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winter cometh

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
scotia
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winter cometh

#176539

Postby scotia » October 27th, 2018, 10:44 am

Its mid morning, and there are still traces of frost on roofs. Winter has arrived in Scotland. Its time for a tidy up in the garden, and some of the more tender plants in pots will get moved into the unheated greenhouse, where the temperature is currently hovering around 2 Celsius. I usually move the Agapanthus in, and I have two early rhododendrons which also will be put in shelter before their buds open. Then there will be a quiet time before next season's seed sowing begins. Any recommendations for vigorous plants that would do well in a shaded community garden? I have had success with Candelabra Primula of various varieties (from seed) and Astilbe (from plant division). I'm going to try bluebells from seed - although I suspect it will take a few seasons before they will be ready for planting out.

bungeejumper
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Re: winter cometh

#176572

Postby bungeejumper » October 27th, 2018, 2:29 pm

Our second round of frosts down here in the softy south as well. In theory it's 7 degrees, but the feels-like temp is down around zero. I painted a shed door this week, and it took two days to dry. :roll:

Plants? Hellebores for shade, of course. There are some marvellous new varieties around these days. Any kind of cornus (=dogwood) will do well in partial shade, in fact you might need to wield the secateurs to keep it down. Cotoneasters like dammeri are fast growing ground cover and will keep the birds happy all winter.

Flower-wise, this year's big event chez nous has been alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily), which started blooming in early June and hasn't stopped yet. 2 to 3 feet, and a little bit too Edna Everage for some people's tastes, but wow, they're good value. Fully hardy. (I think they know about cold weather in Peru. ;) ) Some cracking good clematis varieties from Poland, too.

BJ

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Re: winter cometh

#176585

Postby Dod101 » October 27th, 2018, 3:40 pm

scotia mentions bluebells. I have them in a border and they are truly a pain because once in it is almost impossible to eradicate them again. They look good in grass but not in a border, at least until the end of June when they have more or less died back.

BTW I do not think that all alstroemeria are fully hardy. I have a free flowering one in a pot and bring it in about now. It was sold to me as not hardy but I have not tested it!

Dod

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Re: winter cometh

#176602

Postby colin » October 27th, 2018, 5:23 pm

Any recommendations for vigorous plants that would do well in a shaded community garden?

Wood Cranesbill for dappled shady areas. I bought plug plants from https://www.wildflowershop.co.uk/WF%20P ... 20Wood.htm
Aquilegias, Cyclamens, Ferns for deep shade .

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176626

Postby scotia » October 27th, 2018, 7:27 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Our second round of frosts down here in the softy south as well. In theory it's 7 degrees, but the feels-like temp is down around zero. I painted a shed door this week, and it took two days to dry. :roll:

Plants? Hellebores for shade, of course. There are some marvellous new varieties around these days. Any kind of cornus (=dogwood) will do well in partial shade, in fact you might need to wield the secateurs to keep it down. Cotoneasters like dammeri are fast growing ground cover and will keep the birds happy all winter.

Yes - we use traditional hellebores in shady parts of our own garden, and have had success with one of the new varieties, which also set seed - which I'll try planting. But for the community garden (an old railway station in a deep cutting with a north facing bank under trees) I'm looking for something more substantial - and your suggestion of dogwood is a good idea. I hadn't considered cotoneasters - since I thought they required full sun, but I see that cotoneaster dammeri seems to tolerate partial shade, so it may be worth a try.

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176628

Postby scotia » October 27th, 2018, 7:32 pm

Dod101 wrote:scotia mentions bluebells. I have them in a border and they are truly a pain because once in it is almost impossible to eradicate them again. They look good in grass but not in a border, at least until the end of June when they have more or less died back.
Dod

I would be quite happy if the bluebells multiplied, and I suspect it would be well beyond my lifetime before they became a menace! I have in mind a large north facing banking with tree cover. But I take your point about their non-suitability in a border.

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176631

Postby scotia » October 27th, 2018, 7:45 pm

colin wrote:
Any recommendations for vigorous plants that would do well in a shaded community garden?

Wood Cranesbill for dappled shady areas. I bought plug plants from https://www.wildflowershop.co.uk/WF%20P ... 20Wood.htm
Aquilegias, Cyclamens, Ferns for deep shade .

Cranesbill (Meadow and/or Woodland) grow along the sides of the old railway line, but chiefly where there is at least dappled sunlight. My problem area is a north facing bank with tree cover in the old railway station. I have planted a few Aquilegia - vulgaris hybrids and chrysantha, with some success, and I'm trying to select those which seem to do best.

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Re: winter cometh

#176633

Postby Breelander » October 27th, 2018, 7:49 pm

scotia wrote:I would be quite happy if the bluebells multiplied, and I suspect it would be well beyond my lifetime before they became a menace! I have in mind a large north facing banking with tree cover...


Sounds ideal placement. Sow seeds now...
...They need the winter period to break dormancy. You can plant Bluebell seeds but you need to accept that it may take many years before you see them in flower.
https://www.meadowmania.co.uk/news/grow ... bluebells/

...you need to be prepared to wait several years for any flowers. Perhaps you should plant a few bulbs as well.

Here's how Chris Beardshaw sows bluebell seeds...
https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/g ... ell-seeds/

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176639

Postby scotia » October 27th, 2018, 8:17 pm

Breelander wrote:Sounds ideal placement. Sow seeds now...
...you need to be prepared to wait several years for any flowers.

I can wait a few years (hopefully!). I planted azalea seed many years ago, and carefully grew on the seedlings. I now have a bank of yellow azaleas with a glorious scent in spring. I thought about trying this again for the community garden, but it may be tempting fate. :)

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Re: winter cometh

#176673

Postby colin » October 28th, 2018, 8:24 am

If you are planting Bluebells (your Scottish ones are much better for bees and bugs than the Spanish incomers)then Greater Stitchwort would look good among them with neither overwhelming the other.
http://www.wildflowersuk.com/details.asp?ID=143&name=GREATER-STITCHWORT-seeds-(stellaria-holostea)
And for the deepest shade Harts Tongue Fern will grow well also not so deep shade our Male Fern

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Re: winter cometh

#176697

Postby Nimrod103 » October 28th, 2018, 10:41 am

I have shaded areas under some big oak trees and near cedar hedges. I find Hypericum varieties do best, because they can withstand the dryness. Especially Hypericum Hidcote and calcynium.

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176717

Postby scotia » October 28th, 2018, 12:04 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:I have shaded areas under some big oak trees and near cedar hedges. I find Hypericum varieties do best, because they can withstand the dryness. Especially Hypericum Hidcote and calcynium.

We have hypericum growing well - and self-seeding - on the south facing bank. But I hadn't though about it for the north facing bank. Its certainly worth a try.

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176723

Postby scotia » October 28th, 2018, 12:21 pm

colin wrote:If you are planting Bluebells (your Scottish ones are much better for bees and bugs than the Spanish incomers)then Greater Stitchwort would look good among them with neither overwhelming the other.
http://www.wildflowersuk.com/details.asp?ID=143&name=GREATER-STITCHWORT-seeds-(stellaria-holostea)
And for the deepest shade Harts Tongue Fern will grow well also not so deep shade our Male Fern

OK - the bluebell seed which I intend using comes from English Bluebells (Hyancinthoides Non Scripta) - not the Spanish variety.
I know - ferns can be an attractive plant, and indeed large estates used to have ferneries. One (which we visited a few years ago)has been reconstructed in Benmore Botanic Garden. https://www.rias.org.uk/directory/pract ... ry-dunoon/
I'm not particularly keen on Ferns - but they may have a place in the deepest shade.

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Re: winter cometh

#176936

Postby Tempi1 » October 29th, 2018, 5:18 pm

A suggestion for foxgloves for the shady bank? A few are annuals, but most biannual?

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#176961

Postby scotia » October 29th, 2018, 7:42 pm

Tempi1 wrote:A suggestion for foxgloves for the shady bank? A few are annuals, but most biannual?

Thanks for the suggestion. I grow them in my own garden - or rather they grow themselves by self-seeding. However the community garden has been partially planted by children, and I'm a bit fearful of the toxicity of the foxglove.

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Re: winter cometh

#177185

Postby Tempi1 » October 30th, 2018, 4:02 pm

Good point regarding toxicity, bearing in mind the location

What about Pulmonaria- low growning, can tolerate sun but can cope with shade, the bees love the flowers?

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Re: winter cometh

#177235

Postby bungeejumper » October 30th, 2018, 8:21 pm

Nepeta, aka catmint. Often unjustly overlooked. One of the toughest, longest-flowering and generally excellent plants in our garden. Some of the varieties are really stunning. And (in my experience anyway), it isn't invasive beyond its native rootball - it just straggles a bit.

Of course, you might want to negotiate the imminent arrival of so many adoring cats with the resident birds?

BJ

scotia
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Re: winter cometh

#178944

Postby scotia » November 8th, 2018, 10:06 am

Thank you to all the respondents. I was down in the deep south earlier this week, and took the opportunity to look around RHS Wisley. So I have a lot of ideas.
I also took the opportunity to visit Winkworth and Westonbirt Arboretums. Some wonderful autumn colours.


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