Latest posts by Verdun

Hot Lips

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 15:06

You will get very different views on this jennifer 

down here, yes I would prune them.

however, it is late in the year so I suggest you remove the top most flowers to tidy the shrubs a little but leave any pruning umtil spring.  Then you can prune as hard as you like.

Not going to plan

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 15:01

Hello Chinquest

firstly, Wow!  What a lot you have done!  "Health problems"? 

not sure if I have construed correctly but a couple of points if I may.

you cannot plant over concrete.  No matter how surface rooting it is very few plants will grow over concrete.  prostrate sedums will if you can add some extra compost.

snow in summer can be a very weedy plant.....?

do you have acid soil there?  Pine needles are very acidic and quite hostile to most plants.  Most shrubs like your mock orange will hate that.

"4 spaces where the firs were"...? Were they totally removed?  Is there planting depth there?

how do you feel about containers and raised beds?  some large containers for the shrubs and a raised bed of say 30 cm to plant smaller stuff?  

Pine needles I worry about.  Not sure if azaleas and the like would grow with this "mountain" of pine needles.  Hopefully someone here has experience of this and can advise.

maybe use the pine needles as a mulch without any plants!!?

can you post a picture? 

Best Salvias to grow?

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 14:31

one of my favourite salvias is leucanthemum shown here.  It has been in flower since mid summer.  Fairly compact with nice grey foliage

once grew it as a hedge for someone.....

below is Embers Wish.......slightly less exuberant now as is Rozanne but together have been glorious all summer.

Last edited: 07 November 2016 14:32:18


Posted: 07/11/2016 at 13:07

Hello again Jan

why not keep some and sow some.  Compare.  It's how we learn   Nothing wrong with being over enthusiastic.....I am still like that 

enjoy your new greenhouse........think of those delicious tomatoes next summer .  A gh opens up so much more in the garden.

Sssssssscared or what?

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 12:58

I remember hiding between huge metal girders and metal fence in Australia as a kid only to see a mighty big snake with me ..............snakes to this day are not my "thing" 

i will be tuned in again to David Attenborough's prog next week.  

Hellebores with nodding flower (not drooping ones)

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 12:47


look up niger Potters Wheel.  The best and biggest flowers of that group   

If you plant Niger you will need to gravel mulch or grow in containers because rain will splash and spoil those flowers

you could have Niger for early flowers and one or two hybrids  for later

Lots of breeders of hellebores...Harvingtons can be good or not so good.  You need to see the plants or order the colour, etc. Online.

a local well known hellebore breeder opens her garden in early spring and I picked up a real beauty of a hellebore there last year.   Head of the queue and managed to look around before it opened so I bagged the best one there...large, up facing good yellow with red centre.  The moral is to look at individual plants.  

HC, ericsmithii are easy hellebores but they leave me cold in comparison.  Have a couple here but often tempted to replace with one of my divided hybrids.  The flowers are more hidden by the foliage.  But the " Gold Collection" has tempted me so will have a look at these.  Hope you haven't driven me to open my wallet again 

Last edited: 07 November 2016 12:49:53

Donald or hillary?

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 12:29

I know, I know, I know.  Salted Caramel coffee...marshmallows on top (OF COURSE ) ...

sounds awful but it is absolutely delicious.  

Not a salt or sugar user but such a treat now and then is enjoyable  

hey!  Next you will be saying banana and peanut butter on whole meal is aaaaagh!!    it's called "style" 

"oxymoron" aym?  Is that half beast half idiot?  Yep...that's me then 

What is an all year round garden?

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 12:21

Newb, have a look at Mahonia Caress.  A different type of mahonia...soft and small.  Nice.

but Tetley my ego is better than my photo .

Best Salvias to grow?

Posted: 07/11/2016 at 12:13


if you want a woody shrubby salvia, fairly hardy salvia check out Blue Note, Violin Music and other in the microphylla group.

however, look at Embers Wish.  stunning apricot red, long flowering...still in flower here....and much more compact than Amistad.  Here the tallest Amistad stands 9' tall and wide but all are over 6'.  

Embers Wish is about 4' tall and wide.  I have one behind geranium Rozanne and they complement each other auperbly with very low maintenance.  

Love and Wishes is much the same size but, for me, Embers is far better.

the same caution about Amistad, viz., that you should take cuttings in mid summer to keep the main plant in place over winter....if you lose it you have replacements to make large plants next season. 

I would avoid the out and out bone hardy salvias though....they lack the ooomph of Embers, Amistad etc.

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