Latest posts by Obelixx

Monty knife

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 23:21

Monty does have help from, I gather, a couple of women.   DK used to rabbit on about how Monty never acknowledged his helpers.   It does seem less than honest.

Saving my hydrangea

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 23:10

Hydrangeas are hardy to -15C tho if such temps last more than a night or two the tops of mop head and lace cap hydrangeas may be damaged or even frozen back to the crown and that will mean no flowers.   This happened to me a lot in my Belgian garden.

Hydrangea paniculata flower on new season's growth so it doesn't matter if the tops are frozen as they can happily be cut back hard in late March, given a feed and they then grow a whole new set of stems which flower in summer.   I ended up with 6 or 7 of these in my Belgian garden and have brought 3 of them with me to my new garden.  Luscious plants if given what they need to grow well.

Saving my hydrangea

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 15:08

Plant it in the ground or give it a much bigger pot.  They need a lot of room so their roots can go and seek out the nutrients and water they need.

Whichever you do, give it a good soaking first and, if it's going in th eground, plant it at the same depth as before but in a hole you have prepared by adding some well-rotted manure or garden compost to the surrounding soil for when you back fill.   

If you go for a pot, plant at the same depth but make sure you use good quality John Innes no 3 grade compost mixed with some multi purpose compost for water retention.  Water well and then mulch the top with some pebbles, gravel or expanded clay pellets to keep down weeds and reduce evaporation.

Whether or not you get any flowers next year will depend on what variety it is and when you pruned it.  Some flower on old wood and some on new.

Monty knife

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 14:59

I have 2 pairs of Felcos because Possum lost the old ones in the compost heap and they didn't surface for over 6 months.  Couldn't go that long without a pair and Felco refurbished the rather rusted pair that emerged from the compost for a mere £20 including UK p&p.

I have two Wolf trowels - bright handles so easy to find - and one narrow Wolf trowel for weeding out dandelions and the like plus a new Sneeboer which is better for me in this new garden which has bone dry clay soil in many parts.

I do have 2 special cuttings knives somewhere but rarely use them and for cutting bigger things eg dividing hostas, hemerocallis and so on I use old bread knives.   Scissors for string.    

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 16/11/2017 at 14:33

I suppose that's just a few inches down Hosta.  Our hole is metres deep and dry as a bone.   Chatting to farmer Luc yesterday and he said theer's an overflow pipe which runs across our plot and dumps in his yar behind his cow barns.  Hasn't had a drop for more than 2 years tho.  I shall find that pipe and block it.   An occasional flood (I wish) won't do any harm at all.

Seafood sounds good Dove.  We're having quick and easy spag with bol from the freezer.   Need to do a shop tomorrow tho so maybe get some clams or hake or whatever's in season and looks good.

Currently working on latest plans for the potager so we can order doings for the fruit cage.  If OH actually follows this plan I shouldn't have to draw it again!   At least now he's grasped the 1.2m wide beds principle.

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!

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