Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 28/02/2016 at 12:18

Inches are old measurements.  Cms are "new money".

I don't think anyone is being negative about the offer, just pointing out that the clems will be too small to cope with life in the border and should be grown on in pots till they have developed a decent root structure.  

Clems which are planted out too small are easily scoffed by slugs and snails or accidentally hoed.   It is also advisable to plant clematis deep so they produce better roots and more shoots.  You can only do this once they've reached a certain size so they need growing on in pots anyway.   They need plenty of food and water to thrive too so good soil preparation is essential as is subsequent feeding and watering for strong flower production.

There are specific clems which suit shady sites.  Others need more sun and some need more shelter to thrive.  You can look up by name the ones you are getting on this website to see if they will suit your intended positions - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemalphasearch.cfm   It will also give you their pruning group for subsequent care.


When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 11:47

Yes, tolerance is essential on a written forum where typos, technology and all sorts can wreak havoc.  As long as we understand questions and comments we can communicate.

That said, books, articles, programmes etc need some editorial input to maintain standards of accuracy of information for people hoping to learn from them and not make potentially expensive or harmful mistakes.   

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 28/02/2016 at 09:40

Knowing how language works is important.   When we came to Belgium 25 years ago I trotted off to classes to improve my schoolgirl French.   Being old enough to have had serious English grammar lessons and being able to aprse a sentence I coped happily with all the lovely French pedantry of agreeing adjectives and particles with their object and the intricacies of the subjunctive.

Friends only two years younger who had gone to schools who thought grammar was a snobbery bore had no idea and never learned more than enough French to buy things in a supermarket where you only need say hello and thank you.

My daughter has had little formal English education as she went to the local Belgian school where English is the third language and thus has learned her English from us and, unfortunately, lots of USA TV and films plus the Beeb.  I correct her vocabulary and grammar quite often as she will need good English for her career.

Being able to construct a sentence, punctuate it and use the correct words is essential to clear communication but not a barrier to friendship with people of greater or lesser ability in languages or any other knowledge than oneself.  

That is down to personality.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:31

Suits me too.  I just wish winters were shorter and drier and less grey.......

All my hostas, big or small, are slug magnets so they get regular but sparse sprinklings of the wildlife friendly slug pellets and now look good all year from the first shoots to the last faded leaf. 

knee pads

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:29

I can't kneel much since I had surgery on both feet which means it puts extra pressure on my double jointed 3 middle toes.  

When I do, I use a kneeling pad. 

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 15:08

I'd have thought so Hosta.   I have spares every year now when I divide them and always find homes for them.  First thing to go at the charity sale.

Belgians do irony but they're more likely to do surreal.   They need both to cope with their politics and politicians.   Great fun.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 10:46

Getting back from the ridiculous to the sublime - if you worked out how many hostas you need to grow/buy/divide to fill a 6 metre square bed rather than 6 square metres you could end up with just a few too many homeless plants.    Not good.

When will people learn the difference...

Posted: 27/02/2016 at 00:06

I don't see why we have to turn off our critical faculties in order to be entertained?  Surely the point of this kind of programme is to inform and inspire as well as entertain and so info and commentary both need to be accurate.  

Our terrace is 6 metres square - or 36 square metres.  Makes a huge difference to the budget when I'm planning something like repointing the joints between the cobbles or how many people I can accommodate at a BBQ.   Other than the terrace, there are no metres square in my garden as it's a wonky triangle so I have to work out square metres of surface area for seed, feed, mulching and so on.


Why are all my plants doing badly?

Posted: 26/02/2016 at 09:14

I agree.   Finish preparing your beds - digging, clearing weed roots, composting, improving drainage etc - and only then buy the plants you want to introduce.   Soak each pot in a bucket of water till no more air bubbles appear then allow excess water to drip off and then, if you can see the roots going round and round the pot, tease them out a bit with your fingers, plant to the same depth it was in the pot (except clematis which need to be deeper) and water in.

Plants for growing outside that have to wait to be planted need to be kept in a sheltered corner outside rather than indoors where it's too warm/dry/draughty.   

Leftover bulbs need planting now.  Put them in pots if needs be and plant out when your beds are ready.   As it's late, they may not flower this year but at least they will grow leaves which will feed the bulb to provide next year's flowers.

Preparation and patience are essential gardener's traits.

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