Latest posts by Obelixx

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 18:29

I've got one in the greenhouse.  It's my 3rd attempt and this one's staying in a pot till he's too big to pot on and will then have to be planted out by the pond.    I have to cover them with a great pile of compost to get them through winter but it's worth it.   trouble is I've twice been caught out by surprise -8C frosts in early October and that's death to gunneras with no blanket.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 15:28

Very wise Joyce.  They are St Mamert, St Pancras and St Servais (Boniface) but there is a saying that vignerons have to watch out for St Urbain who holds them all in his hand and his day is May 25th.

"Quand la saint Urbain est passée, le vigneron est rassuré" et "Mamert, Pancrace, Boniface sont les trois saints de glaces, mais saint Urbain les tient tous dans sa main." 

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 15:03

It's a rare May Day here that I have lily of the valley in flower.  Belgians traditionally give a sprig to loved ones and friends for luck on May Day but mine has only been in flower once in 20 years here.

On the other hand, my damson tree has been blooming for over a week and I'm worried it's been too cold and windy for the bees and so on to pollinate them.

Shame about all those grapes and for anyone else losing income to untimely frosts - although round here they do caution against getting too excited with tender plants and crops before the Ice Saints have had their days on the 11th, 12th and 13th of May.

If you see a slug or snail

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 10:02

Organic slug pellets round susceptible treasures to protect them. Works fine for me in regular, small doses.

Any slug or snail I find where I don't want it (greenhouse, seedlings, veggies, hostas, hemerocallis etc) gets lobbed in the road for instant squishing by passing tractors and traffic.   I leave others alone as some slugs are essential for breaking down waste plant material and feeding frogs, toads and hedgehogs..

I do not hold with cutting them up and find salting very cruel.  Slug pubs are too messy.   Throwing them over the fence is useless as studies have shown they just come straight back to where they'll find their favourite supper.

Shade plants?

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 09:56

There are lots of shade loving plants but to help them establish, growna nd thrive you'l need to improve the soil.  This can be done by adding a good layer of compost before planting.  You can use bags bought form the DIY store or garden centre but make sure it's intended for plants and not for seeds and cuttings as you need the nutrients.

Some hostas will like it but they are not evergreen.   Hardy geranium macrorhizum will do well.  It has scented leaves, white, pink or fuchsia coloured flowers in late sporing and the leaves turn red in winter.  Pachysandra has glowwy green foliage and white flowers.  Variegated ivy can be grown as ground cover if you peg down the shoots as they grow and will provide some colour.

Bergenias come with either green or purple foliage and produce flowers in spring.    Some ferns, such as dryoperis marginalis, are evergreen.

Look these up online and at your local garden centre and nursery and then select the ones you like to make either a single variety carpet or a tapestry of form and colour as you prefer.   Plant them with enough space between them to grow to full size and water in well then maybe mulch with some chipped bark or gravel to keep down weeds and set off the plants.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 01/05/2016 at 09:36

Morning all.  Have just spent a lovely half hour watching Beechgrove and cuddling Rasta who has to be bribed to take her post op meds.  I'm hiding them in best Belgian black pudding - stashed in the freezer since Xmas when they do specials such as speculoos (too sweet), boozy, spicy and so on.

Miscanthus should be cut back as low as possible in March/April before the new growth starts.   Can be done later bu once the new shoots show, they need cutting back to just above the green so the new foliage doesn't get cut edges.   It's the evergreen grasses that just get combed through with a rake or by hand (wearing gloves).

Still jolly cold here and windy again so the morning will be spent catching up on housework and then walkies.   Baby veggies need to stay tucked up another day and night as they're promising warmer weather tomorrow.

Our May blossom is nowhere near opening!


Combination shed/greenhouse

Posted: 30/04/2016 at 17:25

You'll find more possibilities online than in local suppliers and can compare sizes and prices more easily.   Have a look at this site - http://www.heritagegardensheds.co.uk/prods/greenhouse-shed-combination.html

and this - https://www.greenhousestores.co.uk/Combined-Greenhouse-Shed/

I'd have thought it would be fine where you have existing electricity for light and maybe heat in winter.  You can always paint or stain the shed part to make it less obtrusive or a feature, according toy your taste.

The best advice is to get the biggest you can afford and have space for.  It will fill up faster than you think.   Keep the windows clean to maximise light and get some bubble wrap to insulate in winter.   Have fun.


HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 30/04/2016 at 13:00

Sounds good Busy.  I make lots of cakes - not for us but for garden group meetings and dance club activities.  The Belgians love them as they don't have their own cake tradition.  Great on tarts though.

Rasta doggy very sleepy now so contemplating raking the veg bed and scattering chicken pellets so I can plant babies tomorrow.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 30/04/2016 at 12:27

Hazel - I chose my new machine because it does good buttonholes.  Always do a trial on an offcut first with the layers and a bit of interfacing like in the item you're sewing to make sure it's OK.

Steve - not saying anything yet.  Very wet here overnight but no frosts and the wind has calmed.   Cautiously optimistic I can get my baby veggies planted out soon but not today.   Busy with dog cuddles.


HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 30/04/2016 at 11:27

I'm OK Hazel but this is just a simple bolero shape so no buttons or darts.   Just need to dive in my pile and find a good fabric - black with a bit of sparkle but not girly. 

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