London (change)


Latest posts by obelixx

Talkback: How to grow dahlias from tubers

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 08:39

Check over your tubers for any rotted or damaged ones then start the healthy ones off in trays or pots of compost in a shletered, frost free spot.   When they start to make shoots you can take cuttings at about 3" high and root them in pots of compost and grit.

Have a read of this from the RHS -


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 16:55

Shoulders joints complaining after Tuesday's battle with the conifer so no gardening but I did go to the GC to stock up on fresh peanuts for the bird feeders and 20 small perennials leapt into my trolley.  

Buy 1 for 2.45 or get bulk price of 10 for 1.95 each in 4 inch pots so now I have 5 each of a deep red achelia, lychnis Vesuvius, fiery red and orange potentillas and bright red tanaceum - hot, hot, hot.   They'll go in the greenhouse for a few days then be potted i-on till big enough to go out and fend for themselves.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 15:20

I love the metal tubs and the blue pots.  Lovely looking house and garden too.

I found some old galvanised laundry tubs in a street market here a few years ago. The biggest and widest (mini bath tub style) has been painted a satin black and has been used as an ice bucket for beers when we had big BBQs but now we have a drinks fridge so it can become a planter.  Then there's a straight sided one I painted red and green and stencilled with gold snowflakes to hold the Xmas tree and one more to paint up or leave natural.  Decisions decisions.

Whilst walking the dogs the other day I found an 8" square, slightly rusty, cream metal bird cage which I rescued.  It'll look great with a trailing plant or candle in it.



Secateur review

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 23:01

I have two pairs of Felcos, one since 1989.   Only bought the second pair cos daughter lost the first one a couple of years ago.  They turned up in the compost heap a year later and now need a new blade which I will get around to ordering one of these days.  My Felcos have outlasted all cheaper pairs bought by friends who constantly have to replace theirs so have ended up spending more over the years.

I use Wolf loppers or a Wolf pruning saw for bigger stems.

Advice on what may be causing hedge disease and how l could treat

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 22:55

I agree.  Give it a good feed - pelleted chicken manure is another option - and work it into the soil at the base.  Clear out any weeds first then feed and mulch it to retain moisture and improve soil structure.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 22:51

Hello GG.  Biofreak has gone biodynamic this year which is gardening by the moon but taking into account its passage through the zodiac signs as well as its phase - waxing or waning plus rising or descending.    

You can see the sequence here - but it doesn't give a detailed hour by hour break down that you find in French lunar almanacs.

The lunar eclipse will have a powerful effect on its gravitational pull, as do the points of its orbit when it is nearest and furthest from the earth and the days when it is moving from waxing to waning and ascending to descending - all times when garden maintenance (paths, fences, sheds etc) is preferable to actually gardening with plants. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 17/03/2015 at 17:40

5 hours here too but spent emptying a 2 x 4 metre bed of almost all its plants and setting them aside for division and replanting later on.   pruned back 3 clems and 3 roses and dug another one up and put it in a pot where I can nurture it cos it was struggling.

Weeded and edged another small bed and filled with aquilegias and baby hellebores from the cleared bed.   Cleared half a nearby semi circular bed of excess geranium phaeum then dug up a 5' conifer from the damp bed by the terrace and hauled it ona tarpaulin to the semi circular which is going to become a conifer bed and will end the constant refereeing garaniums and hostas all the time.  When they show their noses, the hostas will come out and be divided and replanted in new homes in my garden and with friends.

Fed the roses and clems and fed, watered and mulched 6 more clems.  Off for a well earned shower now and then line dancing after dinner. 

Might need a gentle day tomorrow.

Britain's National Bird

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 18:06

I like wrens but I voted for the Puffin as Britain has such a lot of coastline providing ideal habitat for this endearing bird which has been struggling in recent years because of food shortages.

Mute swans or barn owls would be my next choice.  Robins are too aggressive and unfaithful for me.   


GW 2015

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 14:32

I too have a large garden and limited finances plus which I'm fed up of spending money on interesting plants that then turn out to be too nesh for the winters here so I now stick to good doers and sow and divide and swap plants.

OH retires next year and we plan to sell up and get somewhere with a smaller, more easily managed garden now rather than waiting till this one gets completely beyond us.  I'd also like shorter, drier winters so France is a possibility.  The property market there is certainly going through interesting times.   Belgium has similar inheritance laws - Napoleonic Code and all - so selling early is probably a good idea for us.

I'm quite enjoying the current format of GW but do wonder at some of the topics chosen and their relevance to the majority of gardeners.   Half an hour is too short to please everyone but I feel that that very short time should concentrate the producers' mind better than is currently apparent.  

I love hellebores and have loads of creamy, pinky, purpley, black and speckled ones and am waiting to see if I get some good babies but have left them to cross pollinate by themselves.

GW 2015

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 09:59

I really don't like Joe Swift as a rule but I do think he is good on basic design rules and tricks and in both gardens discussed so far he has explained about using curving paths/diagonals/screens:blocks;unifying materials and lighting to make the garden seem wider or larger or more private and to take advantage of sun traps for seating.

These ideas can be applied by anyone whether dealing with a small garden or part of a larger garden and can be done by anyone without calling in the landscapers and huge budgets.  It just requires a little more thought and time to do it ourselves on a restricted budget.

Gardening should be using your ingenuity, some lateral thinking and some open mindedness to embrace the possibilities and achieve satisfying results.   Let's leave the class envy and politics out of it.   They don't grow plants or sow seeds.

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1 to 15 of 17 threads