Discussion in 'suburban75' started by ringo, Feb 11, 2014.
I would have cut back harder I think
Is there a privacy issue/consideration?
Harder Rutita1 ? I asked him to take it back to fence height, so that I could look after it myself from now on Here's the photo from the gardeners website.
I am cut, cut, cut happy once I start, tis true.
It looks different/more trimmed from this angle.
It is officially cold
My brug is no more - three weeks earlier than usual.
Hopefully the trunk isn't too badly damaged and I'll be able to dig it up complete with old wood so flowering will be early next year. That would also mean I have plenty of cutting material, but I have last year's rooted cutting in the greenhouse and one bit from this year nicely callousing in the bathroom cutting jar ...
I probably should have dug it up on the weekend, but I think I've got off lightly so there will be quite a lot of intact trunk and plenty of cutting material.
Doing it sooner might have given me a few flowers indoors.
I dug up my lightly frosted big pink brug for over-wintering, and in the process produced masses of cuttings.
At work they have just invested in what must be the poshest and most expensive indoor plant on the site - a massive "bonsai" baobab that must be 12 feet high.
Anyone hazard a guess as to how much it cost ?
The biggest I could find was one in an 11 litre pot for about £300
Hopefully they consulted the grounds team about continued maintenance ...
Oh, quite a bit more than £300, I can assure you of that. Barcham Trees are in my manor - they regularly deal with larger trees costing thousands while I installed a £900 (in 2004) jelly palm (butia capitata) for a customer (who subsequently managed to kill it off by inappropriate pruning and inevitable viral overload).
I grew an adamsonia from seed once (but it went the way of so many of my plants - death from neglect).
I was seriously impressed with the trees in Portcullis House when I visited it a few years back but horrified to hear the government paid £30,000 a year to rent them!
Downing Street endorses tree scrapping at Portcullis House
Bulbs are poking their heads up slowly (despite the driving rain / snow and hard frosts) - we will survive.
I love this time of year in the garden as all the early plants begin to wake up. Each time I look in the garden there seem to be a few extra shoots emerging from the ground.
I planted a few more bulbs in the autumn so I'm hoping for a good display soon.
The weather is frightful - some quite hard frosts and recently a dusting of snow. It has now gone wet and windy, with more to come. So doing some planning indoors !
However, a quick bird-feeding trip had me noticing a few bulbs starting to show, always a pleasant reminder that spring will be here sometime soon.
When I can get outside for some actual work; I do have some more tree pruning to do. Including lopping off some quite big branches and "hedge" maintenance, so the little saw is getting ready to carry on with the jungle-bashing from a few months ago ... ground is still soft and clarty, so not today.
Seed catalogues dropping through the door. Have ordered the first of the year...and most thrillingly, it is a completely new (to me) variety of an old favourite - the poppy. Long headed poppy - papaver dubium ssp lecoquii albflora - a rose pink, single, field poppy. Excited - I grow quite a lot of poppies but a new variety of an old friend is always special. From Great Dixter seed shop.
There will be daily visits to greenhouse to check germination - one of the only things to get me through january.
I would guess at close to a bag of sand. The sad thing is that most office plants die from people tipping coffee into the pot because there is nowhere else to dump it.
At one place I worked at for a few years, it used to be fag ends getting dumped in the pots, and lack of water / light ... at least when smoking was allowed indoors, now the area around the smoking shelter looks terrible.
Yep, I think the ciggies were the death dealers - I have used coffee grounds as a mulch and regularly tip my tea dregs into the pot plants which thrive...but nicotine is ferocious stuff.
The nicotine should at least keep any bugs at bay ?
Thankfully the baobab above is located in a favourable location and the clients on that part of the site are particularly well-behaved
It seems to form part of an exhibit about high-achieving African women.
Back in the garden after seasonal sloth. Lots of bulb activity, including a large pot which had tipped over on it's side so all bulbs are now horizontal. I have a really decent bit of kit - telescopic secateurs...which grip, as well as cut...so the clear-up is painless (if slow) and removes any risk of my trampling boots and dodgy balance (teetering on top of the slippery coping). I have been poking autumn-sown annuals in various gaps - all very leisurely stuff (but niggling away is the shitload of work waiting on the allotment). I have sown some of my new (to me) variety of poppies and my (expensive) hellebore seeds look to be on the point of germination.
Also came across photos from last March...and was stunned at the proliferation of growth and colour...only 6 or so weeks, but it always seems so improbable, looking at the desolation of january (at least in my gardens).
I have the same problem with trampling on plants or breaking bits off as I negotiate my way through the borders.
Some of my self-seeded hellebores appear to be flowering for the first time. I quite like this one
Any recommendations on plum trees? I've decided to plant one now that I have space in the garden. Without further advice I'd buy Victoria as this is the one I remember from childhood.
Well, Victorias were the gold standard for a long time...but warmer winters seems to have encouraged pesty invasions...and sadly, Victorias are not proving as resilient. So, I might choose another similar to Vics such as Opal or Jubilee. Most essentially, don't be tempted by an Aldi cheapie as the rootstock is as important as the scion...and you really need to go to a reputable nursery and choose the smallest stock. Used to always be St Julien A but I find this is still too vigorous for easy harvesting (requires a ladder which is a nightmare on a plum)...and will most likely be the stock used in cheaper trees. So, for just a few more pounds, buy your tree from a proper fruit nursery such as Reads, Orange Pippin Trees, Chris Bowyer, Frank P Matthews Trees for Life or even Lubera...and get one on Pixy rootstock (although there are recent Russian stocks which are gaining popularity and sometimes you might come across Plumina (not sure whether it is French or Czech).All reputable nurseries do mail order and now is the very best time to buy one and plant it.
On planting - the old advice about huge holes and heaps of amendments such as manure, bonemeal, compost etc. really do not apply - they create drainage problems for example and encourage root spiralling....so dig a hole twice as wide as the width of pot, poke the bottom to loosen the soil a bit, plant to the depth of the soil level when removed from pot, with no amendments and backfill with the soil removed in the digging...which will encourage rootgrowth outwards (for feeding|) as well as downwards (for anchorage).
Thanks campanula, there is a 'proper' nursery up the road from me, I might go there. Not quite sure what you mean by 'choose the smallest stock'?
This is the choice at Macpenny's:
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Czar' 1/2 Standard
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Czar' Bush
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Marjorie's Seedling' Bush Pixy
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Marjorie's Seedling' 1/2 Standard
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Marjorie's Seedling' Bush
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Opal' 1/2 Standard
Plum (Prunus domestica) 'Opal' Bush
Your plum will be a named variety -Victoria, Opal and is called a scion which is grafted on a particular rootstock from a wild plum, prunus cerasifera, and is called a stock...which will affect the eventual size and vigour of the tree. Things like' half standard' and 'standard' means that the tree is topworked - or grafted higher up the rootstock so that a standard tree will be a single trunk with no lateral limbs for the first 5 feet or so...and is usually grafted onto a semi-dwarfing stock (St Julien A or C). A 'bush' variety will be grafted at the soil level although it will still grow as a single trunk, you will find that the lateral branches are much lower...but unless you want a tall tree to sit underneath, this is probably the best option for an urban garden...especially as I see that the Marjorie's seedling is grafted on a Pixy rootstock. If the Opal was on a Pixy rootstock, then that would be my choice. How much are they selling these trees for?
MacPenny's occupys that weird niche of not growing all their own stock (which a nursery does) but not just buying in stuff like a garden centre. .but nevertheless, they probably buy in some stock from specialist fruit nurseries such as Frank P Matthews ...so the quality should still be there, although what you save on postage will be lost be the wholesalers mark-up...but you do get to see your tree before buying (*and you will be looking for a clean graft and a nice, well balanced branch structure). Often better to buy a first year maiden than a bigger second year tree - ease of establishment...but really, age is less of a concern. The sellers should be able to give you good advice on rootstocks and also offer a guarantee - if not the case, then please consider going direct to a specialist grower - a fruit tree is a long-term committment and will probably be there for your grandchildren so worth getting the best option for your soil, aspect and available space... a reputable grower will take the time to engage with any queries, even if only by email or phone.
eta - I looked up fruit tree nurseries in your area and came up with Southern Fruit Trees in Liss...which is definitely a 'proper' nursery, having a bigger range of stocks and varieties..and competitive pricing. Sorry to bang on about this...but independent nurseries (rather than garden centres, wholesalers and chain stores) are really under the cosh, and if we do not use them, we will be left with a tiny inventory of profitable plants, grown in Holland...while a huge repository of knowledge will be lost. Also, quality and costs are always better with fewer links in the vending chain.
I also note that Southern uses the VVA1 dwarfing rootstock...which is really good for a small garden...as well as the semi-dwarfing Pixy and larger StJuliens. Have a look at their website at least, for a good explanation of stocks, scions and why they are important...and I also really like the Seneca plums they offer.
Thanks again campanula!
Macpennys tagline is 'a nursery not a garden centre' and when we went there (for tea ), it did look like they grew their own stuff. Liss is a long drive from me, so I might try Frank P Matthews online or go and interrogate Macpennys further.
Frank P Matthews has been my goto place for trees for ages...but if you really want to get on with it, then the bush Opal at MacPennys is a good choice. Ask them about the rootstock though, and make sure it is a Pixy. My Opal, on St Julien A is over 15feet tall (although I have made matters much worse for myself by shoehorning in a massive (and vicious) moyesii wild rose).
Useful posts, as ever campanula, and timely!
I've been looking to get some cordon apple trees for the allotment and I was wondering about rootstocks.
Am I best to go for the very dwarf (M27) and dwarf (M9) varieties?
Hi Boatie - cordons - fantastic - I also have 5 apples and redcurrants - a really good way of extending the cropping season (different varieties) and probably the best yield to area.
Anyway, rootstock. Surprisingly, it is not advised to go with the very dwarfing rootstock for cordons...given the already extreme pruning and training we are about to undergo. I got mine (apples) from Frank P Matthews and I seem to recall that the rootstock might have been M26...or at least the size up from M9 . A further consideration is soil - and mine is not the most fertile, being sandy and free draining, so the semi-dwarfing rootstock was best for me...but if you have deep, rich, fertile soil, then M9 would work.
I probably don't need to mention this but if you are thinking of getting a few varieties, you will need to make sure they are all in the same pollination group...as the window for pollination is short - around 5 days. Most of mine are in group B. If you are thinking of adding a Bramley, you will need a smaller stock to counterbalance the genetic vigour of this variety and since it is a triploid, you will need 2 different pollination partners. I highly recommend Charles Ross (as a good dual purpose eater/cooker) but you might research good local varieties for your area.
It sounds complicated but isn't really...and all the info should be available on a good nursery website. Where are you? Might know of good ones in your area.
I'm in south northants, but happy to travel a bit for somewhere recommended.
Anywhere near Aylesbury?
I have bought hedging from Buckingham nurseries - a really good reliable and knowledgeable company...and have also know of Bernwode fruit nursery (all container grown, not bare root), or Heritage Fruit trees.
My geography is shit...and Northants covers a wide area - pm me with your address...and avoid Notcutts or Wyevale and the like.
Separate names with a comma.