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Help me prove my DM wrong.

(7 Posts)
LoulouCapone Fri 07-Aug-09 16:18:55

Ok, my DM likes to complain when she visits. Currently a source of her nagging is my garden. Our house is surrounded by concrete. The front was shingled when we bought it, and the back was unsightly.
We've shingled the whole of the back because it was previously paved and quite uneven, so not very safe. If you put a spade in the ground it only goes about 1ft deep before you hit the concrete.
The plan is, to keep it shingled, but over time add a small properly paved area as a patio. I have bought lots of different size pots, and want to use these all around, front and back, to add colour.

My questions are:

I have bought a hydrangea (SP?). It was quite small when I first potted it, with white flowers on. Each stalk has now grown to over a meter, but the leaves have gone black. I've looked at the care label, which has minimal advice on it, but it does show some secateurs (SP?) So should I have been pruning, and if so how?

I have also bought some clematis for the front - but it doesn't seem to be growing much. It does have some new shoots, but nothing dramatic. Is this normal, and is there anything I can do to speed things along? I read someone one here recommending tomato feed - is this universal advice?

I also have two daisy trees - they have a long trunk then the bush at the top. I bought these mucho cheapo from my local garden centre, and have carefully brought them back to life. The first flowers have now died off and it says I should remove them, but their stalk is also brown/dead so should I remove this too?

Lastly I would like some more ideas for planting. I'm obviously new to this! I saw some runner bean plants at a friends, would it be too late to plant these?

I want something with instant rewards, so that when DM next visits she'll only have my kitchen to moan about. grin I have tried googling all this, but was a tad confused by the results! So thank you in advance for your help. smile

Tortington Fri 07-Aug-09 16:22:30

fuschia - even i can make that grow and i kill anything.

as far as i understand you are supposed to prune hydrangias i the spring.

if you have the money - get some nice bushes - they add ornamental value and aren't any bother

Tortington Fri 07-Aug-09 16:22:52

reasy made up hanging baskets.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Fri 07-Aug-09 16:35:00

Is the clematis new this year?They generally don't do much the first year of planting. Next year you should get some flowers, and the year after lots.
Tomato feed is good for boosting flower numbers but no point giving it if it has gone past its time for flowering this year. If it has some flower buds I'd give it a dose. If not, I wouldn't bother.

Not too late for runner beans if you get them in now (plants in pots, not seeds). They would benefit from tomato feed too.

You could get some dahlias from a garden centre now to stick in the ground for flowers from late August until the first frosts.

MaybeAfterBreakfast Fri 07-Aug-09 16:37:43

Ah, just noticed you're using pots only. Porbably not worth bothering with the dahlias unless you have very large pots. I've tried runner beans in pots this year myself, but they haven't worked well.

What about cheap and cheerful pelargoniums? Lots of those in pots would look colourful.

LIZS Fri 07-Aug-09 16:52:54

Lavender is big this year , colourful and fragrant. Maybe start a rockery of alpines in a corner. Garden centres are selling off some of their bedding plants so you may be able to get some cheap ones to add instant colour.

How about sinking some pots into the shingle later in the autumn and planting up with a variety of bulbs to lower next spring.

greenfanta Sun 09-Aug-09 23:29:59

do not prune the hydrangea!the flowers come on the second years growth! make sure it is in a nice big pot, acidic(ericaceous?) soil is best, good drainage at the bottom of the pot. cover soil with grit/gravel to help conserve moisture and put somewhere shady. easy!

i quite often get the cheap plants in morrisons (2 for £5), the perennials and shrubs are good if you get the fresh ones. they're smaller than in the garden centre coz younger but things like wiegela take off fast. i've also been pleased with their clamatis(keep base cool/shaded)

you could also try growing your own cuttings. go for a walk with bottle of water and collect pinchings of shrubs(tips about 2-3" long leave a couple of leaves on) when you get home poke them into a pot with some compost and keep wet. see what takes!

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