Latest posts by obelixx

Strictly is back!

Posted: 11/10/2015 at 10:21

There are lots of simple basic figures in cha-cha that she could easily have done and plenty more that aren't too complicated - especially if you have over 20 hours of private tuition with a world class pro and have rhythm and musicality as she does.  

He gave her far more to do last week and she managed it very well.  Anton needs to up his game.

Strange problem....

Posted: 11/10/2015 at 10:13

Quite likely but also the best one to catch it.  However, the foolproof method is poisoned bait.

Strange problem....

Posted: 11/10/2015 at 09:41

Pull the oven out so kitty can get behind at all times.   Using the oven won't harm it but the mouse will set up home in the insulation and that may harm your expensive oven.  I had one that did that and ended up having to use poisoned bait to sort it.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 11/10/2015 at 09:37

Anita is amazing and so is Jay and it's great to see Anton with a partner who can dance but he needs to give her something to do.  Not just him being stupid with choreography either.  The salsas are very poor with no armography and in salsa there's a lot.

I think Peter is over-rated so far and I can't stand Johnny Depp and the Pirates so he's on a loser there as far as I'm concerned.  Jamelia just doesn't get it so she can go soon please.


Planting Now or Later

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 14:32

It depends how exposed your garden is.  For my garden, I'd keep them in a cold frame or greenhouse and plant out in spring when the worst frosts are over.   In a sheltered garden that doesn't get heavy frosts or too much winter wet, they're probably OK to be planted out.  

Either way, they're a slug magnet in my garden so be ready with the wildlife friendly pellets from about St Valentine's Day when they start to emerge form hibernation or hatch from eggs and start munching on your treasures..


Posted: 09/10/2015 at 14:29

I like the flowers as mine range from a perfumed white, through lilac to a deep purple and the bees and other pollinators love them too but I cut them off once spent.


Posted: 09/10/2015 at 13:17

It varies for me according to variety.  Some have gone yellow and soggy looking already and others still have strong foliage and even flowers.

What I do find makes a difference is cutting off the spent flower stalks immediately the flowers have finished so they send their energy to the foliage rather than making seeds.   This works for me whether they're in pots or in the ground.

Soil fertility

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 12:12

Have fun and enjoy your plants.

Soil fertility

Posted: 09/10/2015 at 11:54

As I understand it, fertile soil is full of minerals which feed the plants so nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, iron, magnesium and so on.   The soil structure needs to be good to release these goodies to the plants so heavy clay soils need opening up with houmous and grit to help roots grow and penetrate.   Lighter soils need houmous to retain the minerals and moisture and stop it all draining away so fast the plants can't absorb what they need.

Humous rich means there's plenty of organic matter which opens up the soil and keeps it aerated as well as retaining moisture but allowing drainage.   Adding well rotted manure will do this for you and increase fertility.  

Garden compost is less nutrient rich but is a good soil conditioner and adds micro organisms which help release nutrients to plant roots.  If you have lots of nettles in the compost, they will add nitrogen which is good for leafy plants and comfrey will add nutrients good for flowering and fruiting plants.   You can also make liquid "teas" with these two plants for feeding specific plant groups according to their needs.

Spent compost and leaf mould are also good soil conditioners and mulches which don't add many nutrients but do help improve soil structure and retain moisture in the soil when used as a mulch.

An annual autumn mulch just spread over the soil and around the plants will be worked in over winter by the worms so is the easiest option once your beds are planted and the choice of material used - manure, garden compost or spent compost and leaf mould will determine how many nutrients are added.

Lavenders come from hot, dry places with alkaline soil so they need to have good drainage to stop their roots rotting and full sun to flower well.   The British varieties such as Hidcote and Munstead Dwarf are the hardiest in UK winters but still need good drainage to do well.    I grow mine at the top edge of a bank next to the retaining wall which gives them dry feet in cold, wet winters.  The soil is neutral to alkaline clay improved with plenty of garden compost and they are in full sun.

From 24 degrees on Sunday to the first snow today!

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 14:29

What I miss when I go to England now is decent coffee whether staying with rellies or friends or going out.   Can't bear the cr*p in the ubiquitous Starbucks, Costas and motorway stations.   Thank heavens for Pain Quotidien in Covent Garden and Café Nero when I find one.

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1 to 15 of 19 threads