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Latest posts by obelixx

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HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: Yesterday at 16:17

Afternoon all.   Just got back from Chelsea and am exhausted.  No pics yet cos the camera battery gave out just as I got to Chris Beardshaw's garden.  Fortunately I had my phone with me.  Just need to get home so Possum can help me download them.   As soon as the camera has juice again I'll share those photos.   Loved Diarmuid's garden.  It's mad with its twirling trees and up and down sliding window boxes and the clockwork model of inventor in his shed.   Good planting too.

Loved Cleve West's garden except for the toy globe which was a jarring note.   Loved CB's garden and a couple of others.  Hated the Provençal garden - tatty and arid and weedy looking.  Might be fine as a wild landscape but not what I want in a garden.   Liked the Berber inspired garden which was also arid but looked thought about and considered and had good plants.  Mathematical garden very interesting.

Andy Sturgeon's garden was clever but sooooooooooooo dull with its planting.   The Yorkshire garden is sumptuous.  Lots of glorious planting in other gardens too and the Pavilion was really interesting this year .  We did not queue to go through the train and we did not queue to peer thru the hole in the granite block but we did peer thru telescopes at the eye of the needle sculptures at the Birmingham city garden.  Absolutely mad but wonderful.

I took my secateurs to the Felco stand for restorative surgery.  They spent 6 months over wintering in a compost heap after Possum tossed them in with the pelargoniums she'd been dead-heading.  All seized up and the blade has chips in it.  Chappy said he'd never seen anything like them but they'll be delivered, fixed, to SIL in Lancashire in 2 weeks' time.   I bought spare blades and springs for my other pair.

Also bought seeds - fancy primulas, pollinator attractors, clematis koreana and herbs plus some lily bulbs and a Zimbabwean metal crane and 3 rusty peony supports.  Great fun in the tube back out to friends' house in Ealing.  Glad I don't have to do that more than once a year!

Off to put my feet up and have a zizz while the camera charges.

Progress update

Posted: 23/05/2016 at 15:05

Well I've just loaded up several photos of hostas for Hostafan and it went without a hitch.   Quicker than the previous system.

Still waiting for an improved background and screen colour scheme though.  This pale grey and off white with spidery text is not comfortable.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 23/05/2016 at 14:43

Well, it doesn't look like the sun will shine before I leave so here are some hostas for Hosta.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 23/05/2016 at 11:21

I'll be there on Wednesday too Liri.  Get there early to beat the crowds to see the show gardens up close and take lots of photos.  People are good-natured about letting people thru to see.   Don't forget to take a plastic bin bag to sit on for lunch unless you're treating yourself to a sit down in one of the fancy restaurants.  The seating around the bandstand and refreshments area goes very quickly.

It's still cool and damp and grey here.  I have to feed Possum who is on a tight revising schedule with set meal times.   Yikes.    This pm I have errands to run and people to see and shopping to do so we're all set for our trip tomorrow.

I watched the Chelsea show while cooking dinner and have set up the rest to record, just in case I don't get to see them in the week.   .Camera battery is on charge too.   

Wallander recorded too.  I prefer the Swedish version but have to watch intently to read the sub-titles so can't knit or embroider as I usually do when watching TV.   Dog cuddling maybe.   Idle hands and all that.   

Have a good day everyone.

Beautiful 'weed' - but what is it?!

Posted: 23/05/2016 at 11:06

Not a weed.  I reckon it's aquilegia.   Self seeds when happy but any excess is easily pulled up or transplanted to where you want it.

Identify these and what to do with them!

Posted: 23/05/2016 at 11:04

You already have the info for the ceanothus.   The others, except the last one, are types of conifer.

I grow the third one as a low hedge to provide a windbreak for one of my beds which gets icy east winds in winter.   The first one I keep clipped as a rounded cone to stop it getting too big and untidy.

The others can also be kept clipped or pruned to size and shape but be aware that conifers, except for yew which you don't have, do not grow back fresh foliage from brown wood so always leave some foliage below where you clip or cut.

You should feed them in spring with a generous handful each of pelleted chicken manure or similar scattered underneath each one.   Keep them weed free at the base and consider applying a mulch of chipped bark or ericaceous compost after a good watering or heavy rain.  

Here's some more advice form the RHS - 

Titchmarsh oin Chelsea FS 2016 Compost Heap?

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 23:35

Yes, but not trained and not always successful in his own garden no matter how well he can talk about design in other gardens.   MD is supposed to be teaching us the how, when and why of gardening so we get the best from our own space and resources.

He is now on at least the 3rd reincarnation of his "mound" because he's made a mess of it so far - bad design and not thinking things through.  I have to wonder what he's going to do when all those climbers have scrambled up over those hazel poles on his new structure and then have nowhere to go but down in a horrible heap when those poles inevitably rot in a few years time.

Why couldn't he just use wires or properly treated timbers instead of his ubiquitous hazel poles?  I for one don't have the time or funds to keep doing things again and again.

Titchmarsh oin Chelsea FS 2016 Compost Heap?

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 23:02

Alan Titchmarsh started his career in horticulture when he left school aged 15.  It was all he'd ever wanted to do and he went from parks apprentice to college and then Kew where he continued his studies and became a staff trainer.  He became a journalist working on magazines, radio and TV and wrote books on gardening.  He is a vice-president of the RHS and a Victoria medal holder and an ambassador.  He has designed a gold medal garden for Chelsea, presented GW for several years, Ground Force and also made the excellent How to be a Gardener series.   He's also presented chat shows, written novels and done programmes on UK natural history.  Bit of a Renaissance man.

He presented Chelsea on the Beeb for 30 years but stood down when they, in their wisdom, cut his hours to the BBC 1 show and gave the BBC 2 in-depth coverage of horticulture to a hobby gardener presenter with no previous TV gardening experience.

Monty Don is a nice chap and passionate about his garden but he's not a designer and has no horticultural qualifications.   However, he does write well and communicates well about his own garden tho what he does in it is sometimes controversial for the wrong reasons.   I doubt he is held in the same respect as AT by the world class designers and plantsmen and women at Chelsea.

I don't like Joe Swift either and find his manner deeply irritating except when he presented a series on front garden design a few years ago.

Last edited: 22 May 2016 23:05:54

Progress update

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 14:51

In a thread you have been following, it's the first post made since last you visited.

Means you don't have to scroll up and down or form page to page looking for the last post you read so you can catch up.

Identify these and what to do with them!

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 14:46

Can you do individual photos of each one so we can see the foliage in detail and identify them?

The RHS offers this advice for pruning your ceanothus and keeping it tidy without losing flowers:-

Prune after flowering. Cut back long, flowered shoots by one-third to a half. If more bushy growth is desired, trim lightly again in late summer. (e.g. C. arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’, C. dentatusC. impressusC. thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’)

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