Latest posts by Obelixx

Mahogany seedlings

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 17:45

The real mahoganies all come from the swietenia species native to the Americas tho there are trees given that name in India, Ceylon, South Africa but of the khaya or other species.  You need to identify the correct botanical name for yours then google "name+cultivation" to see what soil it likes, whether it needs acidic conditions, how tender it is and what size it will eventually grow to.

I suspect that you will have to Bonsai them to keep them in the UK so you can bring them in out of frosts.

Coping with withdrawal symptoms

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 17:40

There's original!! 

Geoff Hamilton did a series on how to make/build/plant a paradise garden.  he built 2 - one on a budget for ordinary folk and one more elaborate and with fancier materials for those with deeper pockets.  You can still buy the DVD's and the books often turn up in charity shops.  Excellent value, especially the DVD which comes with the Cottage Garden series and the ornamental Kitchen Garden series.   Wonderful stuff.

I suspect Monty's version will be another tour round other people's gardens.

New topsoil is like cake mix

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 17:36

I agree.  You seem to have done very thorough preps and just been defeated by bad weather.   

Leave it now till spring when increasing sunshine will evaporate excess moisture and grass will get away faster.  Try sowing seed instead of laying turves.  It'll be cheaper and, since you can't walk on new turves for a few weeks anyway and they need copious watering, it'll probably be just as quick to sow seed suited to your soil.

The one consolation is that clay is really very fertile and does improve if you can add plenty of organic matter as a mulch on beds every autumn.  There are also plenty of plants that love clay and moisture retentive soils and will look great offset by your lawn when you do finally get one.

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 15:55

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 15:48

Clear blue skies here now and warm sun but a teeny draught.  Have just got home from fetching my camera, picking up some haberdashery I need for my next project, shopping for milk and stuff - have treated OH to some andouillettes he can eat while I'm away next week - and queued ages for more cortisone based anti-itch.  They've run out!

Got home to two very excited doggies leaping around like puppies - not helpful when trying to drive in and park car - plus a roly-poly Minstrel who is now grey from the gravel dust.  Good job she likes being brushed.

Hope all has gone well for Liri's OH.   LP - dogs, cats and babies and, no doubt, any hens will not know the clock has changed.   Silly business.  Doesn't make any extra daylight, just changes when we have it.  I'd rather have longer evenings than lighter mornings tho.

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 11:40

Loathe Little Women in book and film - so flipping preachy - but loved the Glenn Miller story and, of course, the music.

The late Duchess of Devonshire was a Mitford so bound to be quirky but she did do a very good job of making Chatsworth a working enterprise.  Well done her.  

Coat/jacket done except for button sewing.  Lunch next and then I have to go and fetch my camera that I left in Isabelle's car yesterday and then a hunt for more anti-itch cream.

How to grow green tea in a pot

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 09:46

As far as I know green tea is simply tea made from the leaves of the usual tea plant - camellia sinensis - which have not undergone the drying process needed for normal "black" tea.   Assuming this is what you have, it needs ericaceous compost with some added fine grit for drainage and should be watered only with rain or distilled water and not tap water containing calcium.

I found this link which may help you - https://www.thespruce.com/growing-tea-at-home-766090

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 28/10/2017 at 09:25

Good morning.   Had my mane tamed yesterday.  Why have I never met a hairdresser who doesn't hack my fringe?!!  I need it to hide a nifty gardening scar on my left eyebrow and forehead!   

Spent the afternoon visiting a nearby garden owned by Maurice who's a keen collector of plants but doesn't have much success growing his rare treasures.  Having recently retired he has expanded his garden into a field bought form the farm next door.  He's planted all sorts of stuff but doesn't put rabbit and deer protectors round so his commentary was full of "it was this high but then I came out one day and it had been eaten!".   We offered to spend a day putting wire cages round but he hasn't time as his partner is still teaching English and Spanish in Paris and they head there for winter once the Halloween hols are over.   Despite that he has some interesting ideas for layouts and structures.   We had Spanish hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon and little empanadas filled with a sweet filling made from a Spanish squash of some sort.  Eric doesn't garden but he does cook and make preserves.  Sounds like a good team.   I came away with gifts including some baby "walking iris" and a white flowered hebe and a variegated yucca and seeds.   I do like people who garden and bake and share plants! 

Misty this morning so I'm finishing my sewing and then will check all my pots are ready for my absence next week.  Seed sowing fest when I get back so the tree and shrub ones can stratify.

Hope all goes well with OH Liri and that he can have a treat tonight.

Chicky, your plans for today sound lovely.  Enjoy!

Clari - will you get proper breeds or rescue battery hens?

OH tells me there's a butter shortage in France.  Have you noticed Busy?  All because the price is fixed in Feb for the year so the producers are now selling to Germany where they can get more.......

I'm off to look up hedychiums.  Not something I ever tried in Belgium.

Have a good day all.  Hope you're doing OK PDoc!

Where to Go?

Posted: 27/10/2017 at 13:48

Gravetey Manor, Sussex - former home of William Robinson who championed a more natural, cottage style planting than garish Victorian bedding schemes. 

Barnsley House near Cirencester - former home of Rosemary Verey who developed the gardens, wrote books and designed some great gardens as well as advising prince Charles and many more.

Le Manoir au Quatre Saisons near Oxfordshire.

Probably all quite pricey but fabulous gardens and cooking too.   More here f you want to look and compare - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/united-kingdom/england/articles/the-best-hotel-gardens-in-england/

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 27/10/2017 at 13:41

I decided long ago when I was still working full time that clear consommé was a "life is too short" faff so have never done it but I suspect you need Busy's tip to clarify yours Liri.   I cheat and buy jars of clear stock for chicken, game and fish when I need it.  At least, I did in Belgium but have not found it here.  Good for hot and sour soup bases.

I have been to the hairdresser this morning!  Haven't had a professional cut for years apart form a trim a year ago.   My hair is dead straight apart form a wee "devil's horn" of curl that sometimes appears at my temples and is fine but thick.  I've gone for a long, layered look so I can still tie it up when I'm gardening and need to see.   She's back-combed it!  but the massage was lovely and the cut seems good. have to wait and see what comes up when I wash out all the products and back-combing.

Off to see another local garden today and then preserving quinces tomorrow in a spiced syrup.  Chili jam to make too.   Started misty, got sunny but has now clouded over and we have wet air.  Not enough to be a drizzle.  Brightening up again later.

FB - good to have you back.  Hols sound good.   Pat - have you collected yourself now?  Glad the horse seems happy Busy.  Good luck with the exercises Dove.   Hope they work.  Hosta, what are you hacking today?  Clari - will they really use the chuck stuff or should you keep it?

Have a good afternoon everyone.

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