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Latest posts by obelixx

Albizia not flowering

Posted: 19/08/2012 at 15:19

Patience!  It's small yet for all the commitment of energy needed to flower and produce seeds.  Give it time and keep feeding and watering and you'll get your reward in due time.

Frugal gardening techniques

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 15:17

I think frugality comes as much in using the appropriate product - and thus wasting neither time nor money - as from being thrifty so, for example, I do spray our weedy paths and boundaries with a glyphosate based product as it works out cheaper, quicker and less smelly than gallons of white vinegar.   I use no other garden chemicals.

I also always buy in fresh seed sowing compost and and fresh planting compost for tubs, baskets, window boxes etc as it gives best results and reduces disease.  However, I recycle old compost as a soil conditioner or mulch on the garden.

We have a "compost corner" in the kitchen for all waste which can go on the compost heaps - fruit and veg trimmings, egg shells, coffee grounds etc and also compost the grass after lawn mowing, weeds after they've been pulled and left to dry for a day or so, cardboard and so on.   I've been much better at collecting seeds from my favourite garden perennials this year and taking cuttings form plants I've pruned to use as spares, swaps or give away.

Sowing seeds for the veggie plot is generally cheaper than buying plugs but I still buy plugs of most salad leaves as it saves me time and space for seeds of more unusual veg I can't buy.    Similarly, we grow soft fruits which are easy to grow but cost a fortune for a small punnet in shops.


Albizia not flowering

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 14:59

They are grown as street trees in Tuscan seaside towns and also in the Charentes region of France and no doubt other hot and sunny areas.  I've seen them in flower and they're glorious but always on big mature trees.  Maybe you just need some patience with yours before it gets to flowering size.

You could also try giving it regular doses of high potash feed from next spring as this will encourage flower formation.  Rose, clematis or tomato food will do.


Clematis Pruning

Posted: 17/08/2012 at 12:20

As far as I know, Constance is an alpina with deep pinky red flowers and that would make it a group 1 which flowers in spring on old wood and should not be pruned at all except to keep it in bounds and renew vigour.

Hurrah! New Gardening Prog.

Posted: 16/08/2012 at 19:29

I don't understand why homes like these are not required to have safe and stimulating outside areas where inmates, families and staff can enjoy the outdoors in security and comfort.  Why does the Beeb have to send in the "experts" and drum up help from the community.  It should be a standard feature of all care homes for the elderly, disabled, whatever.

As for the programme, I missed the first 15 minutes and, given what we got, won't be in a hurry to watch the next three programmes.

As LL says, we need help for people of any background and experience to cope with their plot, be it from scratch or just needing a tweak or two, so they can make it a resource for their family to relax in, play in and/or feed themselves.  This programme won't do it and nor will GW in its current form so a new series is clearly needed.

Get Rid of your Lawns

Posted: 13/08/2012 at 19:08

As I recall from previous appearances on GW, Bob Flowerdew thinks gardens are productive places for growing food and keeping hens.  He is not too bothered with aesthetics and thinks nothing of filling his garden with od fridges and freezers and piles of tyres inorder to make cold frames and water reservoirs.

Clearly, for him, a lawn is a waste of space.

I can see that a lawn may be an uphill task in dry places where they go brown every summer and sitting and relaxing areas are better served with a terrace and table, chairs and lounger or  hard to keep well in poorly drained and northerly aspects where they just grow moss but for most of the UK there is an adequate supply of rain to make a span of grass, even one that's mostly green from clover and other weeds, a thing of beauty that is easy to maintain, sets off the borders to perfection and provides a safe playing surface for children, pets and doddery relatives as well as a place to lie and enjoy the sun, read a book or just relax with family and friends.

I have a large garden with large borders, a veggie patch and a terrace and we need a sit on to cut our grass but it consumes at most 5 litres a month of petrol and gets a weed and feed maybe every 2 years so isn't an ecological disaster.   It will get smaller when the next phase of house renovation starts but will still be an essential feature of our garden. 






Posted: 10/08/2012 at 17:23

My poor damson got frosted at blossom time so we have about a dozen meagre fruits.  I've now given the tree a good prune with a view to training it espalier fashion if I can and maybe putting fleece over it at night next spring.


Posted: 10/08/2012 at 11:31

They'll take up less space in the freezer if stoned and all the recipes I have for damson crumble, damson pie, damson cobbler, damson compote etc say remove the stones first.   You can find recipes on BBC Food by putting damson in the search box.

You can also use whole ripe damsons to make damson gin which is actually nicer than sloe gin.   Same method.

Make sure you have your neighbours' permission to pick the fruit as, technically I believe, they belong to them.

The Flowerpot Gang-BBC1

Posted: 09/08/2012 at 17:18

They are surely aimed at different audiences.

Howevre, have te agree taht real garden enthusiasts, whether beginners, capable amateurs or experts, need an hour of GW and why not Beechgrove too?  

Since we're constantly being told the nation is getting fat and sedentary we could also swap some antique and car boot repeats for new garden programmes intended to inform and inspire us to get out there and move a bit.

Is glyphosate safe?

Posted: 08/08/2012 at 10:45

Not for long me thinks.   I know scientists who've worked on some of the studies and another who works for Monsanto and all reckon the EU will ban it sooner or later.

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