Latest posts by Obelixx

White Bird Of Paradise

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 15:20

In spring and summer you need to keep its compost moist, but not sodden, and feed it fortnightly with flowering house plant food or maybe liquid tomato feed.  Stop feeding and reduce watering gradually thru autumn and let it get quite dry between waterings thru winter.  Start again in spring.

It wants to be in a sunny, well ventilated spot in summer - outside is good - but it needs to be warm at night with a minimum of about 12C.   The best compost/growing medium is a John Innes no 3 loamy soil with added grit for drainage.  Check the base of the pot in spring and, if roots are visible, re-pot in a slightly bigger size of pot.  If it has reached your maximum pot size, remove the top inch or so of compost and add fresh every spring.

It's a long time since I've grown one of these and it wasn't the white form but mine liked an occasional holiday in the shower - good rinse to get off all the dust and also left there while we were away on hols along with our ficus benjamina.  Other plants rinsed in the bath with a bit of water and the door closed to make a micro-climate.

The RHS has this advice on care - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=847 

There is a name and shame thread somewhere for suppliers who deliver poor quality plants or bad customer care.   We also have one for the good guys.

Ideas for planting a new front garden raised bed

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 15:06

Even small trees need plenty of root depth to seek out moisture and nutrients as well as anchor them and 50cms will be nowhere near enough.   You therefore need to look at trees that can cope in containers and that usually means dwarf conifers, fruit on dwarfing rootstocks, Japanese maples or topiarised yew and box or possible holly.

If you are breaking up the sand and limestone at the base you shouldn't need gravel as well for drainage but the limestone means plants that need neutral or acid soil will not be happy so acers are out, as are magnolias, rhodos, azaleas and pieris.   There is usually also a certain amount of lime in brick mortar.......   Even if you fill your bed with ericaceous compost you will get alkalinity so I suggest you search for plants that don't care about soil type or tolerate lime.

I want to train my Wisteria as free standing

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 14:48

I have 2 established wisteria with thick trunks and then plenty of horizontal, spreading branches.   We have bought a 3rd which I may train as a standard but haven't decided yet as it is white and I fancy a wall of white flowers dripping along a pergola or trellis.

I found this information on the RHS site - pruning in general plus, if you scroll down, how to make a standard form - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=242 

To much Moss and Weeds in lawn

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 14:13

I'm not precious about it all being pure grass either.  Too much like a bowling green and hard work.  A few daisies and bits of clover and speedwell add interest for insects too.

I suggest you start by removing the big, broad leaved weeds such as dandelion and plantain and the like then improve drainage as and when you can.  This can be done quite simply by piercing the grass at frequent intervals with a  large garden fork, pushing in the tines as deep and straight as you can then wiggling back and forth to enlarge the holes.   Pour on some sharp sand - not damp, round builders' sand - and brush it into the holes.  This will allow in air to the roots and improve surface drainage.  Repeat as necessary till drainage improves - especially in autumn to prepare for winter rains and cold.

In autumn you can also give it a good raking with a  spring tined rake (fan shape) to remove dead thatch and any moss and fallen leaves.   Alternatively, buy or hire a scarifier which will do the job in no time and pick up the gubbins for you to empty onto a compost heap or green waste bin.

Next spring, apply a special weed and feed mix following the instructions carefully to get the correct dosage or you'll end up with a blackened mess.   Keep your cat in for a couple of days until it has been rained or watered in.   After a week or two, the active ingredients should have killed some or all of the moss and weeds and you can rake them off as above and bin or burn them.   Not good for composting.

A regular scarifying will help your grass grow better as will an occasional feed and making sure you never cut it too short. As with any other plant, grass needs its leaves to make food and keep the root systems healthy and strong to fight off competition and disease.

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 10:51

Good morning!   Have read back but it's pages so I'll just say Hi and hope all are well but Pdoc - I agree, can't sum up a life or a personality in an email so keep it brief and suggest a meeting somewhere neutral.   Then you can take it further or not as you see fit but do remember, it's not his fault he's an unknown half-brother but he does share half your genes.  He may turn out to be a kindred spirit or someone with whom there is no spark of connection at all.

Came home to ecstatic dogs, purry, cuddly kittens and a tired OH.   He'd been busy all day clearing up after the tree surgeon.   We are now minus 2 big ash trees, both too close to the house and one badly damaged by winds.   Lots of mess but we'll have plenty of firewood and mulch.

3 days of chateaux were fun but exhausting.  We started at Ussé - inspiration for Sleeping Beauty tale and very pretty with a small garden now used for cutting flowers then headed to our hotel in Tours and a lovely evening in the old town.   Next day was Chenonceau which is definitely on a grander, royal scale and has a photo of a big ginger cat at the entrance and a warning to all dogs that he is on guard.   Beautiful chateau for powerful women and with 2 stylish, formal gardens plus the maze and green garden and farm.   Amboise is stunning and definitely a place for a powerful man with commanding views and a feeling of security and formal grounds all surrounded now by a lovely little town.

Clos Lucé, down below, is where Leonardo ended up and is fascinating - gardens full of his experimental engineering from flying machines to locks, bridges, water management and gardens full of trees and shrubs to give him light and shade and perspective and now hung with his drawings and paintings.  Fabulous.    Ended up with Azay-le-Rideau which is a little gem.    We stayed in Tours which is a lovely town full of well preserved old buildings but also newer stuff which the planners have kept to scale and matched the traditional colours of materials.  Lots of pedestrian bits, trees, trams and bridges over the Loire and a lively centre full of bars and restaurants spilling outside.

Now to get Possum ready for going back to Namur with all her stuff.  First tho, a check of my beds and pots.

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 04/09/2017 at 08:43

Sounds grim Clari.  Take care.

Good morning.  Just popping in while my Kindle charges.   We’ve had very quiet dribble in the night – no noise on the veluxes!  Anyway, 7mm which is practically biblical flooding on this year’s performance.

Have a good day whatever you're doing.

What type of squash is this (and recipe ideas please)?

Posted: 03/09/2017 at 20:41

Good.   Lots of squashes and pumpkins ripening here so new recipes that work are welcome.

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 03/09/2017 at 20:37

Unfortunately Hosta, Turkey is not a good place to be for every day life at the mo.........   Possum tells me we're expecting 23C and no rain for the next 3 days of chateau hunting.   Sounds comfy to me.

Liri, that looks dreadful, but also similar to things OH eats.   Last time he was eating the tail end of a very ripe Chaource I had to move away - and we were outside on the terrace!

He came 3rd in his sponsored golf competition today.  Bottle of Mercedes after shave.  Who knew?  Missed out on the draw prize - cruise for 2 to the Caribbean.  I could have coped with that. 

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 03/09/2017 at 18:58

I liked Steely Dan enough to buy Can't Buy a Thrill but don't remember anything since.

Definitely can't see Hosta rolling in the snow.

Didn't Clari say something about a few days away?  and wasn't Pdoc planning hols sometime?  Can't remember details tho.

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 03/09/2017 at 16:35

Those are big pussycats.  Mine have some way to go.  Still just babies, well maybe early teens.

Don't faint but we've had a spiffing half a millimetre of rain!!  Whoopee!

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