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Heinie

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New member
« on: May 29, 2011, 05:25:41 PM »
Hi everyone. I am new on this forum and do not find a welcoming category here like in other forums therefore this category is probably the most appropriate one to introduce myself to the other members. I live in Cape Town, South Africa and collect and grow Clivias, Bulbous plants and Daylilies in that order of importance. I am retired early and spend most of my day amongst my plants because it is a full time job and a very interesting hobby through which I meet very good friends from all over the world. I like to swop out plants and bulbs to assist others to share in what I have and the other way round too.
Heinie
Cape Town, South Africa
poussion@telkomsa.net

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Alisdair

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Re: New member
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2011, 07:39:17 PM »
Welcome, Heini! We look forward to getting to know you and your plants.
This forum is still very new. It's really still at the set-up stages, and for instance all the usual welcome and "How to use it" messages etc won't be put on until about three weeks time. We are still building everything up and won't be announcing it publicly until around mid-June. So really at the moment it's just a few people setting it up and testing it out.
But do keep an eye on it in the meantime, as a few people using it will help to iron out all the inevitable problems.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: New member
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 08:23:20 AM »
Hello Heinie and welcome.
One day, I may pick your brains about Viola in South Africa, though I know it is very different to your domain of bulbs.
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

hilberry

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Re: New member
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 09:24:57 PM »
Hello, I'm also a new member.  I live on the southern edge of Loire Atlantique, where there is lots of sunshine and hot summers, but torrential rain in November and slightly less rain in winter and spring.  I've been gardening here for 12 years with mixed results.  I need to learn about the plants that will succeed in this climate so this is why I joined the forum, hoping to pick your brains, share experiences and maybe even have helpful ideas for others.

I'm a retired ceramist/artist potter, but still doing some part time teaching of pottery.  I've enjoyed making plant pots and sculptures for the garden.  :)

At the moment I'm redesigning the garden, as I sold half of it earlier this year.  It was too big for me.  Most of it is in full sun, but I've cleared an area of dense brambles about 4x10 metres under elm and conifer trees.  Most of this is being used for sheltered sitting out, but I want to develop a shade garden here too.  About half the garden is a potager, again with mixed results.  The garden is organic and luckily has few pest and disease problems.  I love working outside and planning colours and textures, shapes and patterns.  I love the fact that a garden is never finished, is always changing and evolving and there is always something new to learn from our mistakes and from the way that nature works in different seasons and years. 

It was during my research for draught tolerant summer/cool wet winter plants and dry shade plants that I came across the MGS forum.  I'm slowly finding my way around the forum and how to use it. As yet I don't know if you are all professional gardeners, or some of you are amateurs like me.
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France

Daisy

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Re: New member
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 08:49:28 AM »
Hello Hilberry. You are not alone. ;D I am definitely an amateur gardener. ::) ::) ::)  My new garden is still being laid out and the first plantings have only been in for eighteen months.
 I have masses of questions. More questions than answers, but if it helps, I can tell you, that I have Anemone x hybrida, Geranium sanguineum, Rehmannia elata, Abutilon x hybridum, Aquilegia in variety and Rose Archduc Joseph all in deep overhead shade and all doing well.
I also have a number of lilies, but it is a bit early to say how they are doing.
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

hilberry

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Re: New member
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 09:52:25 AM »
Hello, Daisy, good to hear from a fellow amateur.   :)  You've given me the idea of trying an abutilon and aquilegiums in my, as yet not made, shade garden.  Several plants that are now in full sun will have to be moved to shade : ligularia osiris cafĂ© noir, geranium nodosum whiteleaf, geranium splish splash and some epimediums, and I've discovered that annuals like cosmos and nastyurchins [sorry, nasturtiums! ;D] prefer part shade.

Do you like hostas and heucheras?  I fancy some white foxgloves too, and I'm mulling over what bulbs to have. I'd like a wild honeysuckle climbing into the trees.  We have to dream! ::)  My lilies are doing well in the sun.  Sorry I can't tell you what they are, but I bought them in the supermarket and they weren't labelled [except rouge or blanche!] :-\

As for the full sun garden, a lot of the English Cottage Garden plants do well if closely planted to keep the soil moist. The only thing is, the flowers are over too quickly.  Like you, the garden is new, started last winter, so early days.   

Hilberry
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France

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Marilyn

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Re: New member
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 02:48:07 PM »
Hello all, I am also new to the forum - I had put a separate post up, but no-one replied so I thought I'd jump in here and say how-do. I am finding it fascinating hearing about everyone's gardens - I find visiting private gardens easily as rewarding, if not more so, than touring the grandest public ones, for that sense of personal invention and endeavour.

And I just wanted to suggest that, like gardens, a gardener is never finished, whether qualified by personal experience, work or schooling - all you "amateurs" have mentioned many plants I don't recognise just in the short space of this topic! It's one of the things I love most about horticulture, whether as hobby or career - there's no limit to where you can go with it. :)
I work in hotel and private gardens, promoting sustainable landscape management in the mediterranean climate through the use of diverse, beautiful and appropriate plants. At home, I garden on two balconies containing mostly succulents.

Daisy

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Re: New member
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 03:56:25 PM »
Hilberry. I forgot that I also have Osteospermum jucundum, cane begonias and a fuchsia all in shade under deciduous trees. The cane begonia came from the local market so I don't know which one it is.
The fuchsia came as a cutting from a neighbour. I am guessing that it is Fuchsia triphylla. Other fuchsias
don't seem to like it here.  They slowly die. :( :( :(
I adore white foxgloves. It wouldn't occur to me that they would grow here but I have sown some Digitalis purpurea alba this year. So far they are fine. (Cross fingers) ;)
I didn't know cosmos and nasturtiums would be happy in shade. That is useful to know. 

Marilyn. How much I agree with you that visiting other peoples gardens is rewarding. It is also fascinating and  inspiring.
As for sourcing plants locally ;D ;D ;D I have the same difficulty here in Crete.  Already this forum has been brilliant in helping with finding suppliers. In fact I have managed to spend an awful lot of money lately ::) ::) ::)
Daisy :)
Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

David Bracey

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Re: New member
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2011, 09:32:30 AM »
Hello Hilberry I can possibly help a little since I have just moved from the Languedoc to the Haut Savoy which I guess is not too different from the Loire A.  The major climatic difference this summer is the humidity here.  The Languedoc is just dry, dry dry which is not helped by the mistral wind.  There are winds throughout the Mediterranean Basin causing dessication which of course has in turn given rise to plants adapted to these conditions.

In general, I would say that it is "easier" to transport/transplant plants from the South to the North than vice versa.  For example there is a lot of Gaura and Perovskia grown here - possibly as summer bedding plants- I must wait to see what happens this winter.  Figs, kaki, loquats fruits all thrive here.

 Hostas or heucheras would thrive where you are but not in the South I suspect.  You would do better to follow planting advice for temperate climate plants rather than med species although there are many exceptions, of course.  David
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

hilberry

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Re: New member
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2011, 09:42:53 AM »
A friend in England is sending me some white foxglove plants, which is great as if I had to sow seeds I wouldn't get flowers until the 2nd year.  :D I'll still sow seeds too.

I'm making a wish list, which is growing, as I read more on this forum!  There's a huge plant festival in Nantes, near here in 2 weeks time.  Dangerous!   ;D

None of my neighbours have good gardens which is a pity, as there's no swapping going on.  The up side is that lily beetles don't know there's a feast for them here!    ::)

Hello Marilyn.  I look forward to hearing progress reports on the garden you're working on.  It sounds a huge task.
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France

hilberry

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Re: New member
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2011, 09:56:20 AM »
Hello, David,
About the drying winds, well, we get them but nothing like as severe as down south.  I have a fig tree, too young to produce an abundance, and only liberated from it's pot this spring when it promptly dropped it's fruit  :-\

Part of the reason that I consider using Med plants is that my water supply is limited, I've just a well and no mains.  I try to water only newly planted plants and vegs. 

I grow hostas in pots in the shade on a sort of stepped shelving unit. the pots are made by me and have rough surfaces that the slugs and snails don't like.  They do well.  I'm going to move some heucheras from the full sun bed to half sun. 

Are you starting a new garden from scratch in Haut Savoy?
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France

David Bracey

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Re: New member
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2011, 05:43:12 PM »
Hello Hilberry yes I am effectively starting from scratch although there are some excellent plants.  david
MGS member.

 I have gardened in sub-tropical Florida, maritime UK, continental Europe and the Mediterranean basin, France. Of the 4 I have found that the most difficult climate for gardening is the latter.

hilberry

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Re: New member
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 05:32:06 PM »
I've made the decision that my 2nd flower bed in full sun shall be only grey leaved plants, so I dug up the yellow potentillas, the sage icterina and a little yellow and green variagated shrub and put them in a different bed with a little shade from a small pear tree.  Some of the grey leaved plants will have yellow flowers, but that doesn't matter.  There'll be a mix of coloured flowers, at different times.  I'll pop some bulbs in soon, maybe just soft white colours.  Later in spring, there will be showy yellow and blue irises, and even later some red and white lilies, which don;t have grey leaves  :-\ but I'm not a strict disciplinarian. :D
Retired artist/potter.  Amateur gardener searching for suitable plants for my hot dry summers, cool wet winters.  Redesigning the garden to have a shady area under trees, so searching also for dry shade plants and ideas for the type of soil needed.  I live in S.Loire Atlantique, France