Latest posts by obelixx

Lichen on Magnolia Stellata

Posted: 18/02/2016 at 17:33

Lichen is a sign of clear air but poor ventilation and is unlikely to be killing your tree.  I have it on all my blackcurrant bushes now that they have a windbreak to protect them form sharp northerly winds and they flower and fruit with gay abandon every year.  

It's more likely to be a problem of malnutrition or some other sickness in the magnolia.  Try forking some pelleted chicken manure and a generous dollop of some soil conditioner for ericaceous plants around the root base.   Give it a liquid feed of sequestered iron in case it is anaemic and, when the leaves come, a foliar spray feed made from 15ml of Epsom salts dissolved in 5 litres of water which will deal with any magnesium deficiency.    

Then it's a case of wait and see if it responds.



Posted: 15/02/2016 at 08:29

We have this stuff - and nettles - invading from the neighbouring fields.   I use glyphosate along the boundary on the field side of the fence  to try and weaken it but on our side I have too many treasures from fruit bushes to strawberries and perennial flowers and shrubs that I can't risk so just have to do constant weeding.

A fork is better than a hoe or spade as it breaks up the roots less and leaves fewer voluntary cuttings to regrow.   2 years of this regime has led to a significant reduction on the veg plot and garden side.   Onwards and upwards this year.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 14/02/2016 at 16:52

Freezing here and set to be that way tomorrow too so no gardening but we may head to the builders suppliers tomorrow and order lengths of metal grid for reinforcing concrete - but we'll use it to replace dead wooden trellis panels on teh grounds that it is indestructible, almost invisible and a great support for clematis and climbing roses which will be waking up soon.

Not enough light to sow yet soIi've been sewing instead. I've made a lovely madras check shirt for Possum and she doesn't like it cos it's fitted for curvy people.  One for me then.  

Now to make a less fitted gingham check one and see if that does any better.



Growing Hakonechloa

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 22:00

Mine grow happily in fertile, alkaline loam in a  moist, shady bed.    North facing bed so full sun from mid May to August but no direct sun the rest of the year; though plenty of light except for winter months when it's dormant anyway.   Spreading slowly with no fuss..  

Wheelbarrow Tyre

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 08:29

Our tyre kept going flat and we had difficulty re-inflating so I bought OH a new tyre which he promptly pranged on some thorny hackings.  He's now bought a new wheel with a solid tyre - bright yellow - and it's fine over paths and lawn.  Got it at the local builders' merchants.  Take the old one along to make sure you get the right size.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 15:56

Not sure it counts but we've tied down our windbreak fabric along about 50metres of the back fence cos it had been blown loose in the gales.   OH then took down broken trellis panels between fence posts and rescued 3 good ones to go elsewhere.  I can feel a bonfire coming on.

Lots of snowdrops out now and daffs emerging at last.  Hamamelis Orange Peel is covered in flowers for the first time ever - thanks to the windbreak - but too breezy for much of a pong.  Pity. 

Gales and downpours expected tonight and tomorrow.   Nuff now.

Care for new gingermint

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 14:29

As above.   Water and keep sheltered then pot on to a bigger pot as soon as strong growth starts.   Keep well watered but make sure it can drain.    I now have mine in a 60cm square pot which I take under cover in winter.  However, some escaped into a veggie bed and has withstood temps down to -6C in the ground.   Doesn't like it any colder though and certainly not that cold in a pot.

Which clematis?

Posted: 12/02/2016 at 12:40

Clematis are very hungry, thirsty plants which need deep, cool root runs so a planter on a south facing wall is not going to be ideal.  I would suggest instead a pyracantha which is evergreen and can be trained to cover a trellis and will provide year round interest.  It will have blossom in spring and berries in autumn and green foliage all year and not require much pruning except to take out stems that insist on growing away from the wall.

A repeat flowering climbing or rambling rose is another option but will need regular feeding and dead heading to keep looking good.

Whatever you choose, buy or make the biggest planter you can afford and fit in the space and fill it with John Innes no 3 compost after putting crocks over the drainage holes to stop it getting blocked and water-logged.   Top dress with extra fertiliser every spring and water regularly especially in hot weather and strong, drying winds. 






Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 09:02

No gardening for a while here.  Last week was the build up to the dance club's annual ball.  Sunday recovery.  Monday preps for a trip to Amsterdam and the Hague because for once, in the 25 years we've been in Belgium, all the Vermeers were at home and on display.   Saw some other good stuff too.

Today I'm returning 2 fridges and 320 champagne flutes and then getting ready for a Carnival ball this evening.   

At some point I'll have to go and repair the windbreak which the gales have loosened because we're expecting more gales on Saturday.    Lots of new growth on the daffs in the last 2 days but heavy frosts forecast and the ground is still sodden after all the rain so no proper gardening for a couple of weeks  yet.

Have fun if spring has sprung for you.

Is it ok to heavily prune Vibernum tinus now?

Posted: 11/02/2016 at 08:55

Don't do it when frost is forecast.  It will damage any new buds that start to form and can also damage the cells at the newly cut edges and that lets in disease.

Viburnum tinus is supposed to be tough but I had 5 wiped out completely by severe frosts in 2009.  

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