Latest posts by obelixx

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 12:55

Perhaps you don't realise that the bureaucrats in Brussels are sent there by the member countries.  The UK has its fair share of jobsworths and others working in EU institutions and also on the outside lobbying those institutions on behalf of vested interests from businesses to charities.

It's always better to change and improve things from the inside.  We are also culturally closer to Europe than anywhere else in the world.  

As a gardener, I see the influence of British gardening here on the continent but also vice versa.   I don't want to use chemicals like creosote or DDT or their successors because I care about my family's health and my descendants' health and the health and balance of the countryside around me.    Any responsible government would ban them and the so-called anonymous Brussels bureaucrats who drew up those rules had their fair share of Brits in the mix.

I hope they continue to do so as there is much still to be done.  Nor do I think withdrawing from Europe will improve the quality of home-grown politicians at local or regional level.    You do that at the ballot box by voting for the best person and not blindly for some party.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:52

All my cavolo nero froze to death in January.  I'm hoping it'll be fine enough tomorrow to lift it all and bin it and hoe the bed ready for another crop.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:50

Patchwork class today so no gardening.   I have discovered life is too short to quilt a patchwork table mat by hand.   

We've had strong winds and hail most of the day anyway but it's sunny now.  Maybe it'll stay fine for a bit of gardening tomorrow.  I want to clear frozen cavolo nero from our veg patch and hoe it ready for onion sets.

Windy garden

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:46

I have planted a row of black and redcurrants along the boundary of our fruit and veg patch.  However, 18 months ago I decided to add a protection of windbreak fabric and they are doing much better, as is the rest of the veg plot.

I extended the windbreak along the ornamental boundary too and this year, for the first time since I planted it 5 years ago, our witch hazel was covered in blooms and no dead branches.   I have also lost fewer plants in teh borders and a Japanese quince is thriving for the first time in 15 years.

It may seem expensive but investing in a roll of 1.25 m high windbreak fabric will pay dividends in healthier plants and better crops.


Posted: 02/03/2016 at 16:09

Pansy - lime pickle is difficult t find here so when OH runs out, I make it.   This recipe works well but I cut the segments into smaller chunks - http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/22191/indian+lime+pickle


Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 02/03/2016 at 13:46

Yvie - have you looked at Omoshiro?   http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemdetail.cfm?dbkey=1545

I tried Black Prince but the flowers were disappointing and he turned up his toes the following winter.    Omoshiro has large flowers with deep pinky red margins that will go with your pink stuff and not clash.  I grow mine as a group 3 as its top gets blasted by wind and/or frost in winter but it puts on a good show every year.   

If you want a strong, deep pinky red, go for Princess Diana which is very happy here and always covered in flowers all summer long until quite late on.

No gardening here.  We have a short sunny spell at the mo between heavy sleet showers and with hooly winds all day so I'm staying tucked up and doing my patchwork homework after getting frozen yesterday.   Started off clearing dead growth on perennials and forking up huge nettle runs (again) before getting rained indoors to pot up some bulbs I found lurking in the garage.    Fingers crossed they'll be OK.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 02/03/2016 at 11:39

Thanks BF.  I shall wait another 2 weeks.  Don't want to ruin my neighbour's tree when she has kindly said I can go and help myself.

The twisted willows I took during the last roots cycle are now producing some very strong root - all of them!    Good job I have homes for them all.



Posted: 02/03/2016 at 09:05

I have a rhus typhina dissecta which has more interesting foliage and is glorious in spring and autumn and a great shape in winter when bare.   I wouldn't be without it but I do have the space to let it grow as it pleases.

As indicated above, pruning it evokes a rapid response to propagate itself from its roots and each shoot needs killing off with repeated applications of glyphosate or similar mixed according to the packet instructions.  Do not be tempted to do extra strength as it doesn't help and will cost you more.  

You'll nee to be patient and vigilant but it will give up eventually.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 01/03/2016 at 17:08

It's been perisihng today but my garden helper came so gardening it was.  We managed an hour clearing newly energetic nettles and other weeds form one bi of border and cutting back old growth on perennials before being driven inside by rain and snow.   Having found some forgotten bulbs in the garage we spent a happy hour or two cleaning them and planting them in troughs in the shed and then sorted through my seeds which are now organised under flowers - annual, biennial and perennial; veggies - leafy, roots, fruity such as beans, toms, chillies and cucs and then there's a box for climbers of any sort.

None of this was driven by lunar activity but more by a total absence of sun and an excess of wind and rain.   Fingers crossed all those bulbs survive and thrive.

Next gardening job for me is a further sort of seeds into when to sow etc and then finding the best day to take weeping willow cuttings.  Was going to do it on Saturday but the fridge door fell off and is dead so I was a bit distracted............

Had to go and buy a new fridge this morning - €350 for a new door or €600 for a whole new fridge.   Ludicrous.   Bought 3 huge bags of potting compost and some red onion sets while we were out - made me feel better.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 29/02/2016 at 22:57

I already have several sizes of tin Pansy but the one for the recipe isn't always the right size for those going to consume the resulting cake..........   I often need 10" square cakes to feed large numbers.

My local bus doesn't go anywhere near a cake tin shop so I'd need a train too....    

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