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Latest posts by obelixx

Fence Replacement?

Posted: 30/12/2014 at 13:50

What does the neighbour hit it with?  Is the fence just a boundary marker or intended for privacy?

I would be inclined to go for metal mesh fencing as it is sturdy and, if installed correctly will last for years and be more or less maintenance free.  You can buy green, black or white coated mesh fencing in various heights.    You could train a clematis or two or some pyracantha along for added interest.

If that's too fancy or expensive you could make one by cutting panels of the rusty mesh builders use for reinforcing concrete.  It comes in 5m x 2m lengths and we have used it to separate our veggie plot from the field behind and it now has blackberries growing up it and also supports sunflowers and pumpkins in season.

Along another boundary we have cut it to 4' high to protect a holly hedge from cows who were nipping the tender new shoots in spring and making it a very short, fat hedge.  It is now growing taller and has been a picture with masses of bright red berries this year.

Our panels are attached to wooden posts buried in concrete to withstand strong winds.   


eating and..........

Posted: 30/12/2014 at 12:37

My daughter was weaned on carrot purée, mashed bananas and mashed avocados after she spat out baby rice.   Now coming up to 20 she won't touch bananas or avocadoes but likes raw or roast carrots.   We have a rule, she has to eat a good spoonful of any veg I prepare for any meal.  Now she's a student she's away weekdays and cooking for herself.  She loves Thai, Japanese and Indian food so does get plenty of veggies.

When she was at kindergarten and primary school, I gave her healthy packed lunches or sandwiches and hid carrots in little chocolate carrot cake buns.  She never had crisps or bought biscuits and cakes from me but I rather think she bought them at secondary school.

I have a new spiraliser which turns veggies into slices or spaghetti and we all  loved Tom Kerridge's hard core cole slaw with great long spirals of carrot and beetroot.   They only cost about 30 quid and would probably be great fun for kids to use to prepare fun veggies.

Coffee Grindings

Posted: 30/12/2014 at 12:05

We only ever drink filter coffee at home and the grounds all end up on the compost heap.   No good for hostas as they're decaf. 


Posted: 28/12/2014 at 14:35

-5C at midday and bright and sunny so only the stuff on the road has thawed to a slush which will freeze and become a skating rink tonight as we're set to go to -8C.

Staying cold all week with more snow due to fall by Friday so absolutely no gardening but I'll get fresh air walking the dogs so that's OK.

Plants and snow and the Hardiness rating

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 11:51

If it's warm enough for snow to be wet it's warm enough for most garden plants not to need insulation for their branches and crowns but may be too wet for many root systems.   Borderline plants need to be wrapped up in horticultural fleece well in advance of any snow of heavy frosts or else moved to the shelter of a greenhouse or a garage or a conservatory.

Feeding birds Yes or No

Posted: 28/12/2014 at 11:44

It's freezing out there and any snow makes foraging very difficult.  Feed the birds and worry about rats later.


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 15:24

I should think it woul dbe fine as a container for figs but would suggest driling some drainage holes at about 3 or 4 inches above the bottom so they don't sit in stagnant water.   I would also advise lining the insides with bubble warp for extra root insulation.

I did that in a 70 by 70cm square metal pot and my fig survived outside in some pretty rude winters.  However 3 years running it got its top frozen back to the crown as we get very cold here.   It recovered each time but not in tie to produce figs so now I have it in the ground in my unheated greenhouse and it is thriving.

Cornus alba 'Sibirica'

Posted: 27/12/2014 at 13:39

It will survive and thrive if the soil is right but the whole point of the red stems is to see them lit up by low winter sun so hiding it in a north facing aspect with just a bit of sun filitered through a fence won't exactly show it off at its best.  


Posted: 27/12/2014 at 10:10

Snow promised but not delivered.  However howling winds and driven rain all night and our paddock across the road is a lake again with a gaggle of geese and ducks swimming.  I shall have to plant more willows along the stream that marks the boundary.

Plants and snow and the Hardiness rating

Posted: 27/12/2014 at 00:12

Snow acts as an insulator so don't remove it from hardy perennials but do shake if off any branches it is weighing down as the weight can permanently damage plants.

The RHS has recently recognised that varying degrees of hardiness are needed to describe plants more accurately and found that the USA zoning system wouldn't work in the more moderate but also more variable over small distances UK climate.   I'm in central Belgium and find plants do better in winters with lots of snow than the ones where it is cold for long periods without any snow.   It can make the difference between surviving -25C and -15C.

Imperatas, pennisetums and evergreen viburnums do not do well here.

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11 threads returned