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Today 26°C / 18°C
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Latest posts by obelixx

WEATHER this week

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 10:26

Snowing here and a bitter east wind.  Set to get to -3C tonight plus wind factor and colder as the week goes on.   Very frustrating as I can hobble fairly well now and had my eye on pruningtheroses and teh rest of the clems.  Maybe next week.

Talkback: How to prune and propagate dogwoods

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 23:30

For me Midwinter Fire is a bit of  a thug.  It's true it responds less vigorously to hard pruning than the others but the thing suckers and spreads all over the place in my garden.


Posted: 10/03/2013 at 23:18

Sorting or sowing seeds, cleaning and tidying tools, pots, seed trays etc.   I still have obelisks to finish painting and repairs and maintenance on some garden furniture that I can do in the garage but for me winter is time to get on with house jobs, sewing and reading, including gardening magazines and books and internet info. 

It's also time to cook all sorts of new dishes to keep ringing the changes and there are ballroom and salsa dance classes in a normal year plus I look after Hip Hop and Jazz classes for our club.  This year I'm having surgery on both feet so less of the maintenance and no dancing and dog walking.

Happy Mothers Day

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 20:09

i'm in Belgium so get two Mothers' Days in theory.  In practice they tend to forget or say they'll get something later on and that never happens so this time I decided they could treat me to a day out at a decent garden centre in Flanders - an hour away - and we did a raid for hanging basket liners, potting compost, some violas and wood anemones and a few other bits and pieces.

They have a very good café too so we stayed for lunch and then came home to put all my new babies safely in shelter as we have snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow and -14C expected on Tuesday night so other pots, recently liberated from hibernation in the greenhouse, have had to go back under cover too.



Planting to reduce soil water content / reduce holard?

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 18:05

Round here the ground is natrually boggy and wet so the farmers plant bog tsandard willows in pastures and along the boundaries of borderline arable fields.  However willows are notorious for having roots which penetrate everything so are not a solution near to any building. Poplars also get planted for their water absorption powers but they tend to be short lived and even more unlovely than a plain willow.

As stated above, the only solution of your situation is remedial building works to tank out the basement.  You could also look into injections to prevent water rising higher up into theground floor walls and check that all drains are functioning properly and not leaking.

We will be having injections done ourselves in the next month or so to arrest rising damp in a brick barn we plan to renovate.  There is already a Roman drain and pump system in place along its north and east walls and that should do the trick so we can make it habitable.


Box Blight

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 16:06

Box blight is caused by one of two fungal infections for which no treatment is available to gardeners.    When you buy new plants, you should keep them in quarantine, away from other box plants, for about 3 months so you can check for infection before plantig it.   Make sure you buy from a reputable supplier who will guarantee and refund or replace any affected plants.

Alternatives are things like lonicera nitida which has green and gold forms.  Dwarf conifers can also be grown as a low hedge if you keep them regularly trimmed so they thicken up well.   You could also consider step over apple trees which will be decorative as well as producing fruit but won't give such a solid effect.




attaching a trellis

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 15:57

Battens are excellent as they allow room for air to circulate around the plant and thus reduce diseases such as mildew and climbing plants can more easily twine around, or be attached by twine, to the trellis.


Posted: 09/03/2013 at 18:36

I've just remembered that my clematis Red Ballon was covered in insects when a couple of wildlife chaps came to advise me about nests for swifts and house martins and there were 4 different bees on a single sedum sepcatabile plant.   Being wildlife purists they were surprised as they'd always thought you had to grow native plants such as weeds and wild clematis (old man's beard) to attract insects.

Best and worst

Posted: 09/03/2013 at 17:51

Best is planting new stuff out. 

Worst is weeding out couch grass, creeping buttercup, nettles and bindweed - again and again and again.  There's always some that comes back no matter how careful I am as our garden was pasture for centuries before we started it about 15 years ago so there are seeds and deep roots in abundance.

Hardest is finding time to sit and enjoy it without spotting something that needs attention.............;

Favourite allotment food recipes

Posted: 09/03/2013 at 17:46

My cavolo nero and purple sprouting all froze to a mush weeks ago.   No edible veggies left in the garden but I still have one or two pumpkins left in the garage and some frozen chillies and blackcurrants along with jars of rhubarb chutney and spiced blackcurrant jelly.

I made James Martin's Butternut squash and Lime soup yesterday and will be using a chilli or two in a fish curry this evening.   Might treat OH to a blackcurrant crumble.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 953
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
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Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

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Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 521
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3003
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1483
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 769
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2068
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 5343
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned