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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 30/07/2014 at 13:39

If you're looking for climbers that are evergreen there are clematis and honeysuckles that woud do the job but you'd need to do a lot of soil improvement for clematis as they are hungry plants.  However they won't mind the chalk content at all.

Have a look at

There are evergreen honeysuckles too.  Lonicera henryi produces insignificant orange flowers but lonicera fragrantissima will give you scented white flowers from late winter to spring.   However, they need plenty of moisture in the soil – but not boggy – so, asw ith the clematis,  you’ll have to work in lots of garden compost and well rotted manure before planting and make sure they are well watered at plantin time and then given a mulch to retain moisture.

Give top up feeds every spring to keep them healthy and some bonemeal in autumn.

If climbers aren't the answer for you you need to ook at evergreen hedging plants but these will need regular maintenance and will take time to get to the height and density you need.  Laurel is a thug and will require hand trimming to stop it getting too wide and high.  Using electric shears shreds the large leaves and looks awful.

You could try yew which responds well to being clipped and maintained to size or copper beech which keeps its dried up leaves all winter and then drops them in spring when the new buds open.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 12:44

Thanks BM.   Painted wine rack stand.   The braderie is this coming weekend.  I have to set up the dance club stand on Saturday morning and then I'll hit the flea market to see what's what before I take my turn at manning the stand.   Definitely no time for gardening this weekend.


Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 11:39


Bizzie-B yes, I am in Belgium.   This weekend is the braderie in the local town and they have a street flea market.  I've picked up some good stuff there such as old galvanised laundry pots.   I painted one black and use it for paries to fill with ice and beer and fizz.   Another was painted red and stencilled with gold snowflakes and Xmas trees to hold the Xmas tree.  Another is yet to be done.  Last year there was a huge, bevelled mirror in a ghastly brown stained frame but when I strip it and paint it cream and crackle it it'll make a fabulous chimney breast mirror - for my next house.

I have a rusty metal hat and coat rack I use to support a window box of fuchsia cuttings on my back wall and an old wine rack used simply as decoration on my bottle wall.   Another rusty wine rack with ice bucket stand was painted cream and is used as a plant stand in my kitchen.

New Member

Posted: 29/07/2014 at 08:10

Good advice to wait abit and let your ideas become firm before starting a major redesign but do think about installing a water butt to store water before the excess goes to the ground soak.

You could divide your garden into 3 distinct areas  - the first 6 to 7 metres near the house for a terrace, table, chairs, seating for entertaining and dining outdoors; the second for grass and kids' play area and the last for a greenhouse/shed/work area/compost heaps and veggie plot using raised beds to keep it neat, easy to maintain and visually pleasing as well as productive.   Alter the rpoportions to suit your needs eg 6:10:6metres.

Simple trellis panels with climbers such as clematis and/or roses will do the dividing for you and you can also place an arch to join them and further separate the areas.   This gives a sense of journey and mystery too.   To increase the visual width of the garden use diagonal paths and borders rather than straight lines up the middle or side.

Buld a raised bed or have a collection of pots on the terrace near the house for your herbs as they generally like good drainage and will be hardier in wet winters and handy for the kitchen. 

You definitely need compost bins to recycle green kitchen and garden waste.  These can be either home made or bought in according to your skills and needs.  Bins can be stored out of sight but handy behind a decorative treliis or fence panel near the back door.

Have fun.

Neighbour garden issues

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 23:13

I would also suggest a letter sent to the appropriate Council department and copied to you local councillor.   Sometimes seeing something in print gets a better response than an email on a screen. Keep a copy yourself and if that doesn't work write to your MP with a  copy of your letter and a clear but succinct history of the problems..

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 17:44

I gave up doing flowers in vases cos the cats always seemed to think they were for playing with so we had sevral accidents.     Possum is 19 and I haven't done an Easter tree since she was about 9 or 10 so no pics, sorry.   Funnily enough I've just been sorting in the attic and came across our Easter decs box which can go to Oxfam now.

I was at a flea market in Maastricht on Saturday and very nearly bought an old enamel bucket which had a floral pattern picke dout in thin blue lines.  Very pretty.   And then I started thinking about how to use a bright green enamelled colander thingy as a planter but OH dragged me away.

I shall just have to see what's going in the local street markets when he isn't looking and when we go to France next month.........

Plant Hunters Fairs 2014

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:39

Haven't been to one in the UK but there are several each spring and autumn here in Belgium and I always go to my favourite at the Abbaye d'Aywiers.   There are nurserymen and women form Belgium, France, The Netherlands and sometimes England and Germany depending on which fair.

I look for good herbaceous perennials in colours or forms you don't find in garden centres where the plants are mass produced and bog standard.   I have a favourite clematis supplier, another for roses, another for bulbs and another for hostas and hardy geraniums.   The quality is always good and I like to chat to the groers and make sure a new plant will cope with my garden conditions.

I also find things like seeds, obelisks, garden ornaments,a  supplier of chipped bark in bulk and so on.

For anyone looking for a plant fair near them in the UK, check here -    For Belgian plant fairs you can PM me.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:12

I prefer to leave my flowers out in the garden and, in the case of sunflowers, I especially like to leave the heads to go to seed for the birds. 

i did once grow sweet peas for cutting and liked them in old jugs on the kitchen table.

When Possum was young I used to do an eatser "tree" using cut branches from my cornuses and hanging them with tiny eggs and rabbits and so on.  For those I used a galvanised container I'd painted and decorated with découpage topiary trees.

summer pruning

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 08:49

Try googling "RHS+plant name+cultivation".   It works very well for many plants and you get expert advice.

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