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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Talkback: 10 best plants for wildlife

Posted: 02/12/2014 at 14:29

For me it's lavenders, honeysuckles, clematis, echinops, monardas, crab apples, daffs and crocuses, blueberries, pulmonaria, foxgloves, single roses, holly, sedums and, in fact, most plants in my garden but these are the ones that buzz and hum.............

I find teasle is a nightmare as it self sows and comes up year after year and there are no goldfinches around here it seems.

Sorry you're giving up blogging Kate but good luck with the future projects.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 01/12/2014 at 10:47

The professionals have to produce a decent choreography to last a whole 90 seconds plus a bit of intro if they like.   In two hours yesterday, our salsa teacher taught 14 couples to do a bachata figure that lasts 40 seconds and each week at salsa class he teaches a similar nuber one or two new figures so even a few hours should have been enough for Mark to learn a decent bit of salsa armography.

It all looked too much like samba to me and her samba style tail didn't help either.

I also think 90 seconds is entertainment enough and they can always add more pro dances or guests if they like rather than confusing the issue with guest dancers in the competition part.   Seems to me that the production team is losing its nerves and thinks the show needs more gimmicks.  It doesn't.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 01/12/2014 at 08:56

I think Sunetra was the weakest competitor left so am happy she's gone.  However, Mark's routine was not at all salsa and had very little armography and salsa is all about making and undoing knots with the arms whils staying fluid and keeping the simple rhythm with the feet.   He did what he had well but it was poor choreography.

Jake's hybrid tango argentine was a travesty..   Completely the wrong music and vibe and she didn't give him enough to do with his feet or make it moody at all.

Caroline's dance wowed me but not OH or Possum but I thought she did an amazing job with some very complex choreography.  It was stunning.   Simon, Pixie and Frankie all did very well too.  

On the whole, I think Craig got the scores just right last night.   I can do without all the extra dances as they distract and, if we're all supposed to be watching the competitors to see how well they're doing, who's going to be watching the spares anyway?

What do I do with my clematis over winter?

Posted: 30/11/2014 at 18:34

I have clems in bloom that wouldn't be normally either.  Enjoy.

Prune and feed in spring as indicated and it will be fine.

Frost damaged clematis

Posted: 28/11/2014 at 13:31

This is a group 3 for pruning so gets cut back to about 9" high in spring and then regrows and flowers on new stems.  It should have a delicious almond perfume when in flower.

You can leave it till then or cut it down now if it's looking too unattractive but give its feet a good uch of compost to protect and feed the roots over winter.  Give the roots a generous dollop of clematis food in late Feb or early March and an occasional liquid feed of rose or tomato food to encourage strong growth and lots of flowers every year.

Winter Pots

Posted: 28/11/2014 at 13:24

Cyclamen won't bloom all winter but they do have attractive foliage.  I've planted some rich red ones in the pots by the front door along with aviegated tariling ivey and upright variegated euonymous.  It should still look good even when the flower have died down.

 I have no luck with spring bulbs in outdoor tubs here as they tend to get frozen to a mush.  The cyclamen will be planted in the front bed with the others next spring?  They are gradually forming a very attractive mat under the roses.

 

To deck or not to deck.....!

Posted: 28/11/2014 at 13:09

The weedproof membrane is essential under gravel as it stops it from sinking in over time.  That will also keep the clay off your boots.

If your whole garden is so badly draine I suggest digging a soak away anyway and filling it with loose rubble to act as a drain and maybe even making a deliberate bog garden area which would add colour and form and encourage wildlife. 

What are you getting rid of...?

Posted: 28/11/2014 at 11:57

I am hoping phlomis bracteosa will prove as sturdy, but not as invasive, as the russelliana.   Aquilegas are lovely and I let them self seed more or less where they like.

To deck or not to deck.....!

Posted: 28/11/2014 at 11:48

Unless there were some horrible chemicals in your shed one fire won't produce enough contaminants to spoil the soil and you could improve both the soil fertility and structure by forking in lots and lots of well rotted manure and garden compost.    However, if you don't want ornamenta beds or lanw there's no point.

Decking can be expensive to install correctly and requires constant maintenance to keep the wood in good nick.  It gets slippery when wet and also is an open invitation to rodents who nest under it.   Pesonally, I think it's a bad idea in damp climates.

Large expanses of hard landscaping are also expensive to get right and, unless you use a porous material, can lead to drainage problems for the rest of the garden.

I think your best option would be gravel laid over a weed suppressant fabric.   This would give you a clean area with good drainage and you can vary the texture with some paving slabs to support a table and some stepping stones and/or shapely larger rocks and stones laid through it.  You can cut planting slits for specimen plants and use standing pots and troughs to vary seasonal interest and forms.

Select the gravel colour to tone with your hosue walls or provide a good contrast.  Don't use too fine a gravel as this will just tread into the house.   Slate chippings can look good, especially when wet.   You'll need a border to hold the gravel in place at the edges and shoud aim for it to be an inch or two deep.    .

Plant support

Posted: 27/11/2014 at 13:00

Krissy - you'll do better at abuilders' merchants than a DIY store.  You need th emetal wires they use for reinforcing concrete.  It comes in several thicknesses.  I find 5mm works well as it's flexible enough for me to bend round an old railway sleeper.

You'll also need some wire cutters to get the lengths you need.  Here it's sold in 5 metre lengths which give me two plant supports each by the time I've bent them to a shape and height which supports big plants like echinops and giant scabious and the taller heleniums.

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10 threads returned