Latest posts by Obelixx

Ultimate Alphabet 'S'

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 14:43

Snowy owl, speaker, snare drum, swallow tail butterfly, salmon, salmon trout (?), sphinx, saluki hound, scholar, scuttle, sled, stage, Sunbeam car (?)....

Suggestions for clematis through this weigela?

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 14:19

You need something much more oepn and airy than those.    

What about an obelisk for a clem?  Won't take up much space and you can make one yourself quite easily and stain it to a colour that will look good when the clem is dormant - http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/make-an-obelisk-for-climbing-plants

You could also attach taller fence posts to your small fence or just erect some independently and tension wires between them to grow clems or roses and thus hide the neighbours' tall fence.

Last edited: 19 March 2017 14:20:59

Planting ideas for a war memorial

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 14:13

Box can be problematic these days with all the box blight about so think instead of using lonicera nitida which also lends itself to close clipping.

If you're planting roses you'll need to enrich the soil to keep them well and that won't be good for field poppies so try oriental poppies instead.  You can get red ones with a  black centre - Ladybird - or plain scarlet red ones.   Their flowering season is short but they will come up year after year.

Nasturtiums flower well in poor soils but produce mostly leaves in rich soils but a short patio clematis will love the enriched soil for roses and can be trailed down walls.  Have a look at the websites of Taylors and Thornycroft.  These clematis just need a hard prune every spring and then can be left to get on with it tho they'll appreciate an annual feed in spring and mulch in autumn.

I suspect a red, white and blue theme will be difficult to get looking right with yellow and pnk Peace roses so maybe think about a white rose such as Iceberg, red or white clematis, red hyacinths and/or tulips with red poppies and geum Mrs Bradshaw for later on with blue from hyacinths followed by lobelia to extend the season.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 13:39

You two are mad eof sterner stuff than me!  Gin tasting this early?  On the other hand, I do have some nice cold tonic.  At this time of day I can relish a decent Buck's Fizz with brunch or light wine with lunch but not usually spirits........

It's turned breezy so the hemerocallis get a reprieve.

I went on a student trip to the Lakes one Easter - '72? - and we were snowed in so no surprise there's extreme rain in March.  Went camping there when I was about 8 one wet early summer with my grand-parents whose habit was to pitch a huge old WW2 army tent in a field, dig a drainage ditch round it for the rain and a hole in a corner for the loo.   Put me off camping for life.   Still love the Lakes tho.

Extreme beginner needs inspiration please!

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 13:24

I too would avoid birch in a small garden and so near to houses.   They grow quite rapidly but are generally short lived and easily damaged or blown over in strong winds, plus they produce high levels of pollen in spring which can be problem for hay fever sufferers.

Buy, hire or borrow a pressure washer to clean up teh concrete and it will look a lot better.  If you take up that left hand lot of grass as Hosat suggests, you could plant blackcurrants, redcurrants and rhubarb - all easy plants with no prickles and will teach your child about where food comes from as well as being good to eat.   You could put strawberries along the path edge to break up the line a bit and provide more fruit.   You'll need to remove all weeds and then improve the soil before planting and you can mulch with chipped bark to keep weeds down afterwards.  Do not use cocoa shells as they're poisonous to dogs.

Leave the ivy for the above stated reasons.  It may, as some friends of mine once found,  be all that's holding up the wall and will be a pig to remove and clean off.

Weed and tidy up your raised beds and then freshen up the soil with some bought in compost or soil conditioner.  By Easter, any desirable plants should be showing and you'll be better able to see what's worth keeping.  There are usually some good offers for plants at Easter as it's a major weekend for garden centres.

Keep your grass trimmed to about 1" high and apply a weed and feed treatment in April, following instructions on the pack.

That should give you plenty to be getting on with and then you can think about adding some colour along the right hand border with climbers and other flowering shrubs and plants that will be football proof for later years.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 12:59

The week we arrived here our new neighbours handed me a carrier bag full of culinary quinces.  I now have several pots of jelly and made a tart with the rest.  Thing is, we don't really eat much jam or jelly and I must have well over a 100 jars of the stuff from using up excess blackcurrant, purple gooseberry and redcurrant crops in the Belgian garden plus all the chutneys which we do eat regularly.

I'll try glyphosate on the hemerocallis patch.  It might take a few goes.........

Saving fruit plants on overgrown allotment

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 12:51

I would advise hand weeding round the base of the plants to minimise disturbance to their roots then a good sprinkling of blood, fish and bone round each plant.   If you put compost around them too deeply you may rot the stems and kill the plants but you could get some cardboard and put that round the base of your currants - after rain - to maintain the feed and moisture levels and suppress weeds.  

Use bricks, stones or bits of wood to weight it down and leave it there all summer.   It will gradually rot down into the soil and can then be replaced in autumn.  That way you have time to concentrate on getting the pruning right to shape your currant bushes.

Rhubarb will just love a great pile of compost in spring and autumn.

Easiest way to dig a border

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 11:51

You can hire a turf stripper from good DIY stores.  That will cut the grass off at the roots and leave lines you can roll up or cut up and stack in a corner to break down.  It makes excellent soil for planting in later.  However that still leaves you with the problem of digging over the bed and removing any rubble you find so ask about hiring a rotavator or tiller too.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 11:47

FG and Punk - deep breaths and use the Ignore button.  There are some very silly people about.

Dove - I too am planning a herb bed.  There's a stone raised bed by the terrace that is currently full of orange day lily, seriously squeezed for space and being invaded by lords and ladies.   Spotted Cosmos chewing day lily leaves the other day so it'll all have to die and then I can make a herb bed.   

Shallow rooted hedge

Posted: 19/03/2017 at 11:41

Leylanddi tend to be fairly shallow rooted anyway.   If you just cut the leylandii down to 4' high that will restrict their root run.  They are bug feeders so if you apply an annual top dressing f something like pelleted chicken manure in spring and some mulch in autumn, after some good rainfall, they will not need to send their roots out far and thus deplenish the surrounding soil.

If you decide to pull it up and replace it you will need to replenish teh soil before planting anything else.  I would advise something with smallish leaves as these stay neater when trimmed and don't get ugly brown edges like laurel leaves can when cut.   Privet would be good as would lonicera ntida and evergreen forms of berberis.   Yew would be lovely but is poisonous so your neighbours may be worried if they have children or pets.

Sarcococca would give your fragrant blooms in winter and photinia red Robin wouyld give you lovely red foliage in its new growth in spring and after being trimmed.     Avoid box as it is subject to box blight which has no available remedies for amateur gardeners.

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