Hosta (Tardiana Group) ‘Halcyon’
Plants for boggy area? Dear Crocus I have an area in my woodland that is really, really, boggy, can you advice on what plants would be suitable. Many thanks. Emma
Dear Helen Many thanks for list of plants I have ordered several of them. Regards
Is it still ok to be cutting back herbaceous perennials, Lavender and Caryopteris late in the year? Dear Crocus, I didn’t have time to cut back to ground level all my herbaceous perennial plants and some shrubs in the autumn, due to work and family commitments. It’s difficult to get out into the garden just now as I only have a little time at the weekend. Would it be too late for me to cut everything back still between now in December and the end of February e.g hardy Geraniums, Hostas,etc. and shrubs like Lavenders and Caryopteris? I really would appreciate your advice. Many thanks Pamela
Hello Pamela, You can do the herbaceous perennials anytime between now and spring, but the Caryopteris and Lavenders should be tackled in spring. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor
Hi Helen, Thank you for your helpful information. The snow made the decision for me, it has lain for 4 weeks now. Kind Regards Pamela
Growing plants under Apple Trees? Could you please let me know if there are any plants that can be grown under a small Apple tree. Kind Regards Pamela
Dear Crocus Customer Helpdesk, Could you give me some further advice please. I have identified what I think is Couch Grass amongst a border with lots of other plants. Should I try to get rid of it now and can I isolate it without damaging other precious plants? I can’t lift out all the other plants. I am also planning to make changes to the same border, to limit the number of plants for next Spring. I want to move some now and wonder if it is safe to do that now? I Also, I would like to plant one more fruit tree in what is a small garden in Scotland. I have had problems during two growing seasons with a James Grieve Apple Tree. I believe the apples have scab. I would like to know what other small Apple or Pear Trees would suit the climate here. I would be really grateful for advice on all these matters. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind Regards Pamela
Hello Pamela, If the surrounding plants are very close to the tree, then it may be better to tackle this in the autumn when the plants are dormant and they can be temporarily lifted and moved. Failing that,the only way to tackle it is carefully, cutting it back in manageable chunks bit by bit. Once you get the branches and most of the stem down, then you may want to grind out the stump (you can hire a stump grinder), but this is a hefty bit of kit that will damage the surrounding plants unless they are moved. If you decide to keep the stump, then I would treat the fresh cut with a strong herbicide to make sure it is killed off. I hope this helps, Helen
Hello Pamela, There is an excellent page on the RHS website about how to deal with Couch Grass. As for moving plants, autumn or early spring are the best times to do all this,so wait until the plants have become dormant and then you can start. Just make sure you have the new planting hole ready for them to go straight into – with a sprinkling of bonemeal, as this will help them get settled back in. I’m afraid there are no apples that are going to be better suited to your climate in Scotland as they all need the same conditions. You could also consider Cherries, Pears and Plums as these should be fine in Scotland, but make sure you choose a self fertile variety if you are only planting one. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor
Dear Helen, I also have a Cherry Tree. I believe it is of the Stella variety, which has been in the ground for about 4 years. I need to take it out as it is growing far too large for my small garden. Could you please give me advice on how to cut the tree down, without doing damage to surrounding plants. I plan to replace the Cherry Tree with a small, bush variety of Pear, suitable for our climate, probably a Conference Pear. I look forward to your advice on removal of the Cherry Tree. Many thanks Pamela
Wet Soil Conditions Dear Crocus, I am currently experiencing problems with very poor soil (boggy) water, which resides in the bottom corner of my garden,an area which does not catch the sun as it is surrounded by trees. What plants or treatment do you recommend, as I do not wish to waste money on plants that will simply die. Desparate for your help, Kind Regards. Hazel
Hello Hazel, The best way to combat a boggy garden really depends on if the garden is waterlogged all year or not. If it is then the main way to sort this out is to put in an underground land drain. However, this can be expensive and you will probably need a contractor in to help you. A less drastic measure if it isn’t too bad is to make a soak away at the lowest part of your garden – this is a big hole filled with rubble and then covered over with a membrane though which the water can drain and finally re-turfed or plant over the top. The excess water can then drain away into this hollow away from the rest of the garden. If the bogginess is more isolated, digging in sharp grit and well rotted manure will help break up the soil and improve the drainage. It is also worth choosing plants that will happy in the kind of soil that you have. Use moisture loving plants that will thrive, like ferns or Hostas. If you want to grow things that won’t be happy in your soil you are best off putting them in pots where you can control the environment more easily. I hope this helps. Helen Plant Doctor
Can I grow my Hosta in sun? Would a Hosta tolerate 3-4 hrs of bright sunlight? Thank you Anna
Hello Anna, It really depends on what time of the day the sun hits it. If it is early or late it should be OK, but if it is in the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, then it won’t be too happy.
My Hostas have died I bought 3 Hostas from you in November, but they have completely died – unfortunately disappearing into the earth so that there is nothing left at all. What happened?
Hostas are herbaceous perennials which die right down in late autumn. Therefore it is normal for them to look ‘dead’ at this time of the year. Each spring they start to grow again, becoming very lush and leafy quite quickly. With this in mind, I would keep an eye on them, as they should start to show signs of new growth very soon.
This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
- Position: partial or full shade
- Soil: fertile, moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast-growing
- Flowering period: July and August
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Smooth, lance-shaped, glaucous leaves to 20cm long, are topped with spikes of handsome, lavender-grey, bell-shaped flowers in mid- to late summer. It’s one of plantswoman Beth Chatto’s favourites, and it will make a flourish at the front of a shady border, sheltered from cold, drying winds. The foliage is also invaluable for softening the edges of hard landscaping.
- Garden care: Water your hosta well as soon as you plant it (avoiding the foliage if possible), and then water it regularly and thoroughly – particularly during the first growing season. You’ll get thicker, lusher leaves if you give your hostas a really good feed. An annual mulch in spring or autumn will help to keep the weeds down and is an easy way to improve soil and boost nutrient levels. Slugs and snails love hostas, so you will need to protect against them. Use an organic nematode treatment in early spring to ward them off – or pot them up into a gravel-topped pot.