Bindweed Wild Flower Varieties

The bindweed family comprises of several varieties seen as wild flowers in the UK together with some other species including convolvulus and polygonum. They can be a nuisance in the garden with brittle roots that make them hard to eliminate.

BEST LEFT IN THE WILD!

Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Wild Bindweeds

Calystegia soldanella – Sea bindweed pink flowers with white stripe may-Aug

Calystegia sepium  – Hedge bindweed  or  Bellbine, Rutland Beauty, Hedge False Bindweed, Wild Morning Glory with white funnel shaped flowers June-Sept

Calystegia silvatica – Large bindweed with white or pink striped flowers

Black bindweed is part of the dock family Polygonum convolvulus few flowers in pale green

 Convolvulus arvensis – Field bindweed

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Calendula Calendar

Menston Calendula

Orange or Yellow are the signature colours of Pot Marigolds more correctly named Calendula officinalis.

Pot Marigolds are typically grown as an annual or biennials but can be cultivated as a short-lived perennial.

Calendula are also called  English, Field Marigolds, Scotch marigold or Ruddles but are unrelated to African or French marigolds.

Menston Calendula

Varieties to Consider

  • Golden Princess;
  • Orange Princess;
  • Calypso Orange;
  • Radio;
  • Triangle Flashback with double flowers in shades of apricot-pink with a maroon 
  • Deja Vu
  • Pacific Beauty a mixture
  • Sherbet Fizz

Menston Calendula

Grow From Seed

  • Sow in autumn to over winter or start indoors before the last frosts.
  • Avoid warm propagation temperatures, as they will produce weak plants.
  • Keep the seeds covered with soil, as light inhibits germination.
  • After germination good light will help create bushy plants

They may look like daisies because they come from the same family asteracea

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Hosta Little Tips

otley show hostas 035

I am no great fan of large leaved hostas probably due to lack of space in my garden where I prefer to grow other plants. However the dwarf varieties are easy to get on with.

An alternative name for Hostas is Funkia. That appeals to me and helps describe how the plants can create congenital abnormalities and abnormal formations. (Teratology).

Small Hosta Tips

  • There are a host of varieties to start to growing and collecting may become an obsession. There are 49 named varieties of ‘mouse-ear’ varieties alone.
  • Water well in spring even before the first leaves show. Roots need water particularly as the light increases.
  • The better the roots the better the plants will display.
  • In spring restart the plants with slug bait, slow release fertiliser and a mulch.
  • A weak solution of Tomorite makes a good foliar feed.
  • Epsom salts will provide needed magnesium when the leaves have hardened in early summer.
  • Water  lightly  in autumn to fatten up the roots for winter.
  • Allow plants to make good clumps. Leave for 3 years or so before dividing. I tend to be too impatient dividing to get more plants.
  • Encourage flowers and collect seed to increase your stock.
  • The more light a hosta gets the more water it needs.

otley show hostas 050

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Floral Language

This curious 19th century craze which engaged the hearts and fancies of the Victorians had no historical or mythological basis but became the fertile sand on which a folklore was built. Using images from the Lindley Library this intriguing display tells the story of popular 19th century code used by lovers to exchange messages.The snowdrop signified friendship and forget-me-nots meant true love, but a gift of a pumpkin or a gourd was considered the height of bad manners – find out why … and discover much more by visiting the display at RHS Harlow Carr Library

‘The Artistic Language of Flowers’, 1880, published by Meissner & Buch, Leipzig © RHS Library Collections Digitised version from Amazon

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Roses are Red and Charitable Too

I am miffed  that the Royal National Rose Society has gone into administration (May 2017). Originally formed in 1876 it owns land in St Albans but finds annual running costs onerous. As small compensation here are details about a couple of charitable red roses.

The Prince’s Trust  Climber Rose

  • This rose was bred in 2000 by Harkness roses and named to help raise awareness and funds for the The Prince’s Trust.
  • The clusters of slightly fragrant, pure scarlet or blood red blooms are produced repeatedly throughout the summer into the autumn.
  • The green, glossy foliage provides an attractive backdrop to the blooms.
  • Normally a 10′  climber it can  grow up to 15 feet even on a north facing wall.

National Trust – Hybrid Tea Rose

  • A medium sized 3 foot high flowering Hybrid Tea rose.
  • Spiraling petals of  vivid red make florist quality, long stemmed blooms produced throughout the summer and autumn.
  • Young foliage is coppery red foliage maturing to a glossy, dark green.
  • Different suppliers make differing claims about the scent ranging from undetectable to sweet or strong. I think it is very light compared to most roses.
  • The eagle eyed may see some black spot but it is a hardy disease resistant rose that will tolerate poorer conditions than other rosa varieties.

At least the two beneficiaries The Prince’s Trust and the National Trust are still operating as charities even if our Royal National Rose Society is becoming defunct.

 

 

 

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Garden Advice to a Daughter

These notes are designed as advice to a daughter who has just moved into a 1920’s house with a long, narrow back garden and a postage stamp sized front grass patch.

Current Layout and Issues

  • The front is open to cats and the quiet road with a footpath at one side leading to the door, edged by a rough hedge.
  • The other side of the front is partnered to a well kept neighbors garden fence and a motley collection of shrubs. Under the bay window is ruble trouble.
  • The extended kitchen at the rear provides a small sit’out’ery  and place for pot plants.
  • A high trellis fence along the length of the garden displays nothing much and there is only a pencil strip of soil at its base.
  • I don’t expect the garden to look like this next time I visit but annuals and begonias can add a splash of colour

Quick Fixes

  • Cut and edge the grass at the front even though the ground is very uneven. Don’t worry about the weeds in the grass until you can call it a lawn.
  • Lower the 6 foot high privet hedge to say 3 feet and make it narrower at the top than the bottom. An ‘A’ shaped hedge is easier to maintain. Privet, Yew and mixed hedges will regrow, only looking rough until next summer.
  • Get the neighbors to cut down the overgrown inappropriate sized tree that is over-shadowing your garden. At best a good trim of over hanging branches would be a start.
  • Get a new lockable garden hut.
  • Clear up old attempts at compost heaps by spreading or burying. I would go for a themo plastic box composter.

Continue Reading →

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Photographs from Our 2000 Posts

This is Gardeners Tips 2,000 extant post since April 2008. I have lost count how many photographs and images have been included but here are just a few repeats.

fritilliaria

In addition to our own images we would like to thank creative commons and other organisations that helped with contributions as we were starting out.
Around 100 books have been recommended to highlight a subject such as The Garden Photography Workshop by Andrea Jones below.

Book CoverWe would also like to thank the million plus visitors to our website and hope the tips and humour demonstrate how gardening can have a lighter side.

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Minimum Cultivation- No Dig

What is ‘No Dig’

  • ‘No Dig’ gardening or not turning over your soil is  growing in popularity with organic farmers and some gardeners. It is a term used for clearing the ground and establishing a minimum cultivation area without digging.
  • The substitute for digging is mulching.  The garden may be covered with paper or cardboard and topped with a deep layer of compost. Worms will help drag the organic matter down into the soil.
  • Plastic sheeting is a poor substitute as it brings nothing to the party but stifles weeds.
  • Alternate layers of manure and straw can help build up the quality of ‘no dig’ soil.
  • Water well avoid walking on the plot and plan to plant through the mulches with minimum disturbance.

Benefits of Minimum Cultivation

  • This form of gardening is less labour intensive compared to dig a spit deep or heaven forbid, double digging.
  • Using a good layer of straw or compost improves soil structure and builds up over the years.
  • The soil remains in good heart and there should be less soil erosion and runoff
  •  Beneficial invertebrates, fungi and earthworms will enjoy the lack of disturbance and repay the no dig gardener with increase fertility.
  • Minimum cultivation reduces the loss of nitrates and reduces leaching.
  • Less wear and tear on the gardeners back.
  • The texture of the soil will become darker and crumbly with a good tilth.
  • Digging can bring up perennial weed seeds that are best left deeper in the soil where light can’t set them into germination.

Book Cover

 

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New Design Ideas to Green Grey Britain

Where to Get New Garden Ideas

  • Your own imagination is the prime source of ideas for your own personal garden.
  •  If you can’t get to Chelsea there are other horticultural and flower shows and many  open gardens.
  • Magazines, newspapers and books can spark off a new thought or provide a combination of ideas.
  • Just walking around looking over walls and fences may give you an idea. I saw some very useful use of trellising offering privacy on a street-side garden without dark dense hedges.
  • Trial and error has been my fall back design method but it is a slow process and after 60 years It is still to produce the goods!

Greening Grey Britain

  • The RHS advocates gardens to help preventing flooding, ease stress and encourage exercise, support wildlife, and be ‘the equivalent of an air conditioning system for our cities’.
  • Decking, block paving and parking spaces have taken over from front lawns and small gardens to the detriment of the environment. Turning grey areas green with new design ideas and plantings can help rectify the damage caused by urbanisation.
  • I had three garages and drives for access but one was a lean too that served no real purpose. I knocked it down and have a pond, some maturing trees and a Japanese area that is  a pride and joy. It’s awkward tarmaced drive was too hard to remove so it was covered in a large mound of soil that became a quick draining alpine zone.
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