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Latest posts by obelixx

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:59

I use this stuff as ground cover in a  sharply drained bed at the top of a 3 feet high sleeper retaining wall.  It is spreading nicely now and looks fab with white crocuses in spring and then pink dwarf dianthus later on.    There are snowdrops, grape hyacinths, hellébores, verbascum phoenicums, bergenias, achillea and stachys all in a happy jumble to attract pollinators to my damson tree, autumn raspberries and tay berries which grow nearby, enjoying the same sunny position.

Moving Seedlings ?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:38

I use an old tablefork to lift and separate seedlings into individual cells in trays or else small pots so they can grow on and develop a decent root system undisturbed.  This makes them stronger and easier to look after and eventually plant out where they are to grow to maturity.

Where possible, I sow in individual cells or pots to avoid having to disturb them later as this can check growth.  They can be easily potted on for further development wihout disturbing the fragile baby roots.

Worn looking railway sleepers

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 20:43

All of mine are looking worn and faded too and some have bits of metal strap on them from when they were part of the railway.    I use them as a retaining wall for my fruit and veg garden which would otherwise be a slope and also for raised beds in the ornamental garden at the front.   The ones for the veggie patch are lined wiyh black plastic to stop nasties leaching out into the soil and also to keep the sleepers protected from dampness in the soil.

A friend of mine who is a tidy freak painted his with some deeply black, gooey mixture and they look hard and unnatural and stand out more than the plants he has in his garden - all laid out like rows of soldiers and with bare soil between them.   My sleepers have faded and are growing a fine crop of moss and lichens.  Much more attractive IMHO.

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 22:55

It dépends on what you associate them with - cream, white, orange, bright scarlet or something with silver foliage.

Shady Area

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 15:55

I have a damp shady bed that does get some sun after 3:30 between the spring and autumn équinoxes.  I grow aquilegias, lily of the valley, primulas, hostas, ligularia, chelone, Japanese anemone, ferns, dicentra spectabilis, fritillaria meleagris, astilbes and hakonechloa.

Bernie Bungs BBC Bosses

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 15:39

Thanks.  I have no great hopes for the Allotment Challenge but the rest sound good, especially the Chris Beardshaw series.


Posted: 29/03/2014 at 13:04

No.  They won't produce new flower buds this year.  However, picking will have the same effect as dead heading by encouraging the bulbs to put all their foliage energy into making a big fat bulb for next year so the display gets better every year.  You can help the process along by feeding with blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure.  Leave the foliage for at least 6 weeks or, better still, until it dies down completely. 


Posted: 29/03/2014 at 11:43

Happy Planter - line it with black plastic.  This will stop chemicals leaching and also protect the wood from moisture in the soil so it will last longer.

Square Foot Raised Gardens

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 11:20

My veggie plot is all raised beds filled with garden soil, some of which came from digging out the paths between them.  They get added garden compost as and when available. 

Bernie Bungs BBC Bosses

Posted: 29/03/2014 at 11:18

I have never seen the point of watching people race round a circuit either in a car, on a bike or on foot.  Waste of time.   However, F1 creates a great deal of high end employment and is a source of invention in the UK so I suppose it's fortunate that people are ready to spend hours vegging on the sofa to see it whilst absorbing all that advertising.

I would suggest that the horticulture industry employs even greater numbers from the lowliest unskilled serving staff in the big organised chains of garden centres to the highly skilled nurserymen and women running their own plant sale centres and on to industries making and inventing everything from garden fencing to furniture, tools, fertilisers, composts, pots, seed trays, obelisks, ornaments, paving materials and decking, rocks, gravels and sand and all the other paraphernalia.  Let us not forget either the seed companies who employ more people to plant, nurture, collect, sort and pack what we sow every spring, or the bulb companies.

F1 may be sexier for advertisers and therefore attract more money for TV but I rather think there's more actual gross domestic product and employment tied up in all the many and varied aspects of horticulture.  All that and good for the soul and the environment too.   What's not to like?

During the war there was a Dig For Victory campaign that saw allotment holdings multiply and the nation's health improve as people ate more veggies than ever before as a proportion of the national diet.   Modern health is deteriorating at an alarming rate as people consume excess quantities of sugars, transfats, refined carbs and processed food full of chemicals.  The TV companies would do well to tap into the need to educate people on how to grow and prepare their own healthy food and make more people understand the joys and benefits of growing your own.  Good for the economy too as Britian is once again reliant on far too high a proportion of imports to provide its daily food.

The Great British Bake Off had huge audiences and has brought about a resurgence in home baking.  Gardening for pleasure, health and fresh food and flowers is ripe for just such a resurgence and would get it with a good format and presenters.  The Allotment challenge the Beeb has launched is too restrictiven too demanding and requires people to run an artificial plot away from home.  Never going to work and probably even worse in concept than the Great British Sewing Bee.

Discussions started by obelixx

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12 threads returned