Latest posts by Obelixx

To paint or not

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 22:28

Well, I love purples and lilacs but have never thought of using it on a fence.   Look forward to pics of the finished job.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 22:26

Hi LG.  I like baked courgettes stuffed with veggies a bit like this - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2141644/italian-stuffed-courgettes  

We like courgette fritters flavoured with curry powder.

You could keep it simple and spiralise or ribbon slice the courgettes then dress with lemon juice and olive oil and maybe some fresh mint or thyme according to preference.

There's a wonderful tagine recipe in one of Prue Lieth's books using aubergines which I really don't like any more so now I substitute chunks of courgette but don't cook them as long -

Tagine of Aubergine, Dates and Almonds - 6

 Taken from Leith's Contemporary Cooking, Bloomsbury Publishing 1994

 If you don't like aubergines, use courgettes cut lengthways into four strips then cut across into chunks.   Treat with salt as directed to remove excess water and firm them up or they'll collapse into a horrible mush.

 4              firm aubergines, cut into chunks
5 tbs         olive oil
2              large onions, roughly chopped
4              wide strips lemon zest
2              fat cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs         ground turmeric
1 tbs         ground cinnamon or a few pieces of whole cinnamon
800g         tinned, chopped tomatoes
2 tbs         chopped coriander
½             lemon, juice only
1 tin         chick peas, drained
200g         fresh dates, stoned and cut into 4 lengthways
100g         whole blanched almonds, toasted
               salt and pepper to taste

Place the aubergine chunks in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally to redistribute the salt.   Rinse thoroughly and drain.   This helps prevent them absorbing too much oil.

Heat the oil in a casserole and fry the onions and lemon zest over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is transparent.    Add the garlic, turmeric and cinnamon, turn up the heat and fry till the onions start to brown.   Stir in the aubergine chunks and cook till they start to brown.

Reduce heat and add the tomatoes, coriander and lemon juice and simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.   You can prepare the dish a day ahead to this point if you like.

Add the chick peas, dates and almonds and stir.   If the mixture is dry, add a little water.   Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.   Check seasoning and serve with couscous or rice.


Posted: 10/08/2017 at 21:57

If it flowers in May/June its is most probably a group 2 which flowers on old wood produced the season before and means it gets lightly pruned after flowering finishes and then given a good feed.   The pruning is done to keep it in bounds and remove spent flowers and thus encourage a second set in late summer.

In my last garden in central Belgium, Group 2 clems usually were frozen topieces every winter so I treated them as group 3s and cut them back to the lowest pair of buds on each stem in mid to late March.  

You could do this to yours next spring.   You can then pull away all the top growth and it will regrow as long as you feed it generously with proper clematis food or slow release tomato or rose feed and give it a good drink.   Train the new stems out across the trellis rather than up as this will promote flowering shoots.   Flowering will be delayed a bit but you can then treat it as a normal group 2 as described above or prune it hard each March as you prefer.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 20:51

The thing about the English roses bred by David Austin is that they are bred for perfume and colour and flower form and disease resistance and repeat flowering.  It takes a great deal of time and investment over years to produce each one and bring it to market - hence the prices.   Given some TLC and patience they do make magnificent roses in time.

Compassion was bred by Harkness roses in 1972 and is well established as a good doer but also, given its age, anyone can graft and propagate it and sell it at lower prices than newer varieties which still have Plant Breeder's Rights restrictions.   

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 18:27

Nanny - That's a lot to deal with.  Thank goodness you've come out the other side with a  sense of humour intact.

DL - gorgeous lilies.  Used to have some Regal lilies a lot like that but they got the dreaded lurgy and died off on me after a few years.  These days I grow Firebolt and another whose label I have lost and they have a great perfume too.   Supposed to flower together but Firebolt did it earlier this year.  This is the other one in June.

Just how do you get these things the right way round?!

Have been and beaten bushes and pruned a lot of overhanging ones and tried to weed the shade bed but the soil is bone dry and really hard work for my hands, even with a very pointy stainless steel hand fork so I've done what I can and then given it a good drink.   Further weeding will have to wait of OH to go out to golf so I can give it a good soaking before hand without him muttering about water butts and cans.   He's lovely but he does get the wrong bees in his bonnet sometimes.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 16:06

Yes Hosta - but nobody should have to!

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 13:59

Not a  walk-in closet then!    Sorry.  Must have been a difficult thing to deal with when your found out.

I too don't see what business of anyone else it is or why homosexuality should be seen as shameful or subversive.  

Courgette fritters have now been consumed for lunch.  More courgette than fritter as I only had one egg left after all the baking.   Tasty tho.   I don't think Possum has twigged that there will be courgette in her chocolate cake treat tomorrow.

I'm off to beat about the bushes in the new shade bed.

Last edited: 10 August 2017 14:02:31

Old boundary fence becomes legal?

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 13:52

It is utter nonsense.   The last I heard was 20 years but that was decades ago and has probably changed again to even more.   Since they've recently acquired the house they must have seen deeds showing where the boundary line lies or you can consult your own copy.  If you're still paying a mortgage that will be at your bank or solicitor's so may cost you a fair penny.   Go the gentle, friendly and maybe even smiley "don't be daft" route first.   

Last edited: 10 August 2017 13:52:29

Can anyone identify this weed?

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 13:39

Oops.  Didn't spot the lawn bit.  Agree with Dove.  regular mowing but do't put grass cuttings anywhere near a compost heap till it's all gone.   Be vigilant about it creeping into borders.

Can anyone identify this weed?

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 12:50

Depends on whether you use chemicals or not.    Three approaches then.  

Pull up or pull off every scrap of stem the minute you see it.  Leave to dry on the lawn or a paved area for a few days so it dies completely before you put it anywhere near a compost heap or bin.   Do this frequently and eventually the roots will die from lack of foliage to feed them but it will be a very long haul.  This is the simplest way.

Dig up every plant in the border, clean its roots thoroughly to remove every scrap of bindweed and plant in temporary pots, buckets or other containers to keep them going for a while so you have time to see if any regrows in each plant and also dig over the entire border removing every scrap of bindweed root.  The smallest piece will become a root cutting and grow again so you need to leave the border empty for a few weeks so you can zap new growth either by digging it up or spraying.

Pull the bindweed stems off the plants and gather them together in a bucket or wrap round canes and then spray with a glyphosate solution or Brushwood weedkilller.  Leave for 2 weeks for this to be transmitted down to the roots.  Do not get any spray on treasures you wish to keep as they are indiscriminate and kill anything green.  You need a still, dry day with 6 hours of sunshine in prospect.  Pull off the dried out stems and watch for regrowth.  Bindweed can sometimes need several applications.

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