Latest posts by obelixx

Plant ID for a beginner

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:47

It's a hardy perennial which means it dies back in autumn and the roots and crown hibernate over winter.  Come spring and it all shoots up again.  I love them.

As Hosta says, some people find them to be invasive but it's easy enough to dig up any unwanted bits or else lift any plants they are smothering and replant somewhere else.

All you need to do is pull away the spent flower stems and foliage once they all turn brown and go soggy in late autumn.   Bung them on a compost heap if you have one.  If not, think about making or buying one as they'll make free soil conditioner for you.

Chilly Weather

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:25

32C last Tuesday.  16C today.   No surprises so far but we just got home from a long weekend away so I've been busy fetching and cuddling and walking the dogs.   Cat happy to be home too.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 15:23

I think he may get a huge Irish vote but if he's as wooden as people say I hope he doesn't stay.   

Strictly is back!

Posted: 08/09/2015 at 13:34

Just back from a visit to Ireland so missed the partnering show.  Not sorry as it's usually a lot of hype and no content.   Will definitely be watching the rest of the series and loving it - mostly.   I like to see celebs progress and I like to see proper choreography from the professional dancers.   Don't like to see tangos and pasos to inappropriate music.  Don't like to see good dancers voted out and lesser but more popular celebs stay in past their limits.

Irish bookies have Daniel as a favourite to win at short odds.   I don't recognise half the celebs this year so it seems like a poor lot but I don't care as long as they all try.   Can't bear Ainsley or Jeremy so they can go first.  Please.

Our own dance club season starts in 2 weeks' time.   That'll be good fun too.


Killing Comfrey

Posted: 07/09/2015 at 23:08

Instead of digging you could strim or otherwise cut off all the current foliage as far and wide as the entire clump you wish to remove.    When the comfrey regrows - and it will - cut all the lovely new foliage and dump it in a large old dustbin with a lid.  Cover with water and leave for 2 weeks.   Stir well - at this point you'll understand the need for a lid.   Dilute the resulting mix and use to to feed flowering and fruiting plants next spring and summer.

When it regrows again, spray carefully with a glyphosate solution which will kill the new foliage and the leaves.  It takes 2 weeks so be patient and be prepared to repeat a couple of times as comfrey roots go deep and take a while to die and the smallest piece can regrow.

Once it's all dead you can just fork over the bed without going too deep then layer on some good garden or bought compost and plant your new treasures.



privacy screen

Posted: 01/09/2015 at 17:47

Neither.  If the garden is sheltered dig in and layer on loads of lovely well rotted compost and manure to improve water retention and nutrient levels then plant lots of lovely clematis and honeysuckle and roses for perfume and pyracantha which is good for wildlife and evergreen.

Bamboos and conifers offer very little for wildlife and can run away with themselves all too quickly and end up being a nightmare of dullness.

Island beds - are they a bit twee or retro?

Posted: 01/09/2015 at 10:02

Go for it.  friends of mine have been doing this in their garden ever since they visited the Blooms' garden at Foggy Bottom.

They have a large garden so indulge themselves in themes of seasonal interest, colour or form so they have a winter bed, a grasses bed (very boring), a hot colour bed, a spring bed, a cool colours bed and the latest which I have yet to see is spiky formed plants with hots colours so lots of hemerocallis, kniphofias and crrcosmia.  

It does indeed mean something new to see round every corner and you do want to turn the corners.

Advice for my rose Falsataff please...

Posted: 31/08/2015 at 18:57

I have one doing similar things this year but not quite so exuberantly.  Try tying the stems down a bit at a time until they end up diagonal.  They'll produce flowering shoots next year.

Gardeners and their 4 Legged friends

Posted: 31/08/2015 at 11:28

We always had cats but 7 years ago we took in a rescue dog who was badly in need of TLC and grooming.  Her coat was like sheep's wool with a 3" layer of felted mat underneath which proved impenetrable so we had her shaved.  She was skeletal.

 3 months later she's bouncing with health.

 4 years later we got her a playmate - another rescue dog who had never been outside in his 3 years of life and was frightened of anything new but soon settled in and loves having a garden and going on long runs.  He's still frightened of new stuff but is a joy.

 He too was underweight but not starved and is now a bouncing fit boy.

The last of our current menagerie is Pusscat who we found hiding in an outhouse one cold September 5 years ago.  She too was starving after being abandoned.   5 years later she's fit and healthy despite 2 ops for breast cancers and another for neutering where they found polycystic ovaries.   She's finally decided we can be trusted and comes for cuddles but does not approve of dogs so lives upstairs apart from occasional forays into the

 garden when she decides to sneak out.

Both dogs "help" with gardening.  Rasta hunts moles and rats and digs.  Bonzo lies next to me when I'm working, often on new plants to keep them warm you understand.



BBC -entertainment or education?

Posted: 30/08/2015 at 12:57

There used to be a regular GW slot with Pippa Greenwood doing pests and diseases and that could be brought back in some form with additional info on beneficial insects and critters.

The current GW is very much about Monty's garden and his way of doing things which doesn't suit a lot of people with limited time, space and budgets and he's also in a cold, wet part of the country so his style is too idiosyncratic and his season is out of kilter with half the UK.

I still watch but haven't learned anything new or do-able for my garden for ages.  thank heavens for the visits to other gardens and the inestimable Beechgrove.   I suspect BBC 4 is more likely to produce an intelligent, scientific based garden show than anything the English branch of BBC 2 might commission these days.

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