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Latest posts by obelixx

How much to charge...

Posted: 19/08/2015 at 22:24

Start high and then go low for the last hour and lower still for the last 15 minutes.  

If that doesn't clear the spare plants, put them outside your front gate with an honesty box and a suggested price.

Oh dear! Is this the beginning of the end?

Posted: 19/08/2015 at 16:45

Sad Dove but an opportunity too.  A friend of mine has had to have 5 huge ash trees taken out because they had dieback and she didn't want them falling on houses or sheds.   The resulting sense of space and light is amazing and has completely changed what she can plant in her garden.

I think you might find a hawthorn would grow rapidly and provide plenty of food and shelter for insects and birds.


Posted: 19/08/2015 at 11:13

Definitely lack of moisture.  Plants in pots are entirely dependent in you for food and water.  Compost nutrients are all used up after 100 days so you need to give a top dressing or a well balance fertiliser such as blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure every spring and keep it watered.   It is better to give one thorough soaking a week than daily dribbles.  Rainfall will never be enough whilst it is in leaf.  

Keep it sheltered from heavy frosts once it goes dormant as this too can dry out the end of the stems and make for unsightly dead bits.  Remove these in spring, cutting back to just above a healthy bud and then keep it moist till leaf fall.

If the pot is small, you can also re-pot in spring to a larger pot and using good John Innes no 3 compost.

What is this flower

Posted: 19/08/2015 at 11:07

Mallow - annual flower or weed depending on your point of view and the style of your garden.

summer pruning

Posted: 19/08/2015 at 09:48

GJ is one of the roses David Austin describe as being able to grow as a short climber to 2m or so.  I think the best option now is to give it a specialist feed for roses or tomatoes to encourage flowering and, when you dead head the flowers, cut the stem down low to a leaf node with a bud in it.

Next spring, around late Feb or mid March depending on how bad the winter is, cut it down low to a healthy bud and give a generous feed of blood, fish and bone for general health and then a feed of specialist rose food to promote flowering.

Potential jam??

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 17:27

I made some damson gin about 30 years ago.   Wasn't too impressed so pushed it to the back of the cupboard.  10 years later we found it when moving and it had become the most luscious, rich liqueur type consistency and flavour.

I don't like vodka but we have friends who liked bloody Mary so I made some chili vodka and lemon vodka to make it a bit more lively.   Discovered it's a bad idea to leave the chili in too long as it becomes volcanic.

Idea's Please

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 11:06

House leeks for me too and yes, square up the pot.

I love that fish GM.

Confessions of the plantaholics

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 11:03

OH now knows a bargain when I come home with one.

For years, his idea of weeding has been to blitz my borders of everything rather than discriminate between treasures and weeds which is obviously far too complicated and time consuming.   I had the most expensive compost heaps in Belgium.  The cure has been a) get a gardener for 5 hours every fortnight to help me weed without him b) make him take me to the plant fairs and pay for the new treasures.

He now loves it when I come home with a garden centre or market bargain and even more when I sow and grow or swap with friends.


Posted: 17/08/2015 at 22:28

Salix are willows and willows need water so I suggest you move it somewhere damper in autumn and plant something better suited to chalky soil which can be dry and poor in nutrients.

Julie - yes the bedding plants make a difference as they compete for nutrients and moisture in what is already a limited supply in the pot.  Composts only have enough nutrients for 100 days maw so you need to feed the salix every spring with slow release pellets or granules and add a nitrogen feed to the watering liquid later on to promote the foliage.   Keeping the compost moist is essential for willows.

St.James's Park - Plant ID

Posted: 17/08/2015 at 16:12

I don't think they like clay soil - too heavy and rich.  They're better off in sandy or chalky soil with good drainage.   There was and RHS trial at Wisley where they di very poorly because of a wet summer and rich, heavy soil.

You could work in plenty of leaf mould and grit to a patch of your garden and feed with tomato or rose food but not nitrogen rich feeds as you want flowers, not foliage.

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