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Not a good year for my clems


One or two of my clems have done ok but the others are not doing well at all. Three new ones put in early this year had flowers that were either stunted or tiny when they shouldn’t have been. Then there’s my Madame Julia Correvon, usually a very happy lady, but this year the buds and leaves are covered in mildew. Yesterday I tried the milk/water spray. I don’t know how long this takes to work but I’ll let you know if it works at all.

I dug up and transplanted all three of my supposedly dwarf Michaelmas Daisies to areas where they aren’t overshadowing other plants. All of them had the same label which said the height and spread was 30cm. Mine are now up to 3 feet! Wrongly labelled? Or just this year’s weather?

Now the ash tree next door at the side has been cut down, at least until it grows again, I now have an elder tree (seedling no doubt) growing behind the back fence close to a windowless house wall. It’s a narrow strip of land, no more than a few feet in width and is something of a wilderness. Though the house now has new owners they don’t seem inclined to clear the space yet though it might be early days. Two days ago I climbed the stepladder, reached over and sprayed as much of the growth as possible. It is now just beginning to look slightly less healthy than it did. I shall continue to do this as long as I think necessary. Risky? Possibly but I don’t want yet another tree sending out roots across my garden though it’s one of the hazards of having a very small garden, I suppose. When it gets big enough I shall do the same with the cherry sapling (a seed from the tree next to it I reckon) growing close to a side fence . That might be a bit more tricky to do though without being seen as the owners only have to look through their windows. Still, the house is frequently unoccupied so I might be in with a chance.

What a nasty person I am!

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What is the milk/water ratio Arbuthnot? I have hear it mentioned on the site. I have one Clematis that always gets mildew and even though I cut it to the ground it is appearing again.I hate it when the beautiful flower heads are spoilt in this way.
I live in a large shared house....vertically split. My neighbours supposedly own half of the back garden (not the front) but I find myself caring for most of it.The little bits they do look after are one lawn and their paths. I hit their paths with weed killer when I do my own (secretly) or I would be driven nuts.
I understand not knowing about plants, but this is just being tidy.
What a grumpy pair we are. :0)

17 Jul, 2016


The spray is one part cow's milk to nine parts water. It's definitely worth a go.

Like you, I spray the weeds sprouting from my neighbours garage wall where it meets her side path which runs along my driveway. I'm always pulling out the smaller ones because she isn't interested though a small ash tree defeated me, hence the weedkiller. We moved here almost 2½ years ago and the same hanging basket is dangling from a corner of her garage. It's lovely - filled with weeds! And not even flowering weeds.

Yes, a grumpy pair indeed.

17 Jul, 2016


I must be grumpy also,I find it difficult sometimes doing my own, but always keep it clean and tidy,and then have extra from weeds and stuff coming from next doors garden. I sympathise with you,but hey - ho that's gardening for you.

17 Jul, 2016


I have a mental picture of you all skulking about at night clutching spray bottles of noxious liquid!

17 Jul, 2016


Oh! I couldn't see the weeds in the dark......I skulk in broad daylight.

17 Jul, 2016


Me too. I just check that nobody is looking first!

18 Jul, 2016


I've had a look at Madame Julia and some of the mildew has definitely disappeared. There is still some though so I've given her another spray. With luck it will all go now.

18 Jul, 2016


Skulking in broad daylight looking over your shoulders inspires an even better mental picture ?

18 Jul, 2016


Ah well, I like to entertain!

18 Jul, 2016


Me too!

18 Jul, 2016


Success! ?

18 Jul, 2016


I agree its not a good year for the later flowering Clematis.
I had mildew on my 'Comtesse de Bouchaud' clematis every year but found cutting it back and regular doses of Epsom salts stopped it completely. I have found clay soil can bind up nutrients and make it difficult for some plants to access nutrients especially some of the biennials.

19 Jul, 2016


Well I can definitely state that the milk/water spray for mildew hasn't worked. Madame Julia Correvon was covered in lovely purple blooms, all wilting badly with the mildew, as were the leaves. Three well spaced applications of the spray didn't make a whole lot of difference so because she was looking really unwell yesterday I sadly cut her right back.

She is growing against a fence so I plan to get a decent size tripod in order for the air to circulate all round. Perhaps that will save her next year. If not, I shall try the Epsom salts method.

It was an experiment that didn't work for me.

26 Jul, 2016


Madam Julia Correvon is looking beautiful at this moment. When she was mildewed a few months ago I cut her right down and gave her a feed. Obviously the treatment went down well and her deep maroon blooms now looks very fetching against the yellow daisies of the perennial Rudbeckia.

Strange things are still happening in the garden though. The Ceanothus is now in bloom again. I know a frost will kill the flowers but I hope it will recover enough to bloom again in the spring.

We gardeners don't quite know where we are this year.

23 Oct, 2016

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