Latest posts by Verdun

salvia - hotlips

Posted: 23/07/2016 at 12:02

Hot  Lips does that.   Doesnt seem to be weather or temp affected but Hot Lips will flower all white, all red and red and white.  I have never worked out why and it isn't a seasonal thing 

Irenesellers, don't concern yourself about will those red and white flowers at some stage. 

When you get your red and white flowers.....could be next week or later but you will do....let us know 

Vanilla Fraise Hydrangea - Needing support?

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 20:24

Loubs, a lot has to do with the pruning.  

What did you do to it last autumn or early spring?  Did you cut it to tbe ground?

when pruned to the base the new growth is not sturdy eniugh to support those heavy blooms.  I prune half way and fully expect hold up well.  It did last year.  

currently mine is almost there with its heavy flowers....I will post a picture in a few days 


Posted: 22/07/2016 at 19:29

Heavy rain not fallen here for quite a while.......Whenever rain is forecast lately it seems to  by pass this area or, as this morning be light drizzle for 40 mins or so.  Expected more but it has been a dry day! 

I did some transplanting this evening and the ground was dry.  Took a calculated risk in moving some pretty big plants in flower....I would never advise this on the forum . Plants have loved this have I.  It has been a great summer. ,. It has been warm and the stormy winds have not materialised at all.

rain is far, far better for plants than tap water. the atmosphere when it rains is better and conducive to rapid growth. 

Nepeta gone nuts!

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 16:41

For sure they will Beaus Mum.

pull a few "runners" up and pot them or plant them elsewhere.

nepetas are best cut back very hard now hard as you like.  They regrow and flower very quickly but without the overpowering stems 

What is your weather like?

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 16:38

Dry humid day.  Sun appears now and then. no wind at all

in my walled garden it has felt pretty hot 

I felt so sorry today...........I grow blueberries under a net and last year a blackbird or two had more than their fair share.  I was pre occupied with other stuff to take much notice that the blueberries were disappearing 

why did I feel so sorry today?    It was for a blackbird eying up the masses of delicious looking fruit but unable to get at them .  Aren't we a sad soppy lot?  Guess what I did?  Look, I have so many blueberries and there is enough for old blackie and me so..  I'm not going to miss a few so..........................










I waved him off and made sure I get every blueberry.  

Ha ha 


Posted: 22/07/2016 at 16:27

Djslone, no crocosmia will flower all my experience.  deadheading seems to make no difference to length of flowering.

lucifer flowers for a long time......for past few weeks and maybe 3 to go.

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 12:58

Muddle up, I think maybe it inhibits beneficial wildlife to nearby plants.

never really knowing exactly why, I have always kept fennel isolated from my veg patch.  

If in doubt don't tempt fate so plant with the possibility fennel may affect nearby crops.  

similarly I never plant lupins next to hostas.....lupins attract snails esp after flowering and these would affect nearby hostas.  some plants are good companions; others are detrimental 

How best to plant my Astilbes in sandy soil

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 12:42


astilbes LOVE damp soil.  I would reconsider your strategy .....multipurpose compost and perforated plastic bags are not the way to go 

my soil is sandy loam.......enriched over the years with plenty of manures, composts, bulky raw seaweed etc., etc. so it now holds moisture well and is rich.   I grow several varieties of astilbes, including the dark leaved beauty Shogun but all are where soil is richest and where I can provide some shade.  My plants are large and floriferous

get dried farmyard manure, pelleted chicken manure and mix well and generously with your excavated soil. Dig a generous hole.   Put manure in the bottom of the planting hole.  Loosen roots and plant with mixed soil.......add fish blood and bone to your mixture.  Plant so your plants are in a slight recess to create a reservoire and water really well.  Repeat the watering then mulch with compost enriched with pelleted chicken manure.   

Never let the area totally dry out and water generously during dry spells

planting in poor sandy soil is far from ideal but enriching it generously will help dramatically 

the astilbe shown has been flowering for many weeks and now beginning to go over but it is a metre high and more wide.  It has been superb.  Long after the flowers have gone the foliage will look good......IF given the moisture it needs 

Last edited: 22 July 2016 12:44:27

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 09:29

let us know how you get on jane.........plants don't get a reputation without some basis for it.  

Thought for the day!  who believes in companion planting?  Why?  Is this rubbish too?  

much of my horticultural "wisdom" was gleaned from chatting to guys on their allotments years back (Never had an allotment myself) they know a thing or two and I was cautioned then about where to grow fennel 

Let's see how Monty does ........hopefully he is aware of our comments! 

Like your jungle garden Jane...........I grow cannas, watsonias, colocasia and a lot of tender stuff down here.  (Far better than those wishy washy annuals 

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 08:05

Yes, I was a tad surprised Monty planted fennel so close to his beans jungle jane.    In fact I have always regarded fennel as not being good with anything!  With beans I think fennel inhibits pollination

I grow fennel as an isolated ornamental in the corner of the garden.

i must confess to not knowing really why fennel is such an unwanted resident in the garden so will watch this space.

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