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Latest posts by obelixx

Talkback: Planting snake's head fritillaries

Posted: 13/10/2012 at 12:21

It helps to soak bulbs bought now overnight in cold water to rehydrate them but even then success is patchy.  Better, if you can, to buy them in pots next spring and plant them out where you have suitable gaps.

When to cut back hemerocallis foliage pre Winter

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 13:47

Leave it till it's gone completely brown and then just pull it off by hand.

Talkback: How to store, freeze and dry your harvests

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 11:22

I never blanch soft fruit.  Blueberries, black and red currants just go in a plastic bag or tupperware and get frozen whole.  Raspberries and blackberries need to be laid out on trays and frozen flat and separately but can then be stored in bags or tupperwares.   Haven't yet tried freezing plums but I imagine the best method is to halve, stone and freeze on trays then transfer to bags for easier storage.

Strawberries do not freeze well so are best made into jam, puree/coulis or compote.

Time to bring in pumpkins ?

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 11:48

Keep an eye on the forecast and bring them in to a cool, frost free place before the first frosts.  Make sure you cut at least a one inch stem as short, or no stems, encourage early rotting.

Anyone dismantled and moved a greenhouse before??

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 11:45

We loved ours 30 miles from its first home to our garden so took photos, marked the structure and dismantled it completely.   Had to replace 3 panes of glass in the end.

Last autumn we moved it again to a sunnier site and that time we just took out the glass and moved the frame and roof pieces as whole panels without unscrewing them all.   We made sure we had a level site ready for it and some replacement clips for the panes and it all went very smoothly.

What Hedge to plant ??

Posted: 10/10/2012 at 10:35

Holly is lovely but very slow growing.   I have a 10 year old holly hedge that was expensive to plant and is still only 4 to 5 feet high.

Further along, I have firethorn - aka pyracantha - which i've trained up a trellis to protect my honeysuckle form being munched by the neighbouring cows.   It was much cheaper per plant,  grows faster and responds to trimming, best done after flowering.   

What Hedge to plant ??

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 21:58

Hwthorn is good for wildlife and grows fast but you need to keep it trimmed or it grows very thick very quickly - blossoms in spring for nectar, berries in autumn for bird food and thorns all year to make it a safe haven for small birds hodong from predators and keep unwanted people out of the garden.

Pyracantha would do the same tricks but be evergreen except in harsh winters.

Growing blueberries

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 10:37

See my post above and yes, now is a good time.  If you've had few fruits it's probably down to blooms being frozenby a spring frost or it being too cold for the pollinators to be flying about. 

I had that problem this year so am goint to try putting a fleece covered frame around them but open on the south side and above in order to reduce frost problems, winter wind damage and allow access for pollinators.

Growing fennel bulbs...

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 08:58

I like it chopped raw in salads, chopped and added to roast Mediterranean veggies, baked with Parmesan.  Our favourite recipe is this one:-

Baked Fennel with Goat's Cheese

 This quantity is for 4 as a vegetarian meal. It's also good with simply grilled pork, chicken or fish.

4              bulbs of fennel

30g          butter

1              lemon, juice only

4 tbs        water

6              sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

30g          pine nuts

150g         goats' cheese log


Heat the oven to 200C.   Trim the fennel and cut through the middle into 2 and then cut each half again 2 or 3 times to make wedges.   Place these in a shallow oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle on the lemon juice and water and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.   Drain.


Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle over the fennel, followed by the pine nuts and crumbled goats' cheese.   Drizzle with olive oil (from the tomatoes if you have some) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till the cheese is browned.

Growing fennel bulbs...

Posted: 07/10/2012 at 10:18

They need warmth and sun to grow fat.  I've been harvesting ours since July and have a few left to eat - from plugs planted in mid June and then mid July.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

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Chat about plans for the weekend 
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Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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Hanging baskets and window boxes

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New shed - any tips?

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Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned