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Valerie Munro's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 139


Re: Re: Re: Leylandii as specimen tree

from Valerie Munro

Hi Barbara

I'm assuming that you have chosen a conifer as they are (almost exclusively) evergreen - and you have mentioned the words 'fast growing'. I know that you have said you would like a conifer, but I'm now asking you to have another think to achieve what you want, but in a slightly different way.

IMHO the fastest way to cover a vertical space is to use a climber, but for that you would need to provide whatever you choose with suitable support.

However, there is another way. If you were to use something like a pyracantha, you can train this plant to whatever shape and size you want without harming it. I have seen them trained as tall and narrow wall shrubs with great effect - the only thing you have to do is to give it an anchor point - in your case a stake would suffice.

The leaves are small, glossy and evergreen; it will give you white flowers early in the year before your roses wake up and then later in the year you will be rewarded with brightly coloured berries which should (pigeons allowing) stay on the plant until the following spring.

If you wanted to have a narrow flame shaped plant, then all you have to do is to shape it yourself and be prepared to snip off any wayward shoots that develop from time to time

What do you think of this as a suggestion?

Good luck

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk.

  • Posted: Tue. 2nd August 2011 08:07

Re: Re: Re: Leylandii as specimen tree

from Valerie Munro

Hi John

I totally agree with you!

I was working on the gentle notion that planting a leylandii which Barbara was planning to 'control' into something quite small was not a very good idea! I have seen too many results of the wrong plant being put into a space, with the result that the garden owner has spent time and energy hacking it back to maintain a size, and at the same time ruining the natural attributes of the plant.

My message is always make the right choice in the first place and then everyone is happy, the gardener, the plant and the overall ambience of the garden. If someone really wants to have, say, a ceanothus for their smallish garden, with careful searching there will be the perfect species/cultivar for their space.

But I know that you know this too!

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Mon. 1st August 2011 10:07

Re: Leylandii as specimen tree

from Valerie Munro

Hi Barbara

I'm wondering if you have got the correct name for the conifer that you're planning to plant - the leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is an extremely vigorous plant, reaching 30m in the blink of an eye.

If so, to keep that 'brute' to your dimensions is going to take some doing, and really rather a waste of a plant that, although it has been given some bad press as suburban hedging, in the open ground is a handsome specimen.

If you wish to have a slender, column shaped conifer, as a start please can I introduce you to Juniperus communis 'Hibernica', or Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket'? These two example plants may ultimately (10 years) exceed your height restriction, but they will need absolutely no shaping at all to keep them in their slender columns.

There will be other dwarf conifers to consider that will give you some exciting colours, shapes and textures. I don't want to do the poor leylandii down, but excitement is not a word that I would use for it, unless it is planted in the middle of a rolling landscape where it can do its own thing, and beautifully.

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
www.auntieplanty.co.uk

  • Posted: Mon. 1st August 2011 07:45

Re: Can youy Identify this Flower please?

from Valerie Munro

Hi Ann

It certainly l-o-o-ks like a Tigridia pavonia - but your plant doesn't appear to have the 'usual' spotted petals in the centre which give the plant the common name of tiger flower.

Seems a shame that whatever its name (!) that the flowers only last a day! If that's the bad news, then the good news is that if you don't pick off the faded flower head, you may get another bud opening further down the stem.

Auntie Planty
Twitter @THEauntieplanty

  • Posted: Sun. 31st July 2011 12:52

Re: Update: not a Streptocarpus Shock!

from Valerie Munro

Hi John

I'm delighted that you have finally found a name to your mystery plant, however as I was one of the original replies I have to defend my obvious guess! It is extremely difficult to identify a plant from a general view of it, or even from just a leaf - you really need to take a piccie up close and personal into its flower. Using this view, we can count petals, stamens, etc and this info may be all the info that's needed to make a positive ID.

Having now seen a close up of the C. ugandense, I can now identify what I was looking at in your original pic.

Where have you planted this little beauty? It's botanical latin tells me that it hails from Uganda which is a deal warmer that in the UK - so take care that you give it adequate frost protection - in other words, treat it as a houseplant.

Yours in shock!

Auntie Planty
twitter @THEauntieplanty

  • Posted: Sun. 31st July 2011 09:41

Re: How and when to prune magnolia black tulip

from Valerie Munro

Hi Richard

There are so many different magnolias, with differing pruning needs, that you are right to want to get it right!

Magnolia 'Black Tulip' needs to be given a careful inspection in late summer, to consider how the plant is shaping up. Look for any dead stems and cut these out.

But take care, as if you get secateur happy and snip with abandon, then you could end up ruining the natural shape of this plant. If you are removing a dead stem, take it right back to where it joins a healthy stem.

We have had such unusual weather lately, hot and dry one minute, torrential rain the next. This is a good time to examine the soil in which you plant is in. It requires fertile moist but well drained soil. Flowers are damaged by frost / wind - so plant under shelter in full / partial sun.

I would also recommend mulching the area around the base of the plant with compost, and top this up once a year.

I hope that this helps

Auntie Planty
Twitter @THEauntieplanty

  • Posted: Sun. 31st July 2011 09:27

Re: Identify this rose please

from Valerie Munro

This is a bit of a minefield!

There are so many hundreds and hundreds of red roses available to gardeners that naming this one might be like looking for a needle in a haystack.. From the pic supplied and working backwards, it is unlikely to be a wild rose as these are single petalled with prominent central stamens.

Was it a shrub rose or a climber?

My light bulb moment is - if I was you, then I would write a letter to the head gardener of Powercourt House (enclosing a SAE) and try and pinpoint the place where you found it as closely as possible. Give it a go, if that fails, then do come back to Shoot!

Auntie Planty
Twitter @THEauntieplanty

If you saw a plant label near the rose, what was it that made you doubt that that was the correct name?

  • Posted: Sun. 31st July 2011 09:17

Re: How to Use a Lawn Fertiliser Spreader???

from Valerie Munro

If the lawn spreader is not spreading the product in a uniform way, then I would resort to doing it my hand. You could test this by putting in sand and then pushing the unit across a surface that you can see where the stuff has landed - eg patio?

The important thing here is that you must not allow the product to sit on the grass for any length of time - by doing so it will surely (as eggs are eggs) burn the leaf blade. What is needed is to get the stuff watered in so that it can do its stuff below ground level - I think that the pack recommendation is to water in if no rain within a few days - I think I would step in and water sooner.

What are you using this product for specifically? There may be a less hazardous way to achieve it. I certainly would not re-seed immediately after treatment - if it's scortching the grass, imagine what it could do to a vulnerable seed>

Auntie Planty
Twitter @THEauntieplanty

  • Posted: Sun. 31st July 2011 09:08

Re: Re: Identify this plant please.

from Valerie Munro

Hi Nicola

Spot on Nicola! It's a clump forming perennial with stunning pink flowers that contrast very well with those grey stems and leaves. It's in the same family as carnations and pinks.

However, Lychnis coronaris are familiar old garden flowers, grown since the 16th century - so nothing new-fangled here then!

Auntie Planty
Twitter @THEauntieplanty

  • Posted: Sat. 30th July 2011 13:37

Re: Is Sedum reflexum 'Angelina' the same plant

from Valerie Munro

Hi Andi

From time to time plant names get changed, for no apparent reason - certainly one particular sedum went from spectabile to herbsfreude (or was it the other way round?!) According to the RHS Plant Finder, Sedum relexum has had a name change to S. rupestre but when that happened is anyone's guess.

I hope that this helps
Auntie Planty
Twitter @theauntieplanty

  • Posted: Wed. 27th July 2011 22:53