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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Blooms in November

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 17:57

There are still some roses in the old rose garden at Great Dixter.  He liked roses, just not as monoculture and it's true taht growing to many together invites pests and diseases.

I have Teasing Georgia, Sceptr'd Isle and Generous Gardener roses still flowering well.   Clematis Princess Diana, Sunset, Nelly Moser and Rahvarinne have flowers on them too.  I have a home sown white agapanthus which is flowering strongly and pots of acidanthera and persicarias, rudbeckias, Japanese anemones, pensemons and verbena bonariensis if flower..

More seasonal stuff is the winter flowering jasmine and hardy cyclamen plus, as I found today, the first of the snowdrops are out.

No doubt tomorrow I'll find more in flower when I tackle other parts of the garden - in between baking chocolate cake and biscuits for our Viennese waltz class in the afternoon..

I cannot wait for the first frost

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 17:45

It would be error here.  Mine will be lifted tomorrow, drained and then wrapped in newspaper and stored in the garage which never freezes.   My two hardy fuchsias have been transferred to a window box with 4 of the tender trailing varieties and they will all spend winter together in the attic - under a Velux till they lose their leaves.

building houses on green belt land

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 15:46

Too right HCF.  Our local council - small town and 11 villages has pushed the population up by 6000 in recent years as this qualifies them for massive regional subsidies and salaries for the bourgmetsre and echevins.  Loads of new houses and appartment blocks but not a single new school or playground, no road safety or pedestrian space on the lanes between villages and parking in the town centre is difficult and expensive so it's dying.

building houses on green belt land

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 15:00

Dove - planning restrictions and costs.   

We have an attcahed, brick barn, 14.5 metres by 7 with 2' thick walls which I was all set to convert to give us a living room with open fire, a breakfast room and 2 en suite bedrooms.   The walls are there and damp-proofed already.  The roof is new and insulated and has solar panels on it.  Costs to insulate walls, build new internal ones, a staircase, electrics and plumbing and flooring and so on?   200,000!   Twice what it will add to the sale value of our house as it stands.

There's one of those quadrangle farms around a courtyard for sale up the road but no-one will buy it as conversions to living quarters/appartments/separate houses of the original house and barns is so restricted and expensive.   It's falling down but could be stunning.

building houses on green belt land

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 13:04

With new regs for insulation and water saving renovating is no longer always a cheaper option but I do agree that old stock should be renewed or replaced rather than taking up any more green belt.   New builds tend to be dull, packed in like sardines and have tiny rooms as well as tiny gardens.

There are also regulations about paving over front gardens.  They're supposed to use porous materials that allow water to drain through rather than run off.

Hawthorn hedge in the winter

Posted: 13/11/2014 at 09:04

You could also replace the conifers with trellis panels up which you can grow evergreen climbers such as ivy, selected clematis and/or honeysuckle or just permanent reed, bamboo or willow screens and then plant attractive shrubs and perennials in front of them.   Leave space to access and trim the hedge.

Fast growing hedging

Posted: 13/11/2014 at 08:58

We have a stretch of hawthron hedge planted a s awindbreak and also to attract wildlife.  I planted 2' whips in well prepared soil one December, trimmed them to 9" and they grew 6' the next year.  We trimmed them back to 3' that first year and they grew again very quickly the next year but thicker.

I suggest you get as many bundles of whips as you will need to plant them at 9 to 12 inches apart (23 to 30cms in new money).   The thorns will give you security.  Mix them up with patches of beech, hornbeam, buckthorn, pyracantha and privet for interest and wildlife diversity.   The last two are evergreen.

What to do

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 12:57

You just need to soak the roots for an hour or so to rehydrate them then plant in pots.  They will die down completely till spring so don't need light once the leaves have died off and can be kept in a garage if you like or in a sheltered corner of the garden.  It depends on how cold your winter and how exposed your garden.  I over-winter my hosta pots in a dry shed.  

Keep an eye on them from early spring and when you see shoots starting or it feels warm enough, bring them outside to a sheltered spot and water well.    Top dress with some pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone and keep them sheltered till they are big enough to cope with normal life outdoors.   I keep mine at the sunny front of the house to begin with then, as days warm up and the sun gets stronger, I move them to their final positions on a shady, north facing terrace for the summer.   They get late afternoon sun and are very happy.

****** NHS box tickers. I need to vent

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 12:20

I think the main difference here is effective and eficient management systems, not the calibre of the doctors, although there are more her per head of population which means short waits..

We have health insurance which is paid for by employers, individuals or the state depending on status - employed, independent, unemployed - and have to identify ourselves every time we see anyone other than our GP so that charges for procedures and consultations are charged at the proper rate to the correct organisation.   We also have to pay a fee at delivery but these, and prescriptions, are reimbursed at a known rate and there is no postcode lottery for medicines or treatments. 

I would not want to be poor in the USA for anything - health, education, housing, policing..............

****** NHS box tickers. I need to vent

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 11:34

I have never understood how the NHS works, or doesn't work. 

In Belgium, I can choose my GP, I can make appointments on the internet or by phone or have a home visit if needed.   When I do need to see a specialist or have X-rays and ops for the dodgy back and feet, the results are sent to my GP online so she can see them herself.

She keeps tabs on our innoculations and does an annual "MOT" - blood test for cholesterol, blood sugars, vitamins and hormones plus blood pressure and so on.     I get to choose my specialist and hospital if I need an op.   I get to choose the time too.   I get a choice of follow up appointments.

Ditto dentist, skin doctor, gynae, obstetrician, opthalmologist, orthopedist, neurologist.  We've needed them all in the last 20 years.

There are some hospitals here and GPs to avoid but, like I said, I get to choose.  I just need to make sure I never have an accident near a dodgy one as there isn't a choice for emergency care when ambulances are involved.

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