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Latest posts by obelixx

Clematis help please

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 15:52

Buy a pot 4 times as big and use best quality compost and feed it every spring.   Don't let it dry out and if hard frosts are forecast in winter wrap the pot in bubble wrap to give it some insulation.

gardeners world

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 13:07

Well, I for one loathe football since it became all about WAGs and outrageous payments for boys and men with two good feet but, in teh main, no brains or sense and I will resent every minute of TV time given over to it this summer, just as I resent losing GW to snooker on a bank holiday weekend where it would have been so much cleverer of the Beeb to give us an extra half hour instead of none at all.

Having said that, Monty and his box and yew hedge saga is a bit like watching paint dry when you don't even like the colour.   Why, having discovered the sense of space and light he has gained by removing the sick box hedge from his grass borders does he then go and replant other beds with something so dark and dull and claustrophobic?   I get big yew hedges for security or shelter or to divide spaces or even for topiary but not this little tiddly space control freakery chez Monty.

Loved the erythroniums but, as stated, they are expensive and probably out of the reach of most gardeners on a budget.

Once again, far too much time on shots of him pushing a wheelbarrow.  Beechgrove uses the time available so much better and packs in variety and info.  Thank heavens for that programme and its excellent presenters who work so well together.


No to everyone who asks for donations ? Do you agree or disagree with this ?

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 10:54

I agree with Dove. You have to offer something in return such as a sign saying Sponsored by xxxx or else publicity in the school brochure and at events to do with the garden.  Otherwise, as they say, they get so many requests it's impossible to respond to all, even when times are good.   We have managed to organise sponsoring for our dance club this year and they will get publicity on our website and in the programmes for our end of year show and in the publicity flyers for our recruitment drive at the start of the next season in September.

If that doesn't work, you're going to have to think laterally.   You could also ask parents to donate a small sum such as one or two pounds per child to go towards buying seeds and compost for sowing plants and growing them on.

If that's not a  possibility, organise a tea and cakes event asking parents to contribute cakes and biscuits to sell to raise funds or ask them for donations of items for a bring and buy (mini car boot) event with all proceeds going to the garden

Puning roots

Posted: 28/04/2014 at 12:11

Root pruning is a tested method of controlling the vigour of plants but, as you say, spring may not be the best time to put your plants under the stress of growing new roots whilsts trying to grow new leaves and new stems.  

I suggest you make sure the roots of the beech hedge have plenty of moisture to make life easier while they recover and regrow so keep them watered between rainy spells so they don't stress too much.  Scatter some pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone along the hedge to provide nutrients.

Need help to identify these plants

Posted: 26/04/2014 at 18:26

It's definitely starving and probably thirsty so take it out of its pot and give its root balla  good soak in a larger bucket of water then you have a choice. 

Plant it out in the ground at the same depth it was in the pot and with plenty of good compost worked into the soil.  Give it a good drink after planting and every week this year till the autumn rains arrive.   Mulch the roots with some well rotted manure or garden compost every autumn, after some heavy rain.  this will keep it healthy.  

Plant it in a much bigger pot with good quality compost such as John Innes No 3 and then give it a good drink.  Make sure it is stood on feet or bricks to let it drain. It will be entirely reliant on you for food and water in a pot so give it regular watering so its compost doesn't dry out and a liquid feed once a week from early spring to the end of June.  Tomato food or a seaweed mixture will do.

You can make jelly from the apples so it's worth looking after it and insects such as bees and hoverflies will love the blossom.


Posted: 25/04/2014 at 13:27

No idea about tomatilloes but odd, isn't it, that I can't get Chinese lanterns to grow in my garden?  Tried 3 times and they turned up their toes.

Anybody watching The Big Allotment Challenge

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 11:36

My 19 year old daughter is enjoying this programme but only for the judging and flower arranging tips.   She also asked what curd was so I've made my first ever batch of lemon curd as a result.  Maybe now she'll be more interested in my rhubarb chutney and not think it's just a weird Mum thing.

What is interesting about this is that she loathes gardening and anything to do with gardening even though I love it and OH likes it to look good and is happy to do labouring for me.  Can't let him too near the plants as he has black thumbs and can't tell a weed from a treasure so I had the most expensive compost heaps ever till I stopped him. 

This show is not about gardening of growing fruit and veg.  It's a very arbitrary and shallow competition format with some odd, but not compelling characters among the participants.  A wasted opportunity in my opinion.

Shady Side of the patch

Posted: 25/04/2014 at 10:53

Salad leaves do well in shade and so do herbs like chervil as full sun just burns their  leaves and makes them tough.  Other herbs such as coriander, chives and golden marjoram will do well on your shady side.  Rocket has a tendency to bolt if grown in full sun so is another good plant for shade and greens such as kale will do fine.  Swiss chard should be fine too but maybe just a touch smaller than plants grown in full sun but that's fine in a family veg plot.   Asian greens such as pak choi should love it.

Help making feed for plants

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 15:56

Nettles are full of nitrogen so good for leafy plants.   Comfrey makes good feed for flowering and fruiting plants as it has more potassium.

I haven't tried it yet but I'm told that even mare's tail makes a good feed.  Just needs a bit longer to break down. 

Climbing plants or clematis for pot and obelisk

Posted: 23/04/2014 at 14:33

Yes, but I now know about hardy clems for all aspects and have quite a list of goodies.   My favourite supplier here gives températures of hardiness on his labels so I now buy nothing that doesn't say -25C.

I've also discovered that Guinée and New Dawn roses which I used to have in there do not like that much cold and curl up at -20C.  However Generous Gardener, Teasing Georgia, Gertrude Jekyll, Queen of Sweden, Sceptr'd Isle and Kiftsgate are fine elswehere in the garden where it isn't quite so exposed. 

Evergreen viburnums, eleagnus, mahonia and choisya don't like extreme cold either but deciduous viburnum is fine.  

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