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Latest posts by obelixx

mystery purple flower (no picture)

Posted: 18/11/2013 at 17:51

Wild is wild whether it's native or not.   The key thing is that the plants are simple rather than double so accessible to insects and have nectar and pollen rather than having been cultivated and bred to sterility.

Talkback: How to make a bird bath

Posted: 18/11/2013 at 09:19

Rats are never far away in tow or country so feeding birds can just make them more visible, especially in cold weather when they become bolder about nicking food in daylight.

I get round the problem by using hanging fat ball and peanut feeders and limiting the amount of loose seed I put down for gorund feeders so it' sgone by night fall.  I've also taken one of those cheap rectangular compost sievs you can buy, stapled some fine net mesh to it to catch small seeds and suspended it from teh same place as the fat balls.  It gets a supply of loose seed every day and most of the ground feeders - except the chaffinches - have adapted to feeding from it.  That means even less spare food for the rats.

I also bung sachets of rat poison down their tunnels when I find them.

hi all from Worcestershire

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:31

I think sometimes people here can be a bit too quick to judge.  Here's a link that may reassure the doubters -,76919.msg202054/topicseen.html#new

Good luck Sue.  The sale will be a wrench but I applaud your bravery in making such a  decision.   Have a great time on your trip and make sure your dog has his passport and jabs kept up to date so he can travel safely with you.   If you get to Belgium when it's warmer, there are some good gardens to visit on this site - 


Visiting Wonderful Gardens

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:13

First of all it's a great way of relaxing so it's good for body and soul.  Then, of course, ideas of what I do and don't like, plant combinations to copy or inspire, new plants I haven't seen in the flesh before and, if I'm lucky, some goodies from the plant sweetie shop at the end but they don't always have one and some are over-priced or badly cared for.  I was thoroughly disappointed and rather disgusted by the offerings when I went to Sissinghurst but Great Dixter certainly made up for that.    

Help I made a weeping willow purchasing mistake, can it be potted??

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:07

Beware robinias.  They are all gradually succumbing to a sickness which kills them.  Mine has struggled for the last 2 years and this year managed to produce one tiny leafing stem before dying completely.   A healthy alternative for golden foliage is gleditisa.

Waitrose turkeys

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:04

If we, as customers, don't buy the properly reared stuff and more interesting breeds, the growers will go out of business and those breeds will be lost.  As long as the animal or veg has had a happy life it's good to eat and contains more nutrients for us.  

I find intensively reared meat and veg is pretty tasteless so I grow some soft fruit, herbs, veggies and salads and buy organic poultry and eggs, organic or local and thus recently harvested seasonal fruit and veggies, properly reared pork and lamb.  I rarely by beef as the main Belgian Bleu Blanc beast is almost fat free and so tasteless.  There are occasional offers on Scots or Irish beef which is grass raised but even then it's expensive so it's an occasional treat.

We have to be realistic but fair.   Thank heavens for the RHS and its schools,  community gardening and Edible Britain in Bloom programmes designed to promote gardening and Grow Your Own around the country.  If only Belgium had one.


Help I made a weeping willow purchasing mistake, can it be potted??

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 11:44

It definitely needs rehoming.  You don't want a bill for repairing the sewer pipe nor all the mess that such a repair would make to your garden or the upset with the neighbours.

Bite the bullet and dig it up and then either pot it while you find a good home or chop it up and let it dry out completely before binning or composting it.  

Rose ignorance

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 11:35

There's an alternative to expensive or unsightly supports if your shrub roses are producing long, leggy stems you can peg them.   This simply means placing a peg in the ground and tieing the ends of the stems to it so you get a curved shape.   Do this in late autumn so the stems don't get blown around and broken by the winds.

Come the spring, it's a bit like having trained a climber.  Lots of new, shorter stems are produced from the main stems and these flower more readily as the nutrients pass more easily along a horizintal stem than a vertical one.

I did it on my Sceptr'd Isle roses a few years ago and it was amazing.   Since then I've pruned them back hard to get in and deal with a mares' tail problem but they're ready for pegging again for next year's display.  They can be underplanted with spring bulbs to extend the season of interest and will flower, in my experience, from late May or early June through to early December depending on weather conditions.

Slippery decking

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 14:14

I have a firend with the same problem and who isplanning to replace her decking with stone paving slabs.   Not sure how that will work as on my shady terrace made from recycled granite pavers it always gets slippery in wet weather and all through winter.

Pressure washing is not ideal for wood as it destroys the surface and lets more water penetrate which can lead to premature rotting.   You can use a special spray to prevent algae forming but be careful not to get it on precious plants either side.

You can also stretch chicken wire very tautly across the decking and bridge and staple it down.  Try it on the bridge first to see how it looks and works.   It will soon weather and blend in and will give you grip.

Shall I hack my Verbena bonariensis?

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 13:08

Half my garden is on the lean after those gales and the big storm in summer Nut but the verbenas seem to have coped.   Funny how things differ from one garden to another.

Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 1464
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

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Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
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Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

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Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1391
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 750
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 4045
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1873
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 1078
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2731
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 24    Views: 11334
Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned