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Latest posts by obelixx

Parsnips in France

Posted: 26/10/2015 at 11:33

Excellent tip Berghill.  Thanks.   We're planning to move when OH retires and may end up on a parsnip free zone.

Steve - Belgian soils vary widely and so do rain levels.   From what I've seen driving around, Flemish field crops tend to be leeks, carrots, beans, corn, beetroot.  They do hydroponc salads and toms and pepers in greenhouses and polytunnels.

Round here it's all cereals and sweet corn in rotation with potatoes, sugar beet and chicons with mustard for a green manure.    Oil seed rape is becoming more prevalent and we still get flax in some fields but not as much as before.   

Between here and north east Flanders there are acres and acres of espaliered apples and pears in what is known as the Hesbaye.  Further south around Wépion they are famous for their strawberries.


Parsnips in France

Posted: 26/10/2015 at 10:09

I can now get decent parsnips here, both normal and organic at decent prices.   The one year I grew them they were immense and woody in the middle before we got anything like cold enough to have the frosts supposedly needed to improve the taste so I haven't bothered since.   I don't know if it was the soil, the climate that year or the wrong kind of parsnip.

Here is what the RHS advises - 

Climber needed for a very narrow sunny spot - is it really possible?

Posted: 25/10/2015 at 13:29

Nothing will grow well in just 6cms of soil.   There'll never be enough food and water for it to thrive.

You can buy a spiky attachment that you screw to the top of the fence.  Won't take up any space, won't hurt the kids.  Will stop intruders.  Have a look at these - 

Strictly is back!

Posted: 25/10/2015 at 00:27

There were issues with timing and finish but I enjoyed Anton's choreography again as there was actually some proper salsa content and armography.   Loved Anita's tango but not so much the music.   Helen, Kelly and Jay were very good too.

The rest were underwhelming, especially Peter André.


help needed for small garden centre piece

Posted: 24/10/2015 at 17:44

Not a camellia in an east facing position as it won't like the early sun on frosted buds and they too look dull when not in flower so are not for a prominent position.

Have a look at choisya ternata Sundance and other golden froms of this shrub.  The golden foliage will light up the space all year and, when happy and settled, it will produce scented white flowers. 

Avoid fast growing shrubs as they are, by definition, thugs that will need constant pruning and shaping to keep under control.

Wire for Clematis

Posted: 24/10/2015 at 17:37

Good garden centres and DIY stores will have vine eyes and tensioners and either silver coloured wire or plastic coated wire.

Vine eyes are simply long, sturdy screws with a loop instead of a head which allows you to pass the wire through so it is held away from the support and allows air to circulate behind the plants.  This reduced the risk of problems such as mildew.

Garden produce recipes

Posted: 24/10/2015 at 12:55

Those look luscious.  Ours were small and dry after a long drought this summer.

Harvested chillies yesterday and made sweet chilli jam with garlic and ginger.

Lots left so some Asian chilli jam coming up and no doubt, some of the usual recipe too.

Removing existing wood stain on fencing

Posted: 23/10/2015 at 00:21

Woodstain isn't like paint.  It tends to soak in as rough wooden fencing is more porous than planed wood.

You could try doing several coats of your light green in a quiet corner to see if that will cover up the dark but, if not, you'll have to go for dark green.   You can buy a dye for water based paints that will turn your pale green darker.   Look in good DIY stores.

Friends for roses

Posted: 23/10/2015 at 00:16

I can understand anyone getting bored with old fashioned roses that flower just once.

I have a bed of roses under-planted with herbaceous clematis integrifolia, geranium macrorhizum which flowers earlier than the roses and has good winter foliage colour, heucheras, cyclamen, aquilegia and daffs and hyacinths.   There are alliums dotted in there too to help keep away the greenfly.

Little Scarlet

Posted: 22/10/2015 at 17:28

I have made strawberry jam this year - no idea what variety but pink flowers and delicious - as well as raspberry, redcurrant, spiced blackcurrant, purple gooseberry and rhubarb and vanilla jam.   All very well but we don't eat much bread..........

Then there's Bengal chutney, beetroot relish, rhubarb chutney and chilli jam.  All great with cheese or sausages. 

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1 to 15 of 16 threads