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Latest posts by obelixx

Working around Moles

Posted: 14/07/2014 at 13:05

Moles dig at hunting depth so deeper in winter when the worms burrow down to escape the cold and more shallow in summer or wet weather when the worms are nearer the surface.   We have them and dependng on conditions we get molehills or galleries that sink when it rains or leave a trail of grass that goes brown from drought form having tunnel instead of soil for its roots.   Ialso get mole hills in my flower beds which then become anthills as they are raised and dry.  In my experience they barge straight through roots Under grasses, rhubarb, currant bushes, perennials........

The best treatment in the UK is a professional mole catcher.

Cats and dogs catch them too but with our terrier cross, that always involves some digging which is as bad as the moles.   As I live in Belgium I can blast them with one of these - - but we haven't used it in anger since we got the dogs.  Excellent toy though and very satisfying and effective.

If you do catch and release any live ones, do it across a stream as they are less likely to come back but who knows?  I've watched one lot migrate from the paddock across the road, tunnelling under the road and into our garden.




Suggestions for white late summer flowers

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 16:38

I have white lychnis in flower now and a creamy white hemerocallis, white astilbes, a white dahlia which is just starting to bud up, achillea ptarmica, rosa Jacqueline Du pré, white campanula persificolia, white phlox, white clematis alba luxurians.    There must be other white roses and clematis to try and then white annuals such as cosmos which will flower till the frosts if you keep dead heading, white asters, white veronicastrum, white echinacea......

All sorts really.

Making a potting bench

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 16:30

Maybe later when it stops peeing down.  Tuesday by all accounts.  Seriously fed up with being soggy.

Bilberry plants or berries

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 12:05

I bought two tiny plants several years ago from Larch nurseries.  This summer one has turned brown and died but the other is doing well though not yet producing flowers or fruit.

The RHS Plant Finder lists 15 suppliers -



Posted: 13/07/2014 at 11:59

You need to dead head it to stop it putting energy into hips and encourage more flowers to form.   Treated like this it should flower from June through to the frosts but if left to itself it will produce just the one flush of flowers and then concentrate on its hips and reproduction.

You could try snipping off all the stems with hips and giving it a liquid feed of rose or tomato food now to see if it will flower again this year.

What grass would you reccomend?

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:42

Pleased you like it.  

geraniums and anenomes

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:40

Funny isn't it?  I have deep, fertile, alkaline loam on a clay sub soil but I can't get Honorine Jobert to grow and the pink ones have taken years to establish and fill their space.   Can't grow Chinese lanterns either.

On the other hand, couch grass, nettles, creeping buttercup, fat hen, ground ivy, bindweed, thistles, dock and teasles are a constant nightmare and the pink geranium is following suit but not the more interesting ones I'd really like to spread about more freely.

Making a potting bench

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:26

Your design looks very creative and attractive.  Is it for indoors or outdoors?  I'm just wondering about how well it will stand up to rain and winter wet and cold.

I have long wanted a decent potting bench as the galvanised ones you get for greenhouses are just too small if, like me you're usually busy taking cuttings or dividing clumps for potting up as well as potting on seedlings.   I hit the junk shops and found a small table on a metal frame.   I've taken off the small top and put on a larger slab of marine ply covered in a plastic tablecloth.   

I found an old ceramic sink which I have put on a support under the outside tap so I can wash pots and also stand newly planted pots in it for a good soaking.    There's space to store my bags of grit and compost underneath the table and buckets under the sink.   All my spare pots are stashed on shelving from ex mini plastic greenhouses and now I have an organised work area out of the way at the back of the garage.

What grass would you reccomend?

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:10

Molinia, also known as transparent grass as it has good basal clumps and then airy stems with the flowers and seeds -

I have bought this and other seeds of grasses and perennials from this supplier and been very happy with the results.

geraniums and anenomes

Posted: 13/07/2014 at 10:05

I've been lifting and cleaning and clearing and refereeing my garden all this year following a forced, post-op absence of almost 2 years.   In that time, along with several nasty, pernicious weeds, my garden has been overun by a pink geranium that has spread and seeded itself about with gay abandon.   I've been digging them up since early spring and have potted some on to give to people who I know like pink or need some fast ground cover but there are limits and huge amounts have gone in the compost bins.

Whilst clearing the borders, clumps of any plant I want to jeep get bunged in buckets and troughs and any container I can find and can stay there for weeks sometimes while I dig over and clear the beds and then clean their roots.   I've had very few losses doing that.  

Where I haven't yet got other plants to replace the geraniums I've simply cut them back hard once the flowering is starting to fade and then they at least grow back healthy, fresh looking foliage so look better.   I will even get a second set of flowers to keep things looking good till the new babies get big enough to plant out in their place.

Japanese anemones aren't a problem here but I do find phlomis russelliana a bit too happy and either pot up for swaps or bung on the compost heap.   As long as you can keep things you do dig up sheltered from strong sun and adequately moist I find them very forgiving when needs must but the best time for lifting and dividing most plants is still spring and autumn.   

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12 threads returned