Latest posts by Obelixx

Which subjects............

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 13:06

The name of this forum should be enough of a clue as to suitable subject matter - Gardeners World.   Chat posts which allow for more personal exchanges about life in general, TV, sport (if you must) seem OK too although I do think football can bring out low tribal tendencies which are unattractive.

The only politics that should be discussed here are local and central government attitudes and policies for the provision and upkeep of allotments and green spaces and prescribing gardening for NHS patients suffering illness, disability or stress as these are gardening related.

Any other political topic is bound to be contentious as is religious belief and observance or lack of it.   Best left to late night radio call-in shows or the pub where we can hear tone of voice and see faces and, above, all, change channel.   Tolerance and irony do not come across well in a reading only forum and misunderstandings leading to rudeness, bigotry and extremism are all too likely to come out and wreak havoc.

Members in general should exercise topic restraint and not just start a thread because they have nothing better to do.   Some posters seem quite incontinent in that respect and would be better employed talking to their plants till the urge passes.


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 11/01/2016 at 09:44

Rain here too.  Housework, plumbers here for a leaky loo and no 1 dog to the vet's cos she injured a paw running round the garden in the dark last night and is Hopalong Dog.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 21:38

GWRS - rabbit holes and mole runs are very dangerous for grazing stock which can twist, sprain or break an ankle if they step in one unawares.  I hope the ferrets had a good time and caught a few for their own dinner.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 13:56

We started all sunny and blue so I've been out and taken cuttings of my purple gooseberries and trimmed back all the clems in the back and side garden.   Some have new shoots a metre long which is a shame but they can't be untangled from last year's growth.

Now it's starting to rain so I shall make a playlist for dance practice and hope it's drier tomorrow.  Need to go and buy some serious feed for all the clems and roses and finish pruning the clems out the front and other side.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 11:13

My fig tree started in a pot but it's top was frozen every winter so 2 years ago I planted it in the end of the greenhouse, since when we've had mild winters and it has tried to take over the whole space so come spring it's going in the ground at the back of the shed where I can train it.   It will be full south and sheltered from strong winds.

Our rhubarb has been showing buds for a couple of weeks so has had a bucket of compost on each crown just in case we do get any frosts this year.

How can I cover my house?

Posted: 09/01/2016 at 15:31

Any support screwed to a wall to support plants needs to be very secure to take the strain of wind and wind resistance once the plants grow.   Our trellis panels have been up 10 years or more and have withstood strong gales and even a tornado but I did use long screws for the battens and good brass ones to attach the panels to the battens.

Agree about sealing fixings done in pebble dash.  If that's a real problem, think about erecting posts in front of the walls - bury their feet in concrete for security - and attaching trellis or wires to those.   The posts and trellis could be painted to match the walls and reduce their visibility or contrasting colours to add interest.  I stained our wooden trellis dark green so it looks good when bare in winter and also prolongs the life of the panels.   here's one recently planted up with a clematis after Rosa New Dawn was wiped out by a -32C frost.



How can I cover my house?

Posted: 09/01/2016 at 14:27

Pebble dash won't take kindly to any self clinging climber so I suggest you erect supports to cover your wall and then train climbing roses, rambling roses, clematis, honeysuckle, pyracantha, wisteria and so on.   You can also combine roses with clems, for example to give a longer season of interest.


Supports can be elaborate - plain or stained terllis panels attached to battes which are screwed to tehwall.  The battens allow air to circulate behind which is better for the plant and, if you hinge the trellis to the bottom batten, you can let it down to do wall maintenance such as painting without having to cut down the plants.

A cheaper and more discreet alternative is to screw strong vine eyes at regular intervals in horizontal lines at intervals of 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45cms).  You then stretch tension wires between them (available for good DIY and garden stores)  and tie in the plants as they grow.  The horizontal training increases flower power.

I have both systems and they work well.   Two trellis panels support two clems on the back wall, either side of our back kitchen window and wires allow a rampant Kiftsgate rose to cover our dull brick frontage.  This rose will happily grow to 10 metres or more.   It only flwoers once but then has healthy foliage for the summer and a profusion of hips that give a show through autumn and winter.

Who are they???

Posted: 09/01/2016 at 11:43

Choosing the right plants involves knowing the aspect of your garden - which dictates how much sun it gets; the location - exposure to wind, rain, frosts etc; the kind of soil - loamy, clay, sandy, alkaline, acid; and the width and depth of your wall beds.

You also need to decide whether you want permanent plants or seasonal changes.  either way, the soil of compost in the walls will need to be improved every season to maintain nutrients for healthy plants.   You also need to think about how much time you have for pruning, dead-heading, weeding and general maintenance.

If you can supply all this info here we can help.  Photos would be good too.  Use the tree icon to load them.

Alternatively, google for a good plant nursery near you or an independent garden centre (chains don't always have trained staff) and take the info to them and ask for advice on plants.  They'll be happy to advise.


Posted: 09/01/2016 at 10:48

I like topiary but don't want to maintain it year after year so am happy to admire it in other people's gardens.   I restrict myself to keeping "dwarf" conifers tidy and trimmed or hedged.

Yew forms, some conifers with fine needles, lonicera nitida as mentioned above all work well and I suspect other fine leaved evergreens such as sarcococca and some hollies would be good.   Box is the original plant of choice but is now susceptible to a virus which kills it off and is unsightly in the process.

Here is a link to photos taken at Levens Hall, the oldest topiary garden in England I think - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/1107%20Levens%20Hall?sort=2&page=1  They should help with colours and forms.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 08/01/2016 at 22:55

SG - sounds like your undergardener needs to be given indoor jobs if he won't help outside - washing up, dusting, vaccing, ironing, cleaning loos - anything that leaves you the time and energy to do outside stuff.   You might find that motivates him to do heavy lifting for you.

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