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Valerie Munro's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 139

Re: Help to identify tree to replace damaged area

from Valerie Munro

Looks like a Pittosporum tenuifolium to me - the screen shot is below

  • Posted: Tue. 14th January 2020 16:55

Re: Cypripedium - Lady Slipper Orchids

from Valerie Munro

I do think that most people think that orchids are 'difficult' which is perhaps why they are not a natural choice.

In fact, the orchid family is the largest group of plants in the Plant Kingdom - there are more different species of orchids than any other plant, and they are truly cosmopolitan. This means that you will find them on all continents, all over the world!

They are a fascinating group of plants and richly deserve better exposure.

  • Posted: Mon. 11th March 2013 15:53

Re: Cypripedium - Lady Slipper Orchids

from Valerie Munro

why not visit

This video will give you some answers on the best way to plant a slipper orchid. At least it's a good start to your overall journey!


  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 15:01

Re: what is this called?

from Valerie Munro

The common name for this plant is Burrow's tail or donkey-tail, but it's proper name is Sedum morganianum.

As it is a trailing plant it will grow well in a hanging basket. However, it is only frost tender so will need to be brought inside during the harsh winter weather - actually I would consider this to be more of a house plant.

In summer it should produce clusters of rose pink flowers

The worst thing that you can do to this plant is to over-water it. It will probably do best in fairly sandy soils, with minimal feeding.

I hope that this helps - good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 14:51

Re: Re: Pot-grown tree

from Valerie Munro

I would be happy to help you with some suggestions, but the most important piece of information is where your garden is? If it's in the UK, then there is a great deal of difference between what will work in the North of Scotland compared with the warmer climes of London and the SE.

East facing is a difficult too - do you live anywhere the sea which can present another element of 'hostility'. As a first stab, I would recommend any one of the Sorbus genus - where you will get a double season of interest - flowers in the spring, and coloured foliage and berries in the autumn.

There is quite a range of sizes on offer, but working from the smallest upwards I would favour S. huphehensis with its amazing dark pink berries! Will grow (slowly) to 8m.

I hope that this helps.

Good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 12:04

Re: Caryopteris 'Longwood Blue'

from Valerie Munro

You will be able to buy this by mail order from Ashwood Nurseries in the West Midlands; tel: 01384 401996 or visit www.ashwoodnurseries.com

Good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 11:54

Re: install a greenhouse

from Valerie Munro

I think that the first task is for you to find the best possible place for your greenhouse - and this may sound a silly thing to say. Possibly you have already chosen the site, but is it in the shade of over hanging tree branches, and therefore will be quite dark for much of the day? On the other hand, in the height of summer (assuming that we will have one!), sitting in the full blast of the midday sun's excessive heat may also cause difficulties.

The next step is for you to measure the area and then select the biggest greenhouse that you can accommodate there and can afford - the larger it is the lower the cost will be per sq m of running it.

Then think about how you might be heating your greenhouse in winter - perhaps being built close to a source of electricity might save you angst later.

Having decided exactly what greenhouse, and where it is to go, then you should get your appropriate concrete base laid before you build the glasshouse itself. A completely flat surface is needed to avoid any future 'twisting' of the framework which would then result in windows cracking or, worse still, popping out.

Perhaps you could also think about allowing some space around the structure so that you can have easy access to cleaning all of the windows.

If you can find someone who can lay down the base, and also put it up for you once the concrete has set, then I would encourage you to accept the offer. My husband and I spend many miserable hours trying to re-assemble a second hand greenhouse, and I will never do that again - it was amazing that we are still speaking today!

Good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 11:48

Re: Re: Re: Best footwear for gardening

from Valerie Munro

Dare I suggest that you start looking in your local charity shops? No-one said that they had to be new!
Or, a quick look at eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1311&_nkw=leather+walking+boots&_sacat=0&_from=R40
where you will find quite a range of sizes.

Good luck!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 10:54

Re: Best footwear for gardening

from Valerie Munro

I wear a pair of walking boots; they have good tracks on the soles which prevent slipping and sliding, the soles are robust enough for digging, and the extended lacing up to the ankle gives good support.

Not only do my feet remain warm, but they are well protected from all of those mini hazards that you might meet.

That would be my best advice to you!

For quick trips into the garden, I have a pair of lightweight clogs -but these would not be suitable for serious digging - stick to leather walking boots!

  • Posted: Sun. 10th March 2013 09:11

Re: Wilting Clematis cartmanii Avalanche

from Valerie Munro

Hi Janet

From the sound of it your clematis seems to be suffering from the dreaded clematis wilt, but please remember that the disease looks awful, it is not terminal!

Clematis wilt affects mainly the large flowered hybrids, and includes your Clematis 'Avanlanche'. The symptoms you will see are wilting terminal shoots, starting with the youngest foliage. The leaf stalks then begin to darken where they join the leaf blade. Whole sections of the plant may die back.

The cause of wilt is a fungus which produces fruiting bodies on the older stems. You should cut back any affected stems to healthy tissue, below ground level if necessary. But do not under any circumstances put these trimmkings onto the compost heap - the fungal spores will spend the winter in the soil and spring into action again the following year.

Heaping up the soil around the developing stems encourages more new and healthy growth to appear from below ground level. Or, if you can dig the plant up, make a deeper hole for it and then drop the plant in so that more of the stem will be covered by soil.

The way the garden chemical market is shrinking, there is nothing you can spray the plant with so just keep it well fed and watered so that it can better withstand any fungal attack.

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty

  • Posted: Mon. 12th September 2011 09:46