Latest posts by obelixx

Pruning confuzzlement

Posted: 07/07/2016 at 15:44

For the physocarpus, I would take out all the dead wood now and cut back all the stems to a height or width that suits your needs and then take a third out back to a lower set of leaves.   This way you can rejuvenate your shrub.

I don't grow rhodos as I have alkaline soil but a good gardening friend does and he takes the view that they will come back well if cut back hard, given a good drink of rain or soft water and then given a good mulching of ericaceous compost.  Do it soon though so new growth has time to harden before the frosts.   


Posted: 07/07/2016 at 15:37

This one certainly is.   We had to teach her about cuddles by insisting on stroking her even when she was clearly very cross about it.   Loves a cuddle these days but on her terms.  She has to ask and she has to roll over and offer her belly and when she's had enough she doesn't just get up and walk away.  She grabs my hand with teeth and claws but more gently of late.   

Do you have pets?


Posted: 07/07/2016 at 14:46

HMRC can be a nightmare but usually OK once you've located the right chap or chappess to speak to - for me so far anyway.

Vet visit went OK thanks Lesley.  Pusscat is an adopted cat - we found her living abandoned in the field next door and in a serious state of starvation, sickness and needing neutering so we fed her and sheltered her and then, when we could catch her took her to the vet for neutering.  She had polycycstic ovaries and bad teeth but recovered well and now lives upstairs.   Doesn't approve of our dogs and only occasionally ventures out now she knows we'll let her back in again.   That was 6 years ago.   The first time we took her back to the vet she shredded his arms cos he wasn't happy just to give her the jabs but wanted to prod and poke.  I did tell him but he knew better.

Today it was a young lady vet and she did her rag doll "I've got no bones" act and just let it all happen.  Seems a little lump I've found may be breast cancer so will get an op on the 18th.

Both dogs are rescues too.  One goes all drama queen and the other goes trembling heap but both are in good nick with teeth and hearts and so on and everyone now has jabs, worming, flea and tick treatment.   €199 the lot.

Now, of course, the sun is shining and I'm getting hot but have almost cleared the way to the bit of attic where I need to remove wet insulation.    Lots of chucking going on and some good finds too.   I hope the newly fixed tiles hold as we're away next week and I can't keep an eye on them.

Looking forward to photos of the day out too. 

What kind of water feature might you go for Lesley?

Covering a shady fence

Posted: 07/07/2016 at 13:05

OK, but does your side face east or west?  It does make a difference to what might grow there.

Covering a shady fence

Posted: 07/07/2016 at 12:32

Where are you and which way does the fence face?   How much sun, if any, does it get each day and when?


Posted: 07/07/2016 at 12:29

Have a great day Forkers out to play.

Well done Wales and their supporters.   Heads high all round.

Chilcot took his time but it seems he's been very thorough - so no room for criticism and wriggle from those found wanting.  Very damning about Blair, his cohorts, his cronies and the armed services' top "management" failures.   It is not exactly news that Blair put spin on info to suit his purposes or that sending troops into battle with inadequate equipment leads to unnecessary death and injury so why do they keep doing it?

DD - you are exhausting.  Make sure you keep some energy in reserve for you and Charlie and your new future.   Good advice about putting stuff aside somewhere safe so you don't lose it or forget it.

No rain today but, after a busy morning taking all 3 critters to the vet for their annual jabs and check up plus worming, flea and tick treatment, I have to tackle our attic.   Need to remove and replace wet insulation after roof tile were blown of in one of our wetter gales.........

Chelsea chop question

Posted: 06/07/2016 at 22:18

Achillea doesn't flop when it's grown hard.  In too fertile soil it gets lax.   I moved some from one bed I was clearing to treat bindweed and put it in a nursery bed in the veggie plot - loads of compost at least every other year.   It is flopping all over.  I don't think trimming it in May would be a solution.

I do the same as Topbird with my centaureas.  It suits them and extends flowering.

Tips for new Gunnera plug

Posted: 06/07/2016 at 18:56

You need to bring it in somewhere frost free but not heated as when it's in a small pot the roots can get frozen.    It doesn't need light once the leaves die down.


Posted: 06/07/2016 at 17:27

Hazel - if OH bought me an i-phone he'd find his life expectancy seriously curtailed!   If I'm at home I have proper phone, TV, PC to be contacted or watch things on and I have a camera that I know how to work and upload photos from.   If I'm out, I'm busy doing things or talking to people and don't want to be messing with a bloody phone.  I only have this newer model because I needed to send texts for the dance club and couldn't do it via the PC anymore.  Life is too short for a key pad where I have to hit one key 4 times to get an S.

It has stayed dry.  Miracle!  OH has been strimming and weeding our front boundary and i have been doing admin and hunting down containers for stuff I need to move in teh attic.  Cardboard archive boxes expensive and a delivery delay.  Plastic storage boxes with lids very expensive at 15 to 20 euros and not rigid when stacked.  

Problem solved at supermarket - large, plastic, stackable crates for veggies and salads which I can re-use for storing and moving future babies in pots and a mere €3.5 a go.   Result.

No tennis here but quite enjoying coverage of the Chilcott report in between jobs.

Tips for new Gunnera plug

Posted: 06/07/2016 at 14:24

As Fairy says - use a pot just a couple of centimetres wider than its root ball.   Pot on to the next size when you see roots poking out.   If it grows well it will need potting up again before autumn.   Keep it moist but not drowning.

I advise you to keep potting on for a couple of seasons at least and keep it frost free during the winter.  Be prepared to grow it on in pots till it gets to one at least 40cms in size unless you have mild winters or can guarantee to give them a thick blanket of garden compost before frosts arrive.    

It's supposed to be hardy down to between -5C and -10C but I have lost two at -8C because they were unprotected, quite reasonably, in early October and still had foliage which was not enough to protect the crowns.

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