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Latest posts by obelixx

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/10/2014 at 10:06

Thanks Dove.  I've checked and they do use solvants rather than caustic soda.   Just waiting to find out how long it takes as they're at Waterloo and that's about 50kms from here so needs some planning as I'm a busy girl.

However, if we get the hard winter people are predicting, it'll be agood winter project to keep me quiet in the dark days when gardening is impossible - that and painting obelisks and metal garden chairs and maybe sewing new sofa covers which I hope will be chic but not shabby.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/10/2014 at 07:41

Thanks everyone for these answers.    I can probably re-glue or pin joints.  More worried about the state of the wood after dipping.    

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 27/10/2014 at 19:43

Thanks Artjak.   No sandblasting available here and I doubt it would do the spindles or chair seats much good.    Sounds like a great efffect for a mantlepiece though.

I've only found one dipping place too and they've quoted €30 per chair.   Cripes!!

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 27/10/2014 at 15:20

Has anyone ever had furniture dipped in an acid bath?   I've been given 7 pine kitchen shairs complete with truend legs and spindle backs which will be a nightmare to sand down to the wood again.  

4 have been sanded, painted with white acrylic, stencilled and distressed and then "protected" with acrylic varnish except that they were then left in a damp shed and it's gone mouldy.   The other three look as though someone has thrown layers and layers of gloss paint at them.  

Just wondered how long they take to dry out again before they can be sanded and fed and treated and does it adversely affect the wood. 

Love the sunny yellow vase and flowers Artjak.

Pleached hedging advice

Posted: 26/10/2014 at 18:39

Hornbeam is the plant to use in heavy or damp soils and the size and crinkle of its foliage lends itself well to close pruning which a pleached hedge will have.  Beech prefers lighter soils and good drainage but with some moisture retention so not poor, sandy soils.

Help with Clematis

Posted: 26/10/2014 at 18:34

My pleasure.   The feeding regime is applicable every year to ensure good blooms.

Good luck.

Help with Clematis

Posted: 26/10/2014 at 16:35

Judging by the colour of the petals and the anthers plus the foliage, I would say it's a Nelly Moser, one of the large flowered hybrids in Group 2 for pruning.

This means it would usually be given a light prune and dead-heading in late June once the first flush of flowers finishes and it will then flower again in late summer, assuming it is healthy and has plenty of nourishment.   However I grow mine as a group 3 as the heavy frosts here cut it back every winter.   This involves cutting all the stems back to about 9" above ground or to the lowest pair of buds.

Yours looks as though its been there a long time and isn't used to producing fresh new stems every year so maybe such a hard prune is not a good plan.

Can you lift it off its current supports and lie it on the ground while you paint the wall and fix new trellis?   Then all you have to do is lift it back up and ie it in and prune accordingly next June.   If not, try cutting the main stems back to one or two smaller shoot nodes and then paint the wall and erect the trellis.

Whichever you do it will need feeding to compensate.   In early spring it needs a generous dollop of proprietary clematis food which will act as a slow release feed.  Give it a weekly dose of liquid rose or tomato food from early spring to late June.  I mid to late autumn, give a generous mulch of well rotted manure and/or garden compost around the base as this will help retain moisture, protect the roots and feed the beneficial micro-organisms that help roots take up food and water from the soil.

Make sure your new trellis panels are attached to battens fixed on the wall as this allows air to circulate and reduces problems like mildew.   If you hinge them along the bottom, it also makes future maintenance and painting much easier as you can simply fold them down whle you paint without disturbing the plant too much..

Hydrangea Help

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 23:03

Yes.  That pot is far too small and it's probably starving now.   Plant it in the ground and let its roots grow as they should.   Make sure you give the root ball a thorough soaking first and then again after planting.

Talkback: How to grow agapanthus from seed

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 22:58

It means just that.  Put a thin layer of sharp grit over the compost once the seeds have been sown.  It helps keep down algae that can form and also retains moisture and keeps weed seeds out.

Happily for me, one of the friends to whom I gave some babies has returned me a plant in  6" pot.   All his babies have produced white flowers but I think I have twins in my pot as there's been a blue flower stem and a white one.  I shall leave it in peace for now and see about separating them in spring.

Archer - they do look like grass when small.   Pot them on and they'll develop into thicker, stronger strappier foliage and eventually produce flowers. 

To prune or not to prune

Posted: 25/10/2014 at 12:02

Lavender can be cut either as soon as flowering finishes or in spring just before new growth starts.  I've done both and they've been fine.

Clematis get pruned according to their variety which dictates their pruning group so you'l have to be more specific but I wouldn't be pruning any now before spring except to remove unsightly dead growth on obelisks and arches and to reduce wind resistance.  I have Princess Diana, Silver moon, Sunset, Nelly Moser, Huldine, Alba Luxurians and flammula still flowering and will leave well alone till spring but Etoile Violette, Little Nell, Westerplatte, Omoshiro, Perle d'Azur, Arabella, Hendryetta, Star of India, Rahvarinne and Caerulea Luxurians have finished and started turning brown all over so they can be trimmed .  My  Red Robin and Red Ballon don't get trimmed at all as they are group 1s.

Gadioli need to be left to die down so the foliage can feed the corms for next year's flowers.   If you're in a sheltered spot you may get away with leaving the corms in the ground but otherwise it's best to lift - once they've died down -  and store them somewhere frost free till next spring.

Roses don't get pruned till Feb or March except to remove any long, whippy stems that may get caught by strong winds and rock the roots loose.

If, by Russian Ivy you mean Russian Vine, I personally would prune it now and dig it up and get rid as it's a thug that will spread and swamp other plants and there are far more attractive climbers for covering walls and fences.

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