Latest posts by Obelixx

Pruning / Cutting a magnolia tree

Posted: 26/05/2017 at 10:16

Magnolias don't take well to pruning.   Have a look at this info form the RHS - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=599 Scroll down to pruning and training tips.

Wait till mid summer or early autumn and start by removing any dead or broken branches.   Then identify which lower branches can be removed back to a fork to raise the crown and allow more light and rain underneath.   Make sure you cut them back in several pieces so the weight of a falling branch doesn't cause tearing to the bark leaving open wounds that can get infected.

I would leave it there for this year and then next year, again in mid summer to autumn, take out some of the higher branches in the same way, aiming for an open, airy and even distribution of branches.   You might need a qualified tree surgeon with special equipment and insurance.   

Unhealthy looking heather and skimmia

Posted: 26/05/2017 at 09:56

Read again - you have to water regularly and never rely on rain.

Coming soon... At last ....Chateau de Gateau

Posted: 26/05/2017 at 09:48

Have you a TROC or an EMMAUS near you DD?   Good for crockery sets and maybe even tables and chairs.

Lots of places here now selling off pelargoniums and petunias and so on at reduced prices .

Unhealthy looking heather and skimmia

Posted: 26/05/2017 at 09:37

No.  Just use the camera icon in the top corner and, if it fails, resize your photos to make them smaller.

Sounds to me like thirst for the heather so try dunking the pot in a bucket of water till no further air bubbles appear and then let it drain.  Plants in pots are entirely reliant on you for food and water.  Rain is not enough for pots and planting composts only have enough food for 90 to 100 days so you need to top dress every spring with something like blood, fish and bone.  Heathers like sun but maybe not the heat of being against a south facing fence.

The skimmia sounds like it's got chlorosis.  Like heather, it is ericaceous so cannot take up iron or magnesium when there is calcium in the soil or water.  You can fix this by watering with a product containing sequestered iron but you must use rain water, not tap.  Epsom salts will cure magnesium deficiency.  Dissolve 15ml of slats in 5 litres of water and pour over the leaves using the spray rose on your watering can.   You can also work a teaspoon or so into the compost it's planted in.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 26/05/2017 at 09:26

Good morning everyone.  10am and 26C already but a breeze to keep it fresh and no nasty humidity.  OH is digging out the edges before rotavating to extend a small front bed so that I can have all my bearded iris in one place with gauras and other stuff to keep it going thru summer.   I can drop in some tulip and daff bulbs form the spring pot display too.

meanwhile, I'm on weed killing in the potager and sanding furniture for painting.   Then, with any luck, I'll have planting to do and not just watering.

For art lovers, there's a programme on Sky Arts at 6am on Sunday about how gardens influenced artists like Monet and Matisse - Painting the Modern Garden.

I hope you do just have a sprain Dove and get it all strapped up properly.   Maybe you can borrow some crutches or even a wheelchair from the Red Cross and still go to Nut's OG.  Pics please if you go.

Have a lovely day everyone.   Keep warm Pat.

Chelsea 2017

Posted: 25/05/2017 at 22:40

I don't get conceptual art.  I don't get atonal music.  For me they are both contradictions in terms.

Happy to accept that others see and hear things differently - as long as they don't thrust it at me or tell me I'm stupid for not liking it.

For me, a garden should be fun and beautiful and restful and stimulating and productive and respectful of the local ecology.   A garden needs to work for me, my family, our pets and resident and visiting wildlife..   For me that means ornamental plants, a veggie plot and some water.   Don't want a miniature landscape or a quarry.   I want to see good plants well combined in ways I can aspire to or be inspired by.    

Coming soon... At last ....Chateau de Gateau

Posted: 25/05/2017 at 22:22

Brilliant news DD.  Very happy for you.   Lots of work to come but you're not afraid of that and it will be so good to have your own venture.  I hope Charlie is thrilled too.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 25/05/2017 at 22:18

When we took Possum back to Nantes airport for her flight to Brussels after Xmas there were armed soldier patrols all over the place.  Re-assuring really.

Glad you enjoyed yourselves Liri and Chicky.   Not possible for me this year but I'd like to think I can get there next year.   It's a brilliant day out.

Dove - I assumed you have nettles for their wildlife credentials and nettle tea for plants, not that you have weeds......... honest.  I have a gadget you may like to borrow while you recover.  Xmas prezzy from Possum.  It's a bell that sits on the table and when OH - terrible periferal vision - fails to spot that my wine glass needs attention I just go Ping!   Not subtle but effective and it's purple too.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 25/05/2017 at 18:39

Good job it wasn't nettles Dove!  Rest up and let it heal before you go charging about again.

Poisonous plants

Posted: 25/05/2017 at 18:36

It is wise to wash your hands anyway after gardening as you never know what critters of all shapes and sizes have been peeing and pooing on your plants and in and on the soil, not to mention composts and manures.

The RHS advises that gloves be worn when dealing with plants that are poisonous or can cause skin irritations such as burning from sap or allergic rashes and itches.   Here is their list of poisonous plants and how they can be harmful:-


If you have children, don't panic.   Plants like foxgloves and other common garden plants have been cultivated for centuries without wiping us out.   Just teach them respect for plants and not to put things in their mouths without permission or knowing what it is - flowers, leaves, berries can all be tempting. 

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1 to 15 of 32 threads