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Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.


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Horticultural issues?
- Bush (15th Aug 2020 07:36:06)

Need FREE advice on many horticultural matter? You have come to the right place.

DHC is a well-established local consultancy that could offer help on pests, diseases, irrigation, disputes, planting, designing, propagation, pruning, house-plants, produce gardening, soil and a variety of ecological issues. Ask away.

Further information on the full range of consultancy services can be found at:

Dewy’s Horticultural Consultancy

Happy gardening.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (16th Aug 2020 14:53:11)

Hi,

I have found that some of my roses have blackfly. I have been told that soap and water in a diluted mix brushed on is as good as a pesticide. Is that true?

Thanks
Paul

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (17th Aug 2020 19:10:37)

Dear Paul,

I shall begin with the generalities that might be obvious then refer to your specific matter.

Well done for spotting the blackfly infestation, presuming it is a nasty case of hundreds of individuals amassing on soft young shoot tips and buds. This suggests to me that you are keeping a keen eye on what is going on in your garden – which is a good general horticultural practice.

I should make clear that 'blackfly' covers two not-uncommon types of dark coloured aphids. I guess you are referring to the commoner smaller type that usually attacks young plant tissue in the growing tips. The other type is larger, plumper, less conspicuous as it usually populates the nooks and crannies lower on the plant, and is often associated with ants. If unsure, please ask or contact DHC (see entry in the Online Directory )

It goes without saying that we aim to minimise the use of harsh, environmentally unfriendly synthetic substances in the garden. My answer is based on some assumptions:

· That the garden is otherwise ecologically generally healthy with no background problems that might compromise plants' vigour to independently resist pests infestation such as wrong light, watering levels, soil or nutrient imbalance.

· That natural aphid predators are encouraged.

· That the problem is acute rather than chronic or prolonged.

With smaller infestations, consider mechanical action: removing the blackfly by hand, brush or a jet of water.

The use of soapy water (usually an environmentally friendly washing-up fluid, runny like water but very frothy when mixed with air) acts as a surfactant. By changing the electrical properties of the water, it acts to smother the blackfly. It is a non-poisonous home-made popular solution-solution ;) Usually sprayed on, but you might consider brushing it on the pests.

In my experience, the method does work well enough. But do make sure there aren't hidden beneficial insects in the vicinity as this method is not at all selective. The beneficial insects are more vulnerable to most pest treatments than the target species.

But every case is different; if no joy – consider moving on to something harsher or consult with DHC.

Wishing you a rewarding summer's gardening,
DHC

PLEASE NOTE: The advice given is specific to the individual question and based on limited information. Every garden is different. It is intended as helpful guidance only and the decision on the best course of action remains with the questioner.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- D (17th Aug 2020 21:45:04)

Hello, I have a peony that used to flower every year but has produced no blooms for the past two years. Any ideas? It's against my shed facing south east. Thankyou.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (18th Aug 2020 18:31:03)

Dear D,
Very hard to ascertain from the brief description.

Peonies could be herbaceous or semi woody (shrub/tree peonies), we are not told which is in your question. Herbaceous peonies may refrain from flowering for some years if soil level had been raised above the crown (e.g. deep mulch). Woody peonies may fail to perform if wrongly pruned.
In general, Japanese peonies need a sunny position. In some cases something happens unobserved, like overhanging trees have subsequently grown and created new shadow on the peonies, reducing the direct sunlight hours. Less than a good half day strong sunshine could impede flowering.
There are many other possible causes such as: blossom fatigue (temporary), unusual weather, pests, nutrition...
A south-face aspect should be suitable for an established peony. You might have noticed failed flower buds on your peony or you might have inadvertently changed the care regime in some way.
I am sorry my response was less than conclusive. I only have your text to go on. Would you like to show in photos? That may help a little although there is no more conclusive diagnosis than a site visit with further questioning. A proper investigation about how the peony had been performing and cared for would go a long way.

If unsure, please ask or contact DHC (see entry in the Online Directory: liphook.uk/... )
Wishing you a rewarding summer's gardening,
DHC.

PLEASE NOTE: The advice given is specific to the individual question and based on limited information. Every garden is different. It is intended as helpful guidance only and the decision on the best course of action remains with the questioner.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- D (18th Aug 2020 20:09:08)

I think you may have solved it. It's a herbaceous variety and I recently built a small pigeon coop next to it. This places the plant in the shade from about 11am onwards. Oh well, pigeon pie for the next week. Thankyou, I'm grateful for your help.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (24th Aug 2020 10:45:16)

Thank you. I followed your advice and used a soft toothbrush on the buds. Silly, but I always assumed that the little blighters would just jump back on!

Having cleaned them off (without damaging the rose), I used some dilute fairy liquid.

That seems to have resolved it (for the moment at least). I shall leave it a few more days and check again... but at the moment RESULT and with no nasty chemicals.

Really appreciate it. I have noted the other services you offer and told my friends. Good luck.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Angie (31st Aug 2020 12:34:48)

Hi there, is now a good time to move a salvia?

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Angie Hart (31st Aug 2020 18:37:56)

Hi there, something is eating my geraniums. Large holes in the leaves. Any advice?

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (1st Sep 2020 05:41:21)

Thanks Angie.
Salvia is a huge botanical genus, exceeding 900 species spread over much of the Old World. Each would have somewhat different specific requirements.
Autumn is a very good (my favourite) time to transplant most garden plants and I see no reason why salvias would be an exception.
For fear of overburdening you with information here, the short answer is Yes.
Please do let know if you'd like further advise e.g. How or Where to transplant your salvia.
If yet unsure, please ask or contact DHC (see entry in the Online Directory: www.liphook.uk/...
Wishing you a rewarding summer's gardening,
DHC


PLEASE NOTE: The advice given is specific to the individual question and based on limited information. Every garden is different. It is intended as helpful guidance only and the decision on the best course of action remains with the questioner.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Angie Hart (1st Sep 2020 16:26:42)

Thanks so much for the response. I have been looking at the great advice you have given me and others. I would really value it if you came to do a garden visit so that I can sign up for your consultation service. You do seem like an excellent teacher. Many thanks. I'm sure I will learn loads more. How wonderful to have this opportunity.
Best
Angie

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (4th Sep 2020 07:15:08)

Dear Angie,

With regards to the geranium issue (31st Aug 2020 18:37:56):

'Geranium' is a diverse genus of over 400 species, differing in growth habit, appearance and requirements. I am not told which we are dealing with.

In my experience in our region, planetariums ('tender geraniums') often suffer from various moth larvae damage later in their growing season. Random-shape notches are gnawed out the green leaves. It becomes more of a frustration when the larvae devours the petals even before the flower opens (leaving empty flower buds).

If your geranium is under other environmental stress, disease, or nutritionally deficient, then it may become victim of opportunistic slug / snail damage. Their eating habits usually leave some signs of delicate scraping of the leaf and dried slime trace.

To provide you with a more definite answers I will need to see it for myself or at least good photos of the specimen.

If yet unsure, please ask or contact DHC

Tel: 07914484801
Email: da_rl@hotmail.com

Wishing you a rewarding summer's gardening,
DHC


PLEASE NOTE: The advice given is specific to the individual question and based on limited information. Every garden is different. It is intended as helpful guidance only and the decision on the best course of action remains with the questioner.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Angie Hart (4th Sep 2020 09:45:55)

Thanks so much. Look forward to you coming for the visit.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (8th Sep 2020 22:27:03)

Thank you so much for your advice on my blackfly.

I am sorry to trouble you again, but wondered how I can better manage the water for my garden. I have three water butts but because of the gradient would have to use a pump.

I have read your directory post. Should I send photos or could you visit to assess my landscape and propose options ?


Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (9th Sep 2020 14:32:57)

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your question. There can be many methods of water management, and local circumstances can differ so significantly that a site visit is essential. I am happy to provide a quote and you of course can accept or reject my assessment.
Use of rain water rather than mains water is an opportunity to cut down on bills, labouring time, plants' well-being issues, environmental impact and could even reduce flooding issues when done correctly.

In general, the quality, demand and availability of water should be considered, how and when to move it and the best delivery method. There are a wide range of products that can be employed, but sometimes a very cost effective solution can be found. Managing ‘thirsty’ plants and installing solutions for water transit routes can be two such methods. Water in the garden is becoming an increasingly pertinent consideration as climate and billing are hotting-up! We hear more talk of mains water restrictions, droughts, flooding issues etc.

Any more specific informed advice would require a visit in the property.

Please contact me on
Tel: 07914484801
Email: da_rl@hotmail.com

I hope that helps,
DHC

PLEASE NOTE: The advice given is specific to the individual question and based on limited information. Every garden is different. It is intended as helpful guidance only and the decision on the best course of action remains with the questioner.

Free plants
- DHC (24th Sep 2020 15:43:42)

A large bag of free Brunnera macrophyla available. Please ask with email address for reply.

Happy planting,

DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (24th Sep 2020 18:39:42)

Plants are now spoken for by our local gardening initiative Liphook in Bloom, for the enjoyment of the Liphook community.

Re: Horticultural issues? Free plants
- DHC (25th Sep 2020 14:02:26)

Yet again, free plants available for collection in central Liphook.
Must be collected and planted up very soon.

One bagful of day-lilies.
One bagful of Brunnera macroplylla (claimed for but failed to collect)

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (25th Sep 2020 19:07:42)

Now all taken, until the next time :)

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (27th Oct 2020 11:42:27)

Hi,

It is so much easier getting advice from you than a garden center. They will only talk about what they sell.

.......anyway, please could you briefly explain the difference between an annual, a bi annual, a perenial a hardy perenial and other such categories?

I see this on plant labels and still do not know what to buy.

Thank for all your help.
Paul

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (29th Oct 2020 15:12:26)

Hello Paul,

I will attempt to clarify the terms that you have mentioned without using excessive jargon:

ANNUALS as hinted in the name, are plants which are expected to complete their entire garden worth within twelve months.

BIANNUAL plants start their life (germination) in Year One, and only perform (flower) in Year Two. They typically die following performance and rarely have any garden value in subsequent years.

PERENNIAL plants are expected to perform way beyond the third year in the garden.

A HARDY plant is expected to overwinter (survive through winter’s hardships) unaided. Thus a hardy perennial is expected to come back year after year without any special winter weather protection.


There are further such categories, but for brevity sake, please ask again.

Hope this helps you Paul,
DHC.

At DHC you will get all the horticultural answers you seek.
Email: dhcgardens@outlook.com

Some DHC garden photos: flickr.com/photos/189987338@N05/albums

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (6th Nov 2020 16:56:54)

DHC,

Thank you ever so much. I have long been confused about the terms.

I have passed this thread to colleagues in the office who may as for some help...A great idea.

Stay safe.

Paul
xxxx

Re: Pertinent horticultural advice
- DHC (12th Feb 2021 10:27:15)

Outdoors container plants NOW

Think about your garden container plants outdoors in this weather.

Are they frost protected by means of fleecing etc’? (other suitable materials available) Consider protection for the root as well as the canopy.

Even hardy plants can be damaged by frost under certain conditions, depending on the particular type of plant and the particular predicaments (i.e. today’s weather) of that specific specimen.

In this dry, breezy, sunny, frosty weather, plants would rather be outside of direct sunshine; consider moving the container some place shadier. Reducing wind and sun exposure can also be achieved by cramming plants close up together.
Their soil may be dry, consider watering but make sure that the water can drain out of the bottom of the container unobstructed.

Remember to reverse the above measures when the combined breezy, sunny, dry frosty danger had passed.

Mulching is almost always a good idea over moist soil.
Topdressing and feeding are good practices in early spring, in about a month from now.

We hope this helps.
Any further enquiries, please email DHC at: dhcgardens@outlook.com
See our Business Online Directory entry on liphook.uk Directory entry where you will also find a link to the flickr photos: flickr.com/photos/189987338@N05/albums

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (16th Feb 2021 07:09:49)

Courtesy of DHC
Local garden reminders for later winter:

In February there are two winter pruning jobs that are commonplace in local gardens: wisterias and buddleias.
Give or take a month or two around February, decades of local experience shown that this is the ideal time for winter pruning for clematis of Pruning Groups 1 & 2 and most roses.

There are additional winter pruning jobs for this time of the year. All should be performed skilfully in order to encourage good performance, whiles it takes quite some experience not to get them wrong!

The hellebores (perennial herbaceous sometimes called “Christmas Rose”) are now entering their peak performance period. Your mature clump hellebores (NOT the “Holly-leaved” H. argutifolius) should have had their 2020 leaves removed by now. Removing the leaves of the healthy mature clumps around Christmastime would keep the plants healthier and allow clear view of the blooms. Take care not to cut off flower stalks or this year’s young leaves. Individual hellebore flowers can be floated in a saucer of water, facing upwards to show the beauty in the details.

If your deciduous grasses have not yet been tidied-up, now is good time for doing so provided they are not prone to late frost damage.

For further help and advice, please see previous postings above.
Courtesy of DHC.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Helen (16th Feb 2021 09:01:37)

My garden is composed of heavy clay soil and waterlogged in winter. It is not a mature garden so I would like advice on planting shrubs in it for year round colour and interest.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (17th Feb 2021 16:03:24)

Dear Helen,

Heavy clay is hard to cultivate (and messy), but it also has some advantages for growing some plants.
The plants should be chosen to tolerate or thrive in clay. Cleverly managed, the clay indehiscence can become helpful.

Having said that, there are a number of optional techniques to lighten-up the sticky situation. ‘Improved’ clay allows for a wider choice of planting and makes gardening generally easier.

There are certain techniques specific for heavy clay planting.
Clay garden soils are less common in our area, and it is always a pleasure to learn more about local horticulture.

There are plants which if chosen carefully could indeed reward you with relative low-maintenance year-round interest. The trick is to get it right, tailored to your specific garden borders and your own specific expectations / abilities.

See above for more about and contacting DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Helen (17th Feb 2021 18:37:41)

Thank you

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (23rd Feb 2021 21:18:04)

Hi DHC,

I am really curious. I have learned of a tree I have never hear of before, a 'Wild Service Tree'. I wondered if you could help with locating any local specimens.

I understand they are quite rare and have a white blossom towards the end of spring.

I think there is one in Farnham Park, but I have not found it yet....any ideas?

Regards
Paul

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC AMIT Luongo (24th Feb 2021 11:38:02)

Thanks Paul.
Sorry I can not be of much help on this one.

My sources can tell you that Sorbus torminalis is native in our region. Various sources say that it is: common, not un-common, widespread, and rare... They also tell you where to get this tree to buy, alas I could not find any specific enough information to send you to a point on the map. I can find records from Churt, Milland, Binstead and Haslemere, but can't access anything more informative than a postcode. The following link might be of interest for you:
bsbi.org/maps?taxonid=2cd4p9h.frz

Good hunting!
DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Helen (24th Feb 2021 14:38:55)

Hi Paul, there is info on the Woodland trust and wildlife trust websites. It is an ancient tree, sign of old woodland and bears fruits called Chequers which were formerly used in beer making. Apparently pubs were called " the Chequers" after the fruit. Not a tree which you can find in the garden centres.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Terry B (28th Feb 2021 11:35:32)

As a complete novice in this area I have no knowledge of what to plant where to plant it etc etc. I am about to attempt creating a cottage type garden border along the west boundary of my garden which has a 6ft panel fence. My question is " given that although the border has the sun in the mornings after midday the fence puts it in the shade for the rest of the day....... Will the plants flourish or should I look at an alternative?
The plants in question are Anemone, Aster, Buddleja, Campanula, Ceanothus, Coreopsis, Erysemum, Escallonia, Geranium, Hebe, Helenium, Hellebores, Lavender, Ligustrum, Lonicera, Nepeta, Penstemon, Pyracantha, Rosemary, Salvia, Scabiousa, Viburnum, Weigela.

Any advice gratefully received.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Paul Johnson (28th Feb 2021 19:10:57)

Thanks for the reply on the 'Wild Service Tree' I shall have to get my boots on and go hunting. If I track one down I shall let you know, you have been so honest and helpful.

That website is really interesting, just too general. Perhaps we need a street view through the woods....or perhaps not!

I shall be contacting you through the Liphook Directory listing that you have to arrange an appointment.

Very very grateful.
Paul

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (1st Mar 2021 08:31:36)

Thanks for your question Terry B.
The microclimate that you have so well described is a common consideration in planting schemes.

Generally speaking, most half-shade or woodland-edge plants should thrive in that microclimate.
Some sun loving and some shade loving plants may also tolerate and give partial value for the space they take up in the border.
Afternoon shade is of great benefit when it comes to prolonging flower petal displays. Hot afternoon sun (which you won’t get in your case) speeds up flower ageing and wilting, especially in the highest gardening season (April-June). Your afternoon shade would be a great boost for the longevity of herbaceous ‘cottage’ type blooms which are absent from your carefully listed plant names.
The plants on your list are more all-round good-doers. So, yes, you could optimise by adhering to the principle of ‘right plants for the right place’ with a more bespoke planting list (please ask DHC).

I don’t know about the extent of frost in your garden, but this issue is quite pertinent here. In the described microclimate, morning frosts might damage early blooms / growths. So best steer away from plants whose main display takes place before May (none on your list gives me any such concern).

In summary: Your described microclimate should not get in the way of getting a decent display out of the plant names you’ve mentioned. Nonetheless, some of those plants fullest potential is in full sun. Conversely, more typically ‘cottage’ plants not mentioned on your list would be even more ‘appreciative’ of the described microclimate.

I hope this helps,
DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Mike Jones (8th Mar 2021 20:57:56)

Hi,

I heard about you from a colleague in the office, and he recommended I ask your advice...so a simple question.

Is it too late now to plant spring flowering bulbs? If not too late what would give the best effect?

Thank you.
Mike

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (9th Mar 2021 11:09:30)

Good morning Mike,
Thank you for your query last night.

The ideal planting time for the spring bulbs depends on what they are, this should be clearly stated on the label. Spring bulbs are marketed in a time-critical manner (similar to fresh bananas) to get the best out of them one should follow the specific horticultural instructions.
Spring bulbs planted later than their ideal planting time are disadvantaged in two major ways.

1) Storage: Spring bulbs are mostly stored and sold dry on the shelf. Storage duration should be kept minimal. Every passing day of storage stress would affect the health of the plant. This process accelerates with the passing seasons. Storage of dry bulbs should be at optimal environmental conditions (e.g. correct light, humidity and temperature values) which in most cases are not met. Moreover, stressed bulbs of compromised condition are more prone to pick up pest and diseases.

2) Establishment: Spring bulbs planted this late would have had less time to interact with the soil and the environment. They'd have had less time to establish a supportive root system to replenish storage days losses, and to sustain a good strong flower display this spring.

So planting spring bulbs this late in the season could mean: No blooms this year, poor blooms this year, suboptimal blooms this year, or poor performance next year or two.

One can go ahead and plant them in the desired position anyway.
However, I'd recommend planting them outside of the display borders, perhaps in a nursery bed where (if the conditions are right) they should be rehabilitated and maybe transplanted to the desired position once the leaves have shrivelled later in the spring/summer.
In the meantime, one might consider planting summer bulbs - now is a good time.

Hopefully this might help.
DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (12th Mar 2021 16:24:15)

Free bearded iris plants available for collection from DHC.


Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (16th Mar 2021 13:27:23)

More free plants from DHC:
A bagful of variegated Sisyrinchium for urgent planting is available for collection.
DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Mike Jones (24th Mar 2021 14:42:34)

OMG, my colleague was not exaggerating when he recommended you.

You are the best. I have replied sooner because I have been busy planting as you suggest. I had not read your previous posts but have now....really interesting.

I shall ask you to come around and do an assessment for me. I cannot work out, which plants will thrive and which will die in different spots. I spend more on 'plant pot luck', than I would if I paid for a professional.

Thanks again.

Mike

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Sarah Smthe (24th Mar 2021 18:54:12)

Hi,

I am told that using 'Lawn Sand' in the spring is a good thing to do? It is quite expensive. Is it worth it because it makes the grass go black.

Thank you.
Sarah

Re: Horticultural issues?
- Keith Thomas (24th Mar 2021 21:23:41)

I have raised bed supporting sleepers (untreated oak) that have been “dissolving” over the past few years and I now need to replace them. On close inspection there are “bootlace” roots running through the bits of wood that are in the worst state. My initial thought was Honey Fungus but I have not seen any honey coloured fungus at all and the plants in the bed seem healthy.

So my question is, are these bootlace threads unique to honey-fungus or could it be something else?

Many thanks

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (26th Mar 2021 05:56:26)

Dear Sarah,
Thank you for your lawn sand question.

If by ‘lawn sand’ you mean combined moss and weed killer based on ferrous sulphate then the blackening of the grass blades themselves is not detrimental and can be minimised if used correctly.
Depending on which (moss or other weeds) it is that you are trying to eradicate, you may be able to source a cheaper more selective application for your lawn. This treatment is quite high-maintenance and involved; it only treats the symptoms rather than the causal problem. Repeated applications will be necessary.
You can invite me over to inspect and advise the best solutions by emailing me at dhcgardens@outlook.com

DHC

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (27th Mar 2021 05:25:18)

Dear Keith,
Thank you for your bootlace question.

Your description may fit a honey fungus infection.

The fact that you have not yet seen the honey-coloured toadstools may be because most of them pop-up around autumn and are not always spotted.
Not all plants will necessarily be attacked and show symptoms of the infection.
If the bootlaces do attack our plants then the damage will be done whether or not the toadstools reveal themselves.

As you might expect, in order to have better chances of identifying, I will need to pay you an inspection / consultation visit. Please email dhcgardens@outlook.com
Both ‘bootlace’ and ‘honey-fungus’ are colloquial terms referring to several fungus species that have similar effect on our gardens.
So although a ‘species’ of fungus would have specific type of ‘bootlace’, there is an almost infinite variety of bootlaces, some will belong to one of the honey-fungus species, others will not. The bootlaces in your case may or may not indicate honey-fungus.

As you can see, there is a great measure of complexity, variability and mystery in our knowledge of honey-fungus effects. Can you see any damage to your living garden plants?

DHC.

Re: Horticultural issues?
- DHC (29th Mar 2021 19:19:27)

Dear Dan,
Thank you for your question on geums and hydrangea pruning, today on another chat thread.

Hydrangea pruning:
March and April are good time for pruning hydrangeas. However, we are not told what type your hydrangea is and this is important because different hydrangea types require different pruning techniques for optimal displays.
All hydrangea types should be dead-headed in March and April.
There are further issues related to hydrangea spring care, which are best addressed in-situ in-person. Please consider arranging consultation by contacting DHC directly at dhcgardens@outlook.com

Geum planting:
It is a fine time to plant geums.
They will preform best in a sunny border where the soil is well-drained but moist most of the time.
However, they are very forgiving plants and can still provide some display in less sunny borders and possibly in containers too.

DHC. Please find DHC’s contact details and business summary in the Business Online Directory of liphook.co.uk

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