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Latest posts by obelixx

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 14/07/2015 at 18:35

On hols in a gite in the Charente so the only gardening I have done is to dead head the pelargoniums in the window boxes and prune the odd rosemary, sage or thyme plant when I need some herbs.

I gather it has rained quite a bit at home so no doubt I shall spend all next week dealing with rampant weeds and getting the grass back in order in between walking the doglets who will be back on usual routes and routine.   They think holidays are like Christmas - all the family together and lots of long walks with new things to explore and treats and cuddles and play.

clematis rebecca

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 19:10

Rebecca is agroup 2 so you can/should prune lightly to keep it to shape after the first flush of flowers finishes.   It should then produce a second flush of flowers in late summer.    With young clematis that are recently planted, it is enough just to remove the spent flowers so it doesn't waste energy making seeds.

Either way, give your clematis a good feed to encourage new flower formation.

The mind boggles

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 18:48

They taste good but don't store as well as the summer grown ones so just plant enough to get you across the gap until your usual summer grown ones are ready to harvest.

Welshonion - Fench beans freeze very well.  They're the only kind I eat as we don't have them often but there's always a bag in the freezer.   I'd rather grow fruit and veggies which are hard to find in the shops here in Belgium - broad beans, cavolo nero, PSB, forced rhubarb - or else very expensive - soft fruits, fennel, cos letuce..........;

The mind boggles

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 10:40

Kleipieper - You could always grow Japanese onions on your plot to cover the gap between old season's onions finishing and the new crop coming in.

Lovely post Dove.   Well said.

How many of you have Japanese or Korean cars, cheap clothes made in Bangladesh or Pakistan by poorly paid women in appalling conditions, fake branded goods made in China and so on?    Shops can only sell what people are prepared to buy so it's up to you to decide whether air miles only count on food and whether British and European jobs are more valuable to us than exporting profits to Asia or anywhere else.


Posted: 12/07/2015 at 10:28

I too don't see the point of scentless roses with the possible exception of Hot Chocolate which is a glorious colour.

Roses are like any other plant we use - grow them in the right conditions and they will grow strong and healthy and perform well and be a delight.   Grow them in poor soils or too hot or too cold or too wet or too dry and they will suffer and need constant attention or just look awful.   Cram them in packed beds of roses and they will attract all sorts of pests and diseases. 

I have mine grown in mixed borders with other perennials including lavenders and alliums which help deter pests.   I give them a generous feed of pelleted chicken manure every spring and potash too when I find it and I prune them according to type.    They get a mulch of garden compost in autumn if I have some to spare from the veggie beds.    This year they've been glorious and I don't mind the dead heading as it encourages new flowers to form and gives you the chance to check they'e doing OK.  I never spray them.

I need your help

Posted: 12/07/2015 at 10:07

Good luck with your diet Pauline.   Cutting out all processed food will deal with hidden sugars and fats, especially the dreaded trans fats.   Cook your food from scratch using fresh ingredients except maybe tinned beans (not baked in sauce) and canned fish in brine for convenience.

Lots of good recipes with counted calories, proteins, fats and sugars on the BBC Good Food website.

Rambling roses

Posted: 09/07/2015 at 18:43

Go for something like Kiftsgate or Rambling Rector and you should be fine - as long as you prepare the planting hole well with plenaty of well rotted manure and/or garden compost and water it regularly in its first year and feed it generously every spring.   Both have clusters of creamy white flowers and will look gorgeous against dark green conifers.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter fire'

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 21:04

In the end I've decided the vibrant red of alba sibirica with it's strong growth and good foliage is far more beautiful than the Midwinter form which needs coddling and is wussy about being pruned so can easily get too big.

I am now layering the sibirica to make new plants for me and a couple of friends but will continue to pot up Midwinter Fire babies for the annual charity plant sale cos people still like it.    

Slug pellet removal...

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 15:49

Or just hoe them in to the top soil so they're invisible.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned!

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 10:41

Better than letting them get strong enough to set seed or send out runners though, especially now that weedkiller chemicals are being severely limited for amateur gardeners.

I can cope with digging them out in the borders where I don't want to nuke treasures but I'd love a flame thrower for my cobbles and gravel paths.

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