Selfsown Forget-me-nots

white-forget-me-not

Some Mytosis (Forget me not) flowers are great self sowers. All the Forget me nots in my garden are self sown and have been for many years. I have white, pinky purple and the traditional blue varieties and they get all over. The white flower above has sown itsself between the external wall and pavement and it is just blooming now despite the attentions of a local dog.

  • I try to pull up as many as I can before they flower particularly if they are in the wrong place. Any plant in the wrong place can become a weed in my mind.
  • It is hard to pull up for erradication of Forget-me-nots when they have flowered as many will have already seeded before the flowers are over
  • The blue flowers can create a pleasing effect over a large area and after they are finished there is new space for summer half-hardy annuals.
  • Plants become straggly and spread as they age and it often a poor form of plant that is the most prolific self sower. Pull them up and compost them.
  • If you want Forget me nots not surprisingly you can grow them from seed or scrounge some plants from an over stocked garden.

See Growing Forget-me-nots seeds from Thompson & Morgan

0

Hydrangea Houseplants

pink-hydrangea

Hydrangeas make good houseplants flowering in spring from a shop bought plant. Hydrangea have been successfully grown as blooming house plants for many years. They are colourful full of flower and relatively trouble free if you give them a good drink of water regularly. Keep plants cool between 50-60 ° F when in flower but give them some good light.

Indoor Hydrangea Tips

  • Buy a new plant each year and plant the old one in the garden when it has finished flowering. It may not be hardy enough to survive but getting it to reflower indoors will mean you have to emulate the seasonal conditions it would expect in the wild.
  • To buy a good hydrangea for indoors look for a plant with just a few blooms showing color and lots of buds still developing. The plant should fill out the pot with healthy dark green leaves.

hydrangea-buds Continue Reading →

3

Simple Gardening Tips for Spring

Foliar Feeding

  • Plants can take up food through their green leaves and stems. Dilute liquid feed by twice the recommended volume of water to avoid burning the leaves. Spray a good quantity on to  the leaves later in the afternoon is more effective. Bulbs like Crocus and Daffodills benefit as they are building up reserves for next year. Stressed and weak plants will probably pick up after a foliar feed  but thick leaved plants are less receptive to feeding this way.

Frost Damage

  • Hardy shrubs that have had the leaves browned off by frost damage will recover all being well. My hydrangeas have been frosted despite leaving the old mopheads on for a bit of winter protection. I will trim the brown very lightly to avoid damage to the buds. Other shrubs can be trimmed back to the healthy shoots or leaves but if another heavy frost is likely I would leave the trimming job or protect with horticultural fleece. My Pieris japonica have been damaged but the new red leaves should still perform.
  • It is still too early to sow half-hardy annuals as even cold weather will kill them off. Hardy annuals should be acclimatised to cold and wind gradually. This gardeners call  ‘hardening off’ and is done by bringing plants into exposed areas during the day and moving them indoors or protecting them at night.

Staking and Supporting Continue Reading →

0

Growing Roses

Yellow Roses

Yellow Roses

Roses enjoy a rich well fertilised soil. They have deep roots, but, in dry weather they may need a heavy watering to avoid drying out – especially when in flowering season.

Roses are prone to a variety of diseases such as black spot and more serious fungal diseases. The most common cause of disease is infestation by greenfly or black fly. To keep roses clear of disease it is important to tackle any greenfly problems.

Blackspot is a common problem, you can diminish this problem by picking off leaves and keeping area free of any fallen leaves.

Before Planting Roses

Before planting roses it is important to prepare the soil with a good organic mulch. This will feed the soil and improve water retention.

Roses need to be planted at the right depth. Make sure the hole is big enjoy so that the crown of the plant is above the soil level. In colder climates it is advised to plant roses a little deeper than usual

After Planting

  • In the first few weeks make sure they are well watered to help them bed in.
  • Feed with bonemeal.
  • Roses like full sun or at least sun for part of the day. So choose a spot which is not too crowded or shaded by overhanging branches.
1

Combinations of Plants

plant-combinations

Some plants look right together because the gardener planned it that way. In my case happy accidents are often the cause of plant combinations that work well. In yet other gardens it is the growing conditions that are the over riding factor that create the overall effect.

The Flag Iris above are in the process of being colonised by the small Euphorbia which spreads rapidly by creeping roots. In spring I am happy that the red shoots contrast with the lime-green, sword shaped leaves of the Iris so I plan to leave them until the Iris flower. By then the dark blue flowers will not need a red leaved under planting so they may have to come out. These Iris also need to be split as the rhizomes are old and each piece only produces one stem. I will do this splitting a few weeks after flowering and plant pieces of root and throw away the old woody center.

Continue Reading →

0

Roses in Summer

source

dog-rose

Is it too early to think about your Roses in ‘Flamming June’ and the rest of summer? I think not as boy scouts say ‘be prepared’ and here are a couple of preparations to consider.

Tips for Summer Roses

  • Roses are heavy feeders so provide a granular fertiliser before flowering and a foliar feed before buds open. Specially formulated foliar feeds are available to give nurishment through the leaves. This can be very useful if the soil’s lime content restricts the uptake of all the nutrients needed.
  • Plan irrigation perhaps by burying a pipe to get water down to the tap roots. Do not encourage surface roots by just wetting the top soil, water needs to get deep down to do any good.
  • Pest and disease control will probably be necessary so stock up with the right products.
  • If you are planning Exhibition roses then you may want to disbud your flowers to channel all the energy into fewer larger blooms. Clear away any imperfections if you can and take off the thorns so the foliage isn’t ripped in transit.

Book Cover

0

Vegetables for a Drought

Book Cover

When you plan your crops you have no idea what the weather will be in summer when your vegetables need water the most. Herbs, plants from the Mediterranean and grey leaved plants tend to withstand drought conditions better than most. Some vegetables once established can be more tolerant than others and if you expect low rainfall this summer give them a try.

Drought Tolerant Vegetables

  • Leeks need to be ‘puddled in’ when planting in a hole but from then on  they will send down strong roots in search of moisture. Earthing up for blanching by drawing soil around stems helps preserve some moisture.
  • Root vegetables like Parsnip and Carrot can survive dry conditions as long as they get well established
  • Onions  will tolerate low rainfall but I find it encourages sets to run to seed. Continue Reading →
6

Great Garden Chrysanthus Crocus

crocus

Hocus pocus this Crocus is out of Focus but it illustrates my main theme. Your 2010 garden depends on decisions you take now and I think it is worth recording every plant you aspire to grow. I record things in picture and notebook form and am not as well organised as I claim to be. However I am building a list of plants and designs features that I want to try for next year (it also doubles as a present list family take note). High on my list is the early flowering Chrysanthus Zwanenburg Bronze shown above.

Chrysanthus Crocus Species.

  • The flowers are smaller than the blousy, large flowered crocus of public parks and gardens fame.
  • The colour range is more varied with several varieties having purple outer petals and white or yellow insides. Eye Catcher, Prince Claus, Herald and this example Zwanenburg Bronze.
  • Lighter colours amongst the creams are Jeannine, Snowbunting, Romance and Cream Beauty.
  • Chrysanthus flower a little earlier than large crocus but are less robust when naturalising though grass.
  • Bought in bulk from 3p each the corms look good value for a range of pot grown applications including growing your own presents and gifts.
0

Iris Reticulata and Histroides Species

Flowers

Whilst these Iris bulbs are grown in a gravel topped bed Reticulata make great pot plants for an alpine house. Flowering in February many varieties have deep purple or violet flowers with conspicuous yellow blotches on lower petals or falls.

  • If you have relatives called Joyce, Gordon, Natasha, Pauline, George or Katherine Hodgkin there is an Iris bulb named after them.
  • Iris Reticulata Cantab is a cobalt blue with a small orange tongue and a most striking colour worthy of close inspection. Whilst Iris Histroides Katherine Hodgkin is a light blue with distinctive marking.
  • Gently force batches of early bulbs by bringing pots of them into a cool greenhouse. When the flower buds begin to colour up, you can bring the bowls into the house.

related

0

Frogspawn Tips and Hints


From me’nthedogs on flickr

Spawn
Frogs can be very useful in the garden eating more than their share of slugs. On a warm day from February onward frogs and toads will emerge from hibernation, mate and lay eggs as spawn. Do not worry about too much spawns as one frog will lay up to 2000 eggs of which only half a dozen become adult frogs. If you get far too much spawn so that it is chocking the top of the pond you can transfer some to a bowl so you can watch the tadpoles develop over the next 6 weeks or so. Transferring spawn to another pond may transfer disease or unwanted plants. Toadspawn is formed in long strings rather than the clumped or bunched frogspawn. Newts put there spawn on the underside of leaves.

Continue Reading →

3

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes