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Latest posts by obelixx

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:25

HFC - an MEP is not one of the bureaucrats making the rules and decisions tho they do now have more power to vote on stuff than they did before.  Great waste of space and time that parliament in Strasbourg and huge fiddles and wastes on housing them all and moving them up and down the railway and motorway once a month.

They also have a trail of interpreters and bureaucrats paid for bu us and all the lobbyists that have to accompany them on top of all the ones permanently in Brussels.   They'd have been in Paris but, in the early days of the EEC, the French missed a trick and said they didn't want it so Belgium got it, along with European NATO hq and SHAPE.

Britain has 3 embassies here - to Belgium, EU and NATO........... plus a consulate.

growing rhubarb

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:17

No idea what variety ours is but it started shooting in January which is way too early so we buried all the crowns in well rotted garden compost and have only just put our dustbins on 2 of them.    So far, the others are all staying firmly tucked up in their compost blankets.

The point of forcing is not to make them grow faster but to get those tender pink stalks that are so juicy.   You need to have enough plants to let the forced ones rest for the rest of the season and not force them the next and so you can rotate the forcing pot/bucket/bins.

GW magazine subscription

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 14:00

I think Christopher Lloyd is beyond the reach of mortal gardeners..........

I too would go with AT rather than MD when taking advice based purely on my experience with them and a brief comparison of their horticultural credentials for anyone in doubt.

I also prefer The Garden which come free with an RHS subscription - more detail, more varied, less repetitive.  

However, when I was setting off down the path of becoming a keen gardener I did learn loads from both GW on TV and GW magazine but that was back in the day with Geoff H at the helm - great knowledge, great communicator and understood the aspirations and budgets of beginners and experienced gardeners and catered for a variety of budgets and garden sizes.

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 13:49

The bureaucrats live here HCF!  They are seconded on 3 year rolling rotas like diplomats on foreign service.   Some stay here all their professional lives.   Boris Johnson went to Eton thanks to his dad being seconded to the EU!   There are EU schools here too but some prefer to send their kid sto boarding school or BSB, the British school of Brussels.  They get their houses and schools paid for and lots of other perks but there are, proportionally, as many Brits as any other nationality and all working the system for themselves and their career as much as for their home country.

It's not just EU bureaucrats that make daft rules.  How many daft ones does the UK parliament invent each year?  or your local council?

The main problem as I see it is a lack of information in the UK about how much good the EU does and also about what is available to the UK from EU finances and systems.   Too many see it is as a block rather than an opportunity.  It is easier to influence for the good from the inside than it is just peering through a thickly glazed window or a keyhole and wishing.

growing rhubarb

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 13:03

We use an old dustbin with a  brick on top to hold it down when windy.  Works a treat.  Very cheap and can be used for holding garden rubbish when sorting stuff for the compost heap the rest of the year.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 13:00

Cavolo Nero is OK down to about -5C if it's not too windy with it.  It definitely doesn't like the -15C we had in January.  It does come from Tuscany after all.

The ordinary curly kale is fine but a  bit tough now.  I shall harvest some more when fresh new leaves appear and then clear that away as well to make room for salads and red onions.   PSB will be sown for another bed.

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 12:55

Perhaps you don't realise that the bureaucrats in Brussels are sent there by the member countries.  The UK has its fair share of jobsworths and others working in EU institutions and also on the outside lobbying those institutions on behalf of vested interests from businesses to charities.

It's always better to change and improve things from the inside.  We are also culturally closer to Europe than anywhere else in the world.  

As a gardener, I see the influence of British gardening here on the continent but also vice versa.   I don't want to use chemicals like creosote or DDT or their successors because I care about my family's health and my descendants' health and the health and balance of the countryside around me.    Any responsible government would ban them and the so-called anonymous Brussels bureaucrats who drew up those rules had their fair share of Brits in the mix.

I hope they continue to do so as there is much still to be done.  Nor do I think withdrawing from Europe will improve the quality of home-grown politicians at local or regional level.    You do that at the ballot box by voting for the best person and not blindly for some party.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:52

All my cavolo nero froze to death in January.  I'm hoping it'll be fine enough tomorrow to lift it all and bin it and hoe the bed ready for another crop.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:50

Patchwork class today so no gardening.   I have discovered life is too short to quilt a patchwork table mat by hand.   

We've had strong winds and hail most of the day anyway but it's sunny now.  Maybe it'll stay fine for a bit of gardening tomorrow.  I want to clear frozen cavolo nero from our veg patch and hoe it ready for onion sets.

Windy garden

Posted: 03/03/2016 at 16:46

I have planted a row of black and redcurrants along the boundary of our fruit and veg patch.  However, 18 months ago I decided to add a protection of windbreak fabric and they are doing much better, as is the rest of the veg plot.

I extended the windbreak along the ornamental boundary too and this year, for the first time since I planted it 5 years ago, our witch hazel was covered in blooms and no dead branches.   I have also lost fewer plants in teh borders and a Japanese quince is thriving for the first time in 15 years.

It may seem expensive but investing in a roll of 1.25 m high windbreak fabric will pay dividends in healthier plants and better crops.

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