Latest posts by Obelixx

please help make this border better!

Posted: 26/06/2016 at 12:28

The soil under those trees and near the hedge will get very dry very quickly and also be nutrient poor so it needs a good sort out but it's best done in the autumn unless you are really impatient and willing to risk losing a few plants by starting now.   I think it could also be made wider so that when it is growing well it won't look squished up against the hedge and unbalanced.

Water well then remove the plants and pot them up in good quality potting compost.  Keep them watered and out of full sun till they settle down.   Fork over the soil to loosen it up and then pile on a generous few inches of well rotted garden compost and leave it for the worms to work in over winter.    If necessary, buy cheap compost at the end of the season when it'll be on sale to make space for Xmas displays.

You can plant bulbs at this point but use a cane to mark the spot.  You can then replant your stuff saved in pots, adding some pelleted chicken manure to help improve fertility.   Water them in well.

Make sure plants like lavender and cistus are in full sun and well drained.  They don't like damp or wet roots.   Most roses like full sun and so do hollyhocks so choose plants that do well in partial shade.  Quite  a few of the hardy geraniums will like it there and then there are foxgloves, some forms of persicaria (affinis would make great ground cover), hardy ferns, primulas, phlox, hellebores and so on.

How would you group these plants?

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 23:57

Think about contrasts - height, leaf shape, texture - so you put rounded foliage next to fine and feathery to offset each other and glossy next to matt, hummocky next to tall.    Then think about flowering times so the interest is spread along the border.   Google each plant name+cultivation to find its eventual height and spread so you get planting distances right for the perennials.   Fill gaps with the annuals such as nicotiana.

Agree about keeping mint and lemon balm separate.   Lemon balm is used here to deter pesky insects so good idea to put it in a pot on the seating area.


Posted: 25/06/2016 at 23:21

Sounds rough SGL.   Hope it's all OK now.

Kitty, George is naked!

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 23:05

PP - I remember that song first time around.  He did some good 'uns.

Independence Day?

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 23:00

Fidget - you really need to have a look at TTIP & CETA and see what they will do to trade and working conditions.

The banana  thing is a red herring perpetrated by red top tabloids.  I buy curvy bananas in bunches as big as 7 or 9 if I want that many.   One thing at least, your local, regional and national jobsworth is not going to be able to blame their zeal and obtructiveness on the EU any more.

You'll still have the same bozos running things.

Time to look at the big picture of what is to come and not lose yourselves in minor trivialities.

Worst ever hailstorm

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 19:16

I hope your garden is OK CRose.   We had a hailstone tornado while I was at Chelsea in 2014.  Came back to fin my rhubarb had been nuked and the hostas shredded.  Still have scars on the bark of shrubs and trees.

I cut them all back to ground level and they all re-grew, including the hostas so don't panic if you do have damage.

Cooking with Rhubarb

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 16:58

Have a look at the spiced rhubarb cake on BBC Good Food.  It's excellent.  The rhubarb orange cake is even nicer done with lemon.   The rhubarb and vanilla jam is good but I'm going to try your mint one this year.

Abandoned garden

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 16:54

Buy yourself a strimmer - or borrow one - and cut the grass down to 2 or 3 inches.   Remove all the cut stuff to a compost heap.  Then you can cut the grass with a normal lawnmower and the model depends on the size of the lawn, your budget and fitness - manual, or an electrical or petrol powered flymo type or cylindrical mower.

Don't cut it too short the first few times as it needs to recover from being a hay meadow.

Cooking with Rhubarb

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 16:14

Some of those look very goof.

OK loves rhubarb just stewed on its own or with some ginger or in a crumble or cobbler.   I like to add strawberries when we have both at the same time.  I also make rhubarb chutney and rhubarb cakes.

Someone on A4A posted a link to this recipe for syrup - http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-rhubarb-simple-syrup-pantry-recipes-from-the-kitchn-84304 

There are some good rhubarb recipes on BBC Good Food - and this is my favourite rhubarb tray bake:-



15gr                        butter

100gr                       soft brown sugar

100gr                       mixed nuts chopped roughly
1tsp                         cinnamon


100g                        butter at room temperature

250gr                       soft brown sugar 

1                             large egg
225gr                       plain flour
1 sachet                   baking powder
2 x142ml                  cartons soured cream
300gr                       rhubarb chopped into 1cm pieces

Oven 180C/gas 4/fan 160C
Line 33x23x5cm tin or grease similar sized dish if you want to serve as a pudding
Melt the 15gr butter & mix with sugar, nuts & cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream the 100g of butter with the sugar till light and fluffy.  Add the egg and a spoonful of the flour and whisk that all together. Add flour, bicarb & soured cream. Stir in rhubarb.

Pour mix into tin & sprinkle with the topping mixture.
Bake 30-35 mins until skewer comes out clean.
Serve immediately as a dessert or cool & cut into squares.


What is your weather like?

Posted: 25/06/2016 at 16:03

Do I need to know what an Ender Dragon is? 

Still grey here but less solid and a bit lighter.  I am very wet and mucky because the garden is sodden and I've been potting and watering and I'm a mucky urch at the best of times.

OH's golf competition cancelled tomorrow cos the last 3 holes are flooded and the rest is too wet for trolleys and all those feet.   I'd send them all out with 6" spikes on their shoes or wellies so they can aerate as they go - do something useful.

Forecast for tomorrow is dry so more gardening and then housework on Monday.  Garden group at my place on Tuesday............cleaning, cake and lunch to prepare.

Don't tell anyone but I've just seen a ray of sunshine.  Lasted about 20 seconds!

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