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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Hellebores, Christmas or Lenten Rose, Perennials for Shady Places

life between the flowers Christmas and Lentern Rose
life between the flowers Hellebore niger
Commonly known as The Christmas or Lentern Rose because of its flowering time from the Christmas period into Lent, Hellebores are not actually related to the rose family but to the genus Helleborus.  This genus consists of over 20 species of  perennial mostly evergreen herbaceous flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae.
Life between the flowers Christmas and Lentern Roses Hellebore Niger
Many species of Hellebore have their origins in South Eastern Europe on the uplands and lowlands of The Balkans. Other original species can be traced in Turkey through Syria and into China. However most of the popular varieties you see in gardens around Britain are the creations of nurserymen and are Helleborus orientalis hybrids.
Life between the flowers Growing and caring for hellebores
Hellebores are a perfect plant for dappled partial shade. Full shade may inhibit flower numbers so planting in and around deciduous trees or shrubs is ideal. They will tolerate most soil types but their ideal will be humus rich, loamy and well drained. They should not be planted in areas that become waterlogged especially through the Winter as they are likely to rot off.  If the area becomes hot, baked and dry during the Summer this equally should be avoided.
Life between the flowers Planting Hellebores.
To plant your Hellebore dig a hole twice the size of the pot or bare root. Add in plenty of compost and a handful of fish blood and bone meal and water well in. During the plants first year or at least until its root system has become established keep it well watered, especially during the Summer months. In Spring be sure to lightly fork in a top dressing of fish blood and bone or a compound fertilizer. Growmore is a popular one here in Britain.  It is a good idea to mulch round the plant in the Autumn. You could use mushroom compost, leaf mould or chippings of bark for this purpose.
Life between the flowers Hellebores flower in early Spring.
Here in Britain, Hellebores tend to flower from mid February through to April. Although they are semi evergreen throughout the year leaves gradually die back to allow for newer fresher ones. Its a good idea to cut these dead ones away from the plant for its overall tidiness and to prevent disease. This is particularly important in late Winter prior to the flower stems emerging to make sure they are not hindered or covered. Once flowering stems have finished they should be cut down to their base.
Life between the flowers-Hellebore clumps can be split after a few years
 Most Hellebore tend to form large clumps after several years growth. At this stage they can be divided. Lift the whole plant and slice into sections with a spade or put two forks back to back and gradually prize apart whichever you find easiest. These bare root sections can then be replanted elsewhere. This process is best done either straight after flowering in Spring or in early Autumn. Make sure your new plants are kept moist through the first year or until new roots have established.
life between the flowers-Hellebores produce seedlings which can be grown into new plants
In addition to splitting large clumps, Hellebores tend to self propagate with little seedlings growing around the parent plant. These can be left where they are to mature but as they may be quite dense it's best to thin them and pot the seedlings on to grow into new plants.
life between the flowers-flowering Hellebores brighten up the Winter months
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. Because of my busy schedule I regret I am unable to answer many questions. Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Asian Iris: Sanguinea Japanese blood red Iris, Sibirica Siberian Iris.

How to grow Iris Sanguinea/Sibirica-Japanese/Siberian/blood red Iris
How to grow Blue Japanese Iris sibirica and sanguinea
The Iris gets its name from a Greek word meaning rainbow. This could be because of the many colours of a genus nearly 300 strong. Perennials, Iris grow from either rhizomes usually forming a creeping clump or sprout from a more bulbous type root.
Tips on grow Japanese and Siberian Iris's
In this post we will concentrate on two very popular Iris's grown in the gardens of Britain. Iris Sanguinea  commonly called and indeed one of the species considered to be a Japanese Iris. It is widely found naturally not just in Japan but from Mongolia to Korea and China too. It is also widely know as the blood red Iris largely because of its red inner colour spilling on to deep blue. The other Iris we will talk about in this post, and they are sometimes difficult to tell apart is Iris Sibirica commonly known as the Siberian Iris and is naturally found from Russia through Eastern European Countries. The way to tell them apart is by their stems. Sanguinea has unbranched stems, while Sibirica has branched stems. Iris Sanguinea has been hybridized with Iris Sibrica in modern times to extend the blue to a greater colour range.
Japanese and Siberian Blood Iris
Japanese and Siberian Blood Iris
Both Iris Singuinea and Sibirica are very easy to grow. They do best in loamy humus rich areas, but will tolerate most locations. Moist but not waterlogged ground next to a garden pond or watercourse would be an ideal spot. However they do equally well in a border and look particularly effective grown in clumps. Plant your Iris buy digging a hole twice as large as the pot or bare root. Add in a generous amount of compost and a handful of fish blood and bone meal to give your Iris a good start. Water well in and keep your plant moist especially during the summer months in its first year. Note! Check before you use artificial fertilizers if you are planting near a water course as there may be a risk of contamination to fish and other aquatic life.
Japanese blue and Siberian blood Iris
The are happy planted in either full sun or partially shaded locations and tend to flower from May until the end of June here in the UK.
Iris Sibirica and Iris Sanguinea
Their green narrow leaves die back in the Autumn and will need to be cut away when they have gone completely brown. New shoots start to appear again in mid March and it is a good idea to lightly fork in a handful of fish blood and bone meal to give the plant a good start to the growing season.
Japanese blood Iris and Siberian Iris
When clumps become to large over a few years they can be split. This is best done by either digging up a section or lifting the whole clump out of the ground and placing two forks back to back and prising the clump apart. This can be done several times until you have small enough plants. These can then be replanted elsewhere or given to friends, the village fete and so on.
Life between the flowers Iris Sanguinea and Iris Sibirica
General discussion and your views are welcome, please say hello in comments. I regret however because of my busy schedule I am unable to answer many questions. Thank you so much for visiting my blog today.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Best way to get rid of moles from your lawn and garden

How to stop moles on your lawn and garden
Best products to repel moles on lawns and in your garden

Molehills on the Lawn

Having just cut your freshly grown lawn, there is nothing more annoying than coming out the
following morning to find a mole has left crumbly mounds of soil on your carefully tended grass. Although it may look like you have had an invasion of dozens of the little (and some might say cute) furry critters at work on your lawn. Most often it can be the work of only one or two moles, even though there may be multiple heaps of soil on your lawn. They are very efficient at tunneling given their shovel like front claws, and can quickly excavate a large amount of soil . As you walk over a lawn where a mole has been working it feels spongey under foot where their tunnels are.
How to stop moles digging up your lawn and garden

All About Moles

Moles are not nocturnal and will dig every few hours day and night. They tend to live solitary lives and are rarely seen above ground. They are very territorial, getting quite aggressive when defending their underground tunnel network from other moles. But while they are reluctant to share their tunnels, inevitably burrows do sometimes cross over and are jointly occupied but only as travelling routes. There are different levels of tunnels the deeper ones are living quarters and where they raise their young. The shallow ones are usually the feeding tunnels the network of which can travel many metres.
Best enviromentally friendly products to eradicate moles from gardens
Moles are not blind but it's their amazing sense of smell they use to find their prey and get around. Moles favourite food are earthworms but they will also eat a wide variety of invertebrates including beetle and leatherjacket larvae. The are exclusively carnivorous and although they may undermine the root systems of plants they are unlikely to eat any shoots. Mole activity in a flower border nonetheless is very undesirable as all that rummaging around below the surface can seriously affect plant growth.

Mole control Products

Best ultrasonic mole deterrents for lawns and gardens

 There are a number of ultra sonic mole repellers on the market. A clean 'hands free'  way to deter moles.

Mole deterrent scent bulbs for lawns and gardens
Some mole catchers say strong scents can deter moles from lawns. Undetectable by humans these bulbs give off a pungent smell that moles are said to hate.

Best enviromentally friendly mole repellent granules for lawns and gardens
Mole repellant scatter granules contain caster oil which penetrates deep into the tunnels and taints the moles food sources. Without harming the moles it makes them move away to untreated areas. The manufacturers say it is totally harmless to pets and children.

Mole Traps

Traps are best placed in a feeding tunnel which runs from/to a molehill. Cut the lawn turf open to expose a section of the tunnel and place the trap in the tunnel making sure that there is no loose soil obscuring the entrance to the trap. Recover the trap with turf so there is no possibility of any sunlight or difference in air current in the tunnel. Then wait. It may take a day or two for the mole to spring the trap but they MUST be checked daily. 

Best humane mole traps for lawns and gardens
There are several different types of trap on the market. Lets start with a humane one which captures the mole alive so it can be released away from your garden.

Most popular mole traps for garden moles
If you have a large infestation it may be necessary to use traps that humanely dispatch the mole. There are two basic types. The scissor claw trap. Placed in the tunnel running to/from the molehill the unwary mole is caught in a scissor action as it moves through the trap.

Best buy mole traps reviewed
The other type is the tunnel type trap and as the name suggests sits in the tunnel running to/from the mole hill. Which ever type you decide to use make sure the entrance is clear of soil and covered so that no daylight enters the trapping area.

How to rid your lawn of moles and molehills
If you don't manage to catch your mole yourself, and it can be quite tricky, then there are many professional mole catchers here in the Britain. A look in your local paper is all that is usually needed to find one. 
How can I get rid of moles on my lawn and garden
General discussion and your views are welcome please say hello. I regret however because of my busy schedule, I am unable to answer many questions. Sneaky advertising will be deleted sorry. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.