Latest posts by Obelixx


Posted: 29/07/2016 at 12:00

I bake too PP but have had to stop making biscuits and cakes for us.   Did them for dance club gatherings instead so we just got a small portion and also for my weekly stint of English conversation with local scientists I used as guinea pigs for new recipes.

Limousins are gorgeous but the Belgian BBs are only pretty about the face.  The rest is just too much.

Share your produce recipes with us

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 11:49

Lots of things to do with beetroot - chocolate cake is delish and moist; curried with onions, tomatoes, cumin and a bit of chilli; baked with butterbeans, cream and horseradish with a cheese gratin topping; roast in tin foil with garlic, thyme and olive oil; as one of the ingredients in sweet and sour red salad -



250g / 8oz red cabbage, shredded
430g / 15oz tin         red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
125g / 4oz radishes, sliced
1              small red onion, sliced thinly
1              red bell pepper, cored and diced
250g / 8oz beetroot, cooked and cut into strips
1              red apple, cored and cut into chunks

4 tbs        red wine vinegar
4 tbs        soft brown sugar
2 tbs        light soy sauce
2 tbs        sunflower, safflower, rapeseed or grapeseed oil

Cover the cabbage with boiling water and leave for 5 minutes without further heat.  Drain well.
Combine all the salad ingredients.
Combine all the dressing ingredients and taste for seasoning.   Some people find it more sweet than sour so you may want to adjust the vinegar levels.

Toss the salad in the dressing and serve.   The salad benefits from being left to marinate an hour or two before serving and keeps well for at least a week.   

imrpoving soil for the rose bushes.

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 11:42

Improving clay is a long process unless you can go in deep and dig out the whole lot and mix it with pea gravel and manure as Dave suggests.   It will be back breaking and possibly spade and/or fork breaking hence my suggestion that you try the multiple applications of generous layers of compost and manure every autumn.

Adding similar organic matter and pea gravel will also help in your badly drained areas.

Unexpected advice re fuchsias

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 11:39

I just pot mine up in baskets or pots or troughs using a good quality compost with food for 100 days and then keep them out of full sun and make sure they are watered regularly.   If they stay in the same pot or trough for another season, I top dress with pelleted chicken manure and occasionally add tomato feed to the water.   Works for me.


Posted: 29/07/2016 at 11:35

Could fancy a Magnum too but trying to be good for a while.   Never have crisps in the house.


Posted: 29/07/2016 at 11:31

We have Belgian Blanc Bleu cattle in the pasture next door - one bull and about 12 wives which arrive every April/May and go away again at the end of October.   They are huge, in every sense.  In 2006, the bull was very unfriendly and showed his disapproval every time we went out in the garden.   Bit disconcerting being given the evil eye, the snorts, the stomping and more unpleasant behaviours.    He only lasted one year so must have been a bovver for the farmers too.

Cool and feeling damp here after a wet night.   I am home alone while himself plays golf and Possum does her next to last day at her student job counting money at Walibi theme park.    Dishwasher man has been to fix a leak and I have cleaned floors and made my sweet and sour red salad and a frittata for lunches.   

Next job is painting kitchen chairs for Possum's student flat whilst working out what furniture will go where when we move and whether or not I can dig up another couple of clems and a rose in September......

First to set off a copy of all the dance club's music to an external disk - 38 days' worth of assorted rhythms according to i-tunes so that'll take a while! 

Glad you have your boiler maintenance sorted Dove.   Must remember to book ours for a service - local chappy who's been doing it for 20 years and is very reliable if I can pin him down with his appointment diary to hand.......

imrpoving soil for the rose bushes.

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 10:47

If you can't dig, wait until the soil has had a good soaking from a decent period of rain, pull out those weeds and put on a very thick layer of well rotted manure which you can but in bags from good DIY's and garden centre if you haven't got a handy stables nearby.   You'll need several inches to make a difference but the worms will work it in for you over winter.

Next spring, give a generous handful or two of slow release rose or tomato fertiliser to each rose and then repeat the mulching process but mixing the manure with some cheap potting compost.   Then you can plant something like hardy geraniums between your roses to add interest and cover the ground to reduce weeds and moisture loss.    

Add more layers of manure and compost every autumn and the soil will gradually improve.   Clay is naturally fertile so you just need to help it to release those nutrients by improving its texture and the manure will bring in other beneficial organisms to help fertility.

The birds are eating all my bird food!

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 10:38

Feeding has slowed down here.   The farmers are harvesting the winter wheat and barley and the birds are scoffing the spillage which leaves me with the ones that like peanuts and fat balls.   Found a load of huge slugs eating leftover ground food this morning so reduced rations till harvesting is done.

Planting in 3s - spacing

Posted: 29/07/2016 at 10:34

Rates of growth depend on where you are - temps, rainfall, wind - and the soil you have - fertile, poor, alkaline, neutral, well-drained etc - which is why good soil preparation is key before planting anything.

Since your wife already has all the plants, you'll need to play with grouping them according to height, leaf texture and form, foliage colour and flowers and also season of performance.   This autumn you can plant spring bulbs between them to extend the season of interest.

Once you've got it all planted make sure you water them in well and keep them watered in dry spells until mid to late September.  One good soak a week is better than a dribble every day.   This will give them a chance to get their roots down and established - assuming she has bought perennials.  If they're annuals, they'll still need watering but will all have to come out at in autumn as they'll have done their thing and won't come back.   If there are foxgloves and other biennials, they'll come back and flower next year and then die but you can scatter the seed to get more for the following years.

Discussions started by Obelixx

Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
Replies: 5    Views: 200
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 12:30

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 245
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 337
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 48    Views: 2174
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 615
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 761
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 833
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 590
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 935
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 2900
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 2651
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 1233
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1891
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 2366
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 1241
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05
1 to 15 of 20 threads