to do recreation.  A reluctant gardener to a keen one.

I am involved now and then with a charity that helps depressed or disabled people and gardening is one of their methods.

helping people, showing people, to work with plants...edible and great therapy. A great leveller too.  It gives those with learning difficulties a sense of achievement to realise they are the equal of anyone else. 

for me gardening is as energetic as I want it to be, it is "me" time, it is escapism and yes "good for the soul".  Can be addictive, can be time consuming and can be a pain ...weeding can be boring for example. It can bring out the imagination in me, the creative side that otherwise I lack. (I have no talent for painting or drawing or making anything)

to be out in the fresh air, to plough my hands into the soil and to grow beautiful things is wonderful 

Pennisetum setaceum rubrum hardiness?

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 14:19

Andy, really, really tricky to over winter.  It will have to go in a warm gh or conservatory over winter and early spring

I have some now starting to flower that did survive but in most years they do not.

forgive me if I am not accurate with these temps....sure someone will know....but Rubrum varieties need a minimum of 4 degrees over winter.  My feeling is they need higher than that.  Plus they need to be kept "alive" and not dry out.  In reality it is not easy to do. if you cut them back too soon they die.......too soon is late spring for these.

I used to buy plants from a local nurseryman who exhibits at Chelsea and regularly wins gold there incl last year.  He found it difficult .  

Andy, best to treat them as annuals but I guess it makes them expensive.  They are warm season grasses so come alive late in summer.  If we get a warm September and October you will have these grasses for 8 weeks or so......???

from seed?  for the same reasons Andy it will be a challenge.

if you want a hardy red grass consider Imperata Red Baron.  Even better red foliage but no flowers 

Last edited: 20 August 2016 14:20:27

Fuchsia berry

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 14:02

Fuschia berries are totally safe to eat.  I will try a couple right now......hmmm!

quite nice......

bit seedy......

but I'm still breathing and.........


Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 13:59

Nanny beach.....respect.     Cheap sounds good to me.  It doesnt look cheap 

no gardening but yet another plant was on my doorstep when I returned.  Another present from the postman   What with all my bargains last week.....did I get 20?  well, what would you do if the gc let you have new in plants for £2 instead of £10 or more?........I now have potted on plants galore.  But I will have space when I dig up a huge conifer in October.  I will enjoy the contest ....a few "dearie me's" as I dig, push, pull, lever and dig again.  At least a planting area of 20' by 20' will encourage me.

the storm?  It is a warm, humid day so far....sometimes total blue sky.  I knew my mind over matter would keep storm away

Espalier apple and pear trees

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 13:45

Hiya Clintmarshall

right,,your malus is a great pollinator.  Your ornamental pear is esp nice when pruned annually to minimise too many stems.  Remove if too congested.  You can control your shape too...prune stems to upward buds for wider ascending bush;  prune to lower stems to narrow and descend.  

(These aren't your proposed "fruit trees" though, are they?)

because it now so late in the year I would delay any pruning until spring but if you have already selected side and upward shoots that is fine.  Yes, remove all other shoots not on the selected ones.

you prune every year Clint...sorry if I misled.  prune to selecf your 3 shoots, if not already done, in spring.  Next August ....when 2 side branches have grown and been gradually lowered and tied horizntally you can repeat the 3 shoot process.  If growth is poor on the side branches delay lowering......the more vertical a stem the more vigour;  the more towards horizontal the less growth but greater fruit production.  Hence why espaliers are so productive....spurs on horizontal branches.

the variety will tell you if you have a spur or tip bearer.  

Yes, the odds are that the neighbouring trees will help with pollination

P.s.  When your trees do start to fruit remember to thin the fruits.  I have an espalier pear with loads of fruit but pretty small.  Should have thinned back iin mid summer.  They will be fine but should have done it for bigger fruit 

What is this plant please

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 13:27

Anne, it's not really a plant for the average garden.  Down here anyway it is a bit of a nuisance.  I once cleared a pretty large area of it.  If you don't like it....I don't.....then dig it up and plant something else.  Your are does want to "take over" 

Plants I won't be growing again next year

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 09:27

Sanjy, I used to grow hollyhocks too.....talll and impressive. yes rust did for mine too.  You can grow the annual varieties that are, apparently, rust resistant.

i will grow more veronicastrums 3 or 4 but another 3 will be on my shopping list 

eucomis seems popular right now but for me thet are over rated.  They grow too tall here and tend to flop so, after a few years, they will be jettisoned 

Aliens have landed

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 09:16

Wot did I get?

Posted: 20/08/2016 at 09:14

Sorry .  Aym started it. 

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