Latest posts by Obelixx

General thoughts?

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 14:55

If this is your first year in the garden the best advice is to wait and see what appears this coming season.   Only when you've observed the changes in light, shade, colour and form through a whole year can you make sensible decisions about what's good and bad without making inadvertent bad decisions and maybe removing a treasure or causing problems.

In the mean time, repair any obviously broken bits of fence, prune out any obviously dead wood from shrubs, keep the grass trimmed once it starts growing again (temps above 8C) and maybe apply a weed and feed to the grass in spring and some handfuls of pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone to all the shrubs around the end of Feb.

Take lots of photos, note where the sun shines longest and least and try and make a sketch of what you have.   This will make it much easier to plan changes and improvements later on when you have a clear idea of what you want in your garden and, more importantly, what you don't want.

Old stone pond and fountain

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 14:48

First thing to do is clear all the gravel and liner away so it's no longer attractive to visiting cats and you can see how deep it is.   Then buy, hire or borrow a Karcher pressure washer and give it all a thorough clean so you can see if it has holes or cracks.

You then have to decide about a pond or not.  You don't say where you are so no idea of your winter conditions but I don't reckon anything less than 60cms deep is going to provide safe protection for any fish if you get heavy frosts.   It is possible to buy metal grids across the top to stop children falling in and drowning if you decide to make it attractive to wildlife and plant suitable aquatic plants and have no fish.  You could also cut your own grid to measure from mesh bought at a builders' merchants.

If you really don't want a pond, how about a gravel bed for plants that like drought.  To achieve this, you don't need the base to be waterproof but you do need to fill it with good quality planting compost mixed with pea sized grit for drainage.   Then plant a selection of succulents, alpines and other drought tolerant plants and top dress with gravel but, be warned, cats will love it.

The third option is to fill it with rich, moisture retentive compost such as Levington's and plant bog loving plants but make sure you put some lumps of charcoal in the base to keep it sweet.

The last option is just to empty it, clean it and fill it occasionally when you need a paddling pool for the children and then make it into a pond when they're old enough not to fall in and drown.  More info on ponds, dry gardens and bog gardens on the RHS website.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 14:29

I know, but it's like voting.  If you don't sign or vote, you can't be counted and I can't see how this petition will change things other than allowing MPs to have a say and maybe, one day but not yet, giving Trump and his entourage pause to reflect on how maybe they're being just a bit stupid and facile in their thinking.    

Most of the plants I brought from my Belgian garden have associations with someone special - rellies, friends, events.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 30/01/2017 at 13:41

We have rain, at last.  Only drizzly stuff but it is wet.  If I had a pound for every day they've promised rain and it hasn't happened I'd have a very healthy plant fund!

Been to Nantes to drop off Possum at the airport but came straight home as it was miserable up there with foggy bits too.   Now to get on and research towel radiators cos the plumber and I are having a disagreement about how big one needs to be and he wants to over-egg it.

As for petitions and"will of the people", I have to think 1.2 million or so out of a population of over 60 million is not exactly a majority but at least the matter will be debated in parliament now.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 29/01/2017 at 17:18

Evening all.   We've just got back from a walk along the beach with the dogs, sufficiently empty to let them off the elad and play like puppies.   Coffee next then bath time for Rasta who is looking like a very grubby woolly bear and needs a haircut.

Possum flies back to Namur tomorrow with 4 new pairs of shoes, boots and trainers and a new pair of jeans after a very successful raid on La Rochelle yesterday so I'm treating her to slow roast shoulder of lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary and a bit of anchovy (but don't tell her that.  She thinks she doesn't like anchovies) and roast sweet potatoes cos she hasn't seen sweet potatoes in  Namur since Xmas.

Glad you had a good day yesterday Dove.   Your trip sounds good too TB.  

Clari - just wait till you have to deal with plaster dust!   It's finer and lighter and lingers for weeks.  Good that you're making progress though.

Pat and Glenys - the heat sounds great to me.  Excuse for siestas.

Congrats Yvie.   Very impressive.   I've lost a bit since Xmas but I suspect none this weekend.   Back on the wagon tomorrow then

13C again here this pm and a bit cloudy.  Yesterday we had bright sun after fog and also 13C.  Good cos my pots all need watering and I haven't dared while we've been frozen.   Shouldn't be long before bulbs in the ground start showing their noses.

Last edited: 29 January 2017 17:19:35

Gardening Crafters

Posted: 28/01/2017 at 16:31

I really like them Busy.   No-one else know what you hoped for or intended so can only judge what they see which is lovely.  

Will a garden get the same amount of sun each year?

Posted: 27/01/2017 at 12:11

Saving a change in the earth's rotation on its axis and its orbit round the sun you can expect the same light levels from one year to the next on all sides of your house with the most sunlight being in southerly and westerly aspects.

The variables will come from cloud cover, tree and shrub growth, new builds or extensions next door and, less likely, potential cooling and shading from catastrophic volcano eruptions shading the sun as happened around 1300AD.

Pruning Very old climbing roses

Posted: 27/01/2017 at 12:04

I would get a qualified tree surgeon to have a look before I did anything drastic.   They will at least know if the tree is worth saving and can clear away all the resulting crud from pruning, should you accept his or her quote for the work.

If you choose to do it yourself then the advice above for taking out all the obviously dead wood and then reducing the length of viable stems and then feeding generously is good.

bishop dahlias: which red one?

Posted: 27/01/2017 at 10:54

Well!  Got seduced by the crocus site and its dahlias and cannas and freesias and then find they only post to the UK.   Bums.

bishop dahlias: which red one?

Posted: 27/01/2017 at 10:21

Sarah Raven has Auckland for sale and says they need to be planted 30"/90cms apart so that would be one per pot Newb.   It does look good.  Llandaff is just a bit too scarlet red for me but I do like its purple foliage.

Crocus have Auckland for a bit less plus a 20% off for your first order.  Only £9 for 3.

Last edited: 27 January 2017 10:24:46

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