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Latest posts by obelixx

Sparrowhawk dilemma

Posted: 18/11/2014 at 23:48

Sparrowhawks are beautiful and only catch the weak or stupid birds so are also part of natural selection.   Our visitor doesn't get much at my feeding station but when he/she does, often as not it's a collared dove rather than a tit or sparrow.

I have friends who have 4 ponds, one of which is visited by a kingfisher.  They actually buy small goldfish to stock it for him.     They have bigger specimens in the upper ponds and are philosophical about herons. 

Overgrown climbing rose

Posted: 18/11/2014 at 21:59

As long as you've tied in as many branches as you can, it's safe to prune off any excess growth now to prevent if being damaged by winter gales.   The main pruning to encourage flowers is best done in spring.   The RHS offers this advice:- 

Talkback: Trees for small gardens revisited

Posted: 18/11/2014 at 11:42

Never mind the trees.  It's the way he writes that is so entertaining and informative and he mentions interesting plants which can be researched if not known.

I shall miss the blog but wish him well.

I trust his own blog will continue once his house move is completed.

storing chili's

Posted: 18/11/2014 at 11:40

Freeze them whole or make chilli jams for adding to sauces.  Flavour oils and vinegar with them.   Blitz with butter and some garlic if you like then roll up like a sausage in cling film and freeze. 

Strictly 2014

Posted: 17/11/2014 at 17:51

I watch it when I can as it's good for tips on choreography and technique but I'm out at dancing myself 4 nights a week - line dance on Tuesdays, salsa with OH on Wednesdays, looking after Hip Hop on Thursday and then we have ballroom on Fridays.  

You certainly do need to remember all the steps to do them well, especially when learning new ones each week.   We had a special class of Viennese waltz yesterday afternoon and I can now do the open steps, left turns, right turns and a flekker.  Now to perfect the technique and posture over the coming weeks at our regular practice sessions and also find a cure for OH's Viennese sea sickness......

We found the Argentine Tango routine very impressive and loved all the others except Sumetra whose samba was weak and Judy who, though it was her best dance yet, will not a dancer make.   The right people were in the dance off and the right person went this week.   


Blooms in November

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 10:15

I have a Red Ballon clem which has one  or two flowers left but most are over and have become lovely silky seed heads.  It starts flowering in June and the bees love it.

Blooms in November

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 17:57

There are still some roses in the old rose garden at Great Dixter.  He liked roses, just not as monoculture and it's true taht growing to many together invites pests and diseases.

I have Teasing Georgia, Sceptr'd Isle and Generous Gardener roses still flowering well.   Clematis Princess Diana, Sunset, Nelly Moser and Rahvarinne have flowers on them too.  I have a home sown white agapanthus which is flowering strongly and pots of acidanthera and persicarias, rudbeckias, Japanese anemones, pensemons and verbena bonariensis if flower..

More seasonal stuff is the winter flowering jasmine and hardy cyclamen plus, as I found today, the first of the snowdrops are out.

No doubt tomorrow I'll find more in flower when I tackle other parts of the garden - in between baking chocolate cake and biscuits for our Viennese waltz class in the afternoon..

I cannot wait for the first frost

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 17:45

It would be error here.  Mine will be lifted tomorrow, drained and then wrapped in newspaper and stored in the garage which never freezes.   My two hardy fuchsias have been transferred to a window box with 4 of the tender trailing varieties and they will all spend winter together in the attic - under a Velux till they lose their leaves.

building houses on green belt land

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 15:46

Too right HCF.  Our local council - small town and 11 villages has pushed the population up by 6000 in recent years as this qualifies them for massive regional subsidies and salaries for the bourgmetsre and echevins.  Loads of new houses and appartment blocks but not a single new school or playground, no road safety or pedestrian space on the lanes between villages and parking in the town centre is difficult and expensive so it's dying.

building houses on green belt land

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 15:00

Dove - planning restrictions and costs.   

We have an attcahed, brick barn, 14.5 metres by 7 with 2' thick walls which I was all set to convert to give us a living room with open fire, a breakfast room and 2 en suite bedrooms.   The walls are there and damp-proofed already.  The roof is new and insulated and has solar panels on it.  Costs to insulate walls, build new internal ones, a staircase, electrics and plumbing and flooring and so on?   200,000!   Twice what it will add to the sale value of our house as it stands.

There's one of those quadrangle farms around a courtyard for sale up the road but no-one will buy it as conversions to living quarters/appartments/separate houses of the original house and barns is so restricted and expensive.   It's falling down but could be stunning.

Discussions started by obelixx


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 194
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
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Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

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Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 236
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 508
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1837
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1862
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 900
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1282
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1669
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 890
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 4519
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 2084
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1265
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 3105
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12
1 to 15 of 16 threads