Latest posts by obelixx

Unwelcome garden visitors

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 10:09

Our pond was dug out for drainage as the neighbouring pasture (of which our garden used to be part) is very boggy.   It is gradually being terraformed by invading iris pseudocorus and boggy grasses but still provides a home and drinking and bathing spot for assorted amphibians, insects and birds and the hedgehogs can get out easily.

Only shelled peanuts here.  Don't want the birds to waste energy getting through shells or have the mess to clean up.

Unwelcome garden visitors

Posted: 24/02/2016 at 08:52

Clear skies, bright stars and big fat moon last night coming home from our Soul class.   heavy frosts followed of course and it's still only -2C at nearly 10am in bright sunshine.

When it's this cold, I put down fresh ground food earlier and a fresh peanut feeder which is good till the others thaw again.   I don't bother with water for baths and drinks as we have an unlined pond in the garden and a stream in the paddocks next door and across the road.

Unwelcome garden visitors

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 23:44

We used to get loads of magpies but they seem to have disappeared in the last few years.   Recently we've started getting crows, jackdaws and occasional jays.

I have carried on regardless providing fat balls, peanuts, fat and insect blocks and loose seed but I use hanging bird feeders that swing in the wind and this deters the big birds.  I don't put out the loose seed for ground feeders till about 10am now as I find the big birds have moved to the woods and fields to forage by then - except in freezing weather or snow.

We get the usual tits and sparrows, chaffinches, siskins, warblers, dunnocks, robins, blackbirds etc and greater spotted woodpeckers.   There are gulls around at ploughing time but they haven't invaded the garden - yet.

interior advice

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 22:55

You need to clean it thoroughly with paint stripper if needed to remove old paint then wire wool or a wire brush to remove any bits.   Wipe clean with a cloth soaked in white spirit then prime it with red oxide paint available from good DIY shops.  

Paint with a specialist metal paint.

To use chalk based paint on wood you need to make sure all old paint and varnish is removed and the surface sanded smooth.    I would suggest you get a few books out form the library on restoring old furniture and doing paint effects as, whether you want a neat finish or an aged look, chalk paint will need to be sealed with either wax or acrylic varnish to seal and protect it.


Posted: 23/02/2016 at 22:31

I think wooden posts would look best.  You  can get them at builders' merchants, DIY stores and garden centres so compare prices first.   I would suggest 4" by 4" fence posts buried in concrete boots.   For this you just need to dig deep holes about 12" wide, pour in some dry concrete mix, put the posts in so that between 12 to 18 inches are buried and then fill the rest of the hole with concrete.   Pour on some water and use 2 spirit levels on 2 adjacent post sides to make sure it is vertical.  If you use quick drying concrete you can let go after just a few minutes and do the next one.

I would suggest leaving 2m of post above ground and you'll first need to drill a hole through that's wide enough to take the rope.   Measure the distance between posts and add extra to allow for the swag to droop a bit and also to allow a decorative knot at each end.   Apparently, natural rope is best and swags best if soaked in a bucket of water for an hour or two then left to drain excess moisture.  You can fix it with screws drilled through it and into the wood at each side of the posts.

Plant your rose near the centre post and then you can train it along both swags.   You may need a loop of wire mesh to help it climb up the post - assuming you can get it to grow.   Talk to your conservation officer about the posts first and DA about your rose..

Soda crystals to control moss

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 17:45

Grass grown as a lawn hardly needs a windbreak.   ornamental grasses may appreciate a bit but, as they usually come from prairie situations, they are designed to be wind blown and, indeed, rely on wind to spread their seeds.

Any chemical solution to moss will be toxic to something - soil, plants, micro and bigger organisms so the best solution is to fix the problem and not the symptom.



Posted: 23/02/2016 at 15:06

If you got it from David Austin and followed their planting advice and it has only grown 18 inches in 2 years I suggest you contact them for advice/refund/replacement.

As for not having space for a rope swagger, each fence post would be 4" deep and wide and the rope would be in the air so not taking up ground space.    Loads less space needed than for an arch or obelisk.

Soda crystals to control moss

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 12:09

Have you tried a solution of Jeyes Fluid?   Whatever you do you'll need to protect the grass and any other plants it may touch.

Is your driveway badly drained or shaded?  May be better to fix that for a long term solution.

Pots and Containers

Posted: 23/02/2016 at 12:03

I like the better imitation terracotta as they are lighter to move and don't flake if frosted.

However I also like to use ceramic pots which can often be bought cheap at end of season sales before garden centres install their Xmas displays or else at car boots and so on.    I like found objects too so old timber boxes lined with black plastic to protect the wood and holes pierced in the bottom, old kitchen pots such as enamel steamers and colanders, old chimney pots................


Posted: 23/02/2016 at 10:28

I agree about arches and obelisks being too small.   On your parallel thread - I suggest rope swaggers with photos to illustrate.

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