Latest posts by obelixx

What new seeds will you be trying this year?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:49

I once saw ruby chard and cavolo nero grown with dahlia Bishop of Landaff in an ornamental border at Kalmthout arboretum.   Looked stunning.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:05

I ordered loads of bare roots DA roses years ago when we first started doing roses here.  I wanted the perfume and disease resistance.  However, harsh winters meant quite a few didn't survive so now I buy DA roses from  Belgian grower who orders them in and then grows them in pots and thus takes the winter risk for me.  i then collect at my favourite spring plant fair in May and get a good, established plant for the same price as the bare rooted ones sent direct.  He doesn't have the full range as not all DA roses stand up to our winters.

These days, I grow them on in bigger pots for at least a season before putting them out in the hurly burly of my borders.   Generous Gardener is excellent, as are Gertrude Jekyll, Constance Spry, Queen of Sweden and Sceptr'd Isle.   William Shakespeare is a wuss that needs nurturing and sheltering.  Teasing Georgia is magnificent now I have given her a some shelter form northerly winds.

Moluneux didn't make and nor did one of the Malvern Hills I planted either side of an arch.   Benjamin Britten, Geoff Hamilton and Munstead Wood are back in pots while I clean bindweed out of their border.  Jacqueline Duprée, Tess of the Durbevilles and Crocus Rose are all doing well in the garden.   Graham Thomas almost died so is now in a pot in the greenhouse and Grace couldn't cope at all.

None DA roses are Hot Chocolate - no pong but glorious colour - and Kiftsgate which I have spreading over our south facing house front.  It was almost wiped out by a -32C in 2009 but has recovered well.   Guinée and New Dawn didn't survive.

I find these days I select single flowers for the bees so will have to see if I can get Dove's suggestion which looks gorgeous. 

Removing leylandi

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:51

We had a 15 m row of these 30' high when we bought our house in Harrow30 odd years ago.  They cut out light and moisture from us and our neighbours and took up loads of space at the base.

No access for diggers and no funds for tree surgeons (mortgage rate 16% in those days) so we cut off the bottom branches to a height of 4' and then lopped the tops.   We left the stumps as they were so the roots would die of starvation and I grew plants to disguise the trunks.   After a couple of seasons we were able to wiggle them loose enough to take an axe to the thickest roots and remove the lot.

The remaining roots rotted quietly away and we added lots of compost to the heavy clay soil and ended up with a lovely border and very happy neighbours.

Which subjects............

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:43

Tetley - my comment was neither rude nor unkind but a dispassionate observation.  I note that V's own self imposed stricture not to post on anything but garden topics didn't even last 24 hours.  Clearly he can't contain himself and needs a lot of pampering!

I have been to check my snowdrops despite the wet.   The precocious ones in the front have long since finished and the ones out the back aren't even showing their noses.  This may just be because last year I divided a lot of the clumps and spread them around.   Hope so.

What new seeds will you be trying this year?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 09:35

Flower sprouts.   Saw them on Countryfile a couple of weeks ago, found them in teh supermarket the next day and liked them.  Tasty, quick to prepare and cook and full of vitamins.

Can't stand sprouts and our kale is a bit tough by this time of the year so I'm hoping these will bridge the gap.

While I was on I ordered other stuff to spread the P&P so I'll be trying new chillies and toms and squashes and Chinese greens and some flowers too but can't remember what I ordered now.

views on bark chippings

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 14:13

I like bark chippings but they do need renewing every few years as they rot down.   We used very large gauge chippings as a weed suppressant mulch when we first made and planted long, front triangle purely because it can get very windy and I didn't want it blowing about.   15 years on most of the chippings have disintegrated but that's OK as the plants have matured and spread to suppress weeds themselves.

On other new beds and the paths in our woodland corner we used smaller gauge.  We've had to renew it on the paths but not on the beds where plants are taking over the weed suppressing.   I do find we still get plants and weeds seeding in the paths but they are easy enough to clean and great for collecting well rooted babies of wanted plants.   

Cocoa husks are supposed to be good too but will smell of chocolate and should not be used if you have dogs.

Which subjects............

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 13:06

The name of this forum should be enough of a clue as to suitable subject matter - Gardeners World.   Chat posts which allow for more personal exchanges about life in general, TV, sport (if you must) seem OK too although I do think football can bring out low tribal tendencies which are unattractive.

The only politics that should be discussed here are local and central government attitudes and policies for the provision and upkeep of allotments and green spaces and prescribing gardening for NHS patients suffering illness, disability or stress as these are gardening related.

Any other political topic is bound to be contentious as is religious belief and observance or lack of it.   Best left to late night radio call-in shows or the pub where we can hear tone of voice and see faces and, above, all, change channel.   Tolerance and irony do not come across well in a reading only forum and misunderstandings leading to rudeness, bigotry and extremism are all too likely to come out and wreak havoc.

Members in general should exercise topic restraint and not just start a thread because they have nothing better to do.   Some posters seem quite incontinent in that respect and would be better employed talking to their plants till the urge passes.


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 09:44

Rain here too.  Housework, plumbers here for a leaky loo and no 1 dog to the vet's cos she injured a paw running round the garden in the dark last night and is Hopalong Dog.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 21:38

GWRS - rabbit holes and mole runs are very dangerous for grazing stock which can twist, sprain or break an ankle if they step in one unawares.  I hope the ferrets had a good time and caught a few for their own dinner.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 13:56

We started all sunny and blue so I've been out and taken cuttings of my purple gooseberries and trimmed back all the clems in the back and side garden.   Some have new shoots a metre long which is a shame but they can't be untangled from last year's growth.

Now it's starting to rain so I shall make a playlist for dance practice and hope it's drier tomorrow.  Need to go and buy some serious feed for all the clems and roses and finish pruning the clems out the front and other side.

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