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Latest posts by yarrow2

March in your Garden

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 16:29

I removed the Craigieburn flowers as well Verdun - but not with knowledgeable intent !I lost both my martinii because I stupidly didn't get around to planting them at the end of the year and they shrivelled up in their pots which obviously didn't suit.  Ah well!

Yes Busy-Lizzie - not proud to say it IS a pelargonium you can see at the edge of that pot..  There are several things which I didn't have time to move for the winter before building materials came on site and I pretty much had to abandon a few things.  However, all my pelargs have survived the last 4 winters but now that our snow has come today, I don't have high hopes of their future!

Bev - after the flooding and rotten weather last year when most of my Spring bulbs either didn't come up - or when they did (e.g. tulips) they had no stalks but flowered at ground level (looked like little martians all over the place) - I decided to replenish with the cheapest I could find.  I had great and surprising success with Pound shop boxes of wildflower mixes (which were amazing) and a few other things last year so decided I'd try their Spring bulbs for this year.  Have to say, before today's snow - the mix of narcissus, daffs, alliums, iris, tulips, and a pink thing I can never remember the name of which begins with 'C'  -  all seem to be sprouting well..  But, as we're in Scotland, and depending on near-future weather, it will be a while yet before we see what gets to blooming stage.

Bunny - I have no idea what their Snowdrop is - but saw these beauties in the photo below in the Botanical gardens a couple of weeks ago which are lovely.  I expect you all know them.

Hi Rosa - I'll have a look at the potting shed gallery.  I'd like to get more euphorbia when I can so must have a look around some sites and places to learn a bit more about them.  Thanks for pointing out the link.

And here are the not so happy looking Hellebores this morning.  I guess this snow is going to last a while yet.






March in your Garden

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 00:47

Hi everybody.  Have been absent from the forum for months and great to see some familiar names still around and everyone's enthusiasm building for another Spring.  I can't get started on seed sowing or get much done this year yet as we've had building works affecting access to the garden - BUT - have managed to sneak out there when we had a couple of sunny days.    So not much going on in the garden yet and Spring bulbs only just come up with daffs about 6", fritillaries stems just stretching up, aquilegia foliage coming up quite quick now and managed to divide geums to give lots of new plants.  Wondering if I've done this too early though as the weather is turning again  - bouts of rain and hailstones with some sunny days.  Temp 2 degrees today with hailstone shower.

Anyway - favourite survivor just now from being planted as a tiny things last autum are a couple of Euphorbia 'Craigieburn' which were new to me.  They seem to have loved the winter and I love the leave tips on the foliage just now.

 This one clashes like mad with the young Euonymus (Emerald and Gold I think?)but I like it filling the gap.

 This year's snowdrops were planted last year (Poundstretcher bag) - no idea what kind they are - maybe one of you knows.

 These Hellebores are upliftingly bright - can't remember which ones they are either.  Ellen something I think - or something 'Ellen'.





Rust on Roses

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 22:16

lottyh40 - hi!  There's a fabulous section in the August issue of Gardeners World mag which gives photographs and remedies to all kinds of pest problems.  Get a copy if you can.  Unfortunately on the rust issue the GW mag and other sources I've read all advise to get rid of the leaves and use a fungicide.  I don't use fungicide so I'm left with cutting off the leaves and burning them.  My garden is hemmed in on all sides and tends to get more than its fair share of dampness and hanging humidity - so I get a lot of rust and powdery mildew.

Having had a look-see at the GW section on 'pests' - it's really good in that the photographs of all the nasty results of pests and conditions are a good source of reference.  Unfortunately, it's also highlighted  that I seem to have just about every nasty pest  or negative infection around that you can get!

Wish this article had been in an earlier edition then I'd have spotted things earlier in the growing season. 

As every though - I guess the answer to avoiding rust and the other nasties is to buy as many resistant plants as you can, grow them in the best conditions to maintain strong healthy growth.  My problem here is not enough air blasting around the whole garden so I have to try and plant things so that there's as much space and air circulating around them as possible and keep clearing up any mess on the ground and hoe a lot so that as little as possible breeds in the surrounding soil. 

Maybe some of the good people on this forum have some good advice or tricks to apply to the rust issue.

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 03/08/2012 at 21:59

I'm a bit of a fusspot cleaning bird feeders and the ground around the birdpole - but it's not so much because of the birds being infected but because a family member has a long-term illness and my bringing in any infection from the garden would be a big problem.  So I always look like Mrs Fuss going out there with latex gloves on especially anywhere around the bird area.

I keep a basin and brushes etc separate for the birdie items and once scrubbed in soapy water I leave them overnight in the cleaned basin with added Milton sterilising tablets.  Given that Milton is used for baby milk bottles, it seemed reasonable to use it for the bird feeders.  I do it regularly and if it's been raining and I know whatever is in the plastic feeders will get all gummed up in the bottom tray - I clean them as soon as I can.  The pidgeons are a huge problem as they sit on the top of the birdpole and defecate over everything.

Under the birdpole I have concrete slabs (the cheap light coloured ones from B&Q).  They're just sitting on top of the lawn, not cemented in - so that I can move them if I want.  I tip a thin layer of sharp sand over them and then just sweep it into a rubbish bag when things get messy.  It's quick and easy - and a pile of sharp sand around also stops seeds germinating in the surrounding grass.

This has solved my problem.  Might seem over-fussy, but as I say, I cant risk passing on any infection to an ill family member so I take more precautions that most sane people probably would!

I've also found that standing any rusty metal tools in a bucket of Milton for a couple of hours completely removes rust - and with a dry and oil afterwards they come up like new.  Gardening madness maybe - but it works for me.


Geraniums (not Pelargoniums)

Posted: 01/08/2012 at 18:05

christopher2:  Thanks for the very informative response re the feeding and particularly for the description of the various geraniums.  Will look up some of these names and plan for next year.  Really interesting.  You ought to post some photos - would be good to see some of your range of plants.

Many thanks.

Ice-cream Penstemons - 'Melting Candy'

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 20:22

greenjude:  Thanks for taking the time to reply and giving some advice. They're in very light shade but have good light for three quarters of the day.  I'm glad you've said they look healthy - the floppiness concerned me.  I'll leave them and see how they come along.  Your response has given me a little more confidence to just let them be for this year and see what happens. 

You're right with the 'fat chance' - although today here in Edinburgh we've had a great day - very warm and sun all day.  No doubt things will revert to normal over the next few days!

Ornamental grasses

Posted: 31/07/2012 at 20:11

christopher2:  I've just bought a few small grasses this past couple of months - Uncinia rubra (Golden Grass) and Briza Media.  The Uncinia is to brighten up foliage in a very green shrub area and the Briza is to create a romantic feathery type feature eventually to backdrop tall pink perennials.  My garden is small and whilst doesn't have much structure and has limitations in conditions - my aim is just to have colour. BUT - because this garden is hemmed in by high buildings, the late afternoon and evening sun in summer shines over the tall buildings into  one particular area and makes everything (particularly pinks and grasses) translucent so is beautiful - and this is why I have the Briza in particular. It's light and looks fairylike when the sun catches it.  So I love them.  And the Uncinia is just beautiful - but I was only able to get one just now with the plan to get more.  I think its truly beautiful even if clumplike.

Ice-cream Penstemons - 'Melting Candy'

Posted: 30/07/2012 at 23:15

Appeal for help from anyone who knows these Penstemon.  Bought 2 in pots in May when they were about 6" high and planted the same day.

I bought them because I was dazzled by the photograph of the flowering plant on the pot label and because I had read they had proved to be prolific flowerers, strong growers and hardy in all weather conditions.  Mm!

Well, here they are now 2 months on and they still cannot support themselves.  Each one had three stems when bought but whilst they have grown just over a foot tall, they can't stand on their own and the stems are still soft.  Now one is producing buds but I'm sure the stems will not be able to support them.

I was thinking of pulling them up and replanting them somewhere else - but don't want to lose them if there's anything I can do to tough them up to become self-supporting. 

HELP anyone?  Should they be as floppy as this and have I not done something I should have to get them to firm up?


Our NGS Open Day

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 16:24

Pam:  Absolutely lovely and great to hear the commentary as well.  Garden is immaculate but you must be so frustrated about the lilyleaf disease and the weather holding up the flowering of other things you had planned to be blooming by now.  What a terrific job you've done and what a lovely balance of plantings in form, colours and - dare I say - neatness!  You have such a good eye for all these things..  Stuff the Olympics - I would rather sit in your garden for a day with a gallon of Earl Grey and just relax and enjoy.  You just can't help but smile watching this video.

On the quick walk past the lovely baskets, particularly liked the stand-out colours of your salmon pink begonias and the illumination begonias.  Your 'lady' statue is stunning and love that Black Scabious.  I'd never seen that lovely 'African Blue' basil in real life - gorgeous.  

What a disappointment for you with the lilyleaf problem.  Here's hoping your weather will be kind now and that you will give us a video update as the weeks go on.

Thanks for letting us see it Pam.   Will be great to see more.



Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)

Posted: 22/07/2012 at 01:37

Annie M2:   How is your Star Jasmine?  Did it do ok?  Mine suddenly burst into growth with a lot of new bright green foliage a couple of weeks ago.  The leaves in various places are a range of different colours but because of the new growth I'm leaving it be and waiting to see if it flowers at all in the not too distant future.

Discussions started by yarrow2

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