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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 15/05/2013 at 14:06

There may be no arable farming but many gardeners still use chemicals which contain nicotinoids and other nasties.

Studies at Newcastle university have shown that bees exposed to caffeine which is present in some citrus plants as well as the obvious coffee trees have a better memory for remembering their way to flowers.   There's a bit about it in the latest RHS magazine.


Posted: 15/05/2013 at 13:18

I looked into setting up a hive a few years ago but just to buy al the equipment was going to cost a small fortune so, instead, I garden without chemicals, I've made an insect hotel and I grow plants for pollen and nectar and get lots of bees andother insects in the garden.  Last year I spotted 4 different types of bee, including a wild honey bee, on one sedum spectabile flower head.


Silver birch replacement

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 12:53

I fear strong winds will strip any cherry blossom in minutes, if not seconds.

According to the RHS plant selector the best trees for an exposed coastal site facing south or west are all pinus or some other conifer or an alder.  Not inspiring.  

I suggest you have a look at what is growing well in your neighbours' gardens and also check out Tamarisk which turns pink and is often recommended as being able to cope with coastal winds.


Make do and mend

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 10:19

I use ex plastic greenhouses as shelves to store all my pots in my work area.   I sue the ex door flap of a bigger one to protect the back of OH's new car when I go on plant raids.

We recycled empty wine bottles to make a wall to sit on and retain earth at the back of our terrace.  That always gets interested comments when people come.   We've used old pallets and offcuts from floorboards to make 3 big compost heaps with removable fronts.

I've painted old galvanised laundry tubs found in flea markets.  One is black and gold and holds ice and beers when we have a party.  Another is red and gold with stencilled gold snowflakes and Xmas trees to hold the Xmas tree and another is waiting to be painted up and be used as a pot holder.

Old clothes get recycled as gardening clobber till they really haven't got the will to hold together any more.

How do I trim my Carex Frosted Curls?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 20:49

Be patient. Let the plants mature and the old leaves die a bit more and they'll be easier to comb.

Native/traditional British plants for office plants?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 17:07

As we have said, British and northern European plants have evolved to cope with fresh air, plenty of rain in the main and gentle sun.  Mediterranean plants in general have evolved to cope with poor soil, bright sunlight and occasional downpours and strong winds.

House and office plants come from warmer climes that do not have frosts, are generally used to dappled or full shade provided by taller, stronger specimens, and can cope with the atmosphere in an office.  If you want something out of the ordnary, you'll have to pay for it from the wide range of suitable, foreign origin plants available but please, don't subject healthy, outdoor loving native plants to the stress and trauma of life in an artificially lit, dry, dusty office full of static and invisible chemicals oozed by office furniture, carpets and equipment. 

How do I trim my Carex Frosted Curls?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 16:29

Normally carex don't get trimmed but you can comb them either with your hands - wearing gloves - or using a rake head.  This will pull out all the old stems leaving pride of place to the fresh new stems.    Any brown bits at the end of new stems are due to frost or cold winds after growth started and are no surprise given the weather we've had.   You can give it a gentle all over trim at the ends but not too far or you'll end up with funny looking blunt ends.  It should end up looking like a tatty beatnik mop head crossed with Doogle from the Magic Roundabout.

Remove Robinia Tree?

Posted: 13/05/2013 at 10:05

My robinia also looks very dead this year and I'm toying with either cutting it down or scrambling a rambler up it.  Just worried about having a healthy rambler and a crumbling support. 

The sensible thing would be to get OH to cut the frisia down and find somewhere else for a rambler.................

Where we are. the Big Map.

Posted: 13/05/2013 at 10:02

Nut - can you do me please?  Central Belgium, south of Brussels, so the I or U of Belgium on the map.   My link comes up in Flemish and won't change to English of French and I only do Flemish for restaurants and shopping..........

My Corkscrew Hazel - Thanks

Posted: 12/05/2013 at 12:36

That's great QR.  If you treat your new clem well by planting it deep an dthen feeding it you shoul dget a first flush of single flowers in April and May followed by a flush of double flowers in June and July.   It doesn't need any pruning except, when it's older,  to keep it in bounds after flowering finishes and it should have lovely silky seedheads to add interest later in the season.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Weekend 22 March

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Good Morning - 21 March

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New shed - any tips?

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Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned