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Latest posts by obelixx

Painting a trellis...

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 22:07

The summer flowering clematis can be cut down as low as you like right now but do give it a good feed afterwards so that it is encouraged to prodcue new shoots from below ground.  If that makes you feel nervous, cut each stem back to the lowest pair of buds and feed it anyway.

I'm not familiar wit Jingle Bells but freckles is a group 1 which means you only prune it to keep it in bounds or renew vigour and then directly after flowering.   I suggest you cut off the more tangled top growth and then try and unwind lower stems and then re-attach them to the trellis once it's been painted.

If you can give your trellis 2 or even 3 coats, it won't need doing again for years.

Weekend 22 March

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 18:00

Good boy Geoff.  We are now safely back from Antwerp where the teenager and firend had a great time at the Hip Hop competitions.  OH and I had a decnet Italian lunch then visited the cathedral - Ruebens art and some guest stuff on display - and then Ruebens house.  First time it's been open when we've been in Antwerp!

Bit of a grotty drive as the windscreen washers were frozen all teh way and it was -3.5C when we got there with what I shall euphemistically call a bracing wind comng off the river.   Brrrr!

I've checked my seedlings and they're still doing OK.  Been worrying about them damping off with their being so little light on days like today.   Onwards and upwards tomorrow then.

I laways take clematis cuttings and have had several plants to give away to good homes.  This year I've sown seeds from my princess Diana, some viticellas and some integrifolias I bought.  It'll be interesting to see what, if any, comes of those.

The first Gardeners' World

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 17:52

Monty gets a fee for presenting GW.  I suspect that, plus spin off earnings for articles written for GW magazine, other magazines and newspapers and books related to his series on French, Italian and Round the World gardens are sufficient to pay for such a greenhouse without the Beeb having to pay a separate sum.

Either way, it's immaterial.  AT made a fortune from his books on How To Be A Gardener which allowed him to buy a new house and garden which he'd always promised his wife would not be invaded by cameras.

GH took a punt and bought the land which allowed him to develop many gardens for GW and other series such as Paradise Gardens and The Ornamental Kitchen Gardens.   Luckliy for him it worked and his fees from GW, articles and books helped pay for it.  The difference was that GW was then produced by an independent company and sold to the Beeb.

With Monty's versions of GW, and the subsequent Greenacres fiasco with Toby, it's been a BBC team that produces and I still don't think they do it as well as the GH lot did nor as well as the outside company that produces Beechgrove.  

I wish the Beeb would have the foresight and conviction to set up a national garden like Beechgrove which has the scope for various styles and sizes of garden within it plus trials beds and greenhouses and polytunnels and an acknowledged team of permanent gardeners who keep things going when the presenters are elsewhere doing their day job.  I'm still waiting for Monty to introduce us to his team and give them credit.


Weekend 22 March

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 08:58

I have just put mytrya of nemesia seeds out for a frosting to see if that gets them going.  the packet said 10 to 21 days to germinate and now we're at 4 weeks and nothing.

Have just cleared 3" of snow off the car and turned on teh engine to thaw the windows.  Roads OK apparently once we get out of the village..

have fun everyone;


Weekend 22 March

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 07:56

Belgium has no Gulf Stream so is colder in winter and a bit warmer in summer.  We are in the middle on the crest between the Meuse and Scheldt basins so, whilst not very high, there is no shelter from draughts.  Not so bad when it's westerlies coming from the Atlantic via France but perishing when it's from Siberia.

It's still snowing a bit but the main roads are clear so we should be OK once we get to them.   Just a bit slippery on the way but the winter tyres can cope.

Meanwhile, another chilli has popped over night.  Excellent.

Hops it's not too bad your way everyone.

Weekend 22 March

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 22:26

It has turned white outside!  And we have to take Possum and a friend to Antwerp to support their teacher in a Hip Hop competition.   We'll be rugging up warms and taking blankets and chocolate just in case.

Maybe while we're out the rest of the chillies will pop while I'm not watching.

Geoff - get that ceiling painted so you're free to garden when it's better weather.

Talkback: Growing hellebores from seed

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 17:39

Hellebores don't like root disturbance so if you do split it it will at best sulk and at worst die.    I'd plant it as it is and hope it makes babies and then maybe split it in a couple of years when you have reserves.

Weekend 22 March

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 16:54

Well done you.  Too bitterly cold here for even going out to cut back dead stems on perennials and the ground is hard.

However we are apparently expecting sunshine on Monday and Tuesday and temps just above zero so I'm hopeful of getting out there for a while on Monday, after the scientists have been for their English class, and most of Tuesday.    Hope to get lots of the spring clear up done.

Weeping willow..well something similar.

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 14:47

I can't think pf any weeping evregreen that will stay small so checked on teh RHS plant selector and got 0 results.   You may have to settle for something that has winter or early spring blossom or catkins but I would go for an acer Sango Kaku which doesn't weep but grows slowly, has bright coral coloured stems all year and very good foliage colour from the new shoots in spring to the autumn leaf colour.

You could also consider a smaller, hummocky formed acer but it too will be deciduous.

I have grown a Kilmarnock willow.  It did well for 2 years, grew far too thickly and vigorously for the next 3 and needed constant hair cuts and then it died.  A friend grew one and hers died suddenly as well.

The only weeping evregreen I can find is Cupressus cashmeriana which will get to 8 metres.

Weekend 22 March

Posted: 23/03/2013 at 14:39

Have you tried putting sand paper under the offending bit of your door and just swinging it back and forth?  Worked for me on a door last year.  Need to do it with the back door now except I think that's swollen with the damp and will fix itself naturally if we ever get any warm dry weather.

OH and I love lentil and bacon soup, pea and ham and any variation on that theme.  I shall make some next weekend as Possum, who doesn't like any of the above, will be away on a scool trip for 10 days.

I have Christmas basil doing well and summerr savoury getting leggy and have pinched out my sweet peas.   Waiting for OH to get back now so i can take the car out.  It's automatic so easy.  T'other is manual and I can't do that with a dodgy foot.

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