Latest posts by Verdun

Magnolia stellata

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 11:57

Hiya B3,,it wont like "baking in the summer" too much but the main thing is not to let it dry out.   Good moisture holding soil, not too alkaline, and kept watered and mulched well. 

Ideally, for me, I would choose a dappled shade spot, fairly sheltered.  

Here in Cormwall the magnolias thrive everywhere.....away from the coast that is.  My garden is not far from the sea so not ideal. mine ended up as a present to someone just a little further inland.  I planted it as I suggested.  The variety is Susan 

Salvia "Amistad"

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 11:41

Purpletreacle, been growing these for a few years now.  

not sure I agree that it is that hardy.  It is here but I know a few plants I have given away to friends further north have not survived.

i would delay pruning just yet if you think it could get colder your way yet.  

I cut down in autumn, pot some up and take cuttings but will not cut one I have left unpruned until at least mid March.   cuttings are very easy and will produce large flowering plants in one year. 

nothing lost in waiting just a couple of weeks 


Difficult dry shade woodland planting

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 11:32

Ah!  That's what I thought Cheryl 

Difficult dry shade woodland planting

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 10:59

Hiya Punkdoc,, I suggested astilbes etc., because Cheryl said her hydrangea grows well there.  Hydrangeas need moisture.  i also suggested digging in compost to help retain moisture.. I guess I suspect the soil is a little less dry than Cheryl supposes. 

my own garden is based on sandy loam and mostly in sun yet, with generous additions of compost of different sorts, I can grow astilbes, astrantias, ferns, acteas etc.  I do water now and then to produce the best plants I can.  Maybe Cheryl can do the same.  

(Maybe I just love astilbes too much.....esp a new black foliage variety I now have )

plants for deep shade

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 08:03

Astilbes will thrive there.  include varieties with good spring foliage like Fanal.  superb copper colour then plumes of thick red flowers in summer.  

a nice combination there would be white arum lilies and purple foliage acteas  like Brunette.  Have fun Mandy 

Talkback: How to apply mulch

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 07:58

Carol, I think much as Punkdoc does, viz., to add a different, heavier more sunstantial compost now.  Yours seems to be very light and likely to dry out in the growing season.  

can you add some soil?  John innes or garden soil?  Mixed with dried manure and fish blood and bone too 


Posted: 18/02/2016 at 22:39

Hiya ERICS MUM, yes you can    you can also look for some running roots to pot up now 


Posted: 18/02/2016 at 22:32

Agree cornishpix, but apply a granular fertiliser and mulch now or in next few weeks to provide a boost when growth starts in spring 

Difficult dry shade woodland planting

Posted: 18/02/2016 at 22:28

Cheryl, I am surprised that hydrangeas grow they flower well?

hardy geraniums, brunneras, anemones would do well there.

can you incorporate some bulky organic matter in your plot?  Hackonechloa, bowles Golden Grass, astrantias, astilbes, sarcoccocas, many asters, phloxes, carex like Testacea, deschampsias, liriopes, acteas, aconitums, eunymous varieties, arum lilies, ferns, libertias, heucheras, ophiopogons, and more would do well then esp if you can water now and then too 



Posted: 18/02/2016 at 19:46

Peter,,I would wait for 4 weeks or so before dividing Peter

alstromerias do tend to spread widely.  I grew several varieties but, because of their wandering tendencies, I have kept just one.  This is more restrained and,,luckily, the most beautiful of my varieties.

A couple of points......yours has only been in for a prob will flower this year. Secondly, if you do decide to divide move it to a position where a late summer perennial can disguise it during its summer dormant state.  Because they can spread so widely they occupy a bug space that can be dormant in peak growing season

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