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This Gardeners New Year 2011, Starts Today…

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10 years making gardens under my own name or not…… 2010 has gone and past and today I return to work to begin another year in the great outdoors. As you are most probably well aware I am, in short and to choose one of many descriptions, a gardener. The homepage of my website explains more about me if you wish to read more.

If you would like for me to make your garden to make you smile this 2011…. you can contact me in the following ways.

My garden gates for 2011 officially re-open for business at 7.27 am today Tuesday 4th January. The snow winter now past or not, I know this gardener is really looking forward to getting back to gardening.

Have a happy new year and a happy garden,

Peter

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Clematis

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The Ranunculaceae are a genus of more than 200 species of evergreen and deciduous mix of [not always but generally speaking] climbing plants, as one would generally know them.

In that context and to the climbing plants side of this family – some of these flowering beauties can reach upwards of 50′ in height, an error [?] in plant  you do not wish to make. They are generally self climbing and renowned for their almost wrap around corkscrew like self clinging attachments which it then uses to surge itself upwards.

The key to buying any climber, in this case clematis, is to suit the plant to the place. Mistakes in this department can often made in the early days for the sake of maybe saving a few euro’s. In my youth, the varieties most common were the Clematis montana – that can grow easily to 46′ long and therefore creates a very woody base, powering over and smothering almost anything that may have been planted nearby including trees, building and shrubs!

To this, I am offering you 6 clematis that are so much easier to care for and also that litte bit prettier. I have chosen these as, at this moment in time, it’s almost October and they are still in flower.

  • Clematis durandii – a late flowering, not self supporting clematis. It can grow to 6′ tall and its blue flowers with yellow anthers can grow to 3″ wide.
  • Clematis rouge cardinal – this rouge coloured late flowering clematis will self support and can grow to 10′ tall. Its flowers can grow to 4″ wide.

  • Clematis Mrs George Jackman – this one, I love. It flowers in early to mid and then again in late summer . The white flowers can grow to 6″ wide. Self clinging.
  • Clematis Nelly Moser – same as above, it is a self clinging double flowerer – It can grow to 10′ tall and its pink and white striped flowers can grow to 6″ wide.

  • Clematis proteus – this double flowering clematis can grow to 10′ tall and its flowers to 6″ wide. The second batch of flowers differing in colour by just a touch.
  • Clematis jackmanii – a single late flowering self climbing. it can grow to 10′ tall and its dark velvet flowers can grow to 4″ wide.

Some choose to plant on trellice. I personally wouldn’t. the problem is that the foliage canopy prevents moisture evaporating but allows it in and the wood quite quickly rots and falls apart. I prefer to use a strong timber support and galvanised wire. It means essentially it’s a one off installation and the wire does not rot or rust. Perfection.

Go forth. Buy. Consider. Enjoy!

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Kniphofia

Pronounced Nip-hof-e-a [I like the k in as a almost semi silent] Famed commonly as the red hot poker, in the more common varieties it is easy to see why it picked up the name. But not all can be labelled as such ie. by their appearance. These plants of the Asphodelaceae/ liliaceae are a genus of about 70 species and are also commonly called the torch lilly – seems to make a lot more sense to me when you look around….?


They can be considered perennials, evergreen or deciduous. Bet you not everyone knew that ? But generally, they are a clump forming plant used more often in herbaceous borders. That said, it not always how I have chosen to use them.

They are a hardy enough plant that can grow up to 6′ tall – I’ve rarely seen that – and tend to die back in the winter months. In this they can look a little unsightly

The yellow variety is Kniphofia Bees Lemon. It can grow to 3′ tall and 2′ wide. It flowers late summer to autumn. Better looking than the one above…?

I particularly like the kniphofia for the fact that they can be propagated by division. It’s pretty much plants for free if you get the right variety. Personally I don’t like the ‘red hot poker’ I much prefer the ‘torch lilly’ – does that make sense ? And I am not one generally for using the non-botanical names.

If you are thinking of buying some plants to touch up the garden, these are a great investment. You’ll have free cut flowers and free plants to swap or give away once you get past the first season.

It is October, almost, watering is not really something you will need to worry about – make life easy on yourself and the plant you are investing in, buy some of these guys, get one of the odd[er] varieties if you can and brighten up your days for next season. You’ll thank me for it, I promise! Go forth and start planting.

Apparently Autumn and Winter [and spring of coursre] are the quietest time in the gardeners calender…. not likely. Not if you are extremely wise 😉