Obelixx


Latest posts by Obelixx

What is this shrub

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 16:44

Looks like a dahlia to me - herbaceous perennial which is not reliably hardy except in mild areas.   Once the first frosts have blackened it, you need to dig up the whole root which will be tuberous so be careful and use a fork to lift the whole clump.  Cut off the stems at about 2" high and then turn the plant upside down and let it drain for a day or so on some old newspaper in a frost free place.


Then you need to turn it right way up again and store somewhere frost free, wrapped in newspaper or in damp sand until spring.  Then you spread the tubers in a shallow tray of potting compost, give it a drink and, again, keep it frost free but somewhere light.  As the new shoots get to about 3" high you can take some off to make cuttings.  Once the frosts are over in mid May or so you can plant it out in teh ground or in a big pot of your prefer.  Protect the young growth from slugs and sanils who think of it as caviar.


Alternatively, if you are in a mild area, remove the frost blackened stems and cover it with a thick pile of good garden or bought compost to protect the crown from frosts and wait for it to make new shoots late next spring.

Identify this please.

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 16:31

I can't tell without a close up of the flowers and a leaf but, for watering, when in doubt, I immerse the whole pot in a bucket of water till no further bubbles appear then let it drain completely.   This way it never sits in water which can drown the roots.  You can tell when it needs it by feeling the compost with your finger.  If it's dry one inch down it needs watering.

Perenial Bee Attracting Plants

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 14:57

Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, early flowering geraniums like macrorhizum and pheum followed by later varieties of your choice for colour and form, then Japanese anemones, physostegia and sedum spectabile to take you into late summer and early autumn.   Probably plenty more but these have worked for me and will take you through most of the year.

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 14:52

I thought the ban came in this January.   Good.  I have a fine patch of bulrush to clear.  Otherwise, just lots of nettles to strim and sling on the new compost heap.  Can you believe in all this space there wasn't one?

Strictly is back!

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 14:20

Modern sequence dance is hugely popular in the UK.  I tried to get the Belgians at it after seeing it done at Blackpool Tower ballroom when over for a nephew's wedding and staying not too far away.  It's lovely because all couples dance the same steps at the same rhythm in a huge circle round the dance floor so older dancers who are getting a bit frail have no fear of being run over by faster couples.  There was a couple who must have been in their 80s who only did those dances and were lovely to watch.


There are waltzes, tangos, rumbas, sambas and all sorts now as well as the older stuff.   I appealed to Len's school for info and they were very helpful, pointing me at sites and sources where I could get the steps and the music.


We loved it but the Belgians prefer their line dances which also encompass all the rhythms, not just C&W.  I love them too but the sequence dancing in couples is altogether something else.

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 12:46

Christmas lights!!! It's not even November yet and we still have Halloween plus Bonfire Night for the Brits and St Nicholas for the Belgians, Dutch and some French regions!


Today I have arranged for someone to collect our lawn mower after OH injured it while trying to cut the hay in our new garden.  It hasn't been mown at all this year by the look of it - they had 2 sheep with insufficient appetite - and the mower gave up under the strain.  


I have just placed a hosepipe on the front garden to make a new edge to cut back to as it is growing over the drive and needs taming.   When i have a decent mark in a few days' time I shall burn off the excess with my new heat gun toy - no glyphosate in France - and then plant my hamamelis in the grass along with some other winter interest plants.   There are already some cyclamen and autumn daffs and I'll put my snowdrops in there too.


Tomorrow I need to go on a pot hunting expedition so my daffs and tulips and alliums all have new homes as we're not yet ready to dig new beds.   Need to wait and see what the weather and light levels give us to work with first.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 12:37

But not so much the hair and make-up, for me anyway.   They did manage some gorgeous colours and trims on those dresses.


The newer, sleeker, princess line dresses are much easier to manage than all those layers of frothy net.  I made one, admittedly full length, fancy dress for a Venetian masked ball so laced bodice, big skirt and under layers.  Lovely till I tried doing a line dance with lots of turns and found the skirt had its own momentum and no brakes.  Talk about getting carried away.....

would you move house for a bigger garden?

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 12:25

We have moved to a bigger garden but the main aim was a smaller house that was easier to manage as we age and that we have.   The plot is 1.4 hectares/3.5 acres+140,000 sq ms.   Half is pasture and will be used by our new neighbours who need space for horses.  


A large area is graveled and full of weeds but will become a proper gravel garden inspired by Beth Chatto.  There is a large, square, fenced off area which was used for chickens and that will become the potager with the hen house becoming a tool shed.  The rest is long grass with lots of wild apple mint and nettles and a few fruit and other trees which we will get cut back to lawn level grass and then planted with some more trees for colour and blossom and berries for wildlife.   There will also be a perennial border and a white border and a winter border and lots of clematis and roses but that all needs thinking about and a bulldozer.


This is all fine as we are retired but I wouldn't take it on if I had a job and a young family to consider or thought I might be moving again in 7 years or at all, frankly.  It will take time and hard work and lots of love to make it what we want and I wouldn't want to leave it behind.   Take the time to enjoy the garden you have and enjoys your family while you are still all living together.  The next few years of secondary school will pass in a flash as it is.

Last edited: 25 October 2016 12:27:44

HELLO FORKERS! October Edition

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 12:03

Pat - If they'd turned up early they'd have had to do it themselves wouldn't they?   By all accounts FODMAP is very effective at identifying troublesome foods so do give it a go when your guests have gone.


Yvie - I don't mind snakes but then the worst we'd get here is a viper and they're shy.  I wouldn't go actively hunting either.  None spotted so far but, finally we have some small brownish birds I recognise - chaffinches and sparrows scavenging on the terrace so I'll put some ground food out for them.  I suspect the rest are mostly warblers but which ones?


What kind of new shed RB?  Fancy chalet or workhorse potting shed?   Exciting either way.


I have just started a huge pot of fat free vegetable soup to keep me going when I get a snack attack as I can't see me doing formal meals over the next week or so tho I will no doubt treat myself at some point.   Other than that, the hosepipe is now laid out while I consider where I want my new edge to be and I've found the missing narcissus poeticus I had stashed along with some alliums.   More pots then.


Sun's coming out so I may just go and walk the dogs and then I can potter while I wait for the plumber - bathroom sink has a leak, needs a new tap and I want to discuss moving it anyway.

Can you compost yellow flag iris?

Posted: 25/10/2016 at 09:22

As there's so much of it I'd consider taking it to the green waste dump as they heat up more than a domestic compost heap and will kill it.  If not, then spread it out to dry and die before you compost it so that none of the roots survive the process and live on to invade again.   


It is dreadful stuff.  We were given a piece for our newly excavated unlined pond some years ago and it terra-formed it.   We pulled it all up, along with bulrushes, one year but it came back with a vengeance.


This new garden has a similar pond invaded by bulrushes sow e'll be looking for a man with an excavator on his bulldozer and hoping there aren't flag iris too.

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