Latest posts by Obelixx

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 13:39

My garden is cold and wet in winter and sluggy the rest of the year so I now only grow dahlias I'm given and in pots - hence the After Eights which were among last year's spares from a gardening friend.  He gave me loads more but I've passed them on to another friend as she has better facilities for storing them over winter and a brother who's mad about dahlias.

I think it may, at last, be drying up and turning sunny.   Good.

More rain expected tomorrow but that's OK as I have to do my patchwork homework and make some lemon curd for the group.  Good luck with the jam BL.  I love home-made strawberry jam.  Yum.

Chelsea photos 2016

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 13:31

I've been in Belgium for 25 years Aym so didn't keep up our NT membership as our visits to the UK are too brief but I have stayed with the RHS so I can get the monthly magazine, seeds from the gardens, free access to the gardens and some others including one in Belgium and preferential tickets for Chelsea.

Sissinghurst was in 2011 on my way to Chelsea.   I visited Great Dixter the same month with my scientists.   Much better value and superb garden buzzing and humming with wildlife.

Chelsea photos 2016

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 12:36

You can get a season ticket to Beth Chatto's too.  £22 for free access all year I think.  Bargain if you live close by and I thought the £6.70 for a single visit was good value - better than the £12 I paid for parking and getting into Sissinghurst a few years ago.  That was a real mess and very disappointing.

Beth Chatto has some gorgeous cream California poppies.  Unfortunately they'd sold our of the seeds so i'll just have to hope my mixed pack from a friend contains some.   I've always steered clear of orange myself but having seen how she does it and some of the growers in the pavilion at Chelsea I shall try more.  Geums do well for me so I'm starting with some of those as soon as I find some.  I have yellow, red, peachy and creamy at the mo.

Chelsea photos 2016

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 12:10

Aym - when we wet at Hyde Hall they had a special offer on membership so I suggest you call and ask.   CFS tickets go on sale before Xmas usually so yes, you could get preferential tickets for next year.  Member's days seem less crowded to me - or maybe just better behaved and happy to take a turn at getting to the front to see the gardens and exhibits.

I'd only ever gone on members' days except 2013 when I took a group of 9 Belgian scientists on the Thursday and was in a wheelchair after foot surgery. Most people were very kind but some were appalling.

Meconopsis like damp, shady, acid conditions and don't do dry soil or heat.  I fell for a lovely deep red one at a stand in the pavilion but the grower said I shouldn't bother.  They do well in west Scotland apparently.  I'm going to stick with oriental, opium and California poppies which are better suited to my conditions.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 11:39

I have just three - After Eights - and they're in pots, in the garage.  We open the door by day so they, and other plants such as the two courgettes and a pumpkin, can have sunlight without wind and stay tucked up warm at night.   Nowhere near as far on as this time last year so they're staying in for at least a few more days.

Grass over path

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 10:57

OH uses a strimmer on ours but then we do have a big lawn with either railway sleeper or granite paver edgings along most of it.

Using the half moon or long handled edging shears along the brick edge will keep it neat and trimmed. 

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 10:51

No.  I wasn't being snitty.  What does it matter how old she is?  She's not a garden rose or other horticultural treasure is she?

Rhodie that doesn't flower

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 10:50

Rhodos produce their flower buds in summer.  If your pants get dry between August and the winter, the flowers are sacrificed in favour of foliage.   Could that be happening to yours?

Give it a generous feed of slow release rose or tomato food now and a couple of drinks of liquid rose or tomato food as an instant tonic.  Make sure you use soft or rain water and not hard tap water.  Keep it watered in August and September during dry spells.

What will deer leave alone, hopefully

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 10:01

The RHS has a list of plants they reckon to be resistant, if not completely deer-proof:-


You can check the care and cultivation needs of each one to decide if it will be suitable for your situation - sun, soil, rainfall, exposure to wind and frost etc...

Chelsea photos 2016

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 09:57

Aym - go and visit Beth Chatto's garden.  It's in Essex and she gets very little rainfall and has done that experimental dry garden which is just fabulous.   Even OH got excited when we visited last week.   There's one at RHS Hyde Hall too but it's at  the top of a mini hill and contains large rocks and is somehow less cohesive than Beth's.

We visited Hyde Hall last Thursday - 


and Beth Chatto's on Friday - 


She did lots of soil preparation first and then watered the plants in after planting and now they have to cope with whatever rain they do or don't get.  She also has a damper garden with a natural spring feeding her "canal" garden which is a series of long ponds.   She has a plant nursery with perennials sorted by dry or damp and priced form £4.60 a plant.   I just bought 6 individual plants I haven't seen here and plan to grow them on in pots and then divide and plant out when they're big enough.

I would be very wary of buying plants at sell-off time at Chelsea.  They've been forced on or held back for the show and then kept in pots for the duration and then have to survive a journey home and new conditions.  Stressy and no guarantee of surviving in your garden.

I did buy seeds at Chelsea - clematis koreana, fancy primulas and so on - and some new lily bulbs - £5 for a bag of 3, all perfumed.

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