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Latest posts by obelixx

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 15:31

Near Gembloux.   I use it sparingly too on paths and pernicious weeds if I can't dig them out.  I do it on still, dry days so it gets nowhere near water.  I never buy the branded Monsanto stuff.  Dreadful company.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 14:48

I teach English conversation to Belgian research scientists who told me several years ago that glyphsate is under investigation by the EU as it has been found in water courses and is causing problems so is not as inert as is claimed once it hits the soil.  In South America where they allow GM crops it is sprayed at high concentrations by aeroplane so there is drift and locals living nearby have unusually high levels of cancer and children born with defects.

Chances are it will be banned sooner or later but Monsanto has a powerful lobbying arm so maybe later.

Ideas for a very shady difficult area.

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:40

If you can lift the flagstones and set them aside you could maybe reuse them to make a hard seating area for a table and chairs and maybe a BBQ.  You could get height by building a trellis panel or a pergola or an arch. Once they're cleared, fork over the remaining soil and add as much well rotted manure or garden compost as you can then rake it more or less level.

There are loads of plants that will do well in a sheltered, shady spot - hostas, foxgloves, ferns, Japanese anémones, astilboides, lots of clematis for scrambling up treliis and pergolas and arches, pulmonarias, hellébores, hardy geraniums, primulas, heucheras, tiarellas.

If you use variegated foliage in hostas and pale coloured flowers the area will shine out, especially on grey days and dusk and make a beautiful addition to your garden.

New beds and couch grass

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:33

I find if I soak the whole root ball in water the couch grass is easy to pull out without damaging the plant.  Afterwards you can either pot up again to keep it in quarantine or else plant it out but keep an eye for any bits you missed.  It's easy enough to keep pulling the leaves off small outbreaks and it does eventually give up if tehre's no green to feed the roots.

Metal trellis?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:28

More likely a builders' merchant.   That's where we got ours.  You'll also need a pair of metal wire cutters to trim it to size.  I find it has endless uses - one offcut keeps the dogs in the garden as an almost invisible gate in an archway.  Another has been spread and tied over an archway to help a clematis Etoile Violette climb more easily.

Metal trellis?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 09:40

If it's going to be covered in plants it doesn't need to be pretty but needs to be strong and functional.   In my experience, pretty is expensive.

I have used the metal grid used by builders for reinforcing concrete.  It comes in two or three sizes of gap and is very cheap.   We've attached ours to wooden posts to separate our garden from the field behind but still give us a view as it is so transparent.  Depending on what I grow in that bed each year it can be used to support annual pumpkins so they ripen in the sun or sweet peas or tall sunflowers.   It also supports a blackberry and a tayberry. 

You could always spray it with hammerite to pretty up but I find the rust colour disappears into the plants.

Chelsea photos

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

My pleasure Daisy.  I take the photos to help me remember because sometimes it's like being in an art gallery where visual saturation is reached after about the 10th picture.

This year in particular was striking for the similarity of planting material but also the different ways they were used and I have whole beds to renovate so the photos are a handy reference point.

It was also very different from last year - Photos taken from a wheelchair (foot surgery) so not so many and fewer angles.



Hungry roses?

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 15:35

It's possible the rain has leached the goodies out of the soil and in any case, there's no harm in giving them a tonic of liquid tomato food which should help promote formation of new flowers.  

I would also give them a mulch of well rotted garden compost or manure as this will increase activity in beneficial organisms which will work in the soil around the roots of your roses and help release nutrients.   Regular mulching of all your beds will help break down the clay and release its goodness to all your plants.

geum mrs bradshaw

Posted: 01/06/2014 at 14:11

Yes, but just the flowering stems. 


Posted: 01/06/2014 at 12:25

Chinese leaves such as pak choi are actually best sown in July or later or they bolt so you have plenty of time to get some decent crops from your plot.

Hardy winter vegetables such as leeks, kale, sprouts, spring greens, purple sprouting broccoli are also best sown in June/July and you can also sow chard for an autumn crop.  If the winter's not too cold, they'll stand for months and provide stems and leaves to eat.

Do keep an eye out for a rhubarb plant but be prepared to be patient as they do need to establish for a year so they can grow strong roots before you start harvesting the stems.    Remember that cutting stems removes the leaves which are their food factory.   



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12 threads returned