Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 13:32

RG - tasty chocolate in Belgium will be 35%ish or more for good milk chocolate and 54% for dessert dark chocolate then 70 or 80 for purists and chocolatiers doing fancy presentations.   I use 54% for choc chip cookies and cakes.  The problems start when non cocoa butter is added in.

More blood tests Pdoc?  Hope they go well.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 12:19

Having lived 25 years in Belgium and now living in France, I don't do cheap UK chocolate or even local French chocs as they, quel horreur, also use vegetable fat rather than cocoa butter.

I'd stick with just perfecting the granary.  Do you watch Bake Off?  As Dove says, Hollywood is always banging on about having a moist dough and a good knead and a slow rise to get the gluten to stretch and the air holes to form for a better texture and taste.  Quite a lot of nutrionists now believe that the fast rise (chemically induced) breads introduced in the last few decades and now used for commercial breads are the cause of most gluten intolerance.

Something esle to try is stone ground flour if you can find it.  It's a cooler process and leads to a better flour.  I made the best naans I've ever eaten from some unbleached, stone ground white flour from the last working mill in Namur province.  It was in the village and did open days where they gave flour samples away.

Plant based screen ideas?

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 11:28

If you improve the soil, grasses and verbena should take well.   Put a mulch on now for winter magic to happen then more in spring and plant it up.  Don't plant now tho.  Wait till winter rains and the worst of the frosts are over.

Problem that you face in the garden

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 11:25

Mike - you should be out there using the garden to nurture you.  It's very healing.

n01 - gardeners are friendly helpful people on the whole but, as you have learned, we will have a go when we feel we're being taken for granted and under-estimated.   Well done you for your service and for switching careers.  I hope it works for you.

As Dove says, try a more accessible name but also put something on your profile that explains where and what you are and then come back and ask a sensibly phrased question.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 11:20

Someone creeping out of the woodwork Hosta?  Glad you had a good sleep.

The only thing that works for fox poo and coypu poo is a bath!   Or a t least a good shower and shampoo of the offending area.   Nasty stinky stuff and if you let it dry to a crust it drops off in bits all over everywhere.

RG - I much prefer granary or wholemeal or multi cereal or spelt to plain old white bread unless it's ciabatta or maybe a focaccia.  I might try making fougère myself after seeing the price in a specialist bakery for traditional bread.  12€!!  One thing I learned years ago was not to try making wholemeal soda bread with added sunflower seeds.  The bicarb turns them bright, emerald green!

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 07:34

Didn't see you sneaking in Clari.  Good one.  Your eyes so bad you need 3 pairs of sun specs Dove?

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 07:23

Good morning.  I have woken up early for me - dogs scratching to go out - to pink edges on streaky clouds overhead and a normal orange glow creeping up over the horizon.  No frost and a toasty 4C.

OH is badgering me for plans for the rest of the potager so I'm off to the builders' merchant this morning to check lengths of rusty triangular wire posts I'm thinking of using for my fruit cage structure on the grounds that they won't rot or need met posts and it will be easy to attach netting.   Then he can make the raised beds that side.

No plant labels available so I'll be cutting up plastic goblets for my seed sowing later and then getting cleaned up for dance class this evening.

I hope everyone has had a good sleep.  Any plans for today?

Enjoy Kew LP.   Looking forward to photos too Chicky.  How's the new car Pat?

Taxus baccata

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 07:14

It may well have been stressed.  Last winter was very dry for many areas in Britain and northern Europe and some of us still haven't had any decent rain.  Is that the case in your part of Ireland?

If so, a good soaking at the roots and maybe a scattering of bonemeal at the roots to help them over winter will sort out the problem.   The RHS advice page on yews says they usually recover if the problem is stress - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=729 

Are any other plants near the struggling sections also in trouble or just the yew?

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 15/11/2017 at 23:06

LP - have a good trip.  Kew is more than a park.  It's a collection of all sorts of plants and treasures and excellence and there are those new long borders to see as well as the specialist glass houses and the Victoria waterlilies and the tree walk and so on.  Plan to spend a whole day.

Chicky - enjoy the reef when you get there but be careful.  I scraped my foot on a bit of it and ended up with a nasty infection that had to be cleaned up by a flying doctor at Uluru.

Hugs to everyone feeling crook or down-hearted.

Sweet dreams all.  I'm off to bed.

New garden

Posted: 15/11/2017 at 20:17

If this is a very new garden I advise you to wait for the first year to see what comes up, what you like what you don't and what needs help/taking out/encouragement.   In the mean time, keep it weeded and the grass cut regularly in its growing season.

You do, however, need to deal with obvious problems immediately so tree seedlings like the oak and any sycamores need pulling before they get out of hand.   The other thing I would do now is mulch that bed with as much garden compost or manure as you can get hold of.  If there is no compost heap there already, go to the GC and buy the cheapest multi-purpose compost you can find and any bags of well-rotted manure they may have and layer it on    Worms and other soil organisms will work it in for you over winter and any bulbs or perennials lurking below the surface will appreciate it.   Do this after a good rainfall so you don't lock in dryness.

I would be tempted to cut back some of that ivy on the ground before it creeps all over the bed and then just keep the lawn swept of leaves.  Next spring, after the worst f the frosts are over, take stock of what is starting to come thru, trim back any obvious dead or broken stems on shrubs and trees and give everything a good feed of pelleted chicken manure.

Use the winter to work out which way your garden faces, how much shade and sun it gets, what soil you have, how cold it gets, what features you want - eating area, kids' play, pond, pergola - and do a few rough sketches to work out how and where to place them.  Think also about a budget and how much time you have each week to spend on the garden and then you can make good decisions about how you go on.

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