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Latest posts by obelixx

Get if off your chest.

Posted: 12/02/2014 at 16:19

As far as I'm aware there has never been a case of so many storms following each other so quickly and on top of an already wet winter that has saturated the ground so it can absorb no more water. 

A hydrology expert on the news today said that no amount of dredging would have saved the Somerset Levels from flooding in these conditions and the current climate trend is for wetter, stormier winters.    As for the Severn and Thames basins, a lot of the problem is from what is happening higher up nearer the source and the inability of the ground to absorb water.   Springs bubbling up through floors and gatdens are not about river management but soil saturation.

I think that councils could and should have called in the army earlier to help with pumping and sandbags but I also think that any building along rivers and flood plains and catchment areas should be required to have flood defence in mind and raise ground floor levels.  The Dutch manage to do it so the technology is there.

I also think that there needs to be joined up thinking in land management from farming techiques and crops grown to industrial and housing developments using porous materials in landscaping and for parking.

I feel desperately sorry for all the people who have been flooded, their businesses and jobs, their pets and livestock and the wildlife.   I hope they get all the help they need to recover when the rain does finally stop and they can dry out and repair their homes and lives.


Group 3 clematis pruning

Posted: 12/02/2014 at 11:13

In normal winters we are frozen solid in February with -15C being usual and worse not unknown so I try and buy only those which are hardy to -25C and keep my fingers and toes crossed for the ones that only do -20C.  They don't usually start shooting till mid to late March and even then new growth can be blasted by a late, heavy frost.

This year we've had no serious frosts and temps of 13C in January which is a 30C difference.   I've been out with the slug pellets and the secateurs but am leaving the major pruning till a bit later and am only pruning the clems in sunnier beds where the spring bulbs and new perennial shoots are already showing through and needed some weeding and cutting back of last season's growth respectively.   

japanese style but new to it all help please

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 09:37

I've replied on the other thread.   In a garden this size, a Japanese courtyard style would suit best and would not include any grass.   Once a seating area is made there's be so Little garss left anyway it would be a pain to mow and maintain once the rocks, gravel, usual lanterns and water feature went in, let alone the plants.

It could work out very calm and restful though.   Nice project.

starter garden japanise style help please

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 09:33

I think you need to go to the Library and read as many books as you can find on the Japanese style.   It's not just the plants, it's the whole balance of rock, stone, water, moss and a limited palate of plants.

You'd have to do a lot of ground work to prepare the soil and lay weed reisistant membranes for the gravel areas.  You'd also need to source and price rocks and think about getting all the materials into the garden.

Usual plants include bamboo, Japanese maples, spring flowering cherries, azaleas, hostas and moss.

Have a look at this site too -  It explains the basics and gives examples of Japanese gardens and their creation.


Posted: 09/02/2014 at 23:31

Which lasts about 10 minutes and then it's ugly for 11 months and 4 weeks.

Wood based cat litter

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 22:17

We add ours to the compost after first removing the poos.  It breaks down very well and helps to balance the nitrogen content from grass clippings.


Posted: 09/02/2014 at 20:47

At the risk of upsetting people, I would prune it with a spade - dig it up and bin it.  Desperately dull little trees with a short life span and no redeeming features.  I was given one and was only two pleased when it turned up its toes one very hard winter.

Group 3 clematis pruning

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 18:24

I grew Silver moon and Sunset in hanging baskets one year but their roots ended up too restricted and dry by  the end of summer despite regular watering and not being in full sun.  They've done much better since I liberated them into the ground.

I have started pruning my group 3 clems and have taken cuttings of Crystal Fountain as there were so many buds higher up.  Not convinced they'll work this early but nothing ventred, nothing gained.  With others like Arabella, Little Nell, Princess Diana and Etoile Violette I shall try layering a couple of stems to see if taht works better and then cut all the other stems as usual. 


I need new secateurs

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 09:28

Definitely Felco.   Good quality and designed for left or right handed use depending on model chosen. 

First Spring Flowers

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 15:43

Snowdrops flowering since mid December out the sunny front and just starting in the shadier spots.   Cyclamen in the ground have finished now but the ones in my hanging baskets are still flowering, hellebores starting early and flowering for a couple of weeks now but no flowers yet on crocuses or daffs which are only just poking their noses through.

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