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Latest posts by obelixx

No dig gardening

Posted: 22/10/2013 at 16:28

I had my neck done in March last year and both feet this year.   It's very important to rest and recover from the anaesthetic properly although I do confess that when I came home from the neck surgery I was so energised by being pain free that I spent two solid days in the garden pruning clematis and roses and pressure washing the terrace.   Then I had to flop a bit to get over the anaesthetic effects.

Don't fret about jobs that need doing.  More important to get fit again and be able to take tasks slowly and enjoy the results.


Cat on new felt roof

Posted: 22/10/2013 at 13:31

I really can't see the harm in cats sunbathing on you shed roof.  If you don't want them sharpening their claws on it, give them an old door mat or a piece of wood.  You could also get a second sonar and place it as you need.

The only foolproof cat scarers are

a) a dog but that won't protect your shed roof

b) a water scarecrow which sprays them when they pass a sensor.  Works on foxes and herons too.  Google the name for info.

You can also spray them with a water gun but you have to be there all day every day.......


Posted: 22/10/2013 at 13:24

You want your roses to be putting energy into making new roots for next year's growth and flower show so yes, prune any flower buds off now.  

Next spring, cut any dead or damaged stems back to a new bud and feed your rose with some slow release food such as blood, fish and bone and give it a liquid tonic of rose or tomato feed. 

No dig gardening

Posted: 22/10/2013 at 11:59

Good luck with the surgery.  I hope it goes well.

Japenese Barberry

Posted: 22/10/2013 at 11:57

Lyme disease is spread by bites form infected ticks.  Not from plants.  Go ahead and move it.

rhododendrum bother

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 15:24

It's been a long hot summer and plants in pots are entirely dependant on you to keep them adequately watered and fed.  It sounds to me like it's going anaemic either from lack of food in exhausted compost or because it has had too much hard tap water and can't take up iron and magnesium.

I would suggest re-potting if you can, in the same pot if you haven't a bigger one.  Remove it from the pot and scrape off some of the soil at the base, sides and top of the rootball and then place fresh ericaceous compost in the bottom of the pot, down the sides and on the top.   Give it a good drink of sequestered iron diluted according to the instructions and keep it fed and watered in the future with food for ericaceous plants.

Must have natives?

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 15:01

Aquilegias are natives and come in many forms and colours.  Hardy geraniums are European natives, some British and some mainland, but a wide variety of leaf form and colour is available from limey green to glaucous blue and flowers ranging from white through pinks and purples to blues.    There are varieties for shade and for full sun and they provide nectar for bees andother beneficial insects.   Single or open centred roses are good too and phlomis, rodgersias, hellebores, hostas......

I wouldn't get hung up too much on native versus imported.   Foraging wildlife doesn't care as long as the plants have nectar or pollen or seedheads or fruits to offer.   For example, buddleias are imports but look well in natural plantings and attract masses of butterflies.   The main thing is to stick to simple flower forms as doubles are often sterile so of no use to insects and birds and to try have something flowering or fruiting all year so include bulbs like snowdrops and shrubs like viburnum Eve Price for winter interest.

No dig gardening

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 10:24

I don't believe in digging either except to plant a new shrub or tree.  The veggie plot only ever gets hoed and mulched between plantings and hoed to keep it clear during the growing season.

My newest gardening friend who's been helping me out since I developed back and foot problems advises covering newly cleared or mulched beds with cardboard for the winter as it keeps in warmth and stops weed seeds germinating so the soil is ready for swoing and planting earlier the following spring.

October rose pruning

Posted: 21/10/2013 at 10:07

Assuming you've removed, or tied in, any long whippy stems there's nothing to do except wait for spring and the new growth.  Give it a good feed of rose or tomato fertiliser once new growth starts and it will be fine.

Lavender - Hidcote

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 11:27

As long as they're planted in a sunny, well drained position, lavender Hidcote is tough as old boots.   I have some planted as a low hedge in soil held up by a sleeper retaining wall so excellent drainage and they all cope regularly with winters down to -20C and worse.   I do leave the old flowers stems on till spring as this protects the crown from the worst winters but they and lavender Edelweiss are doing fine and making babies that germinate and grow in the gravel at the base of the wall and also survive our winters.

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