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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 23/02/2013 at 15:43

Any good DIY or garden store will sell a variety of trellis but you'll need more than one panel to accommodate this plant.   My own preference is for wooden trellis panels which tend to come in panels 6' x 6'.  They are best attached to walls or fence posts by using 2" battens screwed to the support and then screwing the trellis panel to the battens.   This allows air to circulate and reduce disease as well as enabling the plant to twine.

When you have made your choice, make sure you go out often to train the new stems as horizontally as possible to encourage more flower buds to form.


Favourite allotment food recipes

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 13:44

I have a favourite recipe for fennel which I found in a book of vegetarian recipes from Prue Leith's cookery school.  It can be a main course with the goat's cheese or  as a side dish without the cheese.

Baked Fennel with Goat's Cheese 4 or more, depending 

This quantity is for 4 as a vegetarian meal. It's also good with simply grilled pork, chicken or fish. 

4              bulbs of fennel
30g          butter
1              lemon, juice only
4 tbs        water
6              sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
30g          pine nuts
150g         goats' cheese log

Heat the oven to 200C.   Trim the fennel and cut through the middle into 2 and then cut each half again 2 or 3 times to make wedges.   Place these in a shallow oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle on the lemon juice and water and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.   Drain.

Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle over the fennel, followed by the pine nuts and crumbled goats' cheese.   Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till the cheese is browned.


Talkback: Creeping buttercup

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 13:31

Clearing it from anywhere is a constnat battle here.  Ghastly stuff.

What is going on with my Clematis?

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 22:41

Take away the slate and give them a good mulch of garden compost or spent planting  compost instead.   Make sure they get a general feed in early spring - blood, fish and bone - and specific rose or clematis food at intervals until flowering ends or mid July, whichever comes first.   Don't let them get thirsty in hot or dry periods.

Talkback: How to prune spring-flowering plants

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 14:24

Immediately after flowering this spring and up to mid July.    You can cut out obviously dead or damaged stems any time when they're not frozen but leave the healthy branches till after flowering and then thin out stem or cut back to shape according toy your needs.

Don't leave it too late as the new growth needs time to harden off before the frosts. 

Flower free camelia

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 13:09

Like rhodos and azaleas, they produce their flower buds in summer.  If they experience drought at this period, they do not produce flowers so make sure the compost doesn't dry out during that period and that it gets some special camellia, rose or tomato fertiliser to encourage flower formation.

clay soil so little choice of plants

Posted: 22/02/2013 at 11:10

Clay soil is actually very fertile and will grow all sorts of things.  It's just hard to work.  There are other threads lower down about how to improve clay soil by adding plenty of sharp sand, fine grit, well rotted compost and manure to break up the clods.    You need to add such material to the soil when planting any new, sizeable plants and add a thick layer of mulch every autumn for the worms to work in over winter.

In the mean time, you can either sow a selection of annuals in trays next month and then prick them out into small pots and plant them out in the garden in May or you can buy small plugs from the garden centre in March and April and plant those out direct - as long as they're hardy - or grow them on in trays or bigger pots till the frosts have passed in May.

If you want to reduce the overall work, go straight for perennials.  Hardy geraniums com ein all sorts of colours and sizes and will go on for years.   Achilleas also come in many colours and flower for long periods.  Ajuga reptans makes good low ground cover and Japanese anemones will give you late colour into autumn.   Aquilegias for late spring colour, bergenias for foliage ineterst and late winter/early spring flowers, campanulas, knapweed, euphorbias if you like acid colours, hellebores, hemerocallis, iris sibirica, knaitia, ox eye daisies, primulas, pulmonarias and thalictrum.   Roses also like clay soils.

Look them up for flower colour and plant sizes plus foliage forms so you have a variety of size, form and flowering times to take you through the seasons then go and see what's on offer at the garden centre.




Talkback: Good things about February

Posted: 21/02/2013 at 14:48

February is often the coldest month here and, although it's short, it can seem very long while waiting for the longer days of March and, one hopes, the warmer days of April.   It is currently -3C outside, plus wind chill factor and big fat driving snowflakes.    Lovely - not.

We had snowdrops in December in the sunniest and warmest spot of the garden but the later ones on the northern side, just showing now, are definitely shivering to themselves and not opening up for insect visits.   The daffs everywhere are barely 3" high and the dwarf irises, grape hyacinths and species tulips in the best drained part of the garden are not showing at all yet.   I don't blame them.

Pruning Raspberrys Help Please

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 16:37

Cut them.  You could hedge your bets by cutting back to just above the lowest buds but I would wait now till thie next cold spell and snow have passed.

Gardening Shows in 2013

Posted: 20/02/2013 at 16:36

Malvern show is good for buying plants and talking to the growers about how to care for them.   Lots of other stands too but not wonderful show gardens althouh they're nice enough.   Chelsea is good for show gardens big and small and talking to growers in the amazing floral marquee but, apart from a few seeds and lily bulbs you can only order plants for later delivery.   Tatton is similar to Malvern but bigger and, being later in the season, has a greater variety of plants on sale.   Haven't been to Hampton Court since it first started and found it really awful to get to and from cos of parking problems and distances which are not good if, like I was, you are driving a pushchair and carrying plants.



Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
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Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

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Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

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Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned