Latest posts by Verdun


Posted: 04/08/2014 at 17:54

Ceanothus do not like being pruned yet they need to be in most gardens to keep them compact. They can suddenly give,up the ghost and die for no apparent reason.  Yep, they are usually a short to very short lived plant.  

Take too much off a ceanothus and it is likely to suffer die back. Better to prune annually removing flower stems on young wood.  

There is likely to be a difference of opinion re ceanothus .......I guess personal experience and successes/failures determine what advice is given.

Down here ceanothus grow well and big if they are allowed to.  But even these suddenly disappear after a few years.  

My feeling is they prefer slightly acidic soil, good drainage, sun and shelter from the coldest winds and frosts.  For me they are a temporary planting preferring varieties with smaller leaves like Concha.  Grown for 4 or 5 years and then discarded at first signs of die back

Agree cuttings are easy......taken from the host ASAP they will be nice size shrubs by the time the host is past it's best.

Let's Remember Them

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 13:42

This is a wonderful thread.  Thanks David.

The whole "war thing" needs never to be forgotten.

For me, an uncle I was named after was someone I,would like to have met.  His death was devastimg to my mums family...naturally.  This happened so much, dIdnt' it.

Good to remember them....for sure 

Beautiful Thugs

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 08:42

Euphorbia Fireflow/griffithii is a thug as are some varieties of artemisia, ESP the yellow limelight.  Some campanulas can spread as can lysimachia.  Salvia guaranitica as well as uliginosa can spread a bit......So I dig these up every year. Hypericum calicynum is invasive.....very invasive. Some grassss, pennisetums for example, can spread markedly.  I think houttynia chameleon has already been mentioned but this is a real problem once it gets into the ground.  Think bindweed and double the aggression! 

I always research plants I don't know before planting.  However, there is nothing like your own experience so I plant some things with a view to check them at the end of the season.  If the roots are "travelling" everything goes.  When buying plants often a look at the root systems can indicate what they will do.  

Currently I am watching my libertias....two vsrieties of the newer golden/olive see how they behave.  So far, after 3 or 4 years, they are fine.  I divide them anyway quite regularly 

So much in the garden is "invasive"......think raspberries..?

Gardening is a constantly learning experience,,isn't it? 


Posted: 04/08/2014 at 08:26

Morning folks

Lovely and  sunny.  Not as hot as last week but very nice

(my dog moaning and hinting for a walk)

Yviestevie, hope your arm gets sorted quickly. Got loads of beans to pick.....been preoccupied, occupied and lazeeee lately so bit of a build up there.  

Have happy day everyone 

Can Cordylines be split?

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 23:07

Bekkie,,suspect it was a phormium.  Whether you grew it from seed....!    Phormiums are tough to divide though but just pull apart.  

Advice for Spreading Plant

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 22:47

Saltski, no to,using fabric too.  

Autumn gold clippings?  Hackonechloa would be perfect.  Deciduous classy mound forming then cascading beautiful grass.  I like one plant per container.  Comvolvulous maritima is a gorgeous velvety blue cascading plant flowering all summer. Relatively hardy permanent easy plant looking good with those chippings.  Geranium rozanne is very vigorous ........fantastically so with flowers smothering it all summer. Best in the ground.  

Carex comans bronze is easy and beautiful and evergreen ....foxy red foliage like a wide fountain.  Again those chippings would match perfectly.  Likes dry soil.

Dying lupin

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 22:34

Yes mildew.  Cut everything back to ground level, clean up and mulch if you can.  Water if dry.  Cuttimg back will prevent all those tiny snails gorging on lupins right now.  Lupins look very tatty for a while after mid summer for a while.

Can Cordylines be split?

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 22:28

You sure Bekkie?  Phormiums or cordylines?  Not been aware of splitting cordylines.  Sometimes 2 plants are growing together and it looks like you can divide the one plant  yet you are really separating 2 distinct plants

Re cordylines and new growth.  You can often select how you want your cordyline to be...3 stems, 4 ?  By removing buds at source. A cordyline cut down by frost or by pruning will result on multiple shoots.  It's how I control the size of my own by hard pruning every 5 or 6 years

Cutting down perennials for a second crop of flowers

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 22:21

Hi happycottontail.

Astramtias?  Doesn't really make too much difference how hard ??ou cut back for second flush.  if it's the type to rebloom,it will do so.  Incidentally, for the foliage variety Sunningdale vsriegated, I cut it completely down to the soil last week  amd already new fresh variegated leaves are appearing.  For me, usually most astrantias will send up second flushes of flowers but I cut back as soon as first flush is past it's best. I do this with most everything

Scabious?  Butterfly blue, pink mist....already cut back 4 weeks or so ago and flowerimg again.  Bonus is it helps against mildew too. I cut to remove all "woody" parts leaving soft leaves.  Good watering, feed too if you want to, and hey presto.


Veronica Tissington white - advice on looking after it

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 20:12

Tissington white is a slight problem plamt for me.  Lovely when in flower (next to purple berberis) but rather a flat not very exciting plant right now. Need to rethink their position I think.

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