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Latest posts by obelixx

Need advice on very small, boring garden!

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 13:48

You need to move some of the gravel to see what lies below.  If it's concrete or builders' rubble that yu can't dig out you could make some raised beds or large planters from timber lined with black plastic and plant them up with all sorts of plants depending on what colours you like and which way your garden faces. 

If there is soil beneath the gravel then you can scrape away the gravel and plant shrubs, roses, clematis and so on with soil improving material (garden centres) and then spread the gravel back to keep down weeds and retain moisture.   Climbers can be trained along wires attached to vine eye screws at regular intervals up the fence.  If the brick walls are too fragile to drill, see if you can erect some posts and attach wires to those.

Add Ash to Soil ??

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 13:42

I've had a look and the panels will most likely have been made from tanalised wood which contains arsenic so be very careful of the dust and ashes.  Wear a mask to be safe.

Add Ash to Soil ??

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 13:16

Wood ash contains potash which is an essential ingredient in fertilisers for plants.  however, yours may now be contaminated by whatever chemical was used to preserve your fence panels so I would not use it on any vegetables or fruits and I would check for info on teh vital component before putting it on flower beds.

Climber for shady wall?

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 13:31

This academic website lists 79 clematis suitable for shade and hardy to USDA zone 5 -   You could redo the search with a more hardy rating. 

If you want perfume as well as colour you really need to go for roses.  

Clematis x triternata 'Rubromarginata' smells of sweet almonds but it has very small flowers which will have less impact than roses.

Buried Treasure!

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 11:37

AWB - I lose secateurs and find them months later, in need of lots of TLC.  Ditto the odd trowel so losing keys is easy.

Buried Treasure!

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 21:50

Landmine - house and garden in Belgium so occupied territory in both world wars.  Allied airmen hidden in farmers' pigeon lofts and passed on down the line to get home and so on.   The old cobbled road in front of the house has scratched lines along its entire length from the passage of allied tanks chasing the Germans back east.  

Napoleon's lot and assorted Prussians went past too but left no souvenirs that we have found.

Climber for shady wall?

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 18:21

Climbing roses that would do well there are Golden Showers, New Dawn, Iceberg and Zephirine Drouin which are all repeat flowerers,   Mme Alfred Carrière and Souvenir de Dr Jamain will do nicely but only flower once.

A good shrub rose for that position would be Mary Rose, a David Austin rose bred for fragrance and disease resistance and suitable for shade.

You will need to dig out the old shrub and all its roots and replenish the soil with new soil or plenty of well rotted garden compost and some well rotted horse manure as roses are hungry plants and need good soil.  They will benefit form a mulch of garden compost every autumn after some prolonged rain and a good dollopd of blood fish and bone in spring.

The daffs can be lifted and planted elsewhere and should perk up in new soil with some food in it.  Try planting shorter daffs such as tête-à-tête or Pippit for a softer yellow or Minnow which is creamier.   They won't blow around as much in wnds so won't suffer from broken stems.



Buried Treasure!

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 18:08

A child's shoe, a horseshoe and a landmine.   We don't deep dig any more so no finds in ages.

Neighbour has trashed our beech hedge!!

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 14:06

6 feet or 2 metres!

Neighbour has trashed our beech hedge!!

Posted: 24/03/2014 at 13:45

Beech hedges take very well to being cut back and yours should now thicken up and be a more manageable height and a better hedge.   Don't fall out with your new neighbours over it.  They've done you a favour.

What you can do to help it along is to feed it every spring with a generous scattering of pelleted chicken manure which will release its nutrients slowly over the growing season.   Keep it trimmed to a height of about 6'/2 metres and keep side growth cut back at least once a year to restrict its width, keep its shape and encourage it to thicken up and become more dense.

It will always be a bit see through in winter but you probably aren't going to be sunbathing then so it doesn't matter and it will look lovely with rain and dew drops shinng on it or when frosted.  It should make a very attractive hedge the rest of the year from the new spring leaf buds opening up, becoming mature leaves in summer and then turn colour in autumn.

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