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Latest posts by obelixx


Posted: 10/10/2014 at 10:36

It is so warm here still that I have pelargonium still in full flower outside.  Normally by now we've had a frost of a few degrees.

I'm keeping an eye on temps forecasts so I can bring them in in good time and will be taking cuttings of the more interesting flowered ones as insurance this weekend.

Christmas stuff in shop

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 08:46

My daughter is a January baby and does very well out of the January sales now that her main desire for presents is clothes, boots etc.   Even managed a few good deals the years it was PC and other technology.

OH and I are early December and late November babies so I always refused to get Xmassy till after his but in Belgium we also have St Nicholas to contend with on the 6th.  Possum still expects prezzies then and when she was little OH used it as an excuse to have the house decorated for his birthday on the 7th.  I resist as long as possible and they all come down on 12th night.

Definitely a winter solstice fest here.

Christmas stuff in shop

Posted: 10/10/2014 at 07:21

What Bookertoo is saying is that some people need it on th shelves that early.

Those who don't like it have only to walk past the display to what they do want - just as I walk past all the crisps and cola sand other junk food in a supermarket every single week of the year without begrudging them shelf space.

Plants in France

Posted: 09/10/2014 at 07:57

Plants are cheaper than the UK in Belgium too and the better weekly markets have some excellent plant stalls with some gems in amongst all the usual bog standard culprits.   Then there are seasonal plant fairs and some excellent nurseries with different specialities so some expensive, niche plants but also a wide range of goodies at normal prices.

At a plant fair this weekend I got a very good hydrangea paniculata Diamant Rouge for €18 and extensive advice on pruning and after care and the possibility of signing up for email reminders on when and how to prune it and feed it.   The same nurseryman had some fancy esoteric hemerocallis for over €100.

I do find the best seed suppliers are in the UK and order those online.



How has this happened?

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 17:50

Nearly all of mine have done that this year as well as producing flowers lower down..

Advice for getting rid of plant

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 15:31

Water the plant liberally and leav to soak for an hour or so.  This will make it easier to dig out.  you can be ci-utting the grass while you wait.

Level the resulting hole with soil from the rest of the garden or John Innes no 3 loam based compost form a garden centre or DIY store.

Water the new bare patch, let the soil settle and adjust the level if needs be then sow grass seed and sprinkle with water.   It should germinate and grow well at this time of year.  leave it to get at least 3 inches high before its first cut and cut it high - not shorter than 1.5 inches - so it has enough leaf to grow decent roots and thicken up for winter.

New Weeding Tool

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 14:02

1. Constant repetition, like dusting.   Getting bindweed out from plants I wish to keep.

2. Depends on the weed - annuals are easy to hoe but others like nettles have long, running roots close to the surface and thistles, docks and dandelions have deep tap roots which need to e completely removed or they come back as root cuttings.

3.  Normal hoes are fine for small annual weeds but big weeds need something to hoik them out without disrupting treasures.

4. See 3.

Willow Hedge (I think)

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 11:39

Leave the clematis to finish flowering and then cut it back along with the willow in February and then feed the clamtis generously to encourage new growth.   Whether or not you keep the elder is entirely up to you.   

For the bndweed, spray or spot paint carefully with glyphosate when new growth shows in spring.  Repeat applications till no more appears but don't let it fall on other plants you wish to keep a sthey will die too.  This may take months and will require vigilance.   Digging it up usually just makes lots of lovely root cuttings and new plants.  

Alliums companion planting

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 22:03

I agree.  Plant hardy geraniums which will look after themselves.   Rozanne is very good but can get a bit lax if not planted in full sun.   You have a wide choice of flower colour, height and spread of plant and also leaf form.

What to do

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 18:03

Glyphosate only works on green foliage so it won't matter if som egets on teh tree bark but it is best applied when plants are actively growing so spring to late summer as it works by carrying the active ingredient down to the roots and killing the whole plant.    You also need a minimum of 6 hours of dry sunny weather immediately after spraying for it to be absorbed.

Why not try taking off some of the lower branches of the tree to raise its canopy and allow planting underneath?    You could also thin the canopy by taking out weak, thin or crossing branches.    That should leave you with a lighter and possibly more healthy and productive tree assuming that there's a suitable pollinator within insect flying distance.

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