London (change)


Latest posts by obelixx

suggestions please

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 15:36

Friends of mine have used a birch tree stump to park a sculpture........


Dwindling ficus benjamina

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 12:41

I put mine in the shower when we go away.  It gets a good hose down to remove dust, a thorough soak of its root ball and then good drainage and has its own wee micro climate for a week or 2 depending on how long we're away.   Ficus elastica gets the same in the other shower.    Smaller house plants go in the bath and also get a good rinse down a soak of their roots and pots.  I then leave the plug in with just a centimetre or so of water as they dry out faster than the big pots.

We come home to very happy plants.

Dwindling ficus benjamina

Posted: 19/02/2016 at 10:11

It is natural for evergreen plants to shed leaves but in small doses as they renew themselves.    If it does it in large quantities something is wrong.  

Mine is bigger and did this about a year ago and I concluded it was starving.  It is now healthy again and gorgeous.   I keep its pot on a wheeled base now to make it movable for occasional turning and cleaning under and around it.

This is what worked for me.   Lift it out of its pot and soak the rootball thoroughly in a big bucket until no further bubbles appear.

Then tease out some of the roots so they stop going round and round and will be more likely to grow outwards then re pot in a bigger pot with fresh compost.   Top dress with compost to cover those roots by about 1 or 2cms.    Water thoroughly but let it drain before returning to its position.

Water regularly and give a weekly liquid feed from spring through to mid summer or push in some of those slow release feed sticks for leafy houseplants.  Turn it occasionally to balance growth towards the light.

If you don't want it to grow much bigger, you'll need to trim some of the roots off before re-potting in the same pot.   It will still need feeding and watering to keep it healthy.


Gardeners World returns 4th March 2016

Posted: 18/02/2016 at 17:57

I can wait.   We are out at dance class every Friday evening anyway so I have to record it which does mean I can FF the bits of no interest of which there seem to be more and more in recent years tho still not as many as when the Buckley person was in charge.

I do hope the new person is substance and not fluffy filler.

Beechgrove has more to offer for me as they seem to pack in so much info without being hurried and no time wasting on lingering shots of wheelbarrows and dogs.  Love dogs and have 2 of my own but no time for them in a  30 minute show.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 18/02/2016 at 17:43

I waded out in my wellies yesterday - nearly lost them - and took cuttings from the pollarding willows in the paddock and planted them along the stream to help provide more windbreak and suck up excess moisture as our paddock floods at the drop of a hat since the local council "improved" the stream's flow through the next village.

Also took cuttings of the salix contorta and stuck them in a pot of water to root as my wellies aren't high enough to do the rest of the stream bank in its current flooded state.

Freezing here at the mo so no other garden or sowing yet.    Apart form walking the dogs I'm sewing instead but we'll be tackling drunken fence posts and then replacing broken trellis panels next week.

Set OH to calculate the paint needed to do a bedroom, bathroom, landing, hall, stairs and kitchen and pantry and it will cost over €750 in Belgium so we've booked a day return on a ferry for €55 and even counting the cost of a full tank for the car we'll save over €300 buying it in Canterbury!   £7 a litre compared with €20+ here for the same paint!

Lichen on Magnolia Stellata

Posted: 18/02/2016 at 17:33

Lichen is a sign of clear air but poor ventilation and is unlikely to be killing your tree.  I have it on all my blackcurrant bushes now that they have a windbreak to protect them form sharp northerly winds and they flower and fruit with gay abandon every year.  

It's more likely to be a problem of malnutrition or some other sickness in the magnolia.  Try forking some pelleted chicken manure and a generous dollop of some soil conditioner for ericaceous plants around the root base.   Give it a liquid feed of sequestered iron in case it is anaemic and, when the leaves come, a foliar spray feed made from 15ml of Epsom salts dissolved in 5 litres of water which will deal with any magnesium deficiency.    

Then it's a case of wait and see if it responds.



Posted: 15/02/2016 at 08:29

We have this stuff - and nettles - invading from the neighbouring fields.   I use glyphosate along the boundary on the field side of the fence  to try and weaken it but on our side I have too many treasures from fruit bushes to strawberries and perennial flowers and shrubs that I can't risk so just have to do constant weeding.

A fork is better than a hoe or spade as it breaks up the roots less and leaves fewer voluntary cuttings to regrow.   2 years of this regime has led to a significant reduction on the veg plot and garden side.   Onwards and upwards this year.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 14/02/2016 at 16:52

Freezing here and set to be that way tomorrow too so no gardening but we may head to the builders suppliers tomorrow and order lengths of metal grid for reinforcing concrete - but we'll use it to replace dead wooden trellis panels on teh grounds that it is indestructible, almost invisible and a great support for clematis and climbing roses which will be waking up soon.

Not enough light to sow yet soIi've been sewing instead. I've made a lovely madras check shirt for Possum and she doesn't like it cos it's fitted for curvy people.  One for me then.  

Now to make a less fitted gingham check one and see if that does any better.



Growing Hakonechloa

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 22:00

Mine grow happily in fertile, alkaline loam in a  moist, shady bed.    North facing bed so full sun from mid May to August but no direct sun the rest of the year; though plenty of light except for winter months when it's dormant anyway.   Spreading slowly with no fuss..  

Wheelbarrow Tyre

Posted: 13/02/2016 at 08:29

Our tyre kept going flat and we had difficulty re-inflating so I bought OH a new tyre which he promptly pranged on some thorny hackings.  He's now bought a new wheel with a solid tyre - bright yellow - and it's fine over paths and lawn.  Got it at the local builders' merchants.  Take the old one along to make sure you get the right size.

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