Latest posts by yarrow2

An afternoon companion

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 23:13

We only have a tiny city garden so not a huge variety of birds.  Blue tits, great tits, coal tits, chaffinch, blackbirds, magpies, robin, with a grey wagtail and thrush appearing around Christmas for some reason but never any other time.  Until last week we had two broods of screaming starlings which were loud but very entertaining.  Don't know where they've disappeared off to, haven't seen them for days.  A lot more scope for them all elsewhere a bit more wild I think this time of year.  We normally have a few families of goldfinches later in the summer but no sign this year yet.  There are a number of quiet little dunnocks which potter around under foliage.  Nothing very unusual - but great to see anything.  Love your Blackie fidgetbones.

Last edited: 22 June 2016 23:16:33

Rose suckers

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 22:47

Anyone confirm for me if these are suckers on new-ish rose had in pot for 1 year and have planted this Spring.  There are none coming from the base of the plant - just three on the strongest stem and they look exactly like the new growth at the top of the rose which last year produced the single bloom.

Picture in pot was 2015.  The poor photo of the stem was tonight as it was getting dark unfortunately but maybe good enough to identify if suckers or just new normal growth?

If they are suckers so far up the stem - and there are no signs of any other new growth other than one fresh bud leaf at the top of the rose - I'm wondering if this rose isn't really going to grow new stems at all.  There's no sign of any other growth.  There only ever were two main stems.  Probably shouldn't have bought it in the first place with only two visible stems?

Oh Lord...what a stink

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 17:44

tOut having a look-see to see if anything budding or flowering on this dull day and was stood by an Astrantia major which is growing around a tall-ish rose.  The smell was horrendous and I spent a good ten minutes separating surround foliage looking for a dead bird or some yeugh rotting thing which must have crawled in there.  Couldn't find anything so I sniffed the Astrantia flowers.  Blimey!  It was bad.  I've had Astrantias of various kinds for years and never experienced this before.  A few days ago I was watching all the bees loving them and never noticed this smell.

Wasn't until I came back in the house and did a web search that I found one website which listed Astrantia info, height, growth, etc and it said 'Aroma:  sickly fetid smell'.

Boy was I surprised.  I'm going to have to move it as it really is a strong 'fetid' smell.    I've since gone around the others but none of them smell at all.  Just this one.  You surely learn something every day!  It puzzles me sometimes how truly lovely flowers can have what you can only describe as a 'stench'.  I'll have to read up and see if there's a reason this plant produces this stench.  Or better still - someone on this forum is bound to know a bit about this - would love to know, anyone.

Last edited: 22 June 2016 17:45:58

An afternoon companion

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 17:35

Flyfifer - you're not a big safty!  And Dew drops -  I suspect we're all a bunch of softies with Robins especially.  It's a great feeling when they potter around you - always gives me a lift, although we haven't had a Robin this summer, so it's a miss for me.  And I always feel that Christmas is on the way when they come to the garden at the end of the year.  It's as if the 'season' is about to really start.

Really nice to see these photos.  Always gives me a thrill when birds potter about nearby - a confirmation that we are all in this world together and that our gardens really are special for wildlife and ourselves.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 17:27

obelixx - many thanks for the advice response - especially the reminder re the slug pellets and to give it a tonic now.  Another mistake I made with it in the past, I think, was just to leave the foliage, which was considerable, as it wound itself along a fence instead of giving it a spring chop down.  I had let it get into a real tangled mess along the fence.

Many thanks for this.  Appreciate it.

Last edited: 22 June 2016 17:28:25


Posted: 22/06/2016 at 17:22

Fairygirl - I think I've painted my couple of pallets same-ish colour as yours.  I had intended doing plant pockets copying your earlier idea (I think it was you) but discovered my pallets had horrendous sticky-out nails which I could not get out.  Ended up having to just hammer them into the wood and turn the pallets to use the other clean side.  Yours will work brilliantly with plants in.

So I took the very lazy option.  Painted both and used one to put on the ground to cover up outside pipes and just stuck some plants on it.  It means if there are plumbing issues - it can just be lifted.  (We've just had a little flood further along).  The second pallet with the nastiest non-removable nails, I've just wired to a bit of fencing and the plan was to have nice little planters hanging from it with colourful small plants in or little fuchsia, but I haven't got around to it yet.  My colour is maybe a bit bright - but the other mad plan (in Scotland!) was to have a brazenly bright bold colour scheme to pretend it was a little Med bright spot.  Bit ambitious with our weather - I thought it would be cheery!  Already one of the big blue pots I planted with a young cordyline in the middle and nemesia 'Tropical' and mini 'Sunset' petunia things has gone awry.  The Cordyline in one was done in with the rain and rotted in the middle and flopped.  So I need to replace it with something!  The second one is still upright but no doubt it will go as well. 

Gardengirl:  what a lovely neat planter, beautifully put together.  You have a talent. I've developed a fear of the saw after sawing down a hedge a couple of weeks ago.  The blade isn't sitting flush and I'm putting off trying to fix and fiddle with it.  Although - that's pretty much an excuse probably for my being too lazy and not having the patience to actually 'build' something with my pallets.  I'd end up with lots of sawed off sections and have none of them fit together to resemble anything remotely decent.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 22/06/2016 at 16:59

obelixx - the big root wheelbarrow clem is Polish Spirit - late season flowerer if I remember.  It was a purple beauty before I neglected it.

wakeshine - you asked to see how it was doing now.  The wheelbarrow removing from pot I think was 27th May.  So today 22nd June - I've just dashed out to take a couple of photos.  One pic of the base to let you see how the shoots are sprouting after having planted it with the top a couple of inches below the soil.  The second pic (sorry it's poor, it's in a shaded bit) - shows how three of the shoots have already grown up about 3 foot.

I've planted it a tiny distance away from the base of a Ceanothus 'Concha' which is about 12 foot high.  The blue stuff on the soil around it are petals from the Concha flowers which are going over rapidly now.  In a month or so the Concha will just be green leaves and I'm hoping that the stems will reach for the light up in the branches of the Concha and perhaps flower this year around Aug/Sept.  Then again, it may not at all.  There is just enough light for it to reach up as it seems to be doing.  I'll have to maybe get some canes in to direct the shoots as more come up.  So I'm hoping it might be tough enough to produce a flower or two in the autumn - but I'd be pleased even if it doesn't this year but puts on a show next year - IF it continues to thrive.  I think I put some slow-release granules around the planting hole when I transplanted it as they were all I had at the time.  I haven't given it anything since 27th May because I wanted to see if it would tough it out on its own.  I'm not sure if I should give it something now at all.  All I have left is some granular rose feed and liquid tomato feed so not sure if I should apply something now or just leave it be.

Isn't she lovely?

Posted: 21/06/2016 at 12:29

It's beautiful.  A lucky find and as you say, not one to be left behind once discovered.

How big pots for clematis?

Posted: 21/06/2016 at 12:18

And this is what happens when you put a baby clematis in a pot, forget about it for 6 years and then re-discover it again.  You soak it for hours and still have to fight to get it out of the pot and then you need a wheelbarrow to transport it to the other end of the garden where you have had to dig a humungous hole to accommodate it!  LOL!  What a laugh this was - and poor clematis.  

This was end of May this year.  Pleased to say it was planted deep and now has promising looking shoots about a foot long.  So hoping it will forgive me by reaching flowering stage in the autumn!  I think I've done it again - posted something I've already posted on another thread.  I can't keep track.  I'm thinking that my re planting the entire root ball would not be what a savvy clematis grower would have done.  Perhaps I ought to have trimmed the roots back or something to make it a reasonable size to transplant.  But there you go...neglect defies logic!

Last edited: 21 June 2016 12:20:43

Bug Hotel

Posted: 21/06/2016 at 11:59

I second Mark56.What a fantastic idea.  Wish I'd space to have a bug/etc area.  It looks really good and will be an interesting watch to see what has been attracted.

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