London (change)
Today 10°C / 7°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 9°C


Latest posts by obelixx

Shade and dry loving plants

Posted: 06/08/2013 at 12:36

Whatever you plant, try and add a good layer of mulch from a compost heap or bought in to improve nutrients and water retention as the tree will suck up both in huge quantities.

Another good ground cover would be hardy geranium macrorhizum which comes with flowers of white, pale pink or purpley pink in late spring.   The foliage is scented and persists through all but the hardest winters and often changes to red for winter.



Posted: 03/08/2013 at 10:24

My blueberries got badly zapped by deep frosts in the winter of 2011-12 so I pruned out all the dead wood and treated them to a generous dollop feed for ericaceous plants and they recovered wella nd put on lots of new growth.   I put a  winbreak around them for the last winter and this did the trick and protected the new growth.

I had plenty of flowers but then we had a frost and that means I've had about 6 berries per plant so i'll do the windbreak trick again and keep it on till mid May when teh frosts should be pver to see if that helps protect the flowers too.

Blueberries only need pruning to remove dead wood and keep them to a size and shape that suits their space.  They're not like blackcurrants where you prune out the old fruited wood and keep renewing the vigour..

32 today, what are you doing to keep cool,,,

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 17:07

38C here and another storm expected overnight so I've been taking advantage of the heat and dry to sand down our teak table and oil it thoroughly.   Next I'll be making sure chairs and pots are safely stashed and that plants are staked.  

We've had 2 trees down in the paddock across the road after Saturday's storm which also lifted one entire window box, dumped the contents on the grass and then blew the container to kingdom come.  Haven't seen it since.   In Monday's storm we lost a 15 yr old parrotia persica to lightening strike and it flattened all sorts of shrubs and perennials when it landed.   Humph.   Don't want any more of that thanks.

In between all that I'm making spiced blackcurrant jelly.  Bumper crop this year.


hanging basket watering

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 09:56

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree.  I don't use any chemicals agains aphids or other pests apart form wildlife friendly pellets for slugs and snails. 

Soapy water is indiscriminate and bad for beneficial insects such as hoverflies and ladybirds which will eat thousands of aphids and maintain a balance if left alone.  I  feed the birds all year and the parents hoover up aphids and caterpillars to feed their young in the nest.   More natural balance.  

Ideas wanted for a shade loving climber that flower

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 09:52

Montana will get too big for a small shed.   You'll need to provide a support such as netting, trellis or wires to support a climber as they can't cling to a plastic shed but you could then go for an evergreen variegated ivy which will give year round interest and flower eventually when it's mature enough - important food for insects and birds at a difficult time of year.

There are evergreen clems too which will look better than montana in winter - cirhhosa and armandii varieties are good.    There's also honeysuckle to consider - Lonicera × brownii 'Dropmore Scarlet' is semi evergreen. Lonicera sempervirens is evergreen.   Both will tolerate partial shade so, as long as your north facing shed isn't in too dark a  corner, might be worth trying.   They are good hosts for beneficial insects and provide nectar for butterflies.


English forest design for front garden.

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 09:39

celandine?   invasive weed but there are some forms that aren't so bad and are a bit more decorative.

Need help to identify plant

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 13:03

I suspect it may be a hardy hibiscus so will take another year or two to start flowering.  They can be very late to come into leaf after winter - often late May early June for mine - so don't panic if they leaf up late.

Wind/sun burn

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 12:11

I retuned from hols once to find my two blueberries in pots had gone all crispy after inadequate watering by a  neighbour.

I soaked the pots very thoroughly and then gave a liquid feed of sequestered iron and food for ericaceous plants.   Both recovered but I had to cut out lots of stems taht were too crsipy to revive.  I then dug large holes in my veggie plot, filled them with ericaceous compost and planted them in teh ground so they didn't get the same problem again.  We have hard water and alkaline to neutral soil so they're better off in the ground with rain water.

Blueberries are woodland edge plants so those in pots won't like a full sun, south facing position as they can get their roots deep down to cool soil.  Move them to somewhere where they don't get midday sun and keep them moist but not drowning.


Need help to identify plant

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 11:41

The picture is too small to see the leaves clearly.  Can you do a close up of a couple of leaves please?   Are they cuttings, or from seed?

hanging basket watering

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 10:56

Better to use water retentive granules mixed into the compost from teh start and then water generously in the evening so they can soak up the excess and release it by day.  In very hot or windy spells, water again early morning before going to work or doing other jobs.

Most hanging basket plants are half hardy and aren't going to enjoy being doused with ice cubes although they're better than nothing.


Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1250
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1508
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 699
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 910
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1299
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 707
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3881
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1800
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1027
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2567
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 24    Views: 9500
Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned