<![CDATA[Flower Power - Blog]]>Sun, 13 Dec 2015 08:14:16 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A summery picture!]]>Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:23:57 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/a-summery-pictureI just noticed I hadn't changed my snowy picture at the top of the page. I have now, as you can see, so enjoy my lovely roses. The white banks rose was rescued from the DeWolff's garden in Grasse (thanks harold and Julie).
The climbing rose is called 'Santana'. I have it supported by one of Paul's iron frames. It has an abundance of beautiful deep red flowers from May to November. Cuttings anyone!
<![CDATA[September2013]]>Sat, 21 Sep 2013 10:52:31 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/september2013Sorry blogging friends, I've been out of touch for many months and so have you!!

As soon as March arrives everyone seems to want gardening clean ups and projects done all at the same time and things go completely crazy for the next few months. I then get a more calm, maintenance couple of months. When autumn arrives, home owners, who have been renting their properties over the summer months, come back to find their gardens haven't been looked after in quite the way they had expected and they call for an emergency clean up so I'm off again (I'm not complaining)!

All feeble excuses for not keeping up my blog and studies!

August/ September are great months for being thrifty for next year. Take soft wood cuttings from your favourite shrubs,roses etc. and you'll have free new plants for next year.
When your cutting off your dead flower heads save the seeds and pot them up or save them in an envelope or paper bag and store them in a cool dark place to pot up next year. Leave some for the birds.

Scarify and reseed lawns this month before it gets too cold for the seed to germinate ( in warmer climates you can do this next month).
Give your pots and planters a freshen up with some autumnal colours and plants.
Hedges and shrubs will need a tidy up after their summer growth spurts.
Get your bulb catalogues out and buy and plant up bulbs for a good show next year.

Keep firing the Q's at me to keep me studying please. I have my lovely new drawing board. My oldest friend made a large contribution towards it for my BIG birthday so I hope to get time for some botanical illustrations and garden plans. Thanks Rosie my dearest friend !
Agapanthus flower head with it's paper like black seeds.
Ceanothus softwood cuttings.
<![CDATA[February 2013]]>Mon, 18 Feb 2013 19:48:45 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/february-2013The picture for February is the same as January up here in Escragnolles, snow!  I'm getting fed up of this cold snap and want it to go away. Now is the time to warm up the soil and I can't even see it!

Tips for Feb;
  • Finish off planting up bare root trees and roses before they wake up!
  • Finish pruning apple and pear trees.
  • Give your fruit trees a feed of high potash fertiliser to boost flower and fruit production.
  • Sow sweet peas in a heated greenhouse or on a warm window sill in empty cardboard toilet roll inners. They can be planted straight into the ground when warmer as the roots will grow through the sides and they will bio-degrade.
  • If you can see your soil you can start to warm it up with cloches or polythene.
  • Keep an eye out for perennial weeds and pull them out before they start to invade beds.
  • Sort out and categorise your seed packets for sewing throughout the year and order any extras.
  • Tidy up old leaves and debris to allow for space and light for new spring shoots to come through.
  • Don't forget to ask any Q's and I'll try and answer as soon as I can (my reply button seems to be working now).

I'd better leave some space for next month as it's going to be a busy one for all gardeners, can't wait!!

<![CDATA[Question time answers!]]>Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:20:33 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/question-time-answersI'm trying to respond individually to your questions but my respond buttons aren't responding at the moment. Sorry I haven't responded before!

Harold, thanks for your Q regarding your African Violets.
Are they in the States or over here? I've had a look and they do tend to be difficult to manage.
Here are a few tips;
Position, moderate to bright indirect light away from drafts and sudden bursts of cold air. They like kitchens and bathrooms.
Watering, Try to use rain water at room temperature. African Violets dislike soft or heavily chlorinated water. Too much chlorine can cause leaf burn and diminished flowering. If water is too cold it can chill the roots and cause the leaves to droop down.
They should be given just enough water to keep the soil moist overwatering will cause root rot and fungal infection. Allowing the roots to dry out before watering will encourage flowering.
Water from beneath foliage or in saucer but and don't leave standing in water for more than 30 minutes.
Never water from the top i.e. wet the foliage, apart from a very light misting in summer months.
Feed with a weak plant food. Remove any dead foliage straight away .
Hope this information helps.
In response to you other comment, does Nicholas have a web site? Perhaps I can create a link? I'll google him !

Suzanne, thanks for you blog Question. Yes,the Wisteria can be done now as described last year. Your shrubs should be moved when dormant but if the soil is frosty/snowy then obviously it's not going to be possible. Try and do it next month, I've been looking at flights to come over next month but don't think I'll be able to as flights are at difficult times and I'd end up having to get an airport hotel etc. When schools break up the flights are a ridiculous price. It's about time Easyjet realsied that you can actually get North of the border direct from Nice in winter!! So I'm afraid I can't help move them for you.

<![CDATA[December/January ]]>Tue, 15 Jan 2013 14:19:11 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/decemberjanuaryPhoto
My garden this morning at dawn.
Happy new year everyone! 
I think I'm talking to myself all the time on this blog, am I ??
Having recently watched 'Julie and Julia,' a DVD gift from my mother I'am waiting..
In brief, a young woman, a passionate amateur cook, possesed with the writings of her favourite chef Julia Childs, and  bored with her job, started a cooking blog (her husbands suggestion). She started at the beginning of Julia Child's book 'Mastering the art of French Cooking' and made every recipe in the book. Her blog was about the adventure. She waited and waited for her first comment on her blog and thought it would never happen. When it did she didn't look back. I'm still waiting............
Please comment on my blogs if you find them interesting or not.
Suggest what you would like to read about. If I can oblige with any helpfull hints i.e. a mini 'Gardeners Question Time' then I'd be delighted to try and help. This in turn will help my horticultural studies. So lets start everyone!!

Now that we have started a new year we can look forwards to the first little bulbs popping up. I can already see my crocus' emerging from the soil and look forward to the first one opening up.
There are still plenty things to do at this time of year even thought a lot of people think not.
  • We can plant up bare root roses,hedges and fruit trees if the soil isn't frozen or too wet. We can also move shrubs if not in the correct place.
  • Add organic matter to beds and borders. NB. Try not to walk on soil that is waterlogged as this compacts the soil and counteracts any air that you have managed to introduce earlier. If you must walk on overly wet soil use a plank to stand on.
  • Make sure you've cleaned and oiled your tools and if you can't do it yourself get,your motorised tools serviced.
  • Remember NOT to walk on your lawn if it is frosty and knock the snow off your plants to prevent it from breaking branches.
  • Clean out your birdfeeders and keep them topped up for hungry birds.
  • Keep your frost tender plants protected either by moving then to a sheltered spot,into a greenhouse, or cover in fleece/bubble wrap.
  • Tidy up perennials and get rid of perennial weeds such as bindweed, ground elder etc.

<![CDATA[Christmas gift ideas]]>Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:12:42 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/christmas-gift-ideasHave a look at my garden structures page for great gift ideas. We have made a smaller range of items that can easily fit under your tree. Or why not be environmentally friendly and decorate an obelisk instead of a Christmas tree!
<![CDATA[September in your garden]]>Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:50:26 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/september-in-your-gardenSorry, I've been neglecting you all for some months. It's been a hectic summer and I simply haven't had time to write on my blog or study horticulture!
So here goes, a few tips for September;

Lawns; It's a good time to sow grass seed at the moment as the temperature cools down but the soil remains warm plus, the weather is now a bit wetter. So if you were too late earlier on to get on with your lawn get on with it now!! (or you can ask me to do it for you!)
If you have an established lawn now is the time to aerate it ( you can buy spiky things to attach to you boots). Scarify too then apply a top dressing and if there are any repairs to do you can get on with this too.
Lift the cutting height of you lawnmower.

Beds and borders; Give them an autumn BOOST of colour. Cut away any overgrown summer perennials and go and buy some instant colour from the garden centre to liven it up a bit. It's also time to move any overgrown shrubs to a new place and divide congested perennial.

More next month. I'm off back up to Scotland for a week but I'll join you later in October for more jobs for you!!
<![CDATA[A garden I'd like to share with you!]]>Wed, 23 May 2012 09:06:27 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/a-garden-id-like-to-share-with-you
Does anyone recognise this beautiful castle and gardens? Not in full bloom as I visited at the end of April but still on time to see the box hedges, vibrant tulips within.

'Dunrobin Castle' in Golspie, Sutherland is a beautiful fairytale castle that I remember visiting on school days out many years ago. The gardens are perfectly manicured . The tall wooden obelisks have apple trees trained up them . The apple trees have also been carefully trained along the ground to form 'step over' trees.
I love the way the cypress  are immacultely groomed into a' tear drop' shape leaning in towards the central fountain.

The castle has magnificent views over the Dornoch Firth towards  Tain in Easter Ross.
Topped with blue sky and a reunion with old friends it truly was a day out to remember !

<![CDATA[Affichez un titre. Cliquez et tapez pour le modifier.]]>Tue, 10 Apr 2012 10:18:02 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/affichez-un-titre-cliquez-et-tapez-pour-le-modifierMarch has come and gone and I didn't notice !! It's a very busy time of year in the garden and everyone wants me in theirs. 

In my studies I have to submit plant sheets with each assignment. If anyone would like to see any please ask.

One of my plant sheets is on the Olive tree.  I recently came across Olive trees in someone's garden where all of the leaves had dropped and others where they were turning brown with round  patches. The branches were brittle and covered in a 'sooty' fur. 

This is a fungus  called 'Spilocaea oleaginea' and is common in this region. Infact the more Olives I look at the more I see it.

Treatment is a copper fungicide, good drainage, opening up the canopy of the tree and a good feed of manure and engrais.

If you talk nicely to them this can also have a positive effect !

<![CDATA[Pruning ]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:46:50 GMThttp://www.flowerpowerfrance.com/blog/pruningTime to give your vigorous summer flowering shrubs their prune now.(i.e. buddleias,elderberry)
Be as drastic as you dare! Cut all of last years stems down to approx 60-90cms from ground level. The new shoots that develop will carry the flowers for this summer. If you cut at slightly different levels this will encourage flowers at different heights; You can also cut down dogwood close to  base to encourage new growth. 
If your a bit nervous about pruning you can start with the obvious to give you a bit of confidence. 
1, Any dead or dying, wood cut back to a healthy bud (remember to cut above bud at the angle you you want the bud to grow -outwards)
2, If you spot any diseased wood or leaves remove immediately to avoid further spread.
3, Any wood that has been bruised, broken or damaged in any way , cut it out.
4, Any wood that is crossing another or rubbing up against another , take this awat as it may cause damage /disease. 
5, Keep your secateurs SHARP!
Happy Chopping !! ]]>