Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 23/09/2017 at 11:24

Hosta has clearly been a dirty boy.  I hope he's not using a tumble dryer!

Pat - I hope OH is home safe and sound now.  I would feel quite fierce too about idiots and carelessness.

Busy - maybe just an hour or two pottering here and there?   

PP - yes.  need to organise on for me too but not keen.

Garden visits yesterday pm were most enjoyable with friendly, welcoming people keen to share plants, cuttings, seeds and divisions.  I now have a baby cassia corymbosa about 4" high and ready to flower plus a wee baby of golden leaved pineapple sage and a sprig of an epiphyte fern which he grows in pots hanging under a fig tree.   This chap is very inventive and artistic and creative and has a fine collection of salvias and some wonderful trees and shrubs.   Pics of the gardens on the visits thread when uploaded.

Another sunny day here but I was up very late today so have missed most of the morning.  Dogs clamouring at the dining room door at 4:15 so I crept downstairs and let them out and then shut them in the annex for the rest of the night.  6:15 and birthday boy Cosmos came in with his very first shrew - a very noisy wee thing that complained bitterly when I rescued it and bit me, fortunately through a cloth so no damage.  Took it downstairs and released it thru the green room door so it could escape into cover but found myself amidst hundreds of cluster flies.  Door left open for them to go away.

Pottering quietly for the rest of the day.   

Hope you all have the weather and energy you need for your projects.

New to gardening, need tips please!

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 13:05

A lot depends on what soil or compost you use to fill them and how cold your winters get.   Can you provide protection in the form of individual or tunnel cloches for anything you plant?

Over this side of the pond it is the time to plant Japanese onion sets for an early summer harvest  and you should be able to plant some of the hardier brassicas such as spring greens, purple sprouting broccoli, curly kale that can also be cropped thru winter on good days.   Hard neck garlic is another possibility as it needs a period of winter chill but it doesn't like acid soils or humidity so good drainage and no cloche.  

Best really to join a local gardening group or club and learn from and with them if you can.  

Last edited: 22 September 2017 13:06:15

Monty Don books

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 12:57

The problem is he ships those bananas in and out with the same commentary every year and I reckon they are time wasted as of little personal interest or relevance to the vast majority of viewers in the UK.   I could grow them here but, judging by what I've see, they get shredded by winter gales and look deeply unattractive for months.  

Monty Don books

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 12:02

As I've said, Monty writes well but you'd expect that form someone who read English Literature at Cambridge.  However, his horticultural knowledge is all gleaned form personal experience and what he's read or seen.

He has no formal training or qualifications and that leads him to make mistakes both in his own garden - which anyone can do - but also when giving advice on TV and that is a worry.  He also doesn't like or have lawns and that means he can't tell people - and that's most UK gardeners - how and when to treat them for various problems or give authoritative advice on how to prepare or repair or use one to best advantage to show off other plants and borders.

His own garden is all hemmed in with hedges and, to me, claustrophobic but he does have some wonderful plants and combinations and I like his feeling for wildlife and organic methods but I'd be happy if I never saw him mention bananas again.

Last edited: 22 September 2017 12:03:27

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 11:51

That sounds like a good plan Liri - booklet I mean, and getting locals to dig up old photos too.  Nothing like as interesting but we have old farm building foundations hiding here under fabric and fine grey gravel and paths for large farm machinery.  I shall have to ask the older neighbours about those before I can draw up proper plans for new projects.

Climbed to 18C here after a cool start but the light is definitely different - clear, bit less harsh some how than high summer.   I have been and treated myself to some new jeans on sale at 40% off.  Dentist chappy very pleasant and thorough and chats all the way thru about what he's doing and why but hadn't told me about the root canal he was planning to clear.   Says I'll probably start throbbing a bit tomorrow.   Ha!   Now more like.   Booked to go again in 3 weeks for more metal swapping.

Pat - I hope your BP is better at home than at the doc's.   Have a friend whose BP always rockets at the docs but she didn't believe him till he took a machine home to prove he doesn't need statins.

Nursery beds are a great way to grow on divisions Hosta.  Get to it Pdoc!  After your coffee.

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 09:10

Good morning.  Bright and sunny here and gorgeous colours on the liquidambars.  I always coveted on in Belgium but couldn't with my alkaline soil.  Here they're planted to line roads and in municipal spaces and I no longer covet.   Odd that.   Could go a Lebanon cedar tho.

Dentist this morning.  replacing a very old metal filling with modern stuff in teh hope that will stop the wee electric shocks I get from that otherwise healthy tooth.  Garden visits this pm so I hope I stop feeling lop sided and drooling in time.

Sod's law Hosta - and you nee dthe pennies for your hols don't you?

Intriguing to find a path Liri.   Hope the "vernissage" goes well Pat.

Safe home Busy?  and Dacha?

Ponds & Metal Grids

Posted: 21/09/2017 at 17:24

The main concern will be providing a means of getting in and out.  Getting thru the gaps is no problem but actually climbing in and out of the water may be difficult so make sure they have a stone or a log up which they can escape.

Then the choice is between budget and aesthetics and you preference.  I don't see either of the two options harming the amphibians.  I've seen ponds made from old galvanised containers and happy with frogs and tadpoles. 

How hard can I Prune this tree?

Posted: 21/09/2017 at 15:56

Weeping pears naturally grow into an elegant form.    Severe pruning will probably spoil this and leave it looking unbalanced and may well provoke new shoots that leave it thicker than before.  I have friends who pruned one to give space and light to neighbouring fruiting pear and it was not a happy sight afterwards.

In any case, they should be pruned in winter and that's when you can best see its shape to try and remove a few branches back to their base without drastically altering its form.  

Over time it will want to get to 12m high and 8m wide so maybe it's a case of "wrong plant, wrong place" and you should think about replacing it with something more suitable..

Last edited: 21 September 2017 15:57:38

Last weeks GW Montys garden

Posted: 21/09/2017 at 15:43

Believe me, tithonias are a very rich orange and what you get on a PC screen or catalogue will not be the true colour.   

Packet of seeds not exactly expensive so give them a try.  You may get exactly what you're after and won't lose much in trying.

Gorgeous Fuchsia problem

Posted: 21/09/2017 at 13:52

Sound advice from Bob but is there any reason your can't just re-pot it next spring?

Last edited: 21 September 2017 13:53:00

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