Latest posts by Obelixx

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 18:22

I've no idea where the time goes either Tbird - and to think when I worked in computing many moons ago we had to fill in time sheets for every hour of every working day to account for our time for clients and bosses for charging and performance purposes.....

We went and bought some more compost, as planned, and a tray of 6 pale blue salvias and a packet of sweetcorn seeds dived in to the trolley along with some of those degradable pots instead of seed trays.  No dill anywhere so I've sown some herb fennel and will do my gravadlax with that instead.  Have also sown garlic chives, ruby chard, spring greens, cavolo nero, flower sprouts and some agapanthus campanula seeds - all now lurking in the cold frame OH has finally put together for me.  Amongst other things it will protect them from Minstrel who likes to check my trays are suitably full of compost!

OH is off walking the dogs while I apply some product to the furniture to get in the bits I can't reach with the sander.  Then it'll be out with the wire wool followed by a good clean and soem wood filler and then painting or lime waxing as I see fit.

Stripped Possum's bed earlier on with Cosmos helping and found him all nested up in the duvet cover when I went to bung it in the washing machine.   Silly boy.

If it's any consolation Dove, one of those boots cost me 250€ - refundable - when I had my bovver but once the swelling goes down you can welly round at quite a rate and no sticks or zimmer.   Well, I did anyway.   No good for dance classes unfortunately but I could do a mean heel turn on it.


Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 15:26

Rain is never enough for potted plants except in winter.   In active growth and flwoering periods they need regular water or they'll just focus their energy on staying alive, not flowering..  Hydrangeas also like some sun so try moving your pot to a sunnier spot and be kinder with the watering but, to be honest, it will be better off in the soil if you can plant it out and give it some moisture retentive compost when preparing the planting hole.

This is what the RHS says about this shrub - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/264574/Hydrangea-paniculata-Vanille-Fraise-Renhy-(PBR)/Details

Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 13:20

Do you water it too?  They don't want to drown but they don't like to be thirsty so a moist soil is best.

They flower on new season's growth so, unlike mopheads, it's safe to cut them back to a low pair of buds every spring..  Have you been pruning at the wrong time or in the wrong way?

Prune Apple / Plum Trees

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 13:15

We've inherited some neglected plum trees in this new garden so I've been researching their pruning as the only thing I know is not to prune them in winter because it encourages something called silver leaf.   Here's what the RHS says - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=339

They also have advice on pruning apples which can be done in winter - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=90 as well as this - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=858 and this - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=212 for summer pruning.

Hope that helps.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 13:09

Believe me Dove.  A boot like that is so much better than a plaster cast as you can remove it to wash and scratch any itches and adjust it as the swelling goes down.  

LP - glad the eye is improving.  That must be a relief.  

Busy - culture shock for you but at least it's temporary and you can maybe have a siesta.  Good that you can help out.   No 2 will need lots of hugs so she doesn't get her nose put out of joint.

We have been to do a raid on the SM at Luçon this morning which leaves me free for a few days to get as grubby as I like in the garden or painting or sanding as I see fit.   I was hoping to find pots of dill or fennel in the herb section but they had none and by the time we finished the GCs were closed for lunch so another wee trip this pm to Moutiers-les-Mauxfaits (love the name) to get compost and hunt for herbs.   It's quite cool at 22c so maybe I can plant the last of the "sunny" perennials in the silk tree bed and make a start on roses and clems.......   

I did think I might grow cannas here but have concluded you don't get a lot of flower for all that leaf so they'll have to wait for new "hot" beds in the future - maybe.   Bought lots of named Bishop dahlias online but only one has grown any shoots.  The rest just went hollow but two I bought on impulse in a local sale have done well - so far..

Greetings all and have a lovely day.

Dying Blueberry plant?

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 12:49

Looks thirsty to me.  They are woodland edge plants from the USA and Canada so don't like to be thirsty or baked.   I once left two blueberry plants in pots - along with many other treasures - to be watered by a friend's daughter whilst we were away for just 2 weeks.  She didn't follow instructions and underestimated the amount they needed so I came home to two crisp blueberries.

I watered them profusely, standing them in trays so they could soak it up.  It took a while but both greened up again and I then trimmed off the dead ends of each stem.   Having learned my lesson, I got OH to dig me two 60cm square and deep holes in a spot in the veggie plot, filled it with ericaceous compost and planted my blueberries in there once they'd recovered.  Watered in with rainwater and mulched with a thick layer of chipped bark.

All the other pots were henceforth gathered together with an automatic night time sprinkler to keep them happy.

Last edited: 30 May 2017 12:49:26

uploading photos

Posted: 30/05/2017 at 12:42

If you google "resize image" you will get several options for reducing the size of photos to make them easier to show on here or send by email..

Nora is a moderator on here and helps with technical issues.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 21:20

Hosta - this couple are ex work colleagues and we've been friends for over 30 years. As we are new here ourselves we're happy to go off and explore with them or flop at base while they go off.  He's a steam train buff so we've organised tickets for an excursion on a Vendée choo-choo.   They'll have their car so will be autonomous.

The next lot are BIL and 2 SILS who are coming by plane so need fetching and carrying and they don't speak any French so they need shepherding.   The things I do to maintain OH's family ties!   But it's a lot better for me to have them here than to go there cos I end up doing all the shopping and cooking anyway if I want edible food.

It's stayed really cool today and the forecast rain has not materialised.   However the garden is positively purring after all the rain early this morning.   OH can't understand why potting compost is on teh shopping list again.


What has happened to me?

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 21:01

Actually, at 37 you're a late developer.   I got my first garden - and thus free rein - when I was 29.  Before that I'd played in my parents' garden and with window boxes in various flats.  

Gardening has been an essential part of my life for well over 30 years and if theer'd been an internet and a forum when I started I'd have been all over it looking up plants and chatting to like minded people.

Packing paper - hanging basket liner.

Posted: 29/05/2017 at 18:15

Good idea.  i remember seeing AT experimenting with different basket liners and finding that old jumpers came out tops.  He was then inundated with purpose knit liners form his fans.

One year at Keukenhof they were experimenting with different liners and using old cotton clothes and fabric scraps and leaving pointy, handkerchief skirt type pieces trailing over the side then coordinating the planting to the colours.

Recycling can be fun as well as inexpensive..

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