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Latest posts by obelixx

What not to grow

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 15:35

I tried yellow beetroot once but we found them too earthy and prefer the sweeter red ones.   Have grown and loved cavolo nero but it doesn't cope with our usual winters so gets zapped.   When I started our veggie plot I made a whole asparagus bed but it never came to anything cos of the winters.  Ditto globe artichokes.

Jerusalem artichokes do well but Chinese artichokes are a waste of time.   Grew asparagus peas years ago - just the once.  I grew parsnips once but they liked the conditions so much they grew huge whereas we like them smaller and juicier.  

Radicchio does well and so do assorted Chinese greens.   Mizuna was horrible - tough and bitter.

We love purple sprouing but need a mild winter to get a good crop here and those are rather rare.

Ornamental Grass

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 14:37

Miscanthus are very hardy but all mine tend to like moisture so might be unhappy in pots where they can get too dry.  You can usually split clumps of grass in spring to propagate them.  They tend to sulk if done in autumn.

This company does some lovely grass seeds and some great perennials and veggies too.  Just click on grasses to see the choices -



hardy geraniums pictures

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 14:18

My Johnson's Blue has been flowering for months and would have carrie don but I've pulle doff all the flwering stems to let it concentrate on smart new foliage and a new flush of flowers in August/September.

I too planted Rozanne on the corner of a path but it grew so lax that it covered the entire path and then it started swamping its neighbours.   Most of it has now been seen off by a succession of hard winters and then a boisterous hemerocallis swamped what was left after this mild winter.

Ornamental Grass

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 13:09

Have a look at penisetums and New Zealand phormiums.  they come in interesting colours other than green so would stand out against your conifers.   neither will cope outside if your winters are very cold so you'll need to mpve them into shleter if you go below -5C.

I shouldn't think chlorinated water would be good for any plant.

hardy geraniums pictures

Posted: 16/07/2014 at 13:05

I have Johnson's Blue which I prefer to Rozanne which gets too leggy and floppy for me.   Then there's Ann Folkard, 3 macrorhizums, Sweet Heidy, Kashmir White, Double Jewel, nodosum and several more for which I no longer have labels and including a very invasive pink one which I'm removing as I work my way round the garden in the big clean up.  You can definitely have too much of a good thing.

when is the best time of year to plant strawberries?

Posted: 15/07/2014 at 23:22

I don't see why not if they've been grown in pots and you water them well til they get established.   Prepare the soil well by adding plenty of well rotted garden compost and/or manure as they are hungry plants.

Outrageous sexism!!!!!

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 23:17

Machines in the 50s were heavy, cumbersome affairs and grass cutting then was all about neat clips and straight edges and rollered rows to make a nap.    In the 60S, the Flymo liberated everyone from that tyranny since it was light and easy to use and had no rollers.

These days OH and I have enough grass to need a sit on mower and OH and I are both happy to trundle around on it but he definitely does the bit that needs a Flymo and strims all the edges as that sort of stuff requires no horticutural skill or knowledge.   He likes the garden to look good but hasn't a clue about the plants.   

There's an article in this month's The Garden (RHS magazine) about pink jobs and blue jobs.  I tend to think the lines are blurred now and it is right that they be so but division of labour should be according to who has which skills or interests and not what sex they are.

For us that means I get to do all the fun stuff like sowing seeds, potting on, planting out, refereeing but also quite a bit of DIY jobs.   I have back problems so OH gets to turn the compost heaps, dig beds, carry stuff.   He picks the fruit and I make the jams and jellies and crumbles.

As for gloves, I have them in loads of colours, plain and patterned and in various weights according to the job.  Some match my wellies.   I have lilax, pink and green ones for different seasons.   I have coloured trugs too in different sizes.    I find an old pair of ski gloves comes in handiest for the very prickly jobs.   

Gardening should be fun, whoever or whatever you are.



Plant ID please??

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 14:03

Fat hen - gets very tall here if I let it and spreads easily.  Pain in the posterior.

What is my hedge and why is it dying?

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 13:20

It looks like one of the conifers but I couldn't tell you which without a smell.

These do not regrow if they are trimmed back into brown wood so you must always leave some green foliage on the plants when pruning.   brown patches may also result form growing conditions - too dry, too wet, etc.    They can also be caused by aphids or fungae and there is also a disease going round which is killing these hedges and turning them brown.

Here is what the RHS has to say -  Hope it helps.  


Working around Moles

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 13:05

Moles dig at hunting depth so deeper in winter when the worms burrow down to escape the cold and more shallow in summer or wet weather when the worms are nearer the surface.   We have them and dependng on conditions we get molehills or galleries that sink when it rains or leave a trail of grass that goes brown from drought form having tunnel instead of soil for its roots.   Ialso get mole hills in my flower beds which then become anthills as they are raised and dry.  In my experience they barge straight through roots Under grasses, rhubarb, currant bushes, perennials........

The best treatment in the UK is a professional mole catcher.

Cats and dogs catch them too but with our terrier cross, that always involves some digging which is as bad as the moles.   As I live in Belgium I can blast them with one of these - - but we haven't used it in anger since we got the dogs.  Excellent toy though and very satisfying and effective.

If you do catch and release any live ones, do it across a stream as they are less likely to come back but who knows?  I've watched one lot migrate from the paddock across the road, tunnelling under the road and into our garden.




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