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I begin to think now, plants bought at GCs need more


care from prevalent cold winds, and hot weather in July, in
unsheltered gardens.
What do other members think ?
This last 12 months I have lost two Clematis at £15 each
because I brought them home and put them straight in. Never thought to think where they had come from, seems a polytunnel GC. These huge places are everywhere now,
but we are not told what plants are grown in them.

They seem to have needed 2 years in the greenhouse,
plus time in a sheltered space, then planted out with fleece wrap to stand the winter outdoors.
I have one more, seems ok now but will fleece wrap it in
Charlie Dimmock and Co bring pots of plants from GCs
to their recycled gardens, plant them attractively, and
depart. What are they teaching us ? How to waste money.
I would appreciate opinions on this.

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Hi Diane, it depends on which species you have, group 1 Clematis, which flower in winter and early spring, prefer a sheltered sunny site, although C alpina, C macropetala and their cultivars, don't mind a very cold exposed site, these are very hardy, C montana is fully hardy, group 2 are fully hardy to frost hardy, but early top growth can be damaged by frost in a severe winter, group 3 which includes the late large flowered cultivars are fully hardy, the late flowering species and small flowered cultivars vary between fully hardy and frost hardy.
I think that this information should be given on the label, which would prevent people buying a plant and putting it in the wrong place, {but then they wouldn't get repeat sales when people think they've done something wrong, and go and buy the same plant again}, they seem to be afraid of telling the truth for some reason, presumably the above, Derek.

1 Aug, 2017


I agree most plants need more information, especially if they are already used to being outside. The couple I got from the East Anglia Exotic Garden were grown there so were fine with English climate already. If plants have not been acclimatised to outdoors already we need to know that when we buy them. As far as I know, many garden centres sell plants that have been raised undercover and are not used to outdoors so yes I think you might be right they need more care. The links on here to Unwins I had a look and the plants look a much better deal than garden centres too so I think I might start to buy from them. But if you're like me, you go to a garden centre, and get tempted beyond resistance. I only went to buy a mop that I knew was the best deal, but then I went into the garden section.... :D :D

1 Aug, 2017


Diane I agree with Derek on this one, so many new to gardening buy many plants and shrubs and then lose them because nowhere does it say they still need protection for a while, more money in the till when the same customer has to replace them,then as you say it also doesn't really give proper instruction on where would be the best place to plant them. Saying that I do know that if one does ask for advice there is usually someone knowledgable enough to give it...
I like gardening programmes but not the ones that do what you have just described, the quick makeover ones annoy me immensely....

1 Aug, 2017


Pamela I think we all get sidetracked in that way, I cannot pop into Homebase without popping through to the gardening section, luckily shopping is something I dislike with a vengeance so don't get caught out too often...

1 Aug, 2017


Fortunately my OH is there to stop me from making too many errors in selecting plants. I am often tempted, I have to confess; he is able to lead me away from unsuitable choices.

I've often wondered what the plants in those TV programmes look like a month later. Many are unusual, and expensive. I do hope they come with "instructions".

We've lost many Clematis plants over the years, Diane, and the ones we chose were already growing outdoors.

2 Aug, 2017


Thank you Derek and everyone for your experienced good advice. I have just copied Derek's words about Clematis into my notebook. Will try to add species that fit.
Will still harden them off and protect against frost the first couple of winters.

I was pleased to buy 'Golden Sunrise' Tomato Plants in March. Grew them in pots on the greenhouse floor to 6 '
Have just started picking them - 'Gardeners' Delight.'
This gardener is not delighted. Will grow from seed next year, sowing it on Boxing Day, and growing on the living room window sill.

4 Aug, 2017


I have bought a Clematis Alpine Ruby which seems to be
happy in the gale force winds so far. Think now I will take the label to the GC and look for Clematis plants that have
Alpina prefix in the name. Then I will get the Group 1 plants.

4 Aug, 2017


Happy to be of help Diane, Derek.

4 Aug, 2017


Well that bright idea was not helpful. Took ages to search through the GC Clematis display. Hard when one is partly disabled. No Alpinas.
Got a 'President' reduced to £6. States 'Early'
but the small print on the label is V1 and V111. Presume this means June to August.
It seems to mean I have to keep looking. When I find an Alpina buy it anyway to keep in a tub for later use.
I have one which should bloom in April 2018.
So its back to the wrap 'em up in the winter discipline.

7 Aug, 2017


Hi Diane, sorry to hear you had no success looking for alpine species, maybe they will have them when they come into flower, Derek.

8 Aug, 2017


They have a wonderful display of quality Alpine plants just now 4 for £10. I got 3 yesterday, went back today for 4
more as my Crevice Garden failed with the rocks getting too hot in the June heatwave when I was too ill to water.
So its a conventional Rockery now.
I like Cyril Lafong's website, but he is on the east side of
Scotland, cooler up there.
I used a big bucket of used compost to fill up all the gaps,
hope the new plants will settle well before winter.

10 Aug, 2017

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