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Latest posts by obelixx

What do you have left to do in the garden this year?

Posted: 10/12/2014 at 01:21

Spent 5 hours out there today weeding and spreading compost and planting and transplanting and bulbing and got loads done but still more bulbs to plant.  The soil is cold and claggy now so I'm off to buy compost and will then put the rest of the bulbs in pots in the greenhouse.   They can then be plunged in the borders next spring.

That just leaves windbreaks to put up on the fences and the hose pipes to roll up and put away.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 09/12/2014 at 18:56

I don't see why it can't be a dance competition and entertaining but if it is going to be a competition the judges have to obey the rules as well as the competitors and they shouldn't have been so lenient with earlier transgressions.  Scoring has been fat too high from the start and they now have nowhere to go after giving all those early 7s, 8s and 9s.

Len is the only one with real ballroom experience as a competitor, judge and teacher and quite rightly likes to see certain basic steps.  The others have been successful dancers and/or choreographers but that does not make them experts in ballroom although Craig does nit pick very well on technique and his scoring is usually the most pertinent.   

Ballroom includes 5 standard and 5 latin dances, all of which have strict rules for tempo, footwork, posture and lifts.  There are none allowed in the 10 ballroom dances.   There are even rules for the American Smooth with 3 lifts and so much of it having to be in hold but pretty well anything goes in the latino dances such as salsa and Argentine tango and oddballs such as the Charleston.

I'd quite like to see some Boogie and Bachata in the mix as they are great fun to dance and attractive to watch but mostly I'd like to see rues being observed and judges being dispassionate and objective.

There's plenty of entertainment provided by the dancers, the band and the guest performers and no need for any other messing about.



What do you have left to do in the garden this year?

Posted: 09/12/2014 at 11:22

Snow and frost stopped play last week so I still have some perennials to shift and others to heel into the veggie plot for the winter till I can get their new homes cleared in spring.  Bulbs too and, silly me, I bought some more daffs yesterday on sale.......

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 09/12/2014 at 09:50

We always used to buy potted Xmas trees but only one has ever survived.  This is because they are not usually pot grown but hacked out of the ground with a teeny bit of root with no feeding roots and plunged into too small a pot.  They then get taken from cold outisde to hot inside and stressed even more.

A better bet would be to buy one from a proper nursery and nurture it but then you have a long wait for it to reach optimum size and have to look after it all year and keep potting it on over the years and then what do you do when it's too big for the house and then the garden?

The cut ones are grown as a renewable crop and get composted at the end.  A lot less bovver.


west facing wall

Posted: 09/12/2014 at 00:37

I find it's best not to mix clematis from different pruning groups as it's impossible to tell which is which at pruning time and the group 2s and 3s definiely need proper pruningregimes to keep looking good.

I would have thought a rose such as Wedding Day, Kiftgsgate or Rambling Rector would do well there and would provide a great display of floers in June followed by hips in autumn.   A summer flowering clematis such as Etoile Violette whose flowers don't fade in sun or maybe a Princess Diana if you prefer that shape and colour would provide summer interest.

If you want a smaller rose that repeats, try planting a couple of Malvern Hills to cover the wall.   I have this, and Kiftsgate in my garden and both those clems and they all cope with wind.  New Dawn would be another good rose if you prefer pinks.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 09/12/2014 at 00:02

OK. I've caught up now and here's my two penneth.  

Pixie's cha-cha was awful.  It was badly choreographed with unnecessay illegal lifts to boot and her legs were all over the place, like bits of her Charleston, and I thought it the poorest dance on the night and her poorest of the series.  And then the idiot pro dancer backchatted Len.  Stupid, stupid boy upset the GBP and Len.   Bad move.  Clever pro dancers show off their partner's good bits and hide the bad.  He was too cocky by half and got it wrong.   Pixie was good enough to do a great cha-cha without breaking the rules.  How could he not have noticed her legs in training?

Simon was better in the dance off and he had a better dance to do thanks to Christina.

I loved Caroline's Argentine tango, including the choice of proper music and excellent choreography and execution.   I still find Jake a bit creepy but his Charleston was very good - well choreographed and well danced.   Mark did very well with both good posture and good footwork.  Ditto Simon and some clever choreography from Christina.   I didn't much like Frankie's salsa but then what they do as a show salsa on Strictly is nothing like what we learn in class where it's all about keeping the rhythm with the feet and doing lots of armography and turns and not a shimmy in sight.

I liked One Direction too.  Must get that track but for a disco rock, not a Paso!



What are good quality tools for beginners

Posted: 07/12/2014 at 14:54

I like the Wolf system for occasional tools as you can buy assorted heads such as hoes, cultivatorsthem abou to suit the task in hand.  Makes storage easy too.  I have a board in the garage with screws pegged in to hold the heads and hang the handles from hooks next to it so everything is easy to find.  Extra heads can be added according to budget and need.

For digging spades and forks always go for stainless steel.

Then add seed trays, a cloche or two, trugs of various shapes and sizes to hold tools and plants, labels, a good marker, a decent hosepipe, preferable on a retractable reel, a good watering can or three, gloves for different jobs.

Has anyone seen Jack's Classic stuff in the UK?

Posted: 06/12/2014 at 09:44

And, in any case, organic based fertilisers are better for the soil, its beneficial organisms, the plant and the planet.  Make your own compost and use pelleted chicken manure or blood, fish and bone and some seaweed or comfrey fertiliser for added tonic.

Forgot to fleece my containers, is it too late now?

Posted: 03/12/2014 at 10:26

Winter has arrived here with snow last night.   Still lying in the garden and fields but will have thawed by tomorrow I'm told.  I shall be off to stock up on bird food this pm just in case and OH moved the last of the pots into the shed for shelter last night.

No snow at all last year and only a couple of very light frosts but lots of strong winds and rain.  I'd like a proper winter this year but not so cold I lose plants again and, pretty please, can I have just a few mor warmish days to get the ast of the bulbs planted and for OH to turn another compost bin?

Grass still growing

Posted: 03/12/2014 at 08:10

I cut ours just a few days ago and it has grown again but not any more this winter I think.

First snow last night.    

Should be gone by the weekend but not likely to get to grass growing temps again till March.

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