Latest posts by obelixx

This morning's visitor........

Posted: 29/07/2015 at 14:10

Have you not see the news items about suburban foxes getting so used to humans they are entering homes and biting young babies and toddlers?

I certainly won't be encouraging any that venture onto my patch.

Happy to feed birds and hedgehogs and make insect hotels and log piles but I draw the line at foxes - and moles.


Posted: 29/07/2015 at 14:06

I have grown beetroot for years but the last few seasons have had no success whatsoever so now I cheat.

I buy little modules of beetroots in trays of 6 in April and pot them up and keep them under cover with no heat.   When they're bigger I plant those out.   Meanwhile, I buy another set of plugs to pot up and sow some of my own in modules so I have a succession.

It has worked very well and I have had a fine crop of normal beets and my own home sown choggias are just the size to start eating.   Meanwhile, the Swiss chard I sowed and then planted out at the same time has bolted but that's another story...........

Hosts question

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 22:41

I split my hostas in spring, whether in pots or in the ground, when they start to show their noses and then pot up and sell spares at an annual charity sale I help with and swap any others with my gardening pals.

If I split them in autumn I find they sulk and often die so spring divisions for me. 

British roses.co.uk

Posted: 28/07/2015 at 15:25

It almost did for my Kiftsgate but one stem survived and has now regrown to start covering the house again.  This is 6 years later.


British roses.co.uk

Posted: 27/07/2015 at 22:47

I agree, local is the way to go.

I used to buy bare root roses form David Austin but found that some varieties turned out to be too wussy for my local conditions and struggled with the long, wet winters and deep cold spells.  Now I buy potted DA roses for the same price from a rose  nursery in the Ardennes on the grounds that anything he can grow outdoors all year can cope with my garden.  Even then it seems my conditions are more extreme so I've had to rescue some from the beds and into pots to nurture along.  All are responding well.

The good doers are Gertrude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle, Falstaff, Teasing Georgia, Queen of Sweden, Jacqueline Dupré, Generous Gardener and Constance Spry plus a Kiftsgate and a few ground cover roses whose names I've lost.

The wusses are William Shakespeare, Geoff Hamilton and Munstead Wood, Graham Thomas and one of my two Benjamin Britten's.   Molyneux, Guinée and New Dawn turned up their toes in a long 3 week frost going below -20C every night.

RHS Plant Finder

Posted: 27/07/2015 at 17:13

The RHS Plant Selector will help you find plants for a given situation and allows you to enter soil type, drainage, aspect, exposure, and then season of interest, colour, size, type of garden and type of plant.  It isn't foolproof but it's a good start.

Hosts question

Posted: 27/07/2015 at 15:08

I leave mine on till they're all over - bees love the flowers - and then take each stem out back to its base along with any leaves looking a bit tatty and then, if in pots, I give them a good drink and some liquid fertiliser.    Most of mine die down in October and I haven't specially noticed the blue leaves one going earlier.

Maybe Hostafan will pop in and help as she knows her stuff about hostas.

It was almost a perfect garden

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 17:41

Mien Ruys designed the gardens at Oostkerke near Brugge/Bruges in Belgium.  I went there with my garden group in June 2006.  Here are the photos if you're interested - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/0606%20Oostkerke?sort=2&page=1 

We thoroughly enjoyed it.  She admired Gertrude Jekyll and was influenced by her in her own designs.   The little town at the end with the clever wellies is Damme.

Plant suggestions please!

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 15:02

Have you considered a daphne?  Daphne odora aureomarginata looks good - evergreen with variegation and scented flowers in spring. 

Or maybe good old choisya ternata Sundance for sunshine in winter and orange perfume when it flowers?

Or a self fertile variegated holly?

It was almost a perfect garden

Posted: 26/07/2015 at 14:55

It can be very disheartening Rinus.  Last year I came back from the Chelsea Flower Show to find a hailstone tornado had ripped through my garden shredding all my rhubarb and hostas, ripping clematis off their supports, decimating flowers and foliage, annihilating my baby veggies, chilies, toms and squashes and leaving great, pitted wounds on the stems of trees and shrubs and roses.

I felt almost paralysed for a week but gradually got all the damaged stems and foliage cut away and tidied up and everything did recover over the following months.   

Courage - as they say in this part of Belgium, or Sterkte as they might say in Flanders.



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1 to 15 of 19 threads