Tag Archive: flowers

Growing Clematis from Cuttings

imageI have been taking stock of the Clematis in the garden and reading up about how to prune or propagate them. Softwood cuttings are best taken between April and June from the mid-sections of strongly growing vines. The tips will be too soft and the lower parts may be too woody.  Prepare the selected section of vine by cutting through it immediately above a leaf joint and again about 3-4 cm below the same node. Remove the excess foliage to reduce moisture loss. Insert the cutting into compost up to the leaf joint. Label the pot and water it gently. Cover the surface of the compost with grit to deter slugs and retain moisture. Place in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight and maintain a humid atmosphere by covering with polythene or a propagator. Bottom heat will aid rooting but is not essential. Rooting should occur in four weeks. Pot up separately when rooted but if they are not ready by late summer delay the job until next spring and grow the cuttings on for another year before planting out.

 

Rose Arthur Bell

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I planted another of the bare root roses from Aldi in a large pot today. It is Rosa Arthur Bell, a beautiful fragrant yellow rose. I planted some yellow tulip bulbs around it. Tulip Yokohama and a few small bulbs of Brodiaea. Update: I lost this rose. I’m not sure if it was because of the weather or that I put too many bulbs in the pot with it.

Perennials – Thompson & Morgan Bargain 2016

I had just about decided to stop gardening today and have a rest when the postman delivered 72 tiny perennial plants I had ordered from T&M. On opening them I could see that they were good healthy seedlings and well worth the £2.99 that I had paid for them. They were, however, in need of potting on. They are now all in new pots. The plants were sold as “lucky dip” so discovering what was in there was exciting. There were six each of Cone Flower, Sea Holly, Dianthus, Thrift, Geum, Foxglove, Aquilegia, Delphinium, and more.

Update on Saturday 22nd October. I have lost one of these seedlings and feel quite concerned about getting them through the winter safely. I wondered whether to plant a few out but on doing a search online I think I will keep them protected until the spring. I don’t have a greenhouse or a cold frame so they will have to live on the window ledge until then.

Wallflowers – Potting and Planning

I spent a bit of time today potting on some seedlings of Wallflowers. I have a couple of large plants in the garden that are past their best so had sown some of their seeds in a tray of compost. I have moved 24 of them on into a module tray. There are still loads left so I shall pot them all on in the hope that they will survive the winter. I love gillies, they brighten up the garden, last ages and smell lovely. They remind me of my Nan and Grandad Bagley who used to grow them and Sweet Williams in their little bit of earth at the back of the brew house. It was mostly coal slack and ash from the fire but they seemed to thrive.

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February 8th and the seedlings from the collected seeds are doing well indoors. I have fourteen individual seedlings in small 3″ pots and about  ten all together in a 7″ pot. There are still loads of tiny seedlings outside in a large modular tray.

Saxifrage White Pixie

Today I planted two white Saxifrage at the back of the pond. I bought the plants from Mick Market, one of the plot holders at the allotment. They are alongside the purple Aubrieta, also from Mick, and should spread well and help to hold back to soil to keep the pond water clean. 3rd Feb 2017. It seems that both of these rockery plants have been lost over the years that I was caring for Adam. We are planning to overhaul the pond area this year so I would like to replace them exactly as the chap I bought them from also passed away during that time. I will grow them both in memory of Mick. I don’t know what his surname was as we all called him Mick Market because he ran a fruit, flowers and veg stall on our local market.

Hybrid Saxifrage – The fine bright green leaves of White Pixie saxifrage are complemented  in mid  spring with white flowers on wiry stems. A tight, clump-forming, usually evergreen perennial, this hybrid resembles a sedum when not in flower. The clumps of foliage are a collection of tight rosettes of flat sprays of leaves. Will grow in partial sun in a moist, well-drained, gritty soil. If given full sun, moisture must be constant. Cut off spent flower stems and divide the clumps before summer heat arrives.

Rain – Courgette and Squash

After weeks of dry weather the rain came with a vengance last night accompanied by thunder and lightening. It is still raining steadily today but a nice fine rain that is ok to work in.

I have put the flower seedlings into their final bed now and they look happy and will bed in nicely if this fine rain continues. They are Nasturtium, Lupin and Campion. I have also filled an oblong planter with Nasturtium and placed it alongside the rose bed. They will attract Hover Flies which in turn should keep my roses free from green fly.

I have potted on the biggest of the tomatoes now. Four are in place at the allotment in the lean to and the other six are at home in the garden. Today I have sown nine Butternut Squash seeds saved from last year. They look a bit feeble though so if they don’t show through I shall have to buy some fresh seeds. The two courgette plants seem to be doing well and I have put them outside to harden off a bit. The four Cucumber plants are still on the window ledge and look very frail. They are the long white bought last year from T&M. I don’t hold out much hope for them.

Aubretia Variegata

Now the ducks have moved home we have reclaimed the pond and have both spent time cleaning it up. Rob managed to get all the mud out and I have made the beds surrounding it ready for planting. Yesterday I bought two Aubretia plants from Mick Market at the allotment and they are now sited at the back of the pond with the hope that they will spread and hold back the soil and stop it from dirtying the water. Tip – Cut back quite hard by shearing after flowering has finished to maintain a neat, compact growth habit and to encourage a second flush of blooms. Incorporate ericaceous compost into the planting hole for best results.

 

 

Lychris – Rose Campion

This is a superb plant for a sunny border. A clump-forming perennial which seeds itself. The silver woolly leaves are a pleasant backdrop to the bright magenta flowers which appear in late summer. It can tolerate most well-drained soils but produces the best leaf colour in dry soil.

My sister gave me a pot of seedlings but she couldn’t remember the name of them. I have potted on a load now and they are coming on well. Last time I spoke to her she said she thought they were Lychris or Rose Campion and I am very pleased because they are beautiful plants and will fit in nicely in a new bed I have made behind the pond.

 

Exploding Seed Heads – Alstroemeria 2011

Today was another lovely day. A bit of grey cloud but warm enough for my first proper visit to the allotment. We did a lot of tidying up and digging over of beds. I brought back some bags of seed heads that had been left over the Winter to dry out. I have already put some Sweet Pea seeds to chit. They are a few Zorija Rose and some Pip Tremewan left over from last year. I brought home loads of Sweet Pea seeds but they will be mixed. I also brought home Lupin seeds but think that they have gone off. Time will tell. I will sow them and see what happens. The other seed heads were hard and round and I think they must be from the Alstroemeria. I don’t usually let them go to seed but pull them when they have gone over. The seed heads, if left, will explode and shoot their seed everywhere which is why the flower bed is always full of new shoots.

The Rhubarb plant is growing well even though we still have straw around it to protect from frost. I have bought two new crowns of Champagne Red and they look ready to put into the ground soon. We stayed for two and a half hours today and there are still loads of jobs to do. At home I have chitted some Hurst Green Shaft Peas and sowed them in trays ready to get a good start. I also have Broad Bean Witkiem Manita coming along in toilet roll tubes. I have sown the first four Tomato seeds, Black Cherry, bought fresh this year from T&M.

Spring Bulbs – 2011

I ordered some bulbs from T&M at the end of last year but so far they haven’t arrived so yesterday I was tempted to buy some from Netto. They should have been planted in the Autumn but as they were only £2 I am going to risk it. They are a collection of pinks and whites and should look good if they get established. Our garden is not the sunniest place either so they are at a disadvantage all round.

Both the tulips; Van Eyk, pink and Purissima, white, are tall varieties and so is the Narcissus Salome so they can go in the back of the rose border round the side of the house. The Crocus Ard Schenk and the Allium Oreophilum will go in the new rockery around the pond. The Narcissus Thalia will be put into the white border.