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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Lavender hedge

Posted: 08/04/2014 at 16:42

I planted a hedge of alternating Hidcote and Edelweiss lavendrs at the top of a retainer wall made from sleepers.  the soil is fertile but they have good drainage and full sun so cope well with my usually harsh winters.

I find the blue ones flower a bit earlier on shorter stems than the white ones so I get a longer season of flowers and the white ones disguise the blue flowers going over.  They are always all covered with masses of bees and hoverflies.

If I did it again, I'd probably be more formal and do all Hidcote or all Edelwiess and keep it uniform but they do the job I wanted - attracting pollinators to my soft fruit trees and bushes.  They've even made babies in the gravel bed below so I can spread them to another sunny, well drained spot.

 

Lupin from seeds

Posted: 07/04/2014 at 21:02

Use special seed compost for the initial sowing in modules then transplant them into smaller 3" pots filled with something like a John Innes no 2 or no 3 compost to grow them on.   Different composts have different levels of nutrients suited to different stages of growth.

Good luck. 

How you choose fertilizers ?

Posted: 07/04/2014 at 13:07

I have very fertile, deep alkaline loam soil on a clay sub soil in a gently sloping garden so drainage varies.   I add my own garden compost every time I plant, be it single plants or a spread to revitalise a bed.  I scatter pelleted chicken, cow and/or horse manure every spring and add it to the hole when planting hungry plants like roses and clematis.  These plants also get a dollop of specialist rose or clematis food in spring.

Veggie beds get garden compost every time I clear a crop and scatterings of pelleted manure at planting time and in spring for the fruit bushes, rhubarb and strawberries which are permanent crops.

Any soil, be it sand, loam, stony or clay, free draining or moisture retentive, can be improved by mulching with well rotted manure or compost every autumn and after planting something new.  As said above, good soil structure is essential to plant health and soil fertility an dthe ability ofplants to take up the nutrients available..

Hellibores

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 15:41

I cut the old foliage off when I see the flowers starting to come through.   I also give them a feed of pelleted chicken manure lightly forked in around the base once the old leaves have been cleared.

I do let mine self seed as I have several varieties in cream, pink, purple, almost black and cream with splodges so I hope to get some interesting offspring.

Lavender

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:15

Full sun is best for lavenders.  If you want blue, try salvias instead.

Which way should I place the railway sleepers?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 14:13

They are laid flat with the edge of the lawn so yes, they carry on up the slope at an angle but appear level to the eye.  

Make a line with string or hosepipe to mark the edge you want to have to straighten the border, remembering that wider borders are easier on the eye than narrow ones.  Then cut the turves out and use the best bits to fill in any gaps where the old bed was.

Then dig an even depth trench into which you slot the sleepers.  Keep the top level with the lawn so the mower slides easily over it.   You can line the trench with sharp sand to make it easier to level the sleepers.

Which way should I place the railway sleepers?

Posted: 06/04/2014 at 12:06

For a difference of 18 inches over 12 metres I wouldn't bother.   Just dig a clear edge between lawn and bed, fill the bed with plants and the soil levels will take care of themselves and be unnoticeable.  With a vertical sleeper edge you're going to have to strim the edge to keep it neat every time you mow and it will become a rod for your own back.

My garden slopes a bit more than yours and I have laid railway sleepers level with the lawn to make a mowing strip to reduce the amount of edge maintenance needed but not to hold the soil.

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:59

I use this stuff as ground cover in a  sharply drained bed at the top of a 3 feet high sleeper retaining wall.  It is spreading nicely now and looks fab with white crocuses in spring and then pink dwarf dianthus later on.    There are snowdrops, grape hyacinths, hellébores, verbascum phoenicums, bergenias, achillea and stachys all in a happy jumble to attract pollinators to my damson tree, autumn raspberries and tay berries which grow nearby, enjoying the same sunny position.

Moving Seedlings ?

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 09:38

I use an old tablefork to lift and separate seedlings into individual cells in trays or else small pots so they can grow on and develop a decent root system undisturbed.  This makes them stronger and easier to look after and eventually plant out where they are to grow to maturity.

Where possible, I sow in individual cells or pots to avoid having to disturb them later as this can check growth.  They can be easily potted on for further development wihout disturbing the fragile baby roots.

Worn looking railway sleepers

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 20:43

All of mine are looking worn and faded too and some have bits of metal strap on them from when they were part of the railway.    I use them as a retaining wall for my fruit and veg garden which would otherwise be a slope and also for raised beds in the ornamental garden at the front.   The ones for the veggie patch are lined wiyh black plastic to stop nasties leaching out into the soil and also to keep the sleepers protected from dampness in the soil.

A friend of mine who is a tidy freak painted his with some deeply black, gooey mixture and they look hard and unnatural and stand out more than the plants he has in his garden - all laid out like rows of soldiers and with bare soil between them.   My sleepers have faded and are growing a fine crop of moss and lichens.  Much more attractive IMHO.

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10 threads returned