Latest posts by Obelixx

Why don't the birds visit my feeder?

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 12:23

Some bird seed mixes contain cheaper seeds of less interest to birds and if yours are used to sunflower seed they may be turning up their beaks.  If it's been mild they may need less food as they can scavenge elsewhere.   There may also be competition from other people feeding birds witha  different mix.

I have recently moved and am happy to say the birds here have taken to the fat balls and peanut feeders and blocks of fat with insects but aren't going anywhere near the loose seed.  Time will tell if that's because they're not used to being fed or if the mix is not to their taste.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 11:22

No plumber.  He's ill.  I asked if it was flu but, unusually for a man, he said, no, heavy cold and fever.   Now set to come on Thursday.

The sun has come out and our garden has been invaded by a flock of starlings.  Most are fossicking around in the weeds on the graveled area (future dry garden) but one or two have discovered the hanging feeders so now I need to replace the fat balls..........  Luckily they don't seem able to hang on the peanut and insect block feeders.

Joyce - how lovely to have a good lie-in.

Pansy - may just have dislodged the battery unit?  Have a look and see.  If it's broken, you can probably order a new one online.

Rose Pruning

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 10:43

If it's very tall, cut back the stems by a third to a half now to reduce wind resistance in winter gales as this can cause root rock.

Between late Feb and late March - depends on where you are and how cold it is - prune out all obviously dead or thin and spindly stems to the base.  Cut back any shoots that cross or rub with others.  Cut back all remaining stems to an outward facing bud to leave an open centre and allow air to circulate.   

Do this on a day when frost is not forecast and then gently loosen the soil around the base with a hand fork to break up the surface and remove any weeds then give the plant a generous handful of slow release rose food and a drink of liquid rose or tomato food as an instant tonic.    

It should be in bloom again in June and will repeat flower as long as you keep dead-heading.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 09:52

Busy - I hope they can fix it for you.  Maybe bronchitis after all.   Fingers crossed.

Fidget - forgot to say well done on rubbish collection.   We've only done a couple of walks along local beaches and been impressed by how little rubbish there is but also dismayed by how many boats in the Vendée Globe race have had to retire because they've collided with great lumps of crud in the oceans.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 09:12

I thought Bushman popped in a couple of days ago.

OH won't let me take decs down till 12th night!  Soppy git.

Here is the head banging beam.  The previous owners were shorter than us but, even so, it's a daft pace to put the basin.  I'm 168 cms tall while OH and Possum are 179.  Not exactly giants.


No sign of the plumber yet...............   Been booked since late October so I hope he's just dealing with an emergency and hasn't lost the plot.

Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 08:54

Lovely roses and lavender Pat.   Never been keen on glads or pokers but yours look good in the sunshine.

Very much looking forward now to introducing some glorious colour to this garden which will be so much sunnier than my last.

Please help

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 08:20

In my experience, acers (Japanese maples) don't like to be lashed by strong wnds and suffer if their fine branches get frozen.  Lots of dieback.

If you can plant one in a sheltered spot protected from wind and deep frosts it will be happy in a pot and give you a lovely display of fresh spring foliage and autumn colour and, if you pick the right one, winter stem colour.

I found in my last garden that evergreens such as viburnum and skimmia don't take well to being frozen hard and all died one bad winter so if you regularly get below -15C I wouldn't choose a broad leaved evergreen.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 07:59

Good morning.  Grey start so far but at least it's not foggy or absolutely freezing.

Plumber due this morning to move our bathroom basin.  It's sited opposite an angled, vertical roof beam and I keep banging my head when I dry my hair.   Will ask about a towel radiator for later.

Other than that, planning new kitchen - can't live with this one much longer - and planting my bargain iris reticulata that I found lurking in a hypermarket on Friday.   Been too cold and foggy to do it.

Fidget - that garden sounds great.

LG - good luck today and also for the return to work.

Fairy - no painting at the mo.  Waiting for better light levels to make sure I get a decent finish and edges.  I have sewing projects in mind and garden planning.

Clari - when the house is done you'll have a spare bedroom won't you?  And there's always the man shed for OH.

I'm off to look at Pat's photos with my second coffee..


Posted: 02/01/2017 at 22:27

Great.  Thanks.

Please help

Posted: 02/01/2017 at 22:24

It's a nice idea but does it have to be a pot?   Most plants prefer to be in the ground, especially if they are to grow to any size as they can then spread their roots to get all the water and nutrients they need.  Plants in containers are entirely dependent on you for food and water.   Also, plants in containers are more likely to have their roots damaged by freezing temps unless you can take them under cover for winter.

First of all I advise you to start watching Beechgrove Garden when it starts broadcasting again in March or April on BBC 2 Scotland, repeated Sunday mornings on national BBC2.  It is based at a garden near Aberdeen so has plants that should survive in your garden.   You will learn all sorts about what, when, how and where with plants, planting, pruning etc.

The programme publishes fact sheets online for each programme and the website has info on the various gardens and their plants within the plot so you can check what will survive your winters and see if you'd like to give them a try - http://www.beechgrove.co.uk/ornamental-gardens 

If you do choose a shrub or tree, you should know that the smaller specimens usually grow away faster and stronger than the larger ones which can take a while to get their roots established well.   Roots drive upper growth and health so getting the planting conditions right.   

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