Latest posts by obelixx

Tips for new Gunnera plug

Posted: 04/07/2016 at 15:02

Mine is currently in a 60cm wide pot.  Last year its bigger leaves go to about 2' across.  As it's in a pot I cut them off at about that size to let the smaller, newer ones grow through to keep it looking fresh.

Once planted out in its new home I fully expect it to get to the size of the glorious monsters I have seen at the water's edge at Keukenhof with giant leaves and flower spikes coming from a base that spreads wider each year.

Climbing roses..

Posted: 04/07/2016 at 14:00

I suggest you look it up on the David Austin website and if they don't have anything you fancy go see Peter Beale and Harkness who also breed their own roses and sell others.

Tips for new Gunnera plug

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 18:49

I am on my 3rd - and last - gunnera.  The last two have been frozen to death by surprise -8C frosts in October.  They had coped with much colder winters when, with advanced warning, I covered their crowns with old foliage and then buried them under a 3' heap pf garden compost.

This one has been grown on in a pot and re-potted each spring until this year.  The idea was that once the pot got too big to move to the greenhouse for winter the gunnera would be better suited to surviving in the pond edges.  However, we've decided  move so it's still in its pot and will come with us.   The trick is to keep it well watered.  They go limp if too dry and that's not a good look in a pot.  

For a similar look on a smaller scale you could go for the ornamental rhubarb.

Bio Dynamic Gardening

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 17:47

Moon gardening is part of it but it's more complicated than just using the waxing and waning phases.

French and Italian gardening magazines produce calendars for their readers.    

I have noticed an improvement in germination and cropping rates when I follow the lunar calendar but this year it has been so very cold and wet and grey for weeks that nothing is doing well except the rhubarb.   Veggies, salads and strawberries chewed by slugs and not enough sun to ripen red currants and other soft fruit and the courgettes and pumpkins are just sitting there.

Bio Dynamic Gardening

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 15:21

Biodynamic gardening is organic but with extras designed to improve soil fertility and food quality and taste.   It follows the cycle of the moon for activities such as sowing, planting, harvesting and uses a lot of natural preparations such as nettle and comfrey teas and other preparations.   It's a whole, holistic philosophy for gardening and food production.

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends - part 2

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 14:47

Not for French speakers.  They "papottent"  You could have Papothé.

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends - part 2

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 13:52

Spent my teen years in Cheshire and didn't meet a guttural R.   Possum, who is bi-lingual, can do it in French but not in English and has been like that ever since, aged nearly 3 and attending maternelle in the village, she realised she had to speak different ways to different people.  Before that she mixed it up using whichever word was best.  

Her poor dad couldn't keep up and nor, obviously, could her classmates and teacher.  I feel the same when speaking to older people here who throw in Walloon words and expressions.

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends - part 2

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 13:32

Not sure about waffle - they tend to come in two main forms and both and Belgian - Bruxelles which is light and often eaten with chocolate or fruit with cream and Liège which is heavier and eaten on its own as street food.   Possum's dream kitchen would have a waffle iron and a chocolate fountain.

I'd go for a punny name as the place needs to appeal to locals who will become regulars and not just be busy in the main tourist season.


Climbing roses..

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 13:18

The smoke won't worry them but the heat will.   I had to move our brick and concrete BBQ to save my Generous Gardener which is, incidentally a much better rose than New Dawn - pale peachy pink, better perfume, larger flowers, more hardy, good repeat flowering.   New Dawn died here in a harsh winter but GG is still growing strong.   Have a look at rosa Claire Austin if you really want white.

Remedial pruning a Group 2 clematis

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 13:13

I've treated all my group 2s like group 3s for some years as they were repeatedly frozen to bits anyway with no live top growth left to produce the first flush of flowers.    It means they flower later but are healthy and don't have bare brown legs.  

As Bob says you just cut the whole plant back to a few inches above the ground.    Remember to feed them generously once you've cut them back and taken off all the cut stems.  When new growth does start wind it round the obelisk rather than letting it shoot straight up.   You'll get better foliage and flowers.

If you want to do some trimming now, cut back excess growth back to a few pairs of leaves and feed it some rose, tomato or specialist clematis food.   It should produce a few more flowers in late summer.

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