London (change)
Today 16°C / 9°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 10°C


Latest posts by obelixx

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 07/03/2013 at 12:28

Sunshine and 16C yesterday.  Cooler, grey and set to be damp today and getting colder and wetter for the weekend.  -5C and snow expected by Monday.



How tidy is your garden?

Posted: 07/03/2013 at 12:26

Mine too.  Like Bookertoo I like to let plants go where they want to go although last year I did have to referee when so many invaded the wood chip path in the woodland corner while I was out having my neck fixed that I had to go in with heavy weaponry to clear a way through.  

Having started with grand ambitions to have all sorts of unusual plants and thus lost a small fortune to bad winters and indiscriminate weeding by OH, I am now only too happy to let what wants to grow grow more or less where it wants.

How tidy is your garden?

Posted: 07/03/2013 at 11:58

My garden is tidy in the sense that I have a work area for washing and storing pots, potting on, taking cuttings and so on and stashing stuff like canes and trays and hosepipes.   I also hang up tools in the garage after use so I can find them again.

However it is untidy in the sense that it is not pristine.  There are always weeds to grub out, plants to prune, tie in, dead head, paths, hedges, fences and trellis that need maintenance and a forest of seedlings near the bird feeders depending on season.  However, we have a wealth of birds that visit as well as some that nest in the eaves and plentiful insects and slugs plus a natural pond which is never tidy and could do with a good clear out as weeds are now doing their best to terraform it.. 


Posted: 07/03/2013 at 11:51

Any time now but preferable not when a frost is forecast immediately afterwards as this can lead to damage to unhealed wounds.   You can either take all stems down to a pair of buds low down or take out a third to a half of stems each year and leave the other half.    Thr former method keeps the shrub a bit smaller and neater and gets the best new colour for next winter.  The latter is better for youngish plants and those exposed to extreme conditions that might killl off new growth with a late frost.

It Is Not Spring Yet !!!

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 23:16

Weve had a blip of sun and temps up to 16C today but it's set to start getting cooler again with rain tomorrow, downpours at teh weekend and snow on Monday going down to )5C again overnight.   My babies will be staying tucked up indoors instead of going out to the greenhouse just yet.

Lupins and delphiniums

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 11:20

I can't get lupins to grow either and am told they need light, well drained soil so i'm going to have one last go and will put them in a well drained bed behind a 2' retaining wall and see if that works.  

Lupins and delphiniums

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 09:44

If you scatter wildlife friendly slug pellets around susceptible plants at regular intervals from St Valentine's Day you'll get the slugs as they emerge from hibernation or hatch from eggs as spring advances and they'll be dead before they've had time to chomp or breed.  

don't do blanket sprinkling.  Some slugs are essential for breaking down rotting matter but this way you get the perishers that eat your terasures.  

Suggestions of plants for a hedge

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 20:06

My hawthorn hedge is on clay soil but with plenty of organic matter and good drainage.   we have hawthorns across the road growing alongside a stream running through boggy pasture so I have to assume they don't mind  having damp feet.

Too help yours along, take the time to clear all the bricks and crud away from where the wall was and then dump on plenty of well rotted garden compost and manure all along the planting line and maybe some grit if you can to open up the soil and aerate it.   Be patient and plan to plant in autumn when you can but bare root whips very cheaply.  Fork over the line, rake it roughly smooth and soak yur whip roots in a bucket of cold or tepid water for at least an hour to rehydrate their roots. 

Plant every 9 to 18 inches depending on how dense you want it to be and firm in.  Prune back to about 9 or 12inches high and water well.  They should spend the winter growing new roots and then you'll get shoots in spring when they're ready.    Cut them in late spring to mid summer to about 2' below your eventual desired height.   This will encourage them to thicken up. 

Suggestions of plants for a hedge

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 15:57

Tell us more about the soil as that makes a difefrence. for example, beech doesn't like to have its feet wet but hornbeam doesn't mind heavy, claggy ground.   Both will grwo quite fast and dense if kept clipped and can be kept quite narrow too thus saving space.   Both are deciduous but keep their autumnal brown leaves if pruned before the end of July.

Hawthorns are also fast growing but are thorny - good for deterring unwanted visitors and protecting birds.  It plays host to lots of insects and has spring flowers for nectar and then fruits for birds in autumn.   

In the evergreen ranges, yew is good and can be clipped very neatly but it's very dark green and the clippings and fruits are poisonous so not a good idea if you have small children around.    Other conifers will grow rapidly but can easily run away with you and do not recover if you clip back into brown wood.   Laurel is a thug.  The more you prune the more it grows and its large leaves look dreadful when cut with hedge trimmers.   Privet is an option if your situation is not too exposed.

As ever, good soil preparation is the key to success so dig a decent trench and backfill with plenty of added compost and/or well rotted manure.  Don't buy the biggest plants as they take longer to establish.  my hawthorn hedge started as single stemmed whips which I pruned back to 9" after planting.  It grows 6' a year which is something else to consider - maintenance.

Flowers we don't like?

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 11:46

I have a space like that and grow snowdrops, daffs, hostas, astilboides, hellebores, primulas, hemerocallis, chelone, Japanese anemones, hakonechloa, ferns, a couple of dwarf conifers and lily of the valley which all cope with winter, a bit of damp and no direct sun most of the year.

No wussy plastic busies.


Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1181
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 550
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 725
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1064
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 592
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3310
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1605
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 886
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2240
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 7105
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned