Latest posts by Obelixx

Advice on planting hedge

Posted: 12/12/2016 at 22:56

It is perfectly possible to make a very good hedge with photinia and every time you clip the new growth will be red.   This picture shows photinia hedges in a garden at Annevoie in Belgium - 


I think you do need to do some decent soil preparation before planting and not cut corners.  They'll be in there for decades and you'll want them to grow healthily so rather than just killing the grass with chemicals and then expecting your hedge to thrive, you'll need to invest a bit more effort.   Take off the grass with a spade or else dig it in and then fork over the whole length of the hedge again to a depth of at least one spade and then add plenty of well rotted garden or bought in compost and some manure.   This will improve drainage and aeration as well as nutrient levels and help your hedge establish and thrive.

Water the plants thoroughly before and after planting and then mulch with more compost or else wood chippings to retain moisture and keep down weeds.   The best time to plant is autumn to late Jan/mid Feb when the plants are more or less dormant and the roots have a chance to get established before they have the stress of providing fuel for the burst of spring growth.  Keep it watered in its first year.

See here for advice from the RHS on photinias - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Advice/profile?PID=145

These people are hedging plant specialists and have this to say - https://www.hedgesdirect.co.uk/acatalog/photinia_red_robin.html 

Last edited: 12 December 2016 22:58:16

Hello Forkers December

Posted: 12/12/2016 at 17:28

Yes please Dove.  Don't want to buy one and find it's like cardboard - or turkey!

Hello Forkers December

Posted: 12/12/2016 at 15:03

Started off very grey here but the sun was out by noon.  Unfortunately, it's gone grey again now.   We have been to the PO with the last of the Sag birthday cards and all the UK and some Belgian Xmas cards only to find they have run out of stamps for Europe.  Each card had to have an individually printed vignette...........

Good job we only needed stamps for 14 of them.

Then we raided the SM at Luçon for kitten food and cat milk and dog chews and found some luscious marrow bones for the canines.   Rather fancied some lamb's liver but they didn't have any so it'll be Thai prawns and noodles for dinner instead.   They had some of the biggest capons I've ever seen and some poulardes which, apparently, are fattened chickens.  Big 'uns.  Anyone recommend them?

OH is now walking the canines while I go and steam the kittens again.  Just once a day now as Cosmos still sneezes occasionally.  Other than that, they are looking bonny now and firing on all cylinders.

Joyce - what a lovely neighbour to have.  Not so sure about the "friend" though.

Clari - I don't like tea except for an occasional Assam or Darjeeling about twice a year so yes, you can overdose!

DD - congrats for your Xmas fair.  Good luck with the bank man.

Busy - well done to you too.   I hope all your greenery lasts well.

PDoc - drag yourself out for a walk and then sit with your daylights on.  Hope you perk up.

Early flowering bulbs sat around for months - still good?

Posted: 12/12/2016 at 13:08

It may help to soak them in a bucket of cold water for an hour or two to rehydrate them so they can get their roots going faster in the soil.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 12/12/2016 at 12:57

I don't mind who wins at the mo.  Definitely the right 3 in the finals.   They're all extremely good and have excellent pros doing fab choreographies which means I'm waiting to see who does best on Saturday.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 11/12/2016 at 23:50

I'm pleased Claudia has gone.   She is the only one who didn't manage to put in "performance" in her routines except for last week's Lion King which is the only time she's danced with all her being and not just achieved technical proficiency.  Ballroom dancing is recognised as a sport but does need to be danced with some artistry.

None of the other 3 deserved to be in the dance off but someone had to be.   Should be a great final.  All 3 celebrities work really hard and have achieved an amazing standard and any of them could win.   Their pros are all very inventive and creative with their choreographies.     Lots of lovely dance content this week too.  

Hello Forkers December

Posted: 11/12/2016 at 15:47

Hope the snooze does OH some good Liri.

LP - you must be in a state of nervous anticipation.  I hope all goes well.

Since I'm babysitting exploratory felines instead of gardening I suppose I could do some cards too.   They're in the extension where we have the cold larder, freezers, boiler and boots cupboard plus the unfinished room that is full of garden furniture.  Lots of nooks and crannies.

Rose Bush Not Going Dormant

Posted: 11/12/2016 at 15:31

Are you growing it in a very sheltered spot?  If so the temperatures won't be cool enough yet to trigger dormancy and, in any case, some roses keep their leaves better than others.

Either way, just leave it be.   Protect the pot if heavy frosts are forecast so the roots don't freeze.   leave the plant alone until it's time to do the spring pruning in March.  The RHS gives some good tips here:-


Soggy stems. Is this normal??

Posted: 11/12/2016 at 13:43

The crown will rot if the soil or compost is too wet.  Put you pots outside in a sheltered spot and make sure they have good drainage and ventilation.  Bring them back indoors only if heavy frost is forecast and then take them out again when it's past.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 11/12/2016 at 13:39

Drismal.   Damp and grey but not actually raining properly and not too cold either.

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