Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 23/08/2016 at 12:33

We're both filthy.  Like Dove, should have been dressed up in city clothes for a day out but decided to be good and sort stuff.  Barn and cow shed done.  Lunch had.  Coffee now and then off to tackle the attic.

I have found a purpose for all OH's old silk ties so we won't be throwing those away.  Was looking for info on a patchwork expo coming up in the Vendée in November and came across this exhibitor who does pictures with ties! - http://www.carolineregnaut.com/ Amazing.

Pat E - my dad used to take electricity board apprentices for a week of "bonding" and team building in the Lakes every year (60s) and always brought me back Derwent crayons which I loved.   Have fun with your new set.

Dove - bit hot for knitting sweaters isn't it?  But I suppose you'll be needing it soon enough unless we get a lovely Indian summer.  I love 3/4 length sleeves on anything - shirts, jackets, dresses, jumpers....

LilyP - hope you are enjoying your personal time tho it's good to see family too.

Hosta - don't moan.  Have to have some funds to pay for all your babies and treasures.

Enjoy the sunshine everyone.

Any rose lovers about?

Posted: 23/08/2016 at 12:19

OK - I've had a look with my sewing reading glasses (stronger) and I agree it's a proper shoot.   Tie it in as horizontally as possible and it should throw up lots of shorter flowering shoots next year.   

Any rose lovers about?

Posted: 23/08/2016 at 09:36

Looks to me like a sucker coming from the graft union where the rose you wanted is joined to a more vigorous rootstock.    Best wait for some more expert opinions before removing it.

Ideally, the graft union should be planted one or two inches below soil level to help discourage suckering.  Having said that, I rescued a Geoff Hamilton from the border where it was struggling last year and planted it in a big pot at the recommended depth and it is now suckering like mad.   None of my other roses does this.

Suckers are best pulled off before they provide too much competition for nutrients and thus weaken the real plant.


Posted: 22/08/2016 at 20:55

I learned much of my English in Lancashire but had Geordie/Durham parents so use nesh for people and plants that feel the cold and succumb at the vaguest hint of winter blasts.   When it is a bit draughty I will say 'Put 'twood in th'ole" and when OH or Possum are in the way I often say 'Tha's in't road"

Possum came out with 'Tha's in't way' the other day.   She can't help it.   Brought up on BBC and Disney English.

Not going out tomorrow now.  Saving it for after the move as we just have too much to do and lost a lot of time and impetus with the am dram dog today.    She's fine but hobbles when she knows we're watching her.   Horrible dog.

Hope everyone gets a good sleep and is neither too hot nor too cold.


Posted: 22/08/2016 at 15:55

Thanks.  I don't need anything that big but I do want sturdy, if I buy one.   I shall have to see what's available in the new location and do some price comparisons.


Posted: 22/08/2016 at 14:33

Leave the stalks and their leaves to feed the roots and make them bigger and stronger for next year.  I reckon you can safely pick a few stems from each next year without harming the plant as long as you leave enough to keep feeding the roots and thus build up vigour.

In any case, you should stop picking by about mid July because there are increased levels of oxalic acid present by then - not good for flavour or anyone with arthritis or gout - and because the plant needs to rest and re-invigorate its roots.

In autumn, when all the stems have died down, remove them to the compost heap and give the crowns a generous dollop of well rotted garden compost and some horse manure if you can find any.   Some garden centres and DIYs sell it bagged.

I cover my crowns to protect them from serious frosts.

Last edited: 22 August 2016 14:34:27


Posted: 22/08/2016 at 14:16

Thanks Joyce and HF.

Are your polytunnels a particular design?  I'm thinking of getting one but the only experience I have is with those small plastic greenhouses and, no matter how well I tied them down, they only lasted 5 minutes in autumn gales here.

Plants I won't be growing again next year

Posted: 22/08/2016 at 12:58

That's fine if they only have 3 legs.  I call them obelisks - but I do only have the fancy metal kind for clems.  Planning to make GH style wooden ones for the next lot and lots of trellis or stretched wires for others.

I grew eryngium planum from seed a few years ago and they responded to my fertile alkaline loam with loads of foliage and hardly any flowers so they've gone.  Wish the Bear's Breeches were as easy to get rid of as they only ever produce leaves here.  Can't tell you how many times I've dug those out and still they come back.


Posted: 22/08/2016 at 10:58

Hope you get some sleep tonight Clari.  Me too.  10pm last night much squealing the garden.  Went out to find Rasta doggy trembling all over and apparently paralysed in her back legs.   Got her in and had a feel but found nothing so phoned vet.   Told to leave it an hour and see how she was and then either come in as an emergency or this morning.    Gave her a pain killer/anti inflammatory for dogs and I slept on the sofa to keep her company and check on her.  All very well but Bonzo dog snores and dreams in full cinemascope and thinks he's small enough to share a sofa with me.

Took her in this morning, hobbling and with back right leg clearly not right.  Imagining all sorts of X-rays, scans, ops and so on.  She has twisted the second toe on her back right paw!   2 jabs for pain and inflammation later and she's fine thank you but still can't get on the sofa unaided.  Talk about drama queen.  Give that dog an Oscar!

33rd anniversary today so a great start.  Belgium is closed on Mondays so we were planning to celebrate tomorrow anyway by taking a day off to see an exhibition at Liège and have a good lunch.

Still windy here but fairly sunny and definitely warmer than yesterday.   I hope you've all survived the winds OK.

Hosta - how do your polytunnels cope with strong gusts?

Echinops Ritro Problems

Posted: 21/08/2016 at 17:25

Mine turn brown from the bottom up as the season progresses.   Not a problem as I hide them with other plants in front and then cut the whole lot down in autumn when flowering is over and the birds have had a good go at the seeds. 

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