Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 29/12/2017 at 13:18


Yes thanks.  Cosmos just has a teeny scab left in the middle of his paw pad and is back on kitten form - hunting elastic bands in the middle of the night, having hysterical ticky games with and without Minstrel, purry and playful and cuddly and "helping" with all sorts.  His bare patch on his leg is growing back too - stripped naked by all the plaster strip used to hold on his socks.

Rasta now has a fine set of scars but her coat is growing back where she was shaved for cleaning and they should disappear.  No adverse effects except for being wary of what may be lurking in hedgerows when she's out on walkies.   Too right!

T'other pair are fine and don't get into such trouble - so far, touch wood.

I, meanwhile, have arthritis in the joints of that formerly broken toe and its neighbour and have to get referred to a specialist but I suspect that, henceforth, I will always be wobbly doing solo spins in jive,  samba, cha-cha and salsa and won't be able to do really long walkies again.   Humph!

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 29/12/2017 at 12:56

We've just finished lunch!  Lightly spiced carrot soup with a cheese damper.  Yum.   There's a shoulder of lamb just gone in the oven to cook very slowly for a few hours with shredded onions, garlic and carrots, some herbs and half a bottle of white wine.

I am now free to cut out the second pair of trousers and sew them this pm.  Early start tomorrow as we have to get Possum to Nantes airport by 10am.

Dove - technical hitch with the Buche!  No cocoa powder!!  How did that happen?  I have made it vanilla flavoured and rolled it in drinking chocolate instead of icing sugar to compensate.  Later on it will be filled with whipped cream and raspberries and be smothered in a very rich chocolate ganache so it will still be "death by chocolate".   

Haven't seen anything I recognise as a gammon joint here or in Belgium.  Maybe Busy knows?

Well done Hosta but expect you won't sleep for a week now.  If it helps, Mrs T used to survive on 3 or 4 hours a night but then need an occasional catch up weekend.  Lots of successful business people do too apparently.  Maybe it's just in your genes and you should do something with your wake time rather than lie there fretting.

I hope you've got your shopping in Joyce in case that snow does arrive.   I expect LP will be in a cleaning and bedding washing frenzy.

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 29/12/2017 at 09:38

If I'm awake for 1am here I'll do it Dove.  Otherwise someone else will have to be up late or early.

Calm and partly sunny here with dark grey bits and blue bits and silvery streaks in between.  My mission today is a chocolate Genoese for the Yule log Possum has requested, carrot soup for lunch and then sewing another pair of trousers.   

Pat - We are expecting more rain over the next few days.  The 3 water butts we have are full and the rear house and annex roof water all drains into the pond.  We could install 1000 litre water tanks but they're big and ugly.  Burying anything bigger would be expensive and could only be used for the loos or garden.   Once we've had enough rain to work the soil and dig in lots of compost and get things established I expect them to cope as they get their roots down.   Apart from a few not so dwarf conifers I don't regret at all, everything established here has survived the drought and even flourished.  Just need to make the new beds well and get my treasures in and settled.

Chicky - it's probably very peaceful at work so you can get lots done.  Hope you get good weather for all your walkies this weekend.  

Glad you had a good sleep Hosta.  The winds last week blew the green mesh sun shade off our polytunnel but the recent ones have blown it back on.  Need to sling some ropes over to tie it down.

Hope all the Scots brigade are well and not freezing or slipping.  Safe journey for the family LP..

I trust all lurgies are on the mend.  Hugs to those who are feeling poorly or maybe bereft after visitors have gone.

Allotment advice

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 23:22

You need to grasp the principles of plant groups and their rotation to get the best out of the soil and the plants.  No dig and mulching are excellent ways to manage soil and maintain a healthy structure full of beneficial organisms as well as keeping down weeds but you need to know when to apply fertiliser, manure, lime etc in the rotation cycle.

Have a look here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=124 

and here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=822 

and here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/allotments/making-the-most-of-your-plot

and here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/allotments/allotment-styles/no-dig-alternatives 

Unless you have long arms, 5' wide may be a bit too far to reach easily into the middle without stepping on your soil and risking compaction so think about having sturdy planks to place across the beds and stand on for access to the middle for sowing, thinning, cropping, staking as needed.

Limelight hydrangea

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 22:26

They can cope but will need plenty of water, especially in hot spells.   It depends on where you are and how hot it gets.   Yo may find the flowers fade faster than they would in a cooler spot.

Spring is just around the corner.....

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 21:54

There are several types of hellebore - niger, foetidus, X hybridus and argutifolius ... - with different flowering times, hence the common names of Christmas rose for the earlies and Lenten rose for the later ones.   Just as some daffs are very early, flowering from mid Feb and some are really late.

As Joyce says, spring's arrival from one garden to the next will vary depending on how well cultivated is the soil, how sheltered is the garden, which way it faces and which end of side of the country it's in.  Looking forward to seeing if my snowdrops and iris reticulata have survived and maybe thrived as well as all the other bulbs hiding.

Reusing old potting compost

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 13:32

Unless there is obvious disease present, any used potting compost can be re-cycled as a soil conditioner in open or raised beds.   For highly productive veggie beds you just need to add a well balanced fertiliser as Jason suggests and maybe some lime or calcified seaweed if you're growing brassicas.

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 13:17

Possum has just negotiated with OH to watch the Dr ho special during her study break this afternoon.  I haven't watched it for a very long time as it got too silly several doctors ago.  We still have Strictly and the Miniaturist to watch as Possum refuses.  She put on a new DVD film last night - Valerian.  Biggest load of tosh.

I am now in the kitchen with the Freeview box catching up on the Blue Planet while I sew.   Love the Harry Potter stuff Busy.  We have the books which Possum won't read but also the DVDs and the CDs read by Stephen Fry which she will watch and listen to most readily.  The CDs were great for long car journeys to ski in Livigno or the beach in Tuscany.  "Are we nearly there?" became "Can we stay in the car till the end of the chapter?"

Have just had an email from an organisation fighting to ban neonicotinoids to save bees.  Seems a study shows they're also killing off sparrows, swallows and thrushes in the study area at an alarming rate.  Needless to say, having Bayer and Monsanto continue their proposed merger will just bring lots of nasty lawyers together and make it harder to fight them.   What with that and plastics and Trump a girl could get depressed. 

Clematis jingle bells

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 11:32

Post a picture when they open please.   Enjoy your success and have a good 2018.

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 28/12/2017 at 11:04

Well done hubby and pretty flowers from your manager.   I'd hate to think what would happen if you had one of your attacks behind the wheel and I doubt it would be good for business to have on at the cash desk.

Quiet day here, both weather and activities.  I have the first pair of trousers cut out and ready to sew.  OH is slobbing with games on his PC and skiing on TV.  Marginally better than the darts he had on earlier.  Possum is studying.   

Never seen Love Actually but the setting looks good Chicky, as does that snowdrop.   I shall pop out later and see if mine have survived the summer's drought.   Hope so.  I did water that bed when OH wasn't looking.

We got our water bill last week.   Half the consumption and one third of the bill we used to get in Belgium - despite the watering of pots and beds.  The difference is the amount of time Possum spends in the shower each day when living at home.......

Hope you took advantage of your free afternoon Wonky.

Hi to FG if you're checking in at all.  Hope all is well.

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