The gardening thread

Discussion in 'suburban75' started by ringo, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    This is a self-sown nasturtium I have allowed free-reign over the greenhouse.
    If this was available as a cultivar, I would definitely go for this one.

    Since I conveniently have a couple of bubble cloners on the go in the bathroom, I will be bringing in flowering shoots while they're available.


    campanula and clicker like this.
  2. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    And speaking of "nasturtiums" ....

    I posted before that my bathroom watercress project had stalled to the extent that my cuttings had flowered and set seed - so I am currently rooting some fresh salad from Aldi - lovely pieces they were too...
    I had no joy at all the seeds I sowed from the one pod I found on the plants and I assumed the snails had eaten the rest, but I noticed these today :D

    cress seedlings.jpg
  3. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    It's pressure treated wood, and there is a slight slope with drainage holes drilled in.
    campanula and gentlegreen like this.
  4. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Did you make them to fit a standard plastic trough ?
    That would give you the option of slotting in troughs that have been fattening elsewhere ... otherwise, polythene is cheap and cheerful ...

    I certainly wasn't questioning your skills - they're plain to see. :)

    When lining a basement, I believe they use vertical corrugations ...
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  5. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Idaho & gentlegreen

    I like those racks - nice idea.

    speaking as a gardener - if you want those racks to last, then drop-in trough / pots are the easiest and most flexible (as you can exchange them). Also if the wood is treated with preservative, that is another reason to use pots - some preservatives can migrate / or expanding roots come into contact with the timber which may not do said plants much good. I would be less likely to use a polythene liner, drainage and the risk of damage when planting / weeding.

    Speaking OTOH, as a wood working bod, for long term protection - paint / treat all over, and especially in holes and joints that may "retain" moisture (or seal the latter with a suitable gunnable sealant). I would also use brass screws as iron nails or even bzp screws Will rust and eventually fail.
    Idaho and gentlegreen like this.
  6. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    I went quite berserk last year with tulips. I think I spent about (shame, shudder) £200...just on tulips. I bought shit loads of species types, including insanely expensive sprengeri and albo-caerulea...and a heap from Nyssens. I was tempted by doubles but, in fact, I didn't like them when they bloomed. However, there are some gorgeous toffee coloured ones - although my favourite was an old one called Bruine Wimpel (I swear).
    I planted a bunch of white alliums today - the really dainty (and ridiculously cheap) a.neopolitanum cowanii and, new to me, allium amplectum 'Graceful Beauty'.
    ShiftyBagLady and BoatieBird like this.
  7. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Speaking as a slacker,
    I can more or less guarantee that I wouldn't be bothering with painting, lining or faffing with pots either. You should get 10 years out of tanalised timber. I made raised beds at my allotment using cheapo gravel boards - 23 beds, looked fantastic. True, many of them are in parlous state now ( I have a mish-mash of scaff boards and scavenged stuff)...but they lasted for a good decade. I might be tempted to just drop pots in (cos I am idle)...but the smaller the container, the more frequent the watering needs so... Depends what you are going to use them for...but top job.
    Idaho likes this.
  8. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Autumn is the MOST expensive time, Gentlegreen. No question.
    gentlegreen likes this.
  9. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad heckling from the back!

    Mate has a long, very narrow planter, using exchangeable troughs, watering uses a home-made soaker hose ie the holed sections are at the pots. Mind you, this is someone retired who loves to fiddle with things. The hanging baskets have a similar arrangement !
  10. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for now. It was only about £3 off Ebay so I'll wait and see. Its a bit of a learning process on these, and this is a spare as I've bought three Juniperus chinensis Pyramidalis, a Pinus thunbergii, a Podocarpus macrophyllus, a Pinus Parviflora Glauca and two Sequoia Sempervirens (Californian Redwood) for pruning/training. They'll all stay in containers with a view to creating a Japanese garden when I eventually move out of London. I'd like to have trees I've bought as tiny saplings for not much that I've grown and trained myself over the years. Much more satisfying than spending five grand on a mature trained and shaped tree someone else has had all the fun with.

    I like that across c.deodar nana aurea, looks a bit like the cryptomeria japonica monstrosa I have. The cedar of Lebanon is one of my fabourite trees, but is enormous and wouldn't fit in with a Japanese garden, so I thought I'd have a go at doing my own bonsai. Never tried it, but just bought the wire and planting mat to have a go.

    I was going to ask how your garden was recovering from that spraying disaster, is it starting to recover?
  11. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Bulbs and annuals. I still have the fuchsias and a scarlet begonia I bought in consolation.
    I put a 5 foot metasequoia in the wood, 3 years ago...and it is now well over 12feet tall. Actually, Ringo, I think the 70s conifer gardens (often with heather) are due a design revival - modernised obviously, and minus the heather, but there is a lot to like. Sustainable, architectural, rigorous, but also playful: a good fit for busy lives. An araucaria is the nearest I have got to southern hemisphere trees but podocarpus and nothofagus would be on my wishlist in an imaginary arboretum.
  12. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Is it going to take long before you can plant properly on it? Must have been awful for bloody ages!

    I'd never considered growing any kind of sequoia, but I'm fascinated by the Japanese method of daisugi, a kind of coppicing used to get straight poles for prayer hanging, and in the garden to give the appearance of very high clouds. In Japan they use Crypomeria japonica radicans but that particular species is very hard to find here. Jake at told me the Redwoods respond the same way. Bit of a long term plan, they have to be about 5 years old, with a trunk the thickness of a Coke can, before you can start training them. I'm teaching myself patience :D:D


    I think you're right, I think this stuff could have great wider appeal. You could spend hours pruning, but you could also make them fairly maintenance free for an interesting garden with year round foliage and beauty.

    I started out with a vague love of Japanese plants and bamboo, but it was the architectural, creative and structural side of plants which really got my enthusiasm. I didn't expect to get obsessed with trees. The slow, meticulous and precise work with hand tools also appealed, having worked as an archaeologist for years.

    I like perennials because they mature, getting better very season, and I don't always have time for annuals or want to start from scratch every year. Even my annual flower gardening seems to be reducing to just making sure my dahlias stay in the ground all winter and come back with minimum effort.
  13. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Mmmm, I think the pruning and training thing (meddling) must be a fairly common aspect of a gardeners learning trajectory because I passed through that exact same did my gardening eldest...although my fascination was based on the old French and Dutch methods of trellis, espalier, pleaching and so on...especially with fruit trees. I still have the results scattered around the allotment - various apples in tortured poses...and have you looked at inosculation?:eek::thumbs: I might have waffled on about using this as a medieval building method, training alders to graft together to make a platform? But yeah - patience.

    The spray mistake was actually not as desperate because my garden is basically a pot I didn't have to contend with germination inhibitors in topsoil.

    I love annuals and always have. As well as the basic cornflowers, flax, corncockles, poppies, nigella, legousia, iberis and so on, there is a world of Californian and Texan annuals I have been exploring (from swaps online and sites like Seedhunt...oh, and Chilean flora - another craze)...because it is a useful counter to having to wait for 5 years for a perennial seedling (paeonia, lilies, dierama and, of course, trees). Plus I am addicted to seeds - saving and sowing - essentially free gardening. The season is already under way with phacelia campanulatus - my annual star last year - the most heartbreakingly deep, pure blue with white stamens. Flowered for months. Also, a purple larkspur, consolida 'Imperial Mauve' - a winner for me.
    I have a (dawn) redwood at exactly that stage - very tall and straight but am at a loss to see how to prune the lateral branches to grow like topiary - they want to curve downwards while keeping a very fastigiate growth habit? Have seen it done on Holm oaks and euonymous cultivars. I am also raising Monterey pines (pinus radiata) to use as shelterbelt when the poplars age out.
    I can easily conflate archaeology with gardening though - the same skills of recognition, observation, taxonomy and yep, care and patience.
    ringo likes this.
  14. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I don't know anything about inosculation but it seems to be basic part of turnng a sa[pling into a bonsai so I'll have a go when I do the cedar.

    That's good news, if it was in the soil that really would have been devastation.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
  15. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Here's what I have, looks tricky with a fastigiate growth habit:
    daisugi 1.JPG daisugi 2.JPG
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
    campanula likes this.
  16. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    I have a couple of larch seedlings so might be tempted to do a bit of shaping. Inosculation is basically a grafting technique - approach grafting, which can be done in situ or on a bench - check out Axel Erlendson - staggering stuff.
    Ah, see where you are coming from - basically keeping very short laterals with probably monthly trimming to keep the continual branching.
    There are times when I feel a little bit ashamed of myself - when my phyto-dominatrix role takes over and I find I have been a little heavy-handed with the loppers...and other times when I know that people and plants make a perfect symbiotic machine and get all experimental again. Good job they can neither look at you with sad doggy eyes and certainly not talk.
    ringo likes this.
  17. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I'm going to keep it very basic for the bonsai I'm trying as I have no idea what I'm doing.


    I'm going to treat myself to a day at Herons Bonsai Centre next month when I get paid for all the on-call work I've been doing - one to one Niwaki day with the Peter Chan. And probably some more of those lovely tools :cool::)
    BoatieBird likes this.
  18. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Would work better with sequoia sempervirens (although I do not grow that one) or even s.gigantea...but not, I think, with metasequoia. My eldest is a massive Niwaki fan - will chat to him.

    You could try raising tree seedlings - you will get a decent selection to mess about with (guiltlessly). I have never gone down the bonsai route, being far, far too anxious about watering (those little flat pots!). Also, still time(just) to take a heap of semi-ripe evergreens cuttings.
    ringo likes this.
  19. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    I have one bonsai which I reguarly nearly kill. I'll try and do better with this one :)
    I think I have one of most of the species I want now, I've covered the basic range. I reckon the majority of experiments and expansions in the future can be started without spending more money, using cuttings from these.
    campanula likes this.
  20. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    I got my autumn / winter baskets planted up.
    I'm pleased with the first two as they're basically more of the same - calamus in place of the spider plant, Ivy for the trailing foliage, red heather and pink cyclamen for colour in place of the fuchsia:)


    I'm not sure about the other two because the pansies are so different, but I'll put them out the back to fatten up and see what I think later.
    Quite how I was able to bring them home and not notice the bonus brussels sprout plant, I don't know :D

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    Leafster, campanula and clicker like this.
  21. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    The allotment is tipping over into its rampant stage. The only way to cope is to squint at a square foot of ground. I love it though as all pressure is off. 6 months of mindless messing about - my best type of gardening.
    Leafster and gentlegreen like this.
  22. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Got my amaryllis and hyacinth bulbs out of the garage and planted them for Christmas. One of the amaryllis bulbs was a bit soft, will it grow OK? Both had small white tips showing, so they seem to be alive and viable. I brought them home from Amsterdam last year and they were really good.
    20170111_193819.jpg IMG-20161219-WA0002.jpg
    gentlegreen likes this.
  23. Leafster

    Leafster From the FRow

    I decided I'd leave the artichoke flowers to go to seed this year for the benefit of the goldfinches or so I thought...

  24. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Did they get to finish off somewhere sunny ?
  25. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    IMG_20170927_145958548_HDR.jpg I made the old shrub area into a bog-standard but pleasant flowerbed. It looks so much nicer in real life than in a photo :(

    Attached Files:

  26. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Probably not that sunny but January / February in my conservatory so thought they were dry enough. Anyway both have started to show fresh stem already so should be fine.
  27. ringo

    ringo Macaroni cheese controller

    Just booked a 1 - 1 Niwaki tree pruning course at Heron's Bonsai for the end of the week :thumbs:
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  28. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    The pink brugmansia that I hacked off my original, badly-frosted huge plant and planted out rather late, has finally started producing flower buds so I might yet get a few flowers if the frosts are as late as usual (late Dec / early Jan)
    But it has also shot up to nearly 6 feet - which is attractive in itself and a good foil for the dahlia which is doing brilliantly considering the lack of light. And a self-sown nasturtium has also produced impressively large leaves - adding to the jungle effect :)

    I still haven't done anything sensible with my two spare hanging baskets :oops: - hopefully I will get them out in the back garden this weekend as well as plant up the masses of giant pink wallflowers languishing under LED light in my indoor growing area ... as per always I'm massively short of space to plant things out - as well as wanting to avoid inconveniencing my spiders - I need to remember to duck when leaving the house due to the web across my doorway.

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  29. May Kasahara

    May Kasahara thoughts start with a laser sound

    A couple of fruit tree questions for the knowledgeable gardeners of Urban:

    My pear tree has got pear rust. What, if anything, should I do? It's a young tree and I would like to eat the pears next year.

    My plum tree gets sawfly or something every bastard year (caterpillars in plums). How can I stop the little fuckers?

    Sorry for rushed post, would appreciate any advice.
  30. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Hey May Kasahara (forgot to quote)
    Pear rust is an easily fixed fungal complaint - a basic copper spray at leaf-fall and also at bud break in spring will sort that.
    Plum moth and sawfly is a bit trickier since treatment requires a nastier insecticide spray (I get plum aphids but basically ignore the horrible wrinkled leaves). Is it a Victoria by any chance (they ALWAYS seems to get hit). Will try to research the least damaging of pesticides for sawfly - there are some choices which are worse than others, and get back to you on this one.
    May Kasahara likes this.

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