Latest posts by Obelixx

Garden ideas?

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 22:20

You need to consider several thing before going any further-

What do you want to use the space for?  Sitting, eating out in, playing for grown ups or kids or both, looking attractive, pottering in or low maintenance, ornamental plants or some herbs and/or veggies.

Which way does it face?  How cold does it get in winter?   What's the soil? - sand, loam, clay, silt, stony, acid, alkaline, well drained, moist, fertile, poor??????????????

Tell us more and then we can make some decent suggestions.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 15:12

Sorry you're a bit crook FG.  That's a long round trip to climb a hill and maybe get blown off.

Lovely photo Chicky.  Do you know if it's permanent or re-planted each year?   I may have just the spot for a wildflower perennial and bulbs meadow but not till we have the potager and one or two other bits under way.  I suspect there's clay underneath so not really tulip friendly.  Maybe snakeshead fritillaries then?

Sorry about your prang Busy.  Infuriating.  I'd hate to lose my independence by not being able to drive but assume that by the time I'm too doddery we'll be able to buy "intelligent" cars at reasonable rates.  I gather they're ready to test them on UK roads already.

It's cool again and still cloudy and blustery so I've been indoors all morning and am now baking a strawberry torte - a first for me and first bake in this new oven.   Then I'll sling in the lab shoulder for a long slow cook and go and potter with yesterday's haul of plants.

Visit to the organic potager at La Mothe Achard not as expected.  I went, armed with camera, expecting to be able see how they do things and nick any good ideas but it was just a plant sale.   Lots of herbs I don’t need but we came home with 3 melon-pear plants which, it turns out, are perennial but tender so will be grown in the polytunnel.  Then we added 3 new toms to our selection for this year – Brandywine Apricot, Orange Queen and Watermelon Beefsteak.   Didn’t fancy or already had the rest of their range.   Same with peppers.  Found 3 new squash plants tho – Ultra Butternut, Blue Kuri and Blue Hubbard.   I’ve grown Hunter butternut in Belgium and also red kuri and Blue Hubbard and really like the flavours so am hoping blue kuri will be good and the extra heat here will ripen everything nicely.

Since that took all of half an hour we has time to spare and headed off to the local Super U for a pit stop and found another water butt.   Then we trotted off east to a nursery at La Chaize Vicomte where I restrained myself and bought just one each plant with a view to dividing them or taking cuttings to increase them – thalictrum Anne, 2 hardy geraniums, a penstemon, a primula viallii, oriental and Icelandic poppies and a Japanese blood grass.   Got the haul home, emptied the car and sent OH off to buy compost to pot everything on and the shop’s shut!  Will have to check if that’s a regular Saturday pm thing or just because it’s a long weekend here.  Fortunately Hyper U was open this morning so I now have 300 litres of potting compost.  Should last a couple of days till shops open again on Tuesday.  VE Day hol tomorrow.

Keep warm everyone.

Should it stay or should it go?

Posted: 07/05/2017 at 12:50

It's in the wrong place which makes ita  weed.  Get rid.  The birch will be happier and you can, if necessary, always plant something more suitable in autumn once you've got to know the new space made.

Purple and blue

Posted: 06/05/2017 at 22:43

Echinops ritro and echinops bannaticus - globe thistles with impressive foliage and blue globe flowers that are very attractive to bumble bees, honey bees, hoverflies and butter flies.

Buddleias - purple flowers and plain or variegated foliage depending on variety.  Full of nectar so magnets for butterflies and bees.

Foxgloves - digitalis purpurea - loved by bees.

Hardy geraniums with blue or purple flowers - white too if yu want to add a bit of zing and contrast.

Erysimum Bowles Mauve - short lived perennial with long flowering season for pollinators. 

How is my Chinese wisteria growing?

Posted: 06/05/2017 at 19:55

It will grow better if planted properly with a well prepared hole.  In its first year after a spring planting it will need watering in dry spells to keep it going.   Once the leaves grow the plant will start photosynthesising to produce food and will then have the energy to grow but it does need to develop a good root system too..

What's this plant

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 23:15

It's a group 1 clematis.  Prune after flowering giving a light trim to tidy it up or keep it in bounds or else go back hard to just above the lowest 2 buds  in order to rejuvenate.

Whichever you do, give it a generous feed of slow release clematis or rose granular feed and a liquid tonic of tomato feed.   Train in new growth as and when.

Peony refuses to flower

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 21:48

Yes, they are best in the ground where they can spread their roots and ge all the moisture they need.  Planting depth is critical - too deep and their flower buds never develop, too shallow and they can't develop.    Thus, they always need to be bought in flower and planted at the same depth as they were in their pot.

Can you think back 7 years and remember whether you were too kind and planted it too deep?  Or maybe squished it in an unsuitable pot and plated too shallow?

Punning a Weeping Willow Tree

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 19:34

In my experience, pruning weeping willows like you have leads to some very vigorous re-growth.  It should be fine but be prepared to have to repeat prune on a regular basis.

No tree will live forever and weeping willows have a failry short life span of about 50 years because they are such rapid growers.  The info on this website may provide support for yu if the local authority carrie son being silly - http://sciencing.com/lifespan-weeping-willow-6497094.html

Garden Gallery 2017

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 19:07

Some lovely photos.   Best wishes from me too Berghill.   Hope all goes well and you'll be back in form soon.

Resurrected Twelve

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 18:41

I've just sent OH out on poo patrol Lants.   He never cleans the bathroom so he gets to deal with cat and dog loos instead.  Seems fair to me.

Warm here at 22C earlier on but clouding over and feeling quite dark now.  At least the wind has died down so it's comfy out there.   The forecast is for proper rain overnight.  Seems eminently sensible to me unless, of course, you're a nocturnal critter looking for dinner or amagpie sat on eggs high up in th trees - we have two such nests.

Water butt hunt only partially successful.  Only 2 left in stock but while waiting for him to fetch them out of storage I found an acer Sango Kaku going for 18.95€ so it came home too.   The SM where we do grocery shopping had half price plants so I've rescued two pots of 3 good sized osteospermums that just need a drink and dead heading for 2.25 each and a nandina domestica Fire something for 4€.  Bargains.

Dogs walked, kittens let out to play.  Time to be thinking of dinner and a glass of wine.

Well done to all bamboo shifters.  Mammoth task.

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