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Azalea

 
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Siskin



Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject: Azalea Reply with quote

I think someone posted something about azaleas on this board, but I can't find it......

Anyway, there are some azaleas for sale in wilko's, and I thought I might buy some...are they good for attracting wildlife? I think I've heard they attract butterflies, but I'm not sure.

I have bought some cornflower, lavender and wildflower seeds today from wilko's..can't wait till spring finally gets here!

Any advice on the azaleas would be helpful, thanks,

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Natalie
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Tricia



Joined: 08 Apr 2005
Posts: 3579
Location: Surrey

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Natalie. I've not heard that azaleas are particularly attractive to birds or butterflies, particularly if they are the evergreen variety.

The deciduous scented azaleas - usually yellows and oranges, could be attractive to butterflies but, although I have one of these, I've never noticed anything particular on them. Equally most tend to flower in March and April so this might be a little early for butterflies? (Anyless anyone knows differently of course).

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Tricia
What is this life if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Azaleas are very pretty, and if you get them to a fairly good height, then the birds can hide in the foliage, I have several close together, and the make pheasant likes to pretend I can't see him, especially when the red flowers are open. These are not particularly beneficial to the pollenators as they don't have the right UV displays to encourage the insects, but the show when in full flower makes it a very useful early colour show. I do hope you have planted them very shallowly, in ericaceous soil as they are not lime tolerant, the other thing with them is they need lots of acid water in dry weather! I would say at least ten large tea pots of cold tea a day for the under knee high ones! Tea being the acid to feed them with. Good tip for Camelia growers too!
Hebes are good for long term colour, and they do invite the insects and butterflies, there are such a good range of them that you could have a continuous flowering of them from mid January until late December, depending on the frosts. If you want a plant for insects during that month without flower, may I suggest a Mahonia, these flower during the most bitter months, mine is in flower (with bees on it) from before Christmas and well into February, by which time the early spring flowers are starting to open and provide pollen.
I do hope this will give you some useful information.
Nina

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Siskin



Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I will look in my garden centre for Mahonia, is this a shrub? I like plants that flower during the colder seasons.
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Natalie
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JohnD



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 377
Location: Brierfield, Nelson, Lancashire

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Mahonia is absolutely beautiful but be warned it will takeover if you give it half a chance, it grows to four metres up and four metres across, is evergreen with masses of clusters of yellow flowers which give way to berries, and the leaves are extremely prickly, more viscious than holly, th leaves it does drop tend to stay around under the bush, and one advantage is that you won't find cats scratching around to do their business there.
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Siskin



Joined: 17 Feb 2006
Posts: 116
Location: South Yorkshire

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which type of Mahonia do you recommend? I have had a quick look on Google images and there seems to be quite a few. I intend to go to the garden centre this weekend, so I will see what they have there, anyway.
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Natalie
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JohnD



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 377
Location: Brierfield, Nelson, Lancashire

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Mahonia Reply with quote

Sorry , I'm not able to differentiate different sorts, ...the garden centre should have someone who can advise you,
the smaller independents may be able to do this better than the big chains...
happy hunting....going to buy plants......its a nice thought.....
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