Saturday, June 16, 2007

Clematis Nelly Moser

Flowering plants often present the problem of when to prune
and this is especially true with clematis.
If you follow the guidelines we provide below from Barry Fretwell in his book Clematis, you’ll enjoy a prolific display of flowers every year.
Aside from pruning, clematis simply require good drainage, fertile soil, and regular watering. They have a very extensive yet shallow and often fine root system, thus avoid cultivating around root area. Plant with the roots and base of the plant in the shade, behind a large rock or low growing shrub to keep the roots cool.
Hardiness and shade tolerance vary according to species.
Group A - A group of mostly early spring bloomers. Prune only if space is limited.
Cut only the stems that have flowered immediately after blooms fade.
Group A includes C. alpina, C. macrophylla, C. armandii, C. montana, C. chrysocoma and the hybrids associated with these species.
Group B - This group includes large flowering hybrids that show their first flush of blooms prior to the middle of June.
To renew this group first cut out all dead wood and weak stems.
Second, cut back from the vine tips to the first plump pair of buds in February to March, depending upon the length of winter in your area.
Examples of popular hybrids in this group include ‘Nelly Moser’, ‘Lasurstern’, ‘Miss Bateman’, ‘Duchess of Edinburgh’, ‘Vyvyan Pennell’, and ‘Mrs. Cholmondeley’.
Group C - In this group are all of the later flowering clematis that make their main flush of blooms after mid June.
They form their flower buds on the current season’s growth.
In February or March cut entire vine back to less than 2-3 feet from the ground or cut back to one node above the previous year’s growth.
Examples in this group are ‘C. viticella’, ‘C. rehderiana’, ‘C. flammula’, ‘C. tangutica’, ‘C. x jackmanii’, ‘Perle d’Azur’, ‘Royal Velours’, ‘Lady Betty Balfour’, and the ‘Duchess of Albany’.
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garden in April 2004 and in May 2007

I love to look at older pictures of my garden. What a change in just few years.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.

..hanging planter with begonias in front of the house.

..this mixed planter is in front of our house greeting our visitors.

.. flowers grow very niceley in the Hypertufa pot, I recently made.

...on the left side of our entrance door I have planted begonias, creeping jenny and ivy. The planter doesn't get a lot of sunlight, but I have always have a nice display in that shady location.
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Max in our garden..

A garden without cats,
can scarcely deserve to be called a garden at all.

Die Katze ist das einzige vierbeinige Tier, das dem Menschen eingeredet hat, er müsse es erhalten, es brauche aber dafür nichts zu tun.

(Kurt Tucholsky)

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blooms everywhere..überall blüht es

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Monday, June 11, 2007

shapes and sizes of hypertufa pots

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how to make a hypertufa pot --- recipe

This mix uses peat moss and vermiculite or perlite to give the the concrete the appearance of textured stone.
I used 1-gallon ( 3.8 L) container for measuring the ingredients.

1 part (container) Portland cement (3.8 L)
1 part (container) sand
1 part (container) in whole or in combination of peat moss, sphagnum moss
vermiculite or perlite
Chicken wire for large pots as reinforcement or polypropylene fibers (.1L).

TOOLS needed

Rubber gloves - heavy
Respirator to protect from cement and peat moss dust
Plastic, bags or sheet up to 4 mm thick
Pot or tub for form
Pots for feet forms
Mixing tub or wheelbarrow
Wire Brush
Wooden dowel 1/2"-3/4"

How to:
Mix the above ingredients dry with your hands until completely homogeneous. Add one part water and mix well. Add additional water if needed to make a mixture that is just moist.

If worked in your hand the water should just be visible between the fingers when a handful is firmly squeezed.

Use chosen mold.
Plastic pot or basket.
Line with plastic with a grocery store bag for easy removal from mold.
Place enough concrete mixture in bottom of mold to cover about 1" to 1½" deep for small pots. For drainage hole cut a ½" dowel to selected depth 1 - 1½ and insert into center of pot.
Firm the cement mixture even with the top of the plug for correct thickness.

Add mixture and work up the side of the mold, one hand on the outside of mold, one on the inside. Work until air is expressed and sides are smooth.
At this point check for uniformity of thickness in the sides about 1" for a small size. For my large hypertufa pot I made sure the bottom and the sides where covered with 3" of concrete mixture.
Recheck smoothness of bottom. Work to compact and smooth. Build to desired height.

Using fingers and pulling plastic tightly mold top edge to round edges.
Sharp edges can easily be chipped or broken so by rounding edges you have a more durable pot. When pot is at desired height fold plastic tightly to inside of pot.
If the bag is not large enough, use 2nd bag to cover inside of pot.
Then it is time for a slow cure.
One week in warm weather, 2 weeks at cooler temperatures.
Keep from freezing.
Concrete cures with the presence of water.
If possible spray your bowl with water often, (several times a day).
This is especially important in dry climates to strengthen the final product and prevent cracking.

After this cures, remove your pot from the mold and take off plastic.
Be careful, pot is not very strong and is rather crumbly at this point.

Remove dowel from drainage hole.

Any sharp edges can be shaved and smoothed as desired. The drain hole should be checked and smoothed.
To give the pot a more natural appearance, accentuate the lines left by the plastic with a screwdriver or other sharp tool. Brush the outside of the pot with a wire brush to roughen and make grooves for the algae and moss to grow.

Let cure for another 2 weeks, and then leach for 5-10 days.
Let them sit in the rain or spray often with water to leach out some of the alkalinity. Do not let freeze during this process.

Rinse with vinegar solution to neutralize before planting. Use ¼ cup vinegar to 1 gallon water. Immerse if possible for about ½ hour. Let drain.

Happy Planting!

These pots are very porous.
Great for rock garden plants, succulents, grasses, and bonsai.

Note: This pot will continue to cure and get stronger as it's used. In the presence of water the concrete will cure for many years.


Paint with one of the following solutions to enhance moss and algae growth.
2 sugar cubes/1 can beer mixed with pulverized moss or
Buttermilk and pulverized moss.

To make a birdbath the hypertufa should be about 3" thick. It is porous, so to make it hold water have one person pour hot liquid paraffin around the basin. The 2nd person smears the wax around wearing heavy rubber gloves.

To make very large pots or tubs use chicken wire reinforcement in-between two layers of the hypertufa mixture.

Please note:
  • Doug Green left an important message:
  • The fibre (polypropylene) is almost essential in our northern climates to prevent cracking whether you use chicken wire or not. (imho, it isn't an "or" propostion) :-) particularly when you leave them planted outside over the winter.
  • Big or small, use it on them all.
  • Thank you Doug