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Latest posts by obelixx

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 11:39


Bizzie-B yes, I am in Belgium.   This weekend is the braderie in the local town and they have a street flea market.  I've picked up some good stuff there such as old galvanised laundry pots.   I painted one black and use it for paries to fill with ice and beer and fizz.   Another was painted red and stencilled with gold snowflakes and Xmas trees to hold the Xmas tree.  Another is yet to be done.  Last year there was a huge, bevelled mirror in a ghastly brown stained frame but when I strip it and paint it cream and crackle it it'll make a fabulous chimney breast mirror - for my next house.

I have a rusty metal hat and coat rack I use to support a window box of fuchsia cuttings on my back wall and an old wine rack used simply as decoration on my bottle wall.   Another rusty wine rack with ice bucket stand was painted cream and is used as a plant stand in my kitchen.

New Member

Posted: 29/07/2014 at 08:10

Good advice to wait abit and let your ideas become firm before starting a major redesign but do think about installing a water butt to store water before the excess goes to the ground soak.

You could divide your garden into 3 distinct areas  - the first 6 to 7 metres near the house for a terrace, table, chairs, seating for entertaining and dining outdoors; the second for grass and kids' play area and the last for a greenhouse/shed/work area/compost heaps and veggie plot using raised beds to keep it neat, easy to maintain and visually pleasing as well as productive.   Alter the rpoportions to suit your needs eg 6:10:6metres.

Simple trellis panels with climbers such as clematis and/or roses will do the dividing for you and you can also place an arch to join them and further separate the areas.   This gives a sense of journey and mystery too.   To increase the visual width of the garden use diagonal paths and borders rather than straight lines up the middle or side.

Buld a raised bed or have a collection of pots on the terrace near the house for your herbs as they generally like good drainage and will be hardier in wet winters and handy for the kitchen. 

You definitely need compost bins to recycle green kitchen and garden waste.  These can be either home made or bought in according to your skills and needs.  Bins can be stored out of sight but handy behind a decorative treliis or fence panel near the back door.

Have fun.

Neighbour garden issues

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 23:13

I would also suggest a letter sent to the appropriate Council department and copied to you local councillor.   Sometimes seeing something in print gets a better response than an email on a screen. Keep a copy yourself and if that doesn't work write to your MP with a  copy of your letter and a clear but succinct history of the problems..

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 17:44

I gave up doing flowers in vases cos the cats always seemed to think they were for playing with so we had sevral accidents.     Possum is 19 and I haven't done an Easter tree since she was about 9 or 10 so no pics, sorry.   Funnily enough I've just been sorting in the attic and came across our Easter decs box which can go to Oxfam now.

I was at a flea market in Maastricht on Saturday and very nearly bought an old enamel bucket which had a floral pattern picke dout in thin blue lines.  Very pretty.   And then I started thinking about how to use a bright green enamelled colander thingy as a planter but OH dragged me away.

I shall just have to see what's going in the local street markets when he isn't looking and when we go to France next month.........

Plant Hunters Fairs 2014

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:39

Haven't been to one in the UK but there are several each spring and autumn here in Belgium and I always go to my favourite at the Abbaye d'Aywiers.   There are nurserymen and women form Belgium, France, The Netherlands and sometimes England and Germany depending on which fair.

I look for good herbaceous perennials in colours or forms you don't find in garden centres where the plants are mass produced and bog standard.   I have a favourite clematis supplier, another for roses, another for bulbs and another for hostas and hardy geraniums.   The quality is always good and I like to chat to the groers and make sure a new plant will cope with my garden conditions.

I also find things like seeds, obelisks, garden ornaments,a  supplier of chipped bark in bulk and so on.

For anyone looking for a plant fair near them in the UK, check here -    For Belgian plant fairs you can PM me.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 11:12

I prefer to leave my flowers out in the garden and, in the case of sunflowers, I especially like to leave the heads to go to seed for the birds. 

i did once grow sweet peas for cutting and liked them in old jugs on the kitchen table.

When Possum was young I used to do an eatser "tree" using cut branches from my cornuses and hanging them with tiny eggs and rabbits and so on.  For those I used a galvanised container I'd painted and decorated with découpage topiary trees.

summer pruning

Posted: 28/07/2014 at 08:49

Try googling "RHS+plant name+cultivation".   It works very well for many plants and you get expert advice.

Potatoes in containers very poor yield

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 21:41

Beechgrove garden did a comparison of the results from gowing 3 spuds of the same variety in pots and in the ground and the ones in the ground had double the cropping weight.  

It must have a lot to do with pots having restricted rot runs and needing watering every single day as well as feeding whereas the ones in teh ground can be left t get on with it except maybe in a drought.

Magnesium deficiency

Posted: 27/07/2014 at 16:30

Epsom salts are usually used as a foliar spray which you can do now.   I would suggest proper clematis or rose food as a slow release fertiliser mixed in with the top layer of their compost in spring and again when they first flower.  Use liquid tomato or rose feed in between times and till mid summer as they will quickly consume all the nutrients in the compost..

Clematis are very hungry plants so, if you can, move them to bigger pots in the autumn when the foliage has died back and you can cut the stems to make it easier.   Give them a pot of at least 60cms wide, deep and high and a good John Innes no 3 type compost.   They will need feeding as above every year.

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