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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 23/12/2014 at 10:01

Mophead and lace cap hydrangeas flower on old wood so pruning them now or in spring will remove all the flowering wood.  If this is the kind you have and thay are too large, take out every other stem in early spring so you at least keep half the flowering wood.   Once they have flowered, you can cut back the rest to encourage new flowering wood to form.

If you have the paniculata kind you can prune them back quite hard in Feb or March and they will produce new wood that will flower in summer.   They thrive on being pruned as it makes them bushier and more sturdy.

Whichever kind you have, give them a generous feed of pelleted chicken manure and a liquid tonic of rose or tomato fertiliser in mid to late March as this will help with both stronggrowth and flowering.

Waterproof Garden Shoes

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 13:43

Or you could do this with your old wellies



Strictly 2014

Posted: 21/12/2014 at 13:19

I think Frankie has been technically better - and under marked - throughout the competition but that last night Caroline's showdance had the edge once the wind machine bit was over.   I very much liked the Fred and Ginger routine from Kevin and Frankie but a bit to long on the benches.   I also loved all the show dances being about dance and not acrobatics or props.

Simon and Christine's Argentine tango was amazing but probably not such a crowd pleaser as Caroline's Charleston.  Frankie's Paso was even better than the first time.    Great show, great series.

We'll be recording the Xmas show to watch later but OH says I'm not allowed to fast forward the Brucie bits.  Shame.


Gardeners who love their feline friends

Posted: 20/12/2014 at 11:39

I hope she beats her cancer Claire.  Our latest cat had polycystic ovaries when we got her to a vet to be sterilised.   We think she was about 5 and had had several broods of kittens.    Since then she's had two bouts of breast cancer so more surgery but she's fine now and has relaxed enough for us to be trusted to rub her tum and check regularly for new growths when she comes to us for cuddles.   Only took 2 years so she must have had a hard time with the people who eventually abandoned her.   



Posted: 20/12/2014 at 11:28

My comfrey has cream flowers with a purple tinge at the edges and spreads very easily so I always have spares for the compost heap and flwoers for the insects which love it.   I have never had problems with either cats or dogs and comfrey.

Bossy Birds!

Posted: 19/12/2014 at 12:55

Greater spotted woodpeckers are very stroppy and wn't share with other birds.  I have two sets - one lot prefer the peanut feeders and the other the fat balls.   Everybody else is happy to share both hanging feeders and the ground stuff all day long but recently we have had a family of jays visiting early and they're not very good at sharing either.


Posted: 19/12/2014 at 12:48

It's difficult isn't it?   My cats do their rodent hunting in the attic which is where they head for in winter.  When it was a farm, the insulation between the beams was husks form the grain harvest so eprfect habitat for them and their descendants clearly have the attic gene.    I very rarely find a live vole in the house and always liberate it outdoors in the shrubbery.

Given our bird feeding arrangents, their are more losses from the occasional nestling that falls out before it even has feathers than there are t this cat or teh sparrowhawk.  They nest under the eaves at one end of the house so that attic is kept closed to cats.

I do not understand cat owners who do not sterilise their cats anddogs and who leave them to their own devices day and night.   Boils down to education I suppose.

 We don't get fox poo in teh garden but you can guarantee that if there is any to be found on walkies, Rasta will roll in it.   Goose poo stinks too and we have wild Egyptian and Canada geese in the surrounding countryside.   


Posted: 19/12/2014 at 09:32

Our latest cat spends most of her life indoors and has a litter tray but previous cats have always used our garden.  When we lived in Harrow we had up to 7 cats take up residence with us, 3 cats next door and 2 at the next house so I simply gardened with gloves on.   

Now we have 2 dogs and have to do regular poo patrols in our garden as well as taking poo bags on walkies.  It's all part of responsible pet ownership along with having cats and dogs sterilised, chipped, vaccinated and regularly treated for worms, ticks and fleas.   I also think cats should be kept in at night.

We feed the birds all year round but I have a special hanging bird feeder bar that keeps them out of the range of pouncing pussies and the ground feeding slab is clear of cover too.  There are shrubs nearby so the small birds have shelter from sparrowhawks too.

We live in the country in an old farmhouse so need a cat or two to catch the mice which try to migrate into the house for winter.  Our terrier rescue dog is good at chasing rats which live in burrows along the edge of the arable field behind and also like to explore our garden and garage for food in winter.   

Gardeners who love their feline friends

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 13:10

Pusscat on a rare outing in the garden

Former cats Zazu and Sushi getting acquainted

Sacha in the Barbie pool

Rasta mothering Sushi

 Zazu died of old age despite losing a leg to a car when he was 6 but Sacha and Sushi were both run over and killed in our country lane.   Two other cats were also run over and two more disappeared without trace so we only take in strays now.   They all had such different personalities and were much loved. 

Feeding birds.

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 11:21

I don't have space in my freezer nor a good source of lard so I buy fat balls from a local source I trust - no RSPB here - and then peanuts and mixed seed either in bags or loose depending on prices which vary through the year.   They aso get fat blocks with fruit or mealworms when I can find them.   

I feed the birds throughout the year so they survive winter and make healthy eggs and have the energy to scour my garden for pesty insects and caterpillars to feed their babies in spring and summer.   There is now a healthy resident colony of sparrows as well as great and blue tits and we get visiting chaffinches, siskins, wrens, dunnocks, robins, blackbirds, thrushes, woodpeckers and some I've never identified as well as pheasants, jays, jackdaws and an occasional sparrowhawk.   

I love the animation and chatter and have no need for chemical pesticides so it's a win win double whammy for me and the birds.

Discussions started by obelixx

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
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Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Mare's tail

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Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
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Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

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Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

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Last Post: 22/02/2015 at 15:50
11 threads returned