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ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
Hi i have bought a book called Plants for places and it's by the RHS.   There are sections at the beginning which i don't understand,   the section WHAT SOIL IS THAT, SUN AND SHADE, WORKING WITH THE SITE, TOUGH SITES AND FROST POCKETS AND SHADE I don't understand. Then it goes on to PLANTS FOR CLAY SOILS, it doesnt explain what clay soil is.   After that it list plants that suit clay soil,  it doesnt say much about each plant but it says what light hey like, soil well drained, moist, whether the plant is hardy.  What confuses me is that the growing conditions change depending where in the world you are.   Should i learn and remember the growing conditions that are in the book despite the differences where i live?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,127
    Yes because you get them all in the UK.   

    With a little bit of gumption you could have googled the RHS website for info on clay soil, what its and what to grow in it - and, as I've said before, you can find info on many plants  the RHS site.

    They'll have the same sort of info for sandy, loamy, chalk and acid soils.   You can also google for frost pockets.    If you don't understand the differences between shade and sunny sites you need to consider a change of job.   
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Ashley, you would have been better off with the dr Hessayon books. He explains all this very simply.

    Are you trying to find this information with your own garden in mind? Or for work?

  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    no mainly just knowledge
  • Joyce21Joyce21 Posts: 15,489
    ashley, growing conditions change within one garden. One part of my garden is sunny and dry because it faces south, another part is shady and damp because it faces north.
    SW Scotland
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    If its to learn horticulture then you need to take each section slowly. Read it right through and then read it again. Study it. If you find something you dont understand, google it. Take notes. Eventually, it will start to stick in your mind and you will find it easier to move onto more complex things. 
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Joyce21 said:
    ashley, growing conditions change within one garden. One part of my garden is sunny and dry because it faces south, another part is shady and damp because it faces north.
    That's right. So you find plants that like the conditions in those areas. 
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    The Dr Hessayon books are so much easier to understand Ashley. I think you would be better with them as we have already suggested. Then just read the information slowly and you will start to remember. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Hi Ashley
    Don't worry it takes a while to get your head round all these things. Very simply put.
    4 types of soil. Clay wet and sticky and you can roll it into a sausage,Silt feels silky or soapy, Sandy feels gritty. A mix of all three is called a Loam,which is what gardeners prefer.
    Clay is poorly drained. Sand is well drained.
    All soils need organic material often called humus from compost or manure. This helps the soil hold nutrients.
    Depending on the Rock underlying the soil,soil can be acidic (granite,millstone grit etc)or alkaline (chalk or limestone). Acid or alkaline are measured on a p.H. scale.Many garden soils are a balance between the two and called neutral. Some plants will only grow in a certain p.H.  Rhodendrons like acid soil
    Sections of a garden facing South are likely to get hot and dry. Parts facing North definitely cooler and possibly stays damp longer. Again certain plants like dry and sun and some prefer shade.
    Hope this helps. Ask away if you need any more stuff.
  • ashley13ashley13 Posts: 162
    I have started doing mind maps for each plant that is discussed in my plant book to help me remember facts.  I live in north wales in the uk so certain conditions are different here from what it says in the book. I'm reading about Acer Palmatum bloodgood, it says in the book that leaves turn red in autumn but my boss at the garden center says the leaves turn orange in autumn not red, i dont understand that.   How do i send my mind map on here?
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Save the mind map as an image and upload it here?

    Colours of plants can vary due to soil conditions but personally i would believe the book over your manager. I wouldn't get bogged down on small details though. 
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