Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 23:19

Not tartiflette in the end.  We had seiche (squid) cooked as a casserole.  First time we've had it like that and very tasty.   Very pleasant evening.    They have a handicapped daughter the same age as Possum and we took her a bunch of roses because she loved the ones I used as individual place decs when they came to us.   She can't speak but uses gestures and insisted we take one home with us.  Made friends with their dog too - greyhound/retriever cross and gorgeous but timid.

Full moon again tonight and a few stars and wispy clouds so another cold night in store.

Joyce - I hope you get your appetite back soon.

No idea what happened in the rugby.  No doubt OH will be up early to watch the recordings.

Hosta - you can't have tartiflette anyway - lots of white wine in a good one.

Topbird - they're eating very well and yes, growing fast.

Busy - how long till your new car arrives?

Thank you to all who have congratulated Possum.  What a lovely bunch you are.  Hope everyone else's student offspring are doing well too.

Last edited: 11 February 2017 23:23:11

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 16:18

Kitten fun - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/170211%20Kittens%20first%20outing?sort=2&page=1 We reckon Minstrel is 7 months or so now and Cosmos we know is coming up to 5 months.

As a beginner knitter, I've contented myself with scarves but using fancy stitches to make a holey effect.  Haven't done any knitting since a primary school project so I've had to google for instructions on casting on and deciphering knit-speak but that's OK and it keeps me busy when I'm watching TV and not minding kittens!   Thought I might progress now and do a garment, starting with a  simple sleeveless tank top for OH as he likes them for golf.    Google found lots of patterns online and plenty of those free.

Chicky - hope your dinner goes well.  Great to get the family together.

Liri - glad you've had a good feed.

We're out at the neighbours tonight so no idea what we'll be eating but tartiflette was mentioned.  I love tartiflette...........

Manual VS Powered

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 16:06

As with housework and DIY, some power tools are essential - lawnmower, strimmer, lawn edger, branch chipper - but for digging planting holes, raking, hoeing and pruning it's hand tools for me.

As we've just taken on a 3 acre plot we're considering a motorised cultivator/tiller to make new beds for our new potager and some new ornamental beds and, whatever we decide, a chappy will come with a mini digger to turn the soil and level it all before we get planting..

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 12:05

Only for the woman suffering the man with man flu!

Me too Joyce but Minstrel has been desperate to go outside for a week or two now.  She was found outside - under a vehicle and covered in oil - so it wasn't a first for her.   Cosmos really enjoyed himself until he discovered he doesn't like facing down a tree trunk.  No doubt he'll learn form watching Minstrel when they go out again.

Last edited: 11 February 2017 12:08:20

Stuck on a hedge!

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 11:33

You could always erect posts and wires or trellis inside you existing boundary and leaving a  mowing strip for access.   If you plant  group 3 clematis they just need an easy cutting back to about 93 every Feb/March.   Honeysuckle can be left to sprawl and just needs trimming to keep in bounds.   An occasional evergreen such as pyracantha will extend seasonal interest - all a lot less work than keeping a hedge well trimmed.

I have successfully used builders' wire mesh (for reinforcing concrete) as trellis panels.  Cheap, almost invisible on is own, an excellent support for climbing plants and would not break when slammed by a football but would stop it flying into the road and risking your kids' safety. 

Slate chipping as a cheap patio

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 10:44

The concrete base would surely make a sound foundation for some paving slabs fixed with concrete.   You can probably find some slabs on freecycle or at a reclamation yard.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 10:40

Another freezing but gloriously sunny start today.   Checked the moon at midnight but no penumbral bits, just bright silvery light.

Exciting morning so far.   I took the kittens out for their first adventure.   Minstrel was straight off with her tail up and bushed out.  Cosmos huddled by the back door and then crept round the corner to lurk in the rescued clematis and then down by the stash of rusty birds waiting for a place in the garden.   Minstrel galloped past and then he was off too and Rasta came out to supervise.

Minstrel was up and down the ash tree and scatting all over and then we had two kittens up the walnut tree to see who could get highest up and furthest along.  Minstrel won that and Cosmos, of course, finally found his fear so OH had to climb up a ladder and into the tree to bring him down.  

Yesterday they both went fishing in my dahlia buckets.  Guess which one fell in!

No gardening today as it is still freezing.   Bulbs in the ground and in pots are coming along well.  Dahlias are now in trays in the spare room.

Sturdy looking nest box Hosta.  Hope you get some tenants. 

Pdoc - typical male with man flu.  Pressure sores indeed!   Hope your rib isn't too painful tho.

No phone scammers here so far but a persistent one on the net who occasionally got past my malware but I think we have it sorted now.   Supermarket raid this pm and present hunting.  We've been invited to dinner by our neighbours.

Stay safe everyone.

Pruning advice

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 14:17

That's what you're looking for but, again, be patient.  Any frosts forecast will affect the ends of stems so leave the dead bits on to take the frosts and then prune when it's milder.  B then your buds should have hardened up enough to cope with any late frosts.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 14:15

The grey smudge is a penumbral eclipse Pat - partial blocking of sun by the earth that looks like a cloud passing over the moon.  We'll see it in full at midnight tonight, assuming clear skies.

Last edited: 10 February 2017 14:15:31

Pruning advice

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 13:38

Group 2s can either be treated as group 3s and hacked back every Feb/March or you treat them properly as a group 2 which means leaving them alone till the buds open.  You can then cut off any dead upper stems back to a healthy bud.  

The next pruning is done immediately after the first flush of flowers goes over in mid June.  Take back any stems exceeding their bounds and dead head the spent flowers.   It should then flower again in late summer.    At each trim, give it a good feed of clematis food and a drink of liquid tomato food to encourage more flowers.

Autumn raspberries can be cut back hard in Feb or March depending on how severe your weather is.   Don't do it in during, or when expecting, heavy frosts.   Patience is a great gardening virtue.

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