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Latest posts by obelixx

Box Blight

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 11:12

Monty didn't have box blight.  He'd neglected his hedges because of illness then trimmed them too late in the season so they got frost bite.

You can try cutting yours back to healthy wood to see if they regenerate over the next year.   Destroy all the removed wood and tidy up any fallen stems and foliage then treat the plant and the area with a fungicide.

Chillis not yet ripe but it's winter?

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 23:06

I freeze some for adding to soups as they get blitzed so it doesn't matter that they go a bit mushy when thawed.  I use some frozen ones in curries.  I make chilli jam with fresh chillies and which makes an excellent seasoning for soups and sauces but also a good spread for a ham sandwich or goats cheese.  

This year I've also strung them up on vertical strings of sewing thread which I've hung in the kitchen window facing south and above a radiator so they'll dry.  It looks very festive as there are green, yellow, red, purple and black ones.

Lavender pruning

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 22:59

A lot depends on what lavender you have.  Musntead and Hidcote are hardy and will survive anything the British winter can throw at them as lo,g as they are well drained and their roots don't get soggy and rot.  As mentioned, lavenders in pots may appreciate a layer or two of bubble wrap roun the pot to insulate their roots from cold but the main theing is to make sure the pots are up on feet or bricks to maintain good drianage.

Leave the flowers.  They'll be fine.  Prune the plants in spring cutting back to the base of the flower stems and a wee bit into the foliage but not as far back as borwn wood as this will not regenerate.   Next summer, prune back once flowering finishes and this will stop them becoming leggy and straggly.

Butternut Squash

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 11:34

Vegetable spaghetti squash is rather bland but it can be made tasty.  Pierce the skin with a skewer.   Boil or bake whole till tender.  Cut in half, remove seeds and shred the flesh with a fork then season with s&p and serve with herby, garlicky or spicy butter on its own or with a meat or veg accompaniment.

Pumpkins and squashes can be used in a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes.  Loads of recipes on the BBC Food and BBC Good Food sites and here -!q=pumpkin&o=rank&start=0&c%5B%5D=


Bird feeders

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 11:16

Mine slow down a bit in summer and eraly atumn when the farmers are harvesting and there are berries in the woods but since mid October they're getting through fat balls, mixed seeds and peanuts at an alarming rate.

Great to see so many around and they do provide lots of entertainment.

Overwintering Yourself...

Posted: 11/11/2013 at 17:03

There is not much rest for gardeners.  Winter is good for maintenance jobs such as building or repairing compost bins, fences, trellises....   Whenit isn't freezing, new shrubs and trees and hedges can be planted, especially bare root ones.   Then there's pot and seed tray cleaning, getting the lawnmower serviced, cleaning tools......   Sorting out seeds and ordering more ready for spring.......  Mature gardens have trees and shrubs that can be pruned in winter to control size and/or improve their shape and vigour on days when it isn't freezing.  New paths can also be laid when it isn't freezing.

Plenty to do really but when the weather is very unfriendly, I do domestic stuff like clearing out wardrobes or the attic, stripping and painting or oiling furniture and stuff I've found in flea markets and sewing for all three of us.

What would you treat yourself to?

Posted: 10/11/2013 at 22:53

Henry Moore liked to see his sculptures in landscapes grazed by sheep so you wouldn't neeed a lawnmower if you kept in the spirit.  

Pots going green!

Posted: 10/11/2013 at 12:45

It's a perfectly normal process of weathering.  If you don't like it you can scrub it off.  There are also products on sale in GCs and DIYs for removing algae from paths that can just as well be used on pots and garden ornaments.

Gardening programmes

Posted: 08/11/2013 at 09:16

This is the GW magazine forum site.  If you want to influence the Beeb or ITV you have to write to their programme controllers.

We used to get wonderful themed series such as Paradise Gardens or the Ornamental Kitchen Garden in days of yore with GH at the helm and then we had CB doing Hidden Gardens and AT's amazing How to Be a Gardener on in winter and CK's Gardening Year but the Beeb has lost the plot and the general calibre of stuff on ITV is pretty poor.

If everyone who reads these boards sent a letter and got their friends to do the same it may go some way towards persuading the Beeb to do more in winter to fill the gap.

plant labels

Posted: 07/11/2013 at 17:11

I get the 12" ones in a local DIY store but not for the garden.  OH uses them for Nearest the Pin competitions.

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13 threads returned