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Latest posts by obelixx

wood chips. Good or bad?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 15:22

No worries then but leave them another 6 months and then see  what size and consistency they are.

wood chips. Good or bad?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 14:12

It also really depends on size.   We've had wood chips for paths at about 4" size cos they don't blow away and they take years to break down.  Also soft wood such as pine will rot faster than hard wood but, according to my suppliers, different kinds of pine rot at different rates.   Beware also of any chemicals in treated wood that has been shredded as they contain préservatives and fungicides you don't want to be feeding to edible plants.

wood chips. Good or bad?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 13:58

The quantities of nitrogen involved are really quite small and you can compensate by adding pelleted chicken manure at planting time.   However, chipped bark can be quite chunky and can take several years to break down into a soïl improving humus so you're better off digging in well rotted garden compost and leaf mould and maybe using the chipped bark as a weed suppressant mulch around soft fruits such as blueberries, gooseberries, black and red currants or raspberries and blackberries.

Beautiful Thugs

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 12:57

I can't get those to grow in my my garden.  Honesty no probs but not physalis.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 12:34

Hope you had a good time.   Exhausting weekend here manning the stand to publicise our classes but good fun too.

We're off on hols soon and have a long weekend in London coming up so lots of house cleaning and garden tidying and preparation going on.   No new projects till autumn and winter.

Cutting down perennials for a second crop of flowers

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 09:31

Cutting back can renew vigour and give you fresh looking foliage which is less susceptible to rust, mildew etc.   Just be sure you give the plants a good watering and maybe some liquid tomato food to help them renew themselves.

I do it for my hardy geraniums and usually get a second flush of flowers.   With things like pulmonaria I just get fresh new foliage.   For geums and astrantias I usually just take off all the spent flower stems and any browning foliage.   

Beautiful Thugs

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 09:04

Hypericum or Rose of Sharon is a thug that's difficult to dig out.   The yellow form of lysimachia can get very happy and spread by root invasions.   It's cousin, lysimachia clethroides alba, is much more attractive and much easier to dig or fork out or pull up after rain.

Alchemilla mollis is only a problem if you let  the flowers go to seed.   I cut them off anyway as I have never liked acid yellows and greens.

My echinops ritro is very happily seeding itself about but the seedlings are easy to hoe or pull up or dig up witha trowel and ot up for friends. 

Phytolacca americana self seeds all over the place too but again is easy to deal with at seedling stage.

Well I'll be pickled!

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 08:29

Pickling vinegar is just vinegar with added flavour from herbs or spices.  There''s a recipe here if you want to make rather than buy -

I have rhubarb chutney I made 2 years ago, just stored in the garage and still fine to eat.    Don't like pickled beetroot but love it roasted, souped, or just boiled and sliced and added to a red cabbage salad with red peppers, red apples, red onion, red radishes and a sweet and sour vinaigrette or grated raw with carrots for a beetroot slaw and it makes the most delicious, moist chocolate cake or brownies.

Lots of recipes on BBC Good Food.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 02/08/2014 at 18:59

Thanks Artjak.  The cupboard is just a plain pine IKEA dooberry for their IVAR shelving range which I picked up in their bargains corner years ago. 

I put it on rollers and used a mitre saw to cut some trim for the top and bottom edges then I gave it 2 or 3 coats of  local brand matt white, chalky, water based emulsion - similar to F&B but not as expensive.  Then I stuck on the découpage houses and trees (cut out from wrapping paper) and varnished it.   No aging effects as it was about to be bashed about by my small daughter and her friends but it's actually stood up very well to the wear and tear.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 02/08/2014 at 18:14

Sorry - been out all day at the braderie where the dance club has a stand for publicity for the coming season of classes.    The braderie includes a flea market where I found an old grey enamel colander to use for plants and a blue and white china ginger jar which I shall use for mint tea bags.

Just add boiled linseed oïl to the turps and vinegar and shake well.   Do not use raw linseed oil - don't know why.  My notes just say it must be boiled oil.   It's 15 or 16 years since I did the class and the lady who ran it went home to Canada 12 years ago.

Discussions started by obelixx


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1 to 15 of 16 threads