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Latest posts by Wintersong


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 18:55

@Abby2, Okay, I have two Laurels of different sizes, the first being shop brought mature shrub/tree of approx. 14ft high.

I left this one to grow for many years before hacking it back some and discovering that I rather liked its dark limbs, so its not a true standard, more my version of a tree. I prune off new shoots up to about five foot at which point it bushes out and is shaped rather like a large lolly-pop.

It works for me, I gain space underneath and I also like the dark branches that act as a good backdrop for planting in my borders.

The second is a seedling of the mature plant and more standard in that I decided from an early age to keep it to a single stem. Basically, most plants would be single stem except that they are pruned at the nursery to encourage bushy growth. This Laurel is about four foot high and I rub off the lower shoots as I see them and lolly-pop the head same as the other one  like a mini-me. The shoots are much easier to rub off the small one since the thickness of its limb is only about the same as an adult arm, the mature one is an elephant in comparison so its a proper job of loppers and the saw.

Pruning clematis

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:20

Edit: spelling mistake in previous post should read leaf know what I mean

P.S, a thought might be to cut back some stems but leave others tied in, thus you can control the size and shape of the plant to fit your tastes. 

Pruning clematis

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:11

A birds nest will form.

Group three are vigorous and will shoot new growth from every leaf axial, which will multiply existing stems by tens of dozens, if not hundreds. Now this sounds all fine and dandy, and may even be bearable for a year or two but the plant will eventually stop flowering anywhere beneath new growth which will end up way above your eye line with support, or as a flopping snappy mess without support.

Choice is yours really  


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 15:57

Yeah, I always thought the nibbles in my smaller standard Laurel were due to leaf cutter bees until this year but its survived thus far, I think those lady weevils have spotted a better meal this year in my garden Phlox  which is taking a hammering.

I will be treating the Phlox very soon with nematodes although I generally leave established plants alone as I believe -rightly or wrongly- that they are big enough to survive the odd bit of root chewing. 


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 15:51

I've had the same problem with The President, not The actual president...anyhow, lots of growth but no flowers.

Mine is not down to hunger, but it is a bit of a rescue plant, having been forgotten about and newly discovered last year. Since Clematis group two flower May/June on last year's growth and flower late summer on this year's growth, I am assuming that last year's growth was more a question of re-establishing itself, as opposed to thinking about forming buds. I don't know why a plant would decide that, but is it possible that your 2yr old was too busy making roots and things before getting into the glamour business?

Just a thought. Patience and BobTheGardener's advice should see you through

Clematis - prune hard back now?

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 13:05

Oh damn this lack of edit...another thought, it could be Group 1 Clematis as some of these sort of cross over from early spring flowering, but produce a profusion of smaller flowers as opposed to very large ones.

If it sounds like Group 1, you can prune now and it may still have time to grow some new shoots to flower in spring next year.  You might want to feed this one after your prune though, as they tend to be quite vigorous.

Clematis - prune hard back now?

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 12:58

You have several options really. Since its flowering in May/ June, its almost certainly Group 2. Large flowered hybrids that flower twice a year, right now on last year's growth and a second flush of smaller/single flowers in late summer on any new growth this year.

Usually, these Clematis require little pruning but yours needs better support so cutting it back will not kill it per se, it will just have some extra growing to do and there will be loss of flower. If you prune now, you will lose the second flush of flowers in late summer + next years, since buds are made on new growth this year.

 If you prune late summer, you will only lose its big flowers for May/June, but it will undoubtedly send up new shoots in spring and may pop out a few small blooms by the end of next summer.

Don't forget to feed it in spring.

Lupin problems

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 12:34

I prefer to grow lilies in pots of which I had two white and two orange up until last year when I decided to test the garden with a pot of each variety, but I am quite disappointed with the attack on their foliage from slugs and snails (my bad for not using grit) that has left them very tatty and whilst I have only seen 2 lily beetle this year despite rigorous checks, the awkward position of the lilies in the ground doesn't assist me in daily inspections.

Mine are going straight back in comfy pots at the end of summer with a good feed and a cheery place on my patio...and maybe another variety to join them. The garden is just too cruel for a lily's beauty!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 10:34

Today is bright and blustery in Kent, with heavy cloud.


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 10:25
Tim Burr wrote (see)
...within a very short space of time, it was looking very established, and filling up with wildlife. Heaven knows where it comes from because I am in the middle of a modern housing development, surrounded on all sides by houses and by gardens covered in grass.

Its remarkable to think that concrete spaces would grow over in just ten years whilst 100 yrs would see a wood! Nature is supreme.


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