Latest posts by obelixx

Town or Country

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 17:51

Rural central Belgium.  Very exposed to strong winds and cold winters.  Fertile alkaline loam on clay sub soil.   

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 16:03

That's interesting about prices BF.  I've been having a wee google for glasshouse prices in France and they compare very favourably with local suppliers.    Even better than the savings on paint in the UK.   Good haul in Canterbury yesterday and I found some decent garden gloves and cellular seed trays on offer too.

Homebase had the twisted willows I'm propagating at £12 each.   Must make sure I keep one for our next garden!

Gardening Book

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 15:54

I like Alan T too.  When I started gardening back in the 80s I too had the Reader's Digest book but found it too dry and formulaic and old fashioned so bought myself How to be a Supergardener by AT and he made it all seem accessible and possible.

If you can get hold of videos of his How to be a Gardener series that he did for the Beeb that would complement any book very well but his Complete Book would make a great easy access reference.

What is your weather like?

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 15:13

Yesterday morning we set off in snow at 6am for a raid on Canterbury.  Snow and blizzards off and on all the way to Calais but during the crossing the sun came out and Kent was fine.  Home at 11pm to find snow lying in corners and along ridges and 1C.

Very cold this morning and snow still there with heavy grey skies so no gardening for a few days though we're hoping it'll have thawed enough by the weekend for us to pull out and re-plant fence posts with proper concrete boots this time so we can replace the trellis panels that separate veggie plot from ornamentals.   Then maybe some cutting back of dead perennials and the usual spring clear up.

Willow arch - how to make it NOT grow?

Posted: 06/03/2016 at 14:42

It can be done simply by letting the stems dry out thoroughly.

It's easier to work with fresh green stems when binding and winding them to make a structure but then you need to park it on a hard surface for a few weeks to ensure it is dried and dead.   I did this with a home made willow obelisk and it never grew.  Others on the course who put theirs out straightaway had sprouting obelisks.


In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 06/03/2016 at 14:39

Frank - home  grown British bureaucrats in council and government offices are well known for over interpreting EU rules.   Their tendency to interfere will only diminish when they are of better general calibre and that means paying better salaries - pay peanuts, get monkeys.  

Same applies to Sainsbury's and care homes and fruit picking - poor conditions and low wages are not going to entice the long term British unemployed off its sofa and away from its satellite TV.    UK benefit systems need to change so it's better to work than not.

On the other hand, improving those very same wages and conditions will entice more migrant labour.  Simple economics of the wages of picking fruit or wiping bottoms in Roumania or in the UK.   If Britain stays in the EU it can work to introduce and influence policies that will improve life and work in the poorer countries and thus spread wealth and security.    

Evergreen Shrubs

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 16:45

I have a hedge of Golden King mixed with a few males so I get berries and have to say it doesn't like cold, strong winds which is what I expect you get in Yorkshire.

My garden is in central Belgium and exposed to strong cold winds and I find that evergreens don't like it.    I've tried viburnum tinus, eleagnus, choisya, spotted laurel,  and osmanthus and they've all died or been very weak.   Some conifers do OK but not all.

Recently I've erected a windbreak of green mesh fabric, 1m25 high along our north and north west boundary and at last I have flowers on my hamamelis, an osmanthus which is growing well now but still small yet and happier perennials and shrubs in general. 


Beechgrove returns 31st March 2016

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 15:32

Good.  Need some good, practical advice and info.   GW is becoming just too twee tho I did enjoy Carol's visit to Snowdonia.

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:25

HFC - an MEP is not one of the bureaucrats making the rules and decisions tho they do now have more power to vote on stuff than they did before.  Great waste of space and time that parliament in Strasbourg and huge fiddles and wastes on housing them all and moving them up and down the railway and motorway once a month.

They also have a trail of interpreters and bureaucrats paid for bu us and all the lobbyists that have to accompany them on top of all the ones permanently in Brussels.   They'd have been in Paris but, in the early days of the EEC, the French missed a trick and said they didn't want it so Belgium got it, along with European NATO hq and SHAPE.

Britain has 3 embassies here - to Belgium, EU and NATO........... plus a consulate.

growing rhubarb

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:17

No idea what variety ours is but it started shooting in January which is way too early so we buried all the crowns in well rotted garden compost and have only just put our dustbins on 2 of them.    So far, the others are all staying firmly tucked up in their compost blankets.

The point of forcing is not to make them grow faster but to get those tender pink stalks that are so juicy.   You need to have enough plants to let the forced ones rest for the rest of the season and not force them the next and so you can rotate the forcing pot/bucket/bins.

Discussions started by obelixx

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 202
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 300
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 48    Views: 2050
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
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Horticultural Retail Therapy 
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Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

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Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 571
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 911
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 2824
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 2598
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 1215
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1854
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 2335
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 1218
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 6026
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19
1 to 15 of 19 threads