The Evening Primrose is one of my favourite, limeish yellow, summer, biennial flowers.
Evening Primrose Oenothera glazioviana
Evening Primrose Growing
These plants are capable of seeding profusely
The large-flowered evening-primrose Oenothera glazioviana is one of 4 common UK species
There are another dozen species and many hybrids and crosses.
Evening primrose flower from June to September. and seeds are produced in mid-August
There is a fragrant evening-primrose Oenothera stricta.
Evening Primrose Medical Benefits
The plant is common and popular in the USA and its roots are eaten and used for various purposes. Gardeners Path say it can ‘help a number of conditions including eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, and osteoporosis and oil of Evening primrose can be used to regulate blood pressure and to keep the immune system functioning’.
There is a clematis for every season, every aspect and every place. The flower size and colour range is also wider than you may imagine. Update I have just bought (2.9.19) another clematis Madame Le Coultre for flowering june to august.
Types of Clematis for growing all year around
Early Flowering Species like alpina or montana types.
Summer Flowering hybrids like patens and florida types
Late flowering Hybrids and species like jackmanii, tangutica and viticella types
Herbaceous clematis x jouiniana or Koreana lutea
Evergreen and tender species armandii, cirrhosa and tender plants from the southern hemisphere
Selected Varieties by Colour
White – Marie Boisselot, Montana sericea, Armandii or Clematis chrysocoma.
Red – Ville de Lyon, Madame Juklia Correvon or Ernest Markham.
Yellow – Clematis tangutica, Moonlight, Ligusticifolia or Otto Froebel.
Violet – Etoile Violette or Clematis alpina Francis Rivis.
Blue – Ascotiensis, Macro petal Blue Bird or Multi Blue.
Pink – Clematis montana Elizabeth, Bees Jubilee or Hagley Hybrid.
White and purple Clematis florida Sieboldii.
Soil and Growing Condition Tips
Soil for Clematis should not be too acidic but alkaline soil is fine. Impoverished soil near a wall or under a hedge should be improved with plenty of humus before planting. Sandy soil looses moisture quickly and also needs humus adding.
All clematis will grow better if the roots are kept cool. Plant a bit deeper than the soil level in the pot where they were grown and cover the roots area with a tile, rock or mulch.
Large flowered varieties will have stronger colours if the flowers grow in light shade.
Use a good Foliar feed every 7-10 days and a good root drenching weekly.
Types of Clematis Support
All clematis even the herbaceous varieties need some support. The easiest support is often other plants with matching characteristics – heather for small macropetala types or a tree for the more robust viticella varieties.
Walls are fine as long as the mortar and brickwork is sound for a network of wire. Clematis montana can cover a large wall quickly. Trellis itself needs to be securely attached to battens but can be attractive when cloaked in Clematis or on it’s own in winter.
Archways, tripods and obelisks look great when covered with a climber such as clematis. Similarly pergolas can have both climbing roses and clematis co-existing.
Try a pillar made from a length of Oak or hardwood to train your clematis because you are bound to want to grow more once you start.
Clematis urophylla ‘Winter Beauty’ also known as Old Man’s Beard flowers is a superb evergreen clematis bears its delicately fragrant, waxy, bell-shaped flowers in the depths of winter.
The foliage is so lush, that you’ll think its summertime all year round!
Plant Clematis ‘Winter Beauty’ against a warm house wall so that you can appreciate its winter flowers from your window. This sought after variety will appreciate a sheltered site with some winter protection.
Height: 4m (13’). Spread: 1.2m (4’). Pruning Group: 1
Clematis ‘Bill MacKenzie’ really couldn’t be easier. Watch it scramble over fences, covering unsightly sheds with ease. From midsummer this versatile climber is covered in small canary yellow blooms, which give way to large fluffy seedheads for an attractive autumn display.
Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain’™ are quite extraordinary.A fountain of crystal-blue stamens radiate from the centres of the dazzling blue, 15cm (6”) wide blooms. Terrifically floriferous, this clematis continues to bloom throughout summer and into early autumn. It’s compact habit makes it ideal for containers and small gardens.
Clematis armandii flowers in spring with exquisitely fragrant, star-shaped white blooms literally smother this beautiful evergreen clematis in spring. The new foliage emerges bronze tinted, gradually maturing to glossy dark green that will quickly cover walls and fences within a few years. Best suited to a sheltered position, this vigorous clematis requires plenty of space to twine its long evergreen stems.
I like the idea of a climbing hydrangea more than the actual experience. Good specimens seem to produce a profusion of frothy, white blossoms particularly when grown by someone else.
My Problem Climbing Hydrangea
In my case I planted the sole attempt near a supporting wall. The soil my not be of the best quality, fertility nor humous rich. So what can I expect from Hydrangea petiolaris an Asian woodland native.
To compound my sins the wall faces north but in mitigation it is only 2 feet high and the climber now occupies both sides. However flowers are there none or sparse to say the least.
Nostrums, potions and plenty of compost have not stimulated leaf or branch growth so what hope of flowers.
I expected this Hydrangea to take a while to settle in and start producing but 5 years on and my patience is wearing thin. I guess that is true of the plant which is still keen on revenge for my earlier mistakes over its location.
I would prune it after flowering in mid summer but without flowers to set me off I have been a bit too lax. Then again the plant is a bit lax too.
In researching this post I discover Hydrangea anomala is a species of vine hydrangea and may be my plant is as confused as I am.
I trim the vine to control its height and width or make cuts at leaf nodes to encourage the plant to fill out. However I may be chopping of my buds to spite my face.
Where too Now
Cut my losses and turf the climbing hydrangea out.
Take cuttings and try new locations more in keeping with its needs. A poor strain of plant will not get better after vegetative propagation.
Stick with it and be happy there is one plant to have a moan about.
Either move to the south of the UK or buy this book about getting Hydrangeas to bloom in the north.
Gaillardia is a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family part of Compositae or Asteraceae like the daisy. Gaillardia are native to North and South America. I hope they grow well in Yorkshire as I have just created a new bed from birthday presents brought up from sunnier and warmer Oxford.
As a perennial Gaillardia have a long flowering season are commonly called blanket flower, or if confused with Rudbeckia they can be called cone flower. The daisy-like flowers are produced from early summer to early autumn in shades of orange, red and yellow, add sizzle to the garden and attracting nectar-seeking insects.
Gaillardia Specifics from Gardeners Tips
Gaillardia do not require deadheading but the plants will look better and be fuller if you do cut the stems back when the flowers start to fade.
Gaillardia is easy to grow but can be a short-lived perennial so divide plants every 2-3 years and encourage reseeding.
Grow best in full sun.
Gaillarida forms a slowly spreading mound.
Gaillarida has lance-shaped gray-green leaves.
Flowers are 3 – 5 inches across in various shades of yellow and red. Most have petals surrounding a center disk which produces florets. Plants grow 18 inches high by up to 24 inches wide
Gaillardia x grandiflora Common Name: Blanket Flower
Part of the 1,620 Asteracea genera and 23,600 species of herbaceous plants. The 12 species of Gaillardia hybridise so we see a range of colours and forms.
Sowing Gaillardia Seed Tips
Sow fresh seed six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area.
Use a moist but not soggy mix including some vermiculite
Sow three seeds in the center of the pot. Do not cover the seeds.
Mist over the top of the seeds.
Try provide a temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and eight hours of light per day.
To avoid washing the seeds from the pot’s center or burying them under the soil apply water slowly when the soil becomes dry.
After germination remove the weakest seedlings and avoid disturbing the roots of the strongest seedling.
Fertilize the seedling every fortnight with a 10-10-10 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium water-soluble fertilizer.
Suggested Gaillardia Flower Varieties
Gaillardia × grandiflora
Gaillardia ‘Arizona Sun’: popular 3-4″ flowers have a red center surrounded by yellow. And Arizona Apricot.
Gaillardia ‘Burgundy’: Wine-red petals with a yellow center disk that ages to burgundy.
Gaillardia ‘Summerina Orange’: Zingy orange shades from soft red through yellow radiating from a rosy center disk.And Sunseekers Orange.
Gaillardia ‘Goblin’: Large green leaves are veined in maroon. Very hardy.
Gaillardia ‘Smileys Giggling’ YellowStriking yellow flowers grow true from seed.
Gaillardia with slippers. It goes to show that a cool blue will tone well in the garden with the bright Gaillardia colours.
Small pine trees have been grown and sold as Dwarf plants for years but true miniatures are raised as clones from potentially larger species.
Miniatures are classified as such if they will not exceed 40cm height or width over 10 years. Experts recommend exhibition quality plants should not grow more than 25mm per annum ie. 25cm in 10 years.
True miniatures are clones of other pines.
They may grow as spontaneous sports, as bud mutations or seed faults .
Witches brooms creating miniatures pines are dense growths that result from virus infection or insect damage.
Bonsai are restricted growth plants and not true miniatures.
Miniature Pine Varieties
Pinus mugo Donna’s mini 20x30cm cushion form
Pinus mugo Mini Mini globose habit 20×25 cm
Pinus mugo Suzi 30x30cm spreading with orange-broan new growth
Pinus mugo Zwergkugel 35x35cm
Pinus mugo unicinata Jezek 20x30cm good cushion form
Pinus mugo Bonsai Kramer 10x20cm
Pinus syvestris Marshall 30x25cm
Pinus syvestris beauvronensis ultimate height 24 inches growth 1.5″ per annum
There are many other species that sport or produce miniatures but pines are consistent favourites.
Dwarf Species include;
Dwarf conifers are at least twice the size of miniatures after 10 years. As the sign above shows many conifers are sold as Dwarf plants
The pine family includes Dwarf White Pine, Dwarf Swiss Mountain Pine,
Many conifers sold as Dwarf are just slow growers and will continue to grow into sizable trees given time and favourable conditions.
Dwarf Lebanon Cedar, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Dwarf Japanese Juniper.
Collecting and Displaying Miniature Conifers
Miniature conifer is the catch all name for the smallest of the conifer family.
The size makes them ideal for use in miniature landscape plantings, alpine or scree gardens, troughs and pots.
Miniatures are also popular for exhibition purposes.
Restricting the size of a pot can cause the needles on lower branches to fall
Top growth shouldn’t extend over the pot. Repot as the conifer grows until you have a pot 36cm or so. There after the miniature pine may be happier in the ground .
The main shape and forms of miniature pines are conical, globus, pyramidal or spreading.
Growing and Cultivating Miniature Conifers
Miniature conifers are never likely to outgrow their situation.
Pot miniatures into a compost of equal amounts of John Innes no.2, grit and composted bark.
The aim is a tight bun with closely displayed needles and a compact display. Fertiliser is only needed occasionally and in frugal quantities.
Thatch or dead needles should be removed from inner branches to avoid die-back.
Shallow, plastic pots are lighter to move around and should not harm the plants.
Prevention is better than cure so treat for vine weevil and dose annually with a fungicide.
Top dress annually with compost.
Outdoor specimens can be trimmed in spring by candling (removing new extension growth) to retain shape.
Plants can be grafted onto clean longer stemmed rootstock but why would you want a tall miniature.
Side grafting on to compatible rootstock can be done in January and then kept frost free.
Miniature conifers and especially pines are worth growing in a cold greenhouse or outdoors. There is a range of shapes and colours to cultivete and a good supply is available from Kenwith Nursery growing miniature and dwarf conifers for the last thirty five years.
There are several types of Hydrangea to consider. The Mop Heads or Hortensia above, the lace caps or other species. They are a rewarding group of plants to grow well but need the right conditions to excel.
Provide Suitable Growing Conditions
All hydrangeas thrive in moist well drained fertile soil.
Too wet and humid and you may get root rot and botrytis on foliage.
Hydrangeas appreciate partial shade.
Shallow chalky soil or light sandy acid soil may cause yellowing of leaves. To cure this water or foliar feed with Epsom salt (Mangenisum Sulphate).
Hot dry conditions can encourage powdery mildew.
Hydrangeas can be prone to insect attack from Aphids, Red Spider mite, Capsid bugs and even Vine Weevil.
The main cause of non-flowering is pruning too hard and cutting off the buds. Just trim off the old heads in spring to the first fat buds.
The failure of flowers to turn blue is caused by a shortage of trace elements of Aluminium. This is available in acid soils but not alkaline soils.
Some species will change from pink to blue by using a proprietary preparation or colourant. This is unlikely to work when the soil is too alkaline.
If you have a pink flower this can be enhanced by applying limestone or chalk during winter.
White flowers remain white whatever you do. Some fade to a pink tinge.
It is easier to call a Phalaenopsis by its common name of Moth Orchid
This moth orchid (called Phalaenopsis) is blooming for a second time this year and the last blossom lasted over 5 months. On one arching stem there are 12 flowerheads and one unopened bud but there is also 4 other stems at different stages of flower production and at least 25 2½” diameter flowers are currently on display. This floriferousness may be due to a happy accident after the first (and only) stem flowered I followed received wisdom. I trimmed off the spike to around 1 inch above the first node on the spike stem, somewhere below where the first flower had appeared, near a little bump. The stem regrew but horizontally and I wanted to tie it up a cane. Being too vigorous I broke the new flowering stem but all the new ones have turned up at the funeral so to speak.
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