News and Updates

A few years ago I was very pleased to obtain a very small plant of Phyllostachys kwangsiensis. It sounded as though it was a very exciting addition to my bamboo collection, as it is said to have many of the desirable features of Phyllostachys edulis, but doing them much quicker in the UK climate. Indeed it had heavily pubescent culms when they appeared and small leaves in profusion.

However when it had reached about eight feet high it started to flower. I had been examining the flower heads over two summer periods, but was doubtful that there was any good seed being set.
Last month I sowed some small seed like material, I had collected in the autumn, with no great optimism. However a week or so ago it started to germinate, much to my excitement, and now there are around a dozen seedlings.

I have potted off my pan of open pollinated Epimedium seedlings and currently have just

over forty. I say currently because two have already been eaten despite the trays sitting on a dry polystyrene board which I thought would deter slugs and snails and having a generous sprinkling of slug pelets over them. After staring at the seedlings for some time I spotted one tiny green caterpiler around a centimeter long and a milimetre in diameter. I am hoping he may be the culpret, but wonder if there’s one there may be more.

We have continued the good work of Karen, our volunteer gardener with our potted Hosta collection.

We have carried on weeding, potting on as necessary and putting on slow release fertilizer and wool, anti mollusc pellets, over the Hosta pots. We have now run out of the latter and are debating whether to buy more, or leave the rest of our Hostas as a control, to see how effective the deterrent effect of wool actually is.

The Old Magnolias Website (2001 – 2012)

New visitors to the site may not be aware that there was a previous incarnation of the site which ran for about 11 years. The posts and images were not added quite as regularly, due to the greater difficulty.

There are news posts covering such things as pond building, tree disasters and our Koi Carp.

You can find the old site by hovering over ‘About’ and then selecting ‘Old Site’ or for added convenience click on the image of the old site on this post.

Frost Destroys Display of Magnolias

Thursday night’s sudden sub-zero temperatures ruined the display of some Magnolia varieties, whilst others remain virtually unscathed. ‘Athene’ (see picture) has suffered severely along with ‘Todd Gresham’ and ‘Milky Way’. ‘Apollo’ has less damage. ‘Raspberry Ice’ and several others seem unaffected. I think it is down to the varieties rather than their position in the garden, as plants adjacent to each other have had greatly differing levels of destruction.

Friends of the Magnolias Garden

We are no Hyde Hall, but we can now boast a voluntary gardening team of two, who are willing to give occasional assistance in the garden. They require no more than a little bit of feeding and watering and small divisions of choice Hostas.

Both Denis and Karen are knowledgeable gardeners who have only small gardens of their own.

Today, Denis and I set up water pots with Waterlilies and Irises etc.

Meanwhile Karen was weeding Hosta pots and potting them on where necessary, and taking modest divisions from them for herself and Denis. She fed the refreshed and cleaned pots with a slow release fertiliser and then spread a thin layer of sheep’s’ wool pellets on top. She has found in her garden, this is effective at dissuading slugs and snails from going onto the compost and attacking the foliage. Time will tell how effective this will be here.