What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

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aloedanielo
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What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by aloedanielo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:18 am

I live in the middle of the Peak District, Derbyshire. The weather's not THAT bad here. I had roses and salvias still flowering through November. I'd like to plant out some cacti/succulents in a sheltered spot that gets full sun all day. I'm happy to build a wooden/plastic coldframe or shelter for the winter to keep the rain off.

Does anyone have a link to a list of hardy cacti/succulents? I'd really like to try some agaves outside if I can but it seems almost impossible to find information on this. The only successful case studies I've found are from people on the milder east coast.
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Ali Baba
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by Ali Baba » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:52 pm

I live in Derby so not so far from you, but I’m sure it is quite a bit milder than the Peak. My in-laws live in Wirksworth and struggle to grow things that need a bit of heat to get going in the spring.
I have had a few Opuntia outside in pots for some years now, including compressa, fragilis and polyacantha. They are right up by the house wall and growing in almost pure grit.
I’ve never tried Agave outside here. I have tried a few supposedly hardy bromeliads but they have all perished pretty quickly.
There used to be a nursery that specialised in Agave in Somercotes, but I think they have ceased trading, which probably isn’t surprising
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aloedanielo
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by aloedanielo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:52 pm

Ali Baba wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:52 pm
I live in Derby so not so far from you, but I’m sure it is quite a bit milder than the Peak. My in-laws live in Wirksworth and struggle to grow things that need a bit of heat to get going in the spring.
I have had a few Opuntia outside in pots for some years now, including compressa, fragilis and polyacantha. They are right up by the house wall and growing in almost pure grit.
I’ve never tried Agave outside here. I have tried a few supposedly hardy bromeliads but they have all perished pretty quickly.
There used to be a nursery that specialised in Agave in Somercotes, but I think they have ceased trading, which probably isn’t surprising

Oh no that doesn’t sound good! :(
Hmm maybe I’ll stick to my roses then.
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Paul in Essex
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by Paul in Essex » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:45 am

With a cover for winter I don't think the situation is that bleak, tbh, because when the temps get as low as they do in your part of the world it is very definitely the wet that kills stuff off.

There is a nursery in the Evesham area with the inauspicious name of Cotswold Garden Flowers that is run by a plantsman named Bob Brown. This is an unusually cold and wet area - bad winters will see temps below -15C, sometimes lower. He has a raised bed filled with experimental succulents, some of which are doing really well. And these are left uncovered - with a cover a different world opens up.

Our patron, Tom Hart Dyke, has built up his famous 'World Garden' in a shocking frost hollow. Winter 2009/10 saw a low of -18C. He has an area he calls 'Mexico' that gets covered every winter and some of the plants he has growing there look in better condition than those growing uncovered in my garden where the lows can be 10C warmer.

For your situation I would get hold of a copy of 'Growing Winter Hardy cacti' by John Spain. It is written for the colder zones of the USA but should give you a starting point.
http://www.cactus-mall.com/bookshop/hardy.html

Have a good look through this guy's website - Benny Møller Jensen - huge amount of information in there for growing cactus and succulents in Denmark.
https://www.bennyskaktus.dk/Hardycac_UK.htm

I don't think there are going to be many people who could offer you some definitive advice but I would strongly encourage you to experiment. Show us the beds you construct, how you are gong to cover them, which plants you choose. You have a chance to re-write some rules and smash some preconceptions out of the park. I am actually quite excited!!
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by habanerocat » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:13 am

Here's couple of more sites that might be of help, and another book.

https://www.intermountaincactus.com/

http://www.columbuscactusclub.com/ just click on Cactus Care

https://www.amazon.com/Cacti-Succulents ... 1604692642
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by MikeT » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:14 pm

There's an Alpine plant nursery at Calver Sough which has loads of Sempervivums, plus Sedums and some other hardy succulents, well worth a visit next year (closed January & February), details here.
There are loads of Sempervivums and Sedums that will grow in the Peak District, some of the Delospermas, Crassula sarcocaulis, C. setulosa rubra (aka 'Milfordiae'), Umbilicus rupestris, U. oppositifolius (including variegated form).
I find Agave parryi will cope with the cold but looses its roots if wet. The only Agave that's survived several years unprotected outdoors for me in Sheffield is A. parviflora, but other plants of the same species have all died in bad winters. One bromeliad is almost hardy here, Fascicularia bicolor; it survived the 2010 and 2011 winters, but then suffered badly last year, possibly because of how long into the year we kept getting further snow. Though several plants in the open in the Sheffield Botanical Gardens were fine. Keeping an offset in the greenhouse as a reserve is probably a good policy.
Aloe aristata will survive many winters in Sheffield but then dies. Aloe striatula survives in the open in the Botanical Gardens here, less successful in my garden a short distance away.
There are a few cacti that will cope even without protection from wet: Opuntias (Ali Baba has listed the most reliable ones), Maihuenia poeppigii, and Echinocereus coccineus/triglochidiatus. I find the Echinocerei survive, but couldn't be described as looking happy.
I'd agree with Paul's recommendation of the John Spain book.

I could give you cuttings or plants of some of the above. Do you plan coming to any Sheffield branch meetings neat year?
Mike T

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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by aloedanielo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:50 pm

Paul in Essex wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:45 am
With a cover for winter I don't think the situation is that bleak, tbh, because when the temps get as low as they do in your part of the world it is very definitely the wet that kills stuff off.

There is a nursery in the Evesham area with the inauspicious name of Cotswold Garden Flowers that is run by a plantsman named Bob Brown. This is an unusually cold and wet area - bad winters will see temps below -15C, sometimes lower. He has a raised bed filled with experimental succulents, some of which are doing really well. And these are left uncovered - with a cover a different world opens up.

Our patron, Tom Hart Dyke, has built up his famous 'World Garden' in a shocking frost hollow. Winter 2009/10 saw a low of -18C. He has an area he calls 'Mexico' that gets covered every winter and some of the plants he has growing there look in better condition than those growing uncovered in my garden where the lows can be 10C warmer.

For your situation I would get hold of a copy of 'Growing Winter Hardy cacti' by John Spain. It is written for the colder zones of the USA but should give you a starting point.
http://www.cactus-mall.com/bookshop/hardy.html

Have a good look through this guy's website - Benny Møller Jensen - huge amount of information in there for growing cactus and succulents in Denmark.
https://www.bennyskaktus.dk/Hardycac_UK.htm

I don't think there are going to be many people who could offer you some definitive advice but I would strongly encourage you to experiment. Show us the beds you construct, how you are gong to cover them, which plants you choose. You have a chance to re-write some rules and smash some preconceptions out of the park. I am actually quite excited!!
Thank you Paul! Although that's one expensive book £50 + shipping from the USA :shock: I'll keep an eye out for some secondhand ones.

The Danish website is ace, and the Yukka pages look very promising. But yes, I think you're right in that it's going to be a lot of experimenting to work out what will grow specifically in my garden's microclimate. I think I'll build a raised bed and see what I can get growing well over the summer so hopefully they've got enough strength to get through the winter. If I build a decent enough cold frame then it's only really the same as an unheated greenhouse? Right? :???:
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by aloedanielo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks habanerocat and MikeT

I'd forgotten about the nursery at Calver Sough and I drive past it often enough.

Yes please Mike! I'm hoping to get to your next meeting in January? I'm not sure your AGM would be a good idea for a first timer... or is it newcomer friendly?
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by Paul in Essex » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:09 pm

aloedanielo wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:50 pm

Thank you Paul! Although that's one expensive book £50 + shipping from the USA :shock: I'll keep an eye out for some secondhand ones.

The Danish website is ace, and the Yukka pages look very promising. But yes, I think you're right in that it's going to be a lot of experimenting to work out what will grow specifically in my garden's microclimate. I think I'll build a raised bed and see what I can get growing well over the summer so hopefully they've got enough strength to get through the winter. If I build a decent enough cold frame then it's only really the same as an unheated greenhouse? Right? :???:
Exactly so - just like an unheated greenhouse. Or, more accurately, an alpine house that has perfect ventilation.
For the last couple of years I have erected a polytunnel over a couple of beds in my garden just to keep the stuff dry. Works a treat.

Message incoming re book.
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Re: What C+S can I grow outside in Derbyshire?

Post by Ali Baba » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:05 pm

As Paul says with cover the situation changes provided the root zone is out of the winter damp. I grew cacti on my allotment in cold frames for years before I had a greenhouse and rarely lost any plants in the winter. The main limitation with cover is plant size, so dont be tempted by anything that will grow big quickly!
My outdoor cacti are all well and truly soggy all winter! I have a few Echinocereus davisii seedlings outside, which grow and flower but they definitely dont look happy, the Opuntias on the other hand look as happy as Larry.
What you plant in is important as you will no doubt glean from the many excellent articles Paul has written, I have tried more usual composts for outdoor Opuntias and they eventually rot, whereas a compost composed of mostly grit and sand seems fine.
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