One for the gardeners.

Gardening/Walking/Nature trails & wildlife. Share your experiences here...

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Kathy
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One for the gardeners.

Post by Kathy » Sat 25 Apr 2009 08:07

My bougainvillea (in France) which is in a terracotta pot looks dead. It is just a web of brown twigs. Is this normal? Will it grow new leaves or has the very wet weather we have had there killed it?
On the other hand the potted campsis vine is thriving.
I want a display of flowers climbing by the front door so am open to suggestions as to what would be best to plant in place of the boogey if it is dead.
I am not having a great deal of luck with my shrubs either, 3 shrubs which I planted at the end of our deck for a flowery hedge 25€ each (gasp) look to be dying too.

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Sat 25 Apr 2009 08:30

The guy at Gamme verte next to Intermarche in Ceret offered to do a gardening slot in P-O Life and answer people's questions on gardening but we missed deadline. I'm sure if you went in there he would advise.

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Sat 25 Apr 2009 09:25

Bougainvilleas are really tropical to sub-tropical and only very woody stems will survive frost down to about -3 to -4°C.

This year temperatures went well below that in some places and it could be that the roots froze in the pot - in which case not much hope.

Here's a site from UK - mostly concerned with greenhouse potted bougainvillea to put out during summer.
http://www.eastofedenplants.co.uk/bouga ... _guide.htm

We had a big plant deeply rooted in the earth and climbing our villa wall in Antibes for 9 years and even there some of the tender tips died off each winter.

When we were looking at houses in the PO back in Spring 92 we saw several ones with these plants which had died back to the roots the previous winter and the owners explained they come back each year.
These were places in the Alberes around Laroque, Sorede, high enough to get slight frost some winters.

The key is the roots! Potted plants survive less well if the pot is subject to frost. Older plants deep rooted in soil normally survive at root level and spring up again.

If you are in Collioure any time - check what happened last winter to the huge bougainvillea climbing the house near the harbour. If that died off in the mildest climate on the coast, then others more inland will have suffered more too.
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Kathy
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Post by Kathy » Sat 25 Apr 2009 09:44

I only bought it last summer so it looks like as Roger says it hasn't had chance to establish itself and has succumbed to the frost.
Kate does the guy in Gamme Verte speak any english? I shall pop in and ask his advice if so. Sounds like I need something more hardy. I also have quite a few other areas to plant out.
Trial and error gardening is OK but costly. A gardening slot would be helpful.

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Post by thumbelina » Sat 25 Apr 2009 12:42

I have a very large pot with two bougies, Kathy. One died the other survived. But the one that survived has just three tiny new shoots coming out near the bottom, everything else is dead.

This winter has been terribly cold and even bougies that are planted in the garden have perished this year.

The problem with any flowering plants down here is that the flowering season is, generally very short.

Climbing roses are probably your best bet for flowers 9 - 10 months of the year - not very Mediterranean though to our way of thinking unfortunately :D

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Post by Kathy » Sat 25 Apr 2009 12:52

That's good to know. If it hasn't come to by summer then a climbing rose it is. I know what you mean about not very mediterranean. I love to see boogeys in full bloom. I did put a fleece over it but it was torn to shreds by the strong winds.

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Marguerite & Steve
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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Sat 25 Apr 2009 12:56

I love geraniums, and have to be red. :roll: I have them in blue pots dotting all over my garden and they survive through to October and that is in the UK, they love dry weather so should thrive in France.....just putting mine out today...hope the frost has gone :?

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Post by thumbelina » Sat 25 Apr 2009 12:59

I adore them, too! The bougie which looks to have survived is a purple one. The one that died is a pinky colour. The purpley colour is the more hardy plant but even that can scarcely be said to be rough n tough! lol I'll keep you posted about the one that is hanging on.

What are your shrubs that are suffering, Kathy? Could they be in the wrong place, perhaps?

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Post by thumbelina » Sat 25 Apr 2009 13:07

Marguerite & Steve wrote:I love geraniums, and have to be red. :roll: I have them in blue pots dotting all over my garden and they survive through to October and that is in the UK, they love dry weather so should thrive in France.....just putting mine out today...hope the frost has gone :?
Me too, Marguerite! I had loads of them but they died off this winter.

Apparently, the geranium growers down here are very happy because we've had a harsh winter. Everyone has been keeping their geraniums alive through the last two or three winters but now they are having to replace them.

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Post by blackduff » Sat 25 Apr 2009 13:46

I haven't had much luck in my garden. I do have some, which are potted-the plants were direct south. They are also protected with the north winds. They did survive.

Some which were on the south-east wall grew okay but when we've had a bad winter-pooooof.

Cut down your plant slowly. Clip something and see if it's dead wood. Go a bit further down the plant and see if you can find any life. If you keep clipping and finally find some life 20 cms from the dirt, maybe, maybe you will have some flowers again.

When I cut mine down to about a foot, they will grow again and they can grow up to about 2.5 meters in height. Sorry I'm mixing feet, meters, and cms but we're bi-lingual here.

Good luck.

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Post by opas » Sat 25 Apr 2009 13:51

I know I will live to regret saying this.......but being a northerner will tell it how it is.

I cannot stand Geraniums ,In the Uk I always refered to them as `scruffs flowers` (probably because one of my neighbours had them in the window inside and they never had a decent flower on them! the smell knock me off.

Perhaps a hard pruning will give the bougie a new lease of life.

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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Sat 25 Apr 2009 14:31

opas wrote:
I cannot stand Geraniums ,In the Uk I always refered to them as `scruffs flowers` (probably because one of my neighbours had them in the window inside and they never had a decent flower on them! the smell knock me off.
They are a flower that prefers to be outside, they haven't got the best of scents but the smell must be horrible indoors.........

I must be a true scruff.. :wink:

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Post by rbg » Sat 25 Apr 2009 14:52

Any tips on what to plant in pots on north side of the house?

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Post by Kathy » Sat 25 Apr 2009 15:29

I can't remember the name of the shrub and the care label Ha! is out in France. I haven't got much spare flat surface on which to plant as most of our ground is like a cliff face. The hedge of oleanders is doing well so I will replace them with these.
I put geraniums in pots on my steps and they look nice, they have also died off but the ones in the garden are sprouting. They do smell yuk inside but they are worth it outside for the length of time they flower.

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Post by thumbelina » Sat 25 Apr 2009 15:30

Does it get any sun rbg?

Rather amusingly, my south facing back garden is totally in the shade, but my north facing front garden is in full sun!!!

There are loads of beautiful flowering shrubs which should grow well up there, Kathy.

Let me have the details of what you have when you're next down and I'll dig out some suggestions for replacements for you.

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Post by rbg » Sat 25 Apr 2009 15:37

directly north, it gets no sun whatsoever

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Post by Kathy » Sat 25 Apr 2009 15:38

They get sun from mid morning until late afternoon. However they have the full brunt of the wind. The soil is naff but I put a few bags of good stuff and bonemeal in before planting.
I suspect frost has had them.

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Post by Roger O » Sat 25 Apr 2009 16:02

Who likes geraniums? Here's a typical Swiss chalet hotel!!
http://i.pbase.com/u20/19sweetcorn92/up ... issCha.jpg
In its real habitat (photographed in Nairobi), bougainvillea grows like this!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_U47HJwcwIHk/RfdS6 ... 0Bloom.jpg
Last edited by Roger O on Sat 25 Apr 2009 16:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by thumbelina » Sat 25 Apr 2009 16:04

If they are Med shrubs they should still survive with poor soil so you are probably right, its probably a combination of the wind and cold, Kathy.

For summer plants, impatiens and possibly, nicotianas might stand a chance, rbg. You could try petunias and surfinias although they do like a little sun but you may get lucky.

For perennials, hostas, azaleas, rhododendrons and hydrangeas might also do OK, as might mahonia and skimmia. Campanula are said to be good in the shade too.

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Post by opas » Sat 25 Apr 2009 16:12

I have just been to the garden centre and bought Petunias to put in a planter as a house warming gift for the mammie of the little girl i look after. Also started with a dozen Tomato plants for the potager.

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Post by blackduff » Sat 25 Apr 2009 22:04

Karin
I have a climbing clematis which lives on the north side of our house. This gets 100% blast from the wind but it survives. The lower branches stopped blooming since a squirrel needed the branches for her nest.

I also one of the ivies which turn red in the fall. This is a beautiful plant and it thrives in the north.

There's another section with fusain. These plants are right under the water from the roof. They seem to survive and they've been there for since 1994. It's not a climbing bush but it's capable of growing to over two meters.

I also have two Hortensia Gripants on the north wall. The squirrel took a fancy for the branches so it's tough to keep growning. It's a very slow plant but it gives nice large white flowers in the spring.

I also have some other plants on the north side. This section covers about 30 meters long.

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Post by blackduff » Sat 25 Apr 2009 22:08

Roger
A lot of the Swiss put their geraniums in their bomb shelter for the winter. They have to put a bit of water during the winter months but they survive. Some of the ladies would bring me down to visit the germaniums during the winter months. I tried this in Sweden and it didn't work.

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Sun 26 Apr 2009 10:44

blackduff wrote:Roger
A lot of the Swiss put their geraniums in their bomb shelter for the winter. They have to put a bit of water during the winter months but they survive. Some of the ladies would bring me down to visit the germaniums during the winter months. I tried this in Sweden and it didn't work.

Blackduff
We did that twice and gave up because they never survived! Probably we didn't follow the correct procedures!!

Anyway, our appartment was ground floor and we had the privilege of a small private garden in front of our terrace.
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Serge

Post by Serge » Sun 26 Apr 2009 12:01

Why would the Swiss need bomb shelters? - apart from to grow plants in!

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Post by blackduff » Sun 26 Apr 2009 12:22

Up onto the last few years, most apartments had a bomb shelter for each apartment. I think this was thought it was needed for the cold war period. If I remember, some Americans built their own bomb shelters too.

The Swiss bomb shelters are serious shelters. Of course, they could winter the geramiums, if the had the technique.

Serge, don't you have a bomb shelter in your shed?

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Post by opas » Sun 26 Apr 2009 14:50

Its called the cave.
He stashes his Baccardi, chocolate and beer in there.

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Post by polremy » Sun 26 Apr 2009 20:09

opas wrote:Its called the cave.
He stashes his Baccardi, chocolate and beer in there.
wot, no pork pies?

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Sun 26 Apr 2009 20:28

Serge wrote:Why would the Swiss need bomb shelters? - apart from to grow plants in!
Serge, Serge.... tsch tsch!!
Read... and learn!
CITATION
They Didn't Attack Switzerland

by Bill Walker

Switzerland has not been in a war of any kind since 1815. It has not been in an official foreign war since 1515. This would be astounding, even miraculous, for any nation. But Switzerland borders Germany . And France . And Italy . And Austria . And Liechtenstein . Now the Prince of Liechtenstein has rarely lashed out in Blitzkrieg in a desperate bid to reign uber alles, but ALL of Switzerland 's other neighbors have devoted a lot of effort to invading other countries.

In addition to the encircling foreign marauders, Switzerland itself is composed of several different ethnic groups that get along as well as, e.g., Germans and French. But they haven’t ethnically cleansed each other for two centuries, either.

You would think that peacekeeping performance of this kind would make Switzerland an object of study in every political science and civics course worldwide. "WHY Didn't They Attack Switzerland ?" should be the title of many a textbook. This is not the case. Very few political scientists study Switzerland .

Switzerland is of no interest to politicians, because the features of the Swiss system that keep the peace are the same features that make Swiss politicians unimportant. Do you know the name of the Swiss President now serving out his nonrenewable one-year term? No, you do not (it’s Samuel Schmid, but you won’t remember tomorrow). His name doesn't matter, and he doesn't matter to the defense of Switzerland . There is no central location of Swiss defense, no Pentagon or NORAD into which you can crash a 757 or a black-market Kazakh nuclear weapon. The defense of Switzerland is the entire people of Switzerland itself.

The features of the Swiss system for keeping the peace are simple. They mind their own business, and they have very strict gun control. By which they mean that every Swiss male must have a gun, except for those who have to carry a mortar or missile launcher. Females are not subject to universal military training, but if you go to a Swiss rifle range, there are always girls blasting away too. After 9-11, the Swiss told passengers to carry their bayonets onto their airliners . . . somewhat different from the US response of panicked victim-disarmament. (You are aware that 99% of US pilots are STILL disarmed?)

As a final defense, the Swiss have rigged the vaults of their banks for demolition. Any dictator attacking Switzerland will find the gold in his numbered bank account buried in rubble hundreds of meters under a mountain. It is known that Hitler had a numbered account.

Switzerland has also provided for defense of the lives of its civilian population against nuclear terrorism. Realizing after World War Two that nuclear weapons in the hands of power-mad idiots posed a public health threat, the Swiss started a nationwide shelter-building program in 1960. By 1991, there was enough shelter space in Switzerland to protect everyone in their home or apartment, and also enough at their workplace and school. A Swiss citizen is generally never more than a few minutes from a fallout shelter with an air filter.

The entire Swiss shelter program was accomplished for somewhere on the order of $35 (1990 dollars) per year per capita. The US spends vastly more every year to achieve a military only capable of intervening in Third World nations that don’t have WMDs. The combined US armed forces are incapable of shooting down a single ballistic missile, or even intercepting low-flying propeller planes. Nor are there bunkers with filtered air supplies for the inhabitants of our glass cities or crackerbox suburbs. The only civil defense in the US is for the President and the bureaucrats under Iron Mountain . Everyone else is nuclear fodder, except for those provident few (such as the Mormons) who build their own shelters to protect their families.

Switzerland does not send troops to intervene in other nations. Switzerland does not spend tens of billions of dollars yearly to fund dictators around the world, nor did Switzerland donate hundreds of billions of dollars to the Warsaw Pact through bank "loans." Switzerland does not send billions of dollars worth of weaponry every year to the warring tribes in the Middle East . Switzerland has no enemies. Yet the Swiss are armed to the teeth and dug into every hill and under every building.

mon pote qui bosse à Zurich depuis peu me confiait qu'il empruntait depuis quelques semaines un sentier lors de ses balades dans les environs. On lui a montré qu'en fait ce sentier passait sur une partie "mobile" de la montagne qui peut se lever et ouvrir un accès à l'une des nombreuses bases enterrées... comme dans james bond!

US policy is the evil-parallel-universe inverse of the Swiss. The US intervenes everywhere, spies on everyone, supports every faction in every dispute. We have as many enemies as there are disputatious people in the world. Yet we spend more effort on disarming our own airline pilots and other law-abiding citizens than on providing shelters for our children against nuclear, chemical, or biological attack. We have an expensive conventional army, and quite a few aging offensive nuclear weapons. But no defense for our children.
Annaïck and I didn't leave Switzerland out of choice! We left because after the 1992 plebiscite refusing the EU we both saw the writing on the wall - which was very clear by late 1993/early 1994 for Swissair.

Sure, it took a bit over 6 years after that and people in the company labeled me "Cassandra" when I prophesied "doom" but we did the right thing because by 2001 we would both have been out of a job - me two years before retirement - which would have been catastrophic for us. Leaving in 1994 to work for Amadeus in Sophia meant I had time to build up a second career and earn a retirement worthy of the name.

If all that had not happened, we would probably, now, be living in Lugano or Locarno in a nice neat little villa by the lake and still in Switzerland!
So that's life!! I'm happy my two "Swiss" daughters still live there and have built comfortable lives for themselves - a haven to visit when needed!
I deal in Logic!
"Magic" is applied science far in advance of our current technology.

Serge

Post by Serge » Sun 26 Apr 2009 21:17

I am sorry for asking now!



..probably not interesting enough to bomb then ......................... :lol:

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Mon 27 Apr 2009 10:12

On the other hand, Switzerland is a land of truly surprising contrasts!!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8019766.stm
ImageImage
Last edited by Roger O on Mon 27 Apr 2009 10:53, edited 3 times in total.
I deal in Logic!
"Magic" is applied science far in advance of our current technology.

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