Latest posts by Obelixx

New Year's Day 2017 Flower Count

Posted: 04/01/2017 at 08:17

New garden, mostly long grass and weedy gravel.   All that is in flower now are the pansies I have in pots around the front door, a mahonia in another pot and some cyclamen in a pot with a camellia.  The 3 hamamelis I brought with me are just about opening a few flowers.

That will change soon as the newly planted bulbs come up and the snowdrops I brought with me get going.  There's a mimosa that will burst into flower as soon as we get a bit warmer.   Anything else is a wait and see but there are only shrubs and long grass until we get some new beds dug and plant the treasures I brought with me and those I have yet to sow and grow.

Why does'nt my Clematis 'Jingle Bells' flower?

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 22:24

The RHS site says it needs a sheltered position so probably doesn't like either full sun or strong winds or cold spells.  

It is a chance seedling of Freckles and is supposed to like the same conditions.   I used to have one of these growing at the south facing front of my Belgian house on a westerly facing trellis.  It was in a very fertile clay/loam soil and grew well for a few years but its flowers were always shrivelled up by frosts below -5C.  The entire plant died in a minus 15C.

ideas for storing seeds

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 22:12

Mine are organised by type and then stored in tupperwares which are all kept together in a large plastic storage crate which I keep in a cold, dark shed.  The seeds are either in the packet supplied by the seed company or brown paper bags if collected by me.

I separate veggies into roots, fruits, leaves and herbs and ornamentals into annual, biennial and perennial then grasses, shrubs, trees and climbers.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 19:34

I don't know how I ever found time to go to work!    Enjoy yourself BM.

Please help

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 16:37

He's gorgeous and his behaviour problems sound a lot like our Bonzo - he gets called Bozo quite  lot.  Took just a week to get him house-trained and stop him eating shoes, furniture, kitchen bins but he's still scared of anything or anyone new and panics.  He either pulls or walks with his nose at the back of our knees but he does always return - eventually - when he's galloping off lead.

I recommend potting your existing acer on to a bigger pot.  It will be root bound so soak it well first and then tease the roots out with your fingers or a hand fork to encourage them to grow out into the new compost and not keep spiralling round the pot.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 15:19

Take it easy then Busy.  Viruses can be nasty and leave you tired for ages.   Maybe not barley sugar but certainly some sort of sweet that'll make you swallow.

Just back from lovely sunny walkies with the dogs.  Bonzo has a habit of runniing off and galloping about and coming back when he's ready.   OH complained he doesn't listen when called.  Fraid I lost y temper and told him that if he can't grasp 6 basic one word commands and use them consistently ho can he expect the bozo to understand?   Silence.

Oh well.

Unwanted Water

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 13:35

Ask the water board if they have pipes near there as one may have sprung a leak.

Why don't the birds visit my feeder?

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 12:23

Some bird seed mixes contain cheaper seeds of less interest to birds and if yours are used to sunflower seed they may be turning up their beaks.  If it's been mild they may need less food as they can scavenge elsewhere.   There may also be competition from other people feeding birds witha  different mix.

I have recently moved and am happy to say the birds here have taken to the fat balls and peanut feeders and blocks of fat with insects but aren't going anywhere near the loose seed.  Time will tell if that's because they're not used to being fed or if the mix is not to their taste.

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 11:22

No plumber.  He's ill.  I asked if it was flu but, unusually for a man, he said, no, heavy cold and fever.   Now set to come on Thursday.

The sun has come out and our garden has been invaded by a flock of starlings.  Most are fossicking around in the weeds on the graveled area (future dry garden) but one or two have discovered the hanging feeders so now I need to replace the fat balls..........  Luckily they don't seem able to hang on the peanut and insect block feeders.

Joyce - how lovely to have a good lie-in.

Pansy - may just have dislodged the battery unit?  Have a look and see.  If it's broken, you can probably order a new one online.

Rose Pruning

Posted: 03/01/2017 at 10:43

If it's very tall, cut back the stems by a third to a half now to reduce wind resistance in winter gales as this can cause root rock.

Between late Feb and late March - depends on where you are and how cold it is - prune out all obviously dead or thin and spindly stems to the base.  Cut back any shoots that cross or rub with others.  Cut back all remaining stems to an outward facing bud to leave an open centre and allow air to circulate.   

Do this on a day when frost is not forecast and then gently loosen the soil around the base with a hand fork to break up the surface and remove any weeds then give the plant a generous handful of slow release rose food and a drink of liquid rose or tomato food as an instant tonic.    

It should be in bloom again in June and will repeat flower as long as you keep dead-heading.

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