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Latest posts by obelixx

solar power

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 22:45

Typical!  We have a nest of 13 whoppers on the edge of the village strung along the E411 motorway that runs south to Luxembourg.   When there is no wind at all they'll have half turning and burning grid electricity.    Who do they think they are kidding?

In the old days, this area had loads of windmills for grinding corn and the locals know all about real wind and fake wind.   Every time a new set of turbines goes up they're bigger than the last lot and they're getting closer and closer to habitation and the main party pushing them is Ecolo who are supposed to want to preserve the environment and wildlife habitats.   Far more cost effective to subsidise home insulation for all and reduce energy consumption than give susbidies and unsustainable profits for a few wind energy companies and constructors.


Posted: 20/04/2013 at 17:04

How high is the fence and is it yours or theirs to maintain?   If it's yours, the kids may be damaging it hne they climb on it and that could get expensive for repairs.  Is there a local advice service that can help with handling neighbour problems?

As for hedges, I would suggest yew which is evergreen and can be hard pruned if necessary.  It's foliage is toxic to animals which eat greenery such as cattle, horses, pigs,  goats but it's OK in ornamental gardens with dogs and cats.   Another choice would be privet which, like yew, has green or yellow forms.   You could also try photinia Red Robin whose new shoots are red and which keep appearing when you trim the hedge so a good feature.   

You could also be naughty and plant pyracantha which is evergreen and wildlife friendly as it has spring blossom for nectar and autumn fruits for birds.    It has thorns which might dter the obnoxious kids from hanging on the fence. 

All hedges need good soil preparation so the new plants can establish quickly and grow well.  The best time to plant is autumn when the soil is still warm and the roots can grow without being stressed by having to nourish foliage and growth above ground.   All hedges benefit frorm a spring top dressing of general fertiliser and regular trims to keep them thick and neat.

Good luck whatever your choice.

Talkback: Bees and pesticides

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 16:25

I buy organic fruit, veg, cereals, eggs and honey plus well borught up fish and meat whenever I can and garden organically to produce my own fruit and veg and grow flowers for pollinators such as wild honey bees.   I have signed the petitions to stop the use of nicotinoids in pesticides and I advise members of my garden group never to use pesticide sprays. 

I can't get more worried than that about what we are ingesting in commercially grown foods.

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 16:17

Hi Dove.  That's very interesting. 

My garden is next to and opposite two boggy pastures which are designated a site of special environmental  interest for the breadth of species specialising in this habitat.  Trouble is the cow pasture gets a couple of treatments a year for certain weeds and most of the birds they list as resident actually feed at my feeders most of the year.   I don't know where the bats we lost were roosting and we surely have more insects than before but maybe not the right kind.   

We get far more swallows and such swooping over the horse paddock across the road as that's ours and the farmer that uses it gets bonuses for maintaining it and his own neighbouring pasture as a wildlife site for birds, insects and plants.   Still no bats though. 

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 15:46

That's wonderful Nutcutlet.  We also get mozzies rather than mdges.

I've bought a bat house but can't site it till the barn renovations are finished.  I've also bought some night scented stock seeds and already have quite a few of the other plants listed though I suspect this winter will have taken out some of the perennials so I'll fill gaps with nicotiana.


Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:33

Ours usually arrive around the 25th and I'd be surprised if they were any earlier this year. 

Border edging

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:28

We found concrete versions of log roll a few years ago and used it to edge new paths we made in a woodland corner but it wasn't easy and cretainly couldn't be curved.  I'm about to make  a new path through some shrubs where the dogs have trampled and barged their way and will use treated wooden planks screwed to small vertical posts banged in at intervals. 

I can cut the wood at angles to make the bends I will need but won't get real curves.  However, once the irregular slabs have gone in and been filled around with chipped bark and the plants have spilled over the edges it will look softer and curvy.

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:21

We talk a lot on here about encouraging beneficial wildlife in our gardens but not a lot about bats.  Did you know a tiny pipistrelle can consume 3,000 midges in one night?

We used to have a colony of about 30 when we moved here about 20 years ago but they are now down to just one or two even though we have turned former cow pasture into a garden with a pond and all sorts of plants designed to attract birds and insects so I've been googling about and found this info -

Scroll on down and you'll find a list of lovely plants that will attract them and the by product will be food for swallows and swifts and house martins too as they will come to eat the insects these plants attract.   Double whammy.

Rose pruning and frost

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:05

I pruned mine last week but would have left it later if I could but I've had foot surgery again this week so needed to get it done before I got laid up for a few weeks.   After this winter there was more dead wood than usual and not a leaf on any but some good looking buds starting to swell so fingers crossed.  I didn't do the ones over on the more exposed east side as they risk getting knocked back by a late frost so will ahve to take their chances with a late prune.

You definitely have to go with weather conditions and not calendars.

For whom do we garden .............

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:01

It's a tough one isn't it?   I like to share the garden with as much wildlife as possible - slugs excepted - so plant things that provide food or shelter for birds and insects but also give me pleasure.

I gave up on yellow crocuses years ago and now prefer to plant the stripey purple ones which they seem to ignore but which also cheer me up.  For cheery spring yellows I have dwarf and normal daffs and primroses which they also leave alon.    I feed the birds all year round and find that means they repay me by picking of nearly all the aphids and caterillars on my roses and veggies.

A friend of mine gave up planting up pots near her front door because they were always pecked to death by peacocks and pheasant visiting from a suburban farm behind her.   My country phesants stick to the bird food thankfully.

Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

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Good Morning - 21 March

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New shed - any tips?

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Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned