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Latest posts by obelixx

Traumatised Plants

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 08:35

In a normal year my hibiscus don't show new leaves before mid-June so be patient and give it another month and maybe a liquid tonic of tomato or rose fertiliser to encourage it.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 22:23

There's a huge difference between normal muck and agri-chemicals and organo phosphates that induce genetic mutations that lead to illness or birth defects.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 17:45

There are scientists working on EU fundd projects doing studies on glyphosate in water courses - according to my lot who are government employed scientists who also do work for the EU.  They're all agri-something specialists - milk, conatminants in feed, genetics, identifying horse meat in foodstuffs, water courses and management, red deer populations and so on.

Lavendar keeps dying in our garden

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 15:36

They like full sun and a well drained, alkaline soil.   I find Hidcote very hardy here but can only grow it in a bed next to a retaining wall of railway sleepers where they never sit with wet feet and are sheltered form teh worts of the northerly and easterly winter winds.   I also grow the white form "Edelweiss" there and they happily set seed which germinates in the gravelled parking space at the base.    Both forms have failed in other parts of the garden as have other forms. 

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 15:31

Near Gembloux.   I use it sparingly too on paths and pernicious weeds if I can't dig them out.  I do it on still, dry days so it gets nowhere near water.  I never buy the branded Monsanto stuff.  Dreadful company.

Glyphosate - possible problems?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 14:48

I teach English conversation to Belgian research scientists who told me several years ago that glyphsate is under investigation by the EU as it has been found in water courses and is causing problems so is not as inert as is claimed once it hits the soil.  In South America where they allow GM crops it is sprayed at high concentrations by aeroplane so there is drift and locals living nearby have unusually high levels of cancer and children born with defects.

Chances are it will be banned sooner or later but Monsanto has a powerful lobbying arm so maybe later.

Ideas for a very shady difficult area.

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:40

If you can lift the flagstones and set them aside you could maybe reuse them to make a hard seating area for a table and chairs and maybe a BBQ.  You could get height by building a trellis panel or a pergola or an arch. Once they're cleared, fork over the remaining soil and add as much well rotted manure or garden compost as you can then rake it more or less level.

There are loads of plants that will do well in a sheltered, shady spot - hostas, foxgloves, ferns, Japanese anémones, astilboides, lots of clematis for scrambling up treliis and pergolas and arches, pulmonarias, hellébores, hardy geraniums, primulas, heucheras, tiarellas.

If you use variegated foliage in hostas and pale coloured flowers the area will shine out, especially on grey days and dusk and make a beautiful addition to your garden.

New beds and couch grass

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:33

I find if I soak the whole root ball in water the couch grass is easy to pull out without damaging the plant.  Afterwards you can either pot up again to keep it in quarantine or else plant it out but keep an eye for any bits you missed.  It's easy enough to keep pulling the leaves off small outbreaks and it does eventually give up if tehre's no green to feed the roots.

Metal trellis?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 10:28

More likely a builders' merchant.   That's where we got ours.  You'll also need a pair of metal wire cutters to trim it to size.  I find it has endless uses - one offcut keeps the dogs in the garden as an almost invisible gate in an archway.  Another has been spread and tied over an archway to help a clematis Etoile Violette climb more easily.

Metal trellis?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 09:40

If it's going to be covered in plants it doesn't need to be pretty but needs to be strong and functional.   In my experience, pretty is expensive.

I have used the metal grid used by builders for reinforcing concrete.  It comes in two or three sizes of gap and is very cheap.   We've attached ours to wooden posts to separate our garden from the field behind but still give us a view as it is so transparent.  Depending on what I grow in that bed each year it can be used to support annual pumpkins so they ripen in the sun or sweet peas or tall sunflowers.   It also supports a blackberry and a tayberry. 

You could always spray it with hammerite to pretty up but I find the rust colour disappears into the plants.

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10 threads returned