Latest posts by Verdun


Posted: 15/07/2016 at 20:50

You too Runny 


Posted: 15/07/2016 at 20:41

Hiya Madeleine

similar to Fairygirl but use a john innes compost if growing in pots.  Although they do require very little maintenance and are reputed to like dry comditions phormiums still need extra watering now and then to look good. 

phormiums when old look tatty.  They will grow large too if left undivided.    To keep their leaves colourful divide every 3 years.  Also remove the oldest foliage in spring with secateurs or, better still with sharp scissors.  A feed in spring is sufficient.  no need to water over winter.  snails love to hide in and eat phormium foliage so watch out for them.

Agastache Blue Boa

Posted: 15/07/2016 at 19:59

Hiya Peanuts 

since nobody else has replied, I grow several agastaches....prob a dozen different varieties.  Love them all.  From orange to yellow to red to pink to blue and all flower like mad all summer.  All have different foliage smells from liquorice to mint to chocolate and more.  

a couple of things......firstly I would pot on both Black Adder and Blue Boa and do so a few times to produce plants  for NEXT year.  Yoy can still enjoy them as pot plants this year but they will not like being dug up for winter protection (if you are in a cold area you are likely to lose them in a typical winter)

Secondly, cuttings.  I find Blue Boa easy from cuttings right now.  Taken from the base or up the stem.  I use rooting really does make a difference for agastaches.  Take the cuttings, trim them up and drop  into a saucer of water for 10 mins or so.  use a 50/50 perlite and multi purpose compost and water before inserting the cuttings.  I use an ordinary unheated propagator in a sheltered warm part of the garden.

Black Adder I find is slightly stubborn.  I take basal stems pushing down into the compost to try and secure some rooted pieces and pot these up.  semi ripe cuttings also take but percentage success rate is low.  

Hope this helps 


Posted: 15/07/2016 at 19:42

I have Dierama Gunevere.  Now going over but a superb white flowering for weeks.  Mine was backed by an equally large pale blue delphinium displaying numerous tall spikes. 

Alan, they WILL take up room so give them plenty of space.  

Extra watering in spring will help produce plenty pf flowers and healthy foliage.

keenongreen, rain does not affect mine that way....mind you the Cornish sun may be a factor 

Anemone Wild Swan

Posted: 15/07/2016 at 19:35

Picture just taken as flowers folding a little in the evening but here is one of my Wild Swans.  hence the rather dull picture

 Been in flower since May, will continue until autumn and is now in its 4th year providing flowers every summer, all summer,  from its first year.   A large healthy, robust and beautiful plant.  Ruffled Swan ...first about to flower a little further down.  Deschampsia behind, with  Sanguisorba White Tanna behind that soon to flower.

cultivation?  different quality clones about I think but mine are in the richest soil I have, in slightly dappled shade....mine does receive plenty of afternoon sunshine but taller plants filter it somewhat ...., and given rich compost at planting time plus a mulch of pelleted chicken manure, fish blood and bone and a mixer of ordinary mpc.  

Planting in poor dry soil would be a waste of money and time.  

For me Wild Swan is superb....I have 3 plus its "cousin" Ruffled Swan.  Will be interesting to observe the differences between Ruffled and Wild Swan but already the former has a robust constitution and the soon to unfurl buds look promising

I suggest NOT buying as plugs or as 9cm them large and in flower and take the trouble right from planting time to treat 'em well 

Hostafan ....

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 20:48

Good thinking rosemary...tape for dahlias. I do that but maybe people don't think about it 

Can anyone recommend a shrub?

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 20:46

Escallonia has been the victim of a disease/pest over recent years.  Some have died,,some hit hard and recovered.  I don't think anyone really knows what the cause is yet hence why I hesitate to recommend it as a hedging plant.

No Dig Approach

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 20:41

Ah.......I think differently with great respect.

Initially dug ground is ready for deeper rooting stuff.  Besides when I trench in I also put as much throughout the layers to the top.  There is a difference between burying compost a spit or so deep and mixing it in.

Another point of disagreement LeifUK is that compost on the top makes soil COLDER in spring. It holds more moisture....wetter soil is colder soil.  It shields the soil from the early warming rays of spring sun.  to support my own conviction I Have found mulched plants are slower to show in spring.  Mulched soil is cooler in SUMMER advantage in a hot dry summer

A poor soil a few inches below a heavily mulched one can never be as deeply enriched as one prepared     a spit or more deep.   my carrots,for example, are long rooted....not those roots on the show benches but EDIBLE roots.  Rhubarb too....loves the deep rich soil.  Try rhubarb on a poor soil but heavily mulched for proof. 

Worms populate the soil better in deeper spoils...they survive better in the lower levels in winter

whilst the soil surface is GRADUALLY being enriched over the years by mulching an initial digging cuts this time by several years

LeifUK I think out my methods,,experiment and compare.  Always aiming for better plants whether they be edible or ornamental

but, this is the FUN of gardening, Isn't it?  No one way is right.  We all have different systems and can argue....debate....the pros and cons all day long.  I respect every point of view 

Too late to Chelsea Chop when buds appear?

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 19:42

Your choice CraigB 

think why you wanted to do the Chelsea it still applicable just because you have buds?  I remove buds on cosmos, for example, and sedums already cut back. The taller heleniums too. Some dahlias pinched back. 

for me it is about how my plants will be during the summer and autumn so priority is to produce strong sturdy plants now and flowers later

Chicken Manure Maggots!

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 19:36

Like every dried product, once  opened moisture enters...disease enters etc.

Good hygiene is going to be increasingly important as imported plants and composts  enter our gardens.  We will have access to less and less chemicals so naturally strong clean plants will be needed. Our own skills will have to be honed 

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