Latest posts by Obelixx

Titchmarsh oin Chelsea FS 2016 Compost Heap?

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 23:02

Alan Titchmarsh started his career in horticulture when he left school aged 15.  It was all he'd ever wanted to do and he went from parks apprentice to college and then Kew where he continued his studies and became a staff trainer.  He became a journalist working on magazines, radio and TV and wrote books on gardening.  He is a vice-president of the RHS and a Victoria medal holder and an ambassador.  He has designed a gold medal garden for Chelsea, presented GW for several years, Ground Force and also made the excellent How to be a Gardener series.   He's also presented chat shows, written novels and done programmes on UK natural history.  Bit of a Renaissance man.

He presented Chelsea on the Beeb for 30 years but stood down when they, in their wisdom, cut his hours to the BBC 1 show and gave the BBC 2 in-depth coverage of horticulture to a hobby gardener presenter with no previous TV gardening experience.

Monty Don is a nice chap and passionate about his garden but he's not a designer and has no horticultural qualifications.   However, he does write well and communicates well about his own garden tho what he does in it is sometimes controversial for the wrong reasons.   I doubt he is held in the same respect as AT by the world class designers and plantsmen and women at Chelsea.

I don't like Joe Swift either and find his manner deeply irritating except when he presented a series on front garden design a few years ago.

Last edited: 22 May 2016 23:05:54

Progress update

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 14:51

In a thread you have been following, it's the first post made since last you visited.

Means you don't have to scroll up and down or form page to page looking for the last post you read so you can catch up.

Identify these and what to do with them!

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 14:46

Can you do individual photos of each one so we can see the foliage in detail and identify them?

The RHS offers this advice for pruning your ceanothus and keeping it tidy without losing flowers:-

Prune after flowering. Cut back long, flowered shoots by one-third to a half. If more bushy growth is desired, trim lightly again in late summer. (e.g. C. arboreus ‘Trewithen Blue’, C. dentatusC. impressusC. thyrsiflorus ‘Skylark’)


Posted: 22/05/2016 at 13:47

It's on page 4 of Latest Posts.  The old format wouldn't have shown you that at a glance.   Sometimes you just have to scroll.

Bulb Fennel

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 13:05

I took to growing plugs as direct sown results were so patchy given the vagaries of spring weather here.   They generally do well as long as I water during hot or dry spells and the taste of a freshly picked bulb is so superior to shop bought whether eaten raw or cooked.

I hope yours do well for you.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 22/05/2016 at 13:00

It is far too big isn't it and would be like the Titanic with areas open only to first, second and third class passengers and premiums for a cabin with a window and buffet food all day and "entertainment". Nightmare.

I went to bed in the small hours cos I was busy correcting Minutes with no distractions form OH or Possum and then was woken at 6am by Pusscat demanding cuddles - she pokes a delicate claw in my nose - but eventually dozed off again after a read only to be woken by OH's mobile phone wailing at 8ish because he hasn't replied to a text message.  He'd forgotten to put it on silent and hasn't worked out how to kill the wail.   This is not the first time.  Grump.  I said a brick would fix it.

Ended up staying in bed and dozing and reading till I finished my book and then got up and did a proper English breakfast.

It's raining but OH has already been out and walked the dogs before it set in so they're snoring on the sofas while I rescue Favourites from the BBC Food website before they close it.  When the rain stops I shall go and move more pots from front to back so they don't get baked to a frazz while we're away next week.   Possum is revising for a mere 17 exams between May 31st and June 16th and will not think to water.

If the sun comes out later I shall take photos of the hostas for Hosta. 

Seeds are definitely not plants.  I shall check out those 2 websites mentioned above.  Thanks.  I already use Plant World and Chilterns and have been very happy with the service and quality.

Have fun everyone, in your garden or not, with company or not.

Last edited: 22 May 2016 13:01:48

Bulb Fennel

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 23:03

I grow this most years but now buy plugs rather than sow from seed.   I plant them in rows a trowel length apart so I can get my hoe in to deal with weeds.   They like full sun and good soil and plenty of water to swell the bulbs.

I grow mine in raised beds that have had plenty of compost worked in over the years and I always scatter pelleted chicken manure before planting.

If you're lucky, and not too far north, you may get swallowtail caterpillars which are very civilised and only eat the green fronds without damaging the bulbs.

Progress update

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 14:02

Daniel has a Like or Useful button on his list of non urgent fixes.  Personally I think Like is better than Useful because it's less specific - I can like a post because it's funny or wise or correct or has a good photo without necessarily finding the info useful to my situation.  Trolls will misuse either option.


Posted: 21/05/2016 at 11:12

My first primary school (Huncoat, Lancs) had outside loos across the schoolyard.   We also had slates and chalk to learn to write and do sums.  Miss Demaine was very good and very strict and nobody left her class unable to read, write, tell the time and do their tables up to 12 plus 13, 15, 17 and 19 which she insisted were essential too.   Amazing teacher.  

By the time I left school at 18, teachers had decided teaching grammar was old-fashioned and boring and unnecessary so I've met people here just 2 years younger than me who have no idea how a sentence is constructed which makes it nigh on impossible for them to learn French as you really need to know about subject, object, indirect object, adjectives, past participles and subjunctives and so on to get agreements and tenses right.

It's also basic to being able to write coherent English that is not a chore to read - a basic skill for many jobs as well as simple communication between friends, colleagues, service providers etc.   The English language is rich in vocabulary and can be direct, elegant, beautiful in its simplicity but also in its capacity to use precise words and elegant structures to communicate complex ideas.  

We should embrace it and not fall into the lazy traps of imported Americanisms or ugly structures.

Progress update

Posted: 21/05/2016 at 10:51

Thanks FG.  I'll keep that in my "idiot's guides" corner.

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