Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 01/04/2016 at 15:19

Does anyone know of any useful service the moles perform?  

Here they make ankle and hoof traps with their collapsible holes and tunnels in the grass and put plants in the borders in peril by bulldozing through their roots and leaving them pended or with their roots hanging in thin air instead of feeding the plants.    They also entice Rasta doggy to dig for China when she hears them scrabbling about - unsightly for the garden and she gets her nose and paws filthy - and they eat my worms!

In two minds

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 15:14

I have this stuff creeping in every year from the surrounding fields.  It can be a nightmare when entangled in teh roots of treasures.   In your case, I would be tempted to do as you suggest and remove all the plants you want to keep - toddler paddling pools come in handy for storing them while you clean the beds as well as plastic salad and veg crates if your supermarket/grocer will give or sell them to you.

Then spray what's left with a glyphosate based product and be prepared to do this twice or thrice to be sure you've got it.  Do it on a sunny day when winds are light or non existent and rain is not expected for at least 6 hours.   It takes 2 weeks for each application to work.

Meanwhile, wash the roots of your treasures, one bucketful at a time and pick out the last scrap of couch grass before potting up in pots or troughs.  Use a fork rather than a spade to dig them out if you can as this creates fewer new root cuttings of the nasties.   Take the opportunity to divide and multiply any decent sized specimens.

Beechgrove has started

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 15:06

Mr Beardshaw has my deepest respect as a gardening and horticulturalist who knows what he's doing and is articulate enough to explain it all and communicate enthusiasm and joy for plants and gardening.

I was lucky enough to meet and chat with him at the Chelsea Flower Show one year and he's lovely and not at all precious or "celebrity" important.   The fact that he's fit and decorative is a bonus.

Big fat smiley.


Obelisks and climbers

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 15:01

Ok.  So how do you tell which is which?   Mine all have dead looking brown stems in March.

Child friendly / neglect friendly / plant for classroom

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 12:43

Spider plant.   Can be set up on a high shelf out of the way but will throw out shoots/runners with baby clones on the end that can be handled as well as removed and planted up for anyone who wants one so they can learn about potting on and growing on.

Talkback: How to grow agapanthus in pots

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 12:40

Winters can get very cold here so I grow all mine in pots and they all go into a cold, but insulated greenhouse for the winter and I half bury their pots in the compost in the greenhouse borders for extra insulation.

Works so far with blue and white forms and deciduous and evergreen in biggish pots.   Didn't work they year I sowed the seeds and tried to over winter seedlings in 4" pots.  Lost the lot. 

Beechgrove has started

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 12:36

They have a cute wee Mr Beardshaw and Jim is lovely too in his way.  Who needs a dog?

Obelisks and climbers

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 11:09

I find it easiest to plant two clems from the same pruning group together as they are impossible to untangle.    I think 14" is quite small to house 2 clems when they get established and really start to grow so would suggest looking at this site - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-clemlistsearch.cfm and serach by eventual size and then flower colour and pruning group.  It's an academic site so no commercial axe to grind.   Check Taylors and Thorncroft and other growers afterwards for availability and prices.

Beechgrove has started

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 10:24

For Scottish viewers, Beechgrove started again last night.

For everyone else, it's repeated nationwide on BBC2 on Sunday mornings.  Lovely practical gardening programme full of tips and ideas.   Here's what we have to look forward to in the first two programmes:-

Thursday 31st March, BBC2 Scotland, 7.30pm

Beechgrove is back despite winter storms, Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Chris Beardshaw and the Beechgrove garden are all in one piece, looking radishing and ready to grow. Scotland has suffered the wettest winter on record so Jim and the team wade in to find out how that affects growing conditions. 

And Chris really does wade in to Beechgrove’s newly re-vamped pond.

When Maggie Patience came to live near Aboyne she found winter days short on light and colour. Carole visited Maggie’s garden in early winter to experience the unique way she has added year round colour.


Thursday 7th April, BBC2 Scotland, 7.30pm

Jim, Carole and George are in the polytunnel planting asparagus. Beechgrove has not had the best success growing asparagus, but a new versatile variety and Beechgrove’s own compost might make all the difference. Meanwhile looking at colour in stems rather than blooms, George creates an inspirational winter interest border on a slope in Beechgrove.

Carole begins a new mini strand, Garden on a Budget. Meike and Jan Guijt and young family moved into their new home in Kennethmont just last year. Throughout the series, Carole will help new gardener, Meike mould a garden out of almost nothing.



Posted: 31/03/2016 at 22:02

I have caught live ones - tho not for some years now - and released them across the other side of the stream in the neighbouring paddock.   I bought two humane traps but they never worked.   Tried sonic deterrents and smelly things and they didn't work either.

Our terrier has caught and killed one or two but her digging them out makes even more mess than the ruddy mole.

When they get too much, I use a machine called a Détaupeur (google for a little video) but in the UK they're not available so best to get in a professional mole catcher.

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