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Latest posts by obelixx

Talkback: Gardening by the moon

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 23:16

I used moon cycles for sowing all my seeds a few years ago and had excellent germination results.   I then tried using the moon cycles to determine what I did in the garden on a given day and again had good results.   I didn't keep records but I did generally find my time was more productive if only because having set out to weed or prick out, or lift and divide, prune and so on, that was what I did without being distracted by other jobs.

Last year I had to have surgery for a slipped disc and that severely limited my time in the garden.  This year it's surgery for new feet so my garden is now a weedy, overgrown mess.  When I do get back out there I'll be following the lunar cycle so I concentrate my energies on doing one job well at a time and I won't be staring at the rest and feeling overwhelmed.

There's an easy calendar guide here -






Clematis flowering problems

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 22:34

Joesephine is a group 2 which means she should have a light prune immediately after the first flush of flowers in May and June to remove dead heads and any unwanted or old stems.  It should then be given a good dollop of slow release clematis food or blood fish and bone and a liquid boost of rose or tomato food.   This is particularly important for plants in pots with limited resources.   Given this encouragement, she should produce a secon flush of flowers at the end of summer but they will probably be less double.

Josephine is also known to be an unreliable flowerer if grown in poor conditions and may even produce greenish flowers if there isn't enough sunlight available.

Chris Beardshaw to join Beechgrove Garden

Posted: 06/02/2013 at 16:21

Yes, very exciting and also good news that it'll be on BBC 2 for those who can't get BBC Scotland.    It's such a practical and well humoured programme.  I hope the GW production team will be watching too.

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 19:10

I find I switch off or change channels if I'm being shouted at by morons but just doze off with Monty.  I fast forward when Joe Mockney Swift is on.

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 16:35

I dunno.  I don't like those big, expansive, formal French gardens done as a statement of wealth and power and control.  They seem soulless.   I do understand the whole historic context but the gardens leave me uninspired and unadmiring except for maybe a water feature here and there.

The scale of Diane De Poitier's garden was far more human and enjoyable and I loved that Paris rooftop garden he was so sniffy about.  Can't see why he didn't like the smell of money and taste.  We're always told that in confined spaces a simple colour palette is most effective and it is, after all, a major design house garden.   Found it amusing that he should talk about it being a money garden but fail to see the correlation between his own large garden and extensive resources compared to the humble plot of most new builds.

I found he managed to make a fascinating subject quite soporific and just hope he's a bit more lively when he gets to potagers and other French styles.

lowering the height of a large silverbirch

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 15:58

I have friends who have their birch trees topped and thinned regularly to reduce wind resistance as they were planted too close to the house and are a potential danger in strong winds.   A good tree surgeon will do it without making the tree look ugly.

You should be able to ask for photos of trees he's done or else a list of his clients whom you can call.    Don't leave it too long as the sap will be rising soon, if ithasn't started already, and your tree could bleed to death.     

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 09:39

Pyracantha is thorny but is naturally upward in its growth and very easy to trim if it does send out horizontal shoots.   It is a good foil for showier clematis.   You need some horizontal stems for density but any that stick outwards can be safely removed without harming the plant or passers by.

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 02/02/2013 at 12:51

My hawthorn hedge grows 6' a year so beware.   It will want to take up a lot of width too if you can't keep it regularly trimmed and that means losing the berries for teh birds. 

Given you want to maximise space I think a fence and trellis with climbers are going to be your best baet and will avoid problems with roots and neighbours.   You can add one or two evergreen pyracantha to the mix of plants.  They have blossom which provides nectar in spring and then berries for birds in autumn.   Mix it up with roses and clematis and winter flowering jasmine and you'll have something of interest all year without taking up too much space. 



Square Food Gardening!

Posted: 30/01/2013 at 12:52

The idea is that you grow small groups of veggies in small squares and on a rotational basis.  Depending on the size of the mature plant you can get more, or fewer, per square foot.   It doesn't seem at all low maintenance to me as you have to keep up with constant weeding and top dressing with compost to maintain maximum growth and soil fertility.  

It might work as a low maintenance herb garden as, if it's sheltered in winter and well drained for the woody Meditarranean herbs, they'd stay in place for years.  Of course things like parsley and basil and chives will need more moisture so aren't that compatible. 

Does the grass stay green?

Posted: 25/01/2013 at 11:00

In my experience, the grass in Switzerland goes brown in winter and looks dreadful as the snow starts to melt, especially in th ehigher skiing zones and the valleys and roads leading to them.  Maybe lower down in the valleys it stays green underneath but not high up.   Here in central Belgium our own grass stays green if the snow doesn't last too long but two years ago when deep snow stayed on the garden and fields for over 6 weeks it was decidedly yellowish but soon recovered.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
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Mare's tail

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Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

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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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