Latest posts by Obelixx

Slate chipping as a cheap patio

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 10:44

The concrete base would surely make a sound foundation for some paving slabs fixed with concrete.   You can probably find some slabs on freecycle or at a reclamation yard.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 11/02/2017 at 10:40

Another freezing but gloriously sunny start today.   Checked the moon at midnight but no penumbral bits, just bright silvery light.

Exciting morning so far.   I took the kittens out for their first adventure.   Minstrel was straight off with her tail up and bushed out.  Cosmos huddled by the back door and then crept round the corner to lurk in the rescued clematis and then down by the stash of rusty birds waiting for a place in the garden.   Minstrel galloped past and then he was off too and Rasta came out to supervise.

Minstrel was up and down the ash tree and scatting all over and then we had two kittens up the walnut tree to see who could get highest up and furthest along.  Minstrel won that and Cosmos, of course, finally found his fear so OH had to climb up a ladder and into the tree to bring him down.  

Yesterday they both went fishing in my dahlia buckets.  Guess which one fell in!

No gardening today as it is still freezing.   Bulbs in the ground and in pots are coming along well.  Dahlias are now in trays in the spare room.

Sturdy looking nest box Hosta.  Hope you get some tenants. 

Pdoc - typical male with man flu.  Pressure sores indeed!   Hope your rib isn't too painful tho.

No phone scammers here so far but a persistent one on the net who occasionally got past my malware but I think we have it sorted now.   Supermarket raid this pm and present hunting.  We've been invited to dinner by our neighbours.

Stay safe everyone.

Pruning advice

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 14:17

That's what you're looking for but, again, be patient.  Any frosts forecast will affect the ends of stems so leave the dead bits on to take the frosts and then prune when it's milder.  B then your buds should have hardened up enough to cope with any late frosts.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 14:15

The grey smudge is a penumbral eclipse Pat - partial blocking of sun by the earth that looks like a cloud passing over the moon.  We'll see it in full at midnight tonight, assuming clear skies.

Last edited: 10 February 2017 14:15:31

Pruning advice

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 13:38

Group 2s can either be treated as group 3s and hacked back every Feb/March or you treat them properly as a group 2 which means leaving them alone till the buds open.  You can then cut off any dead upper stems back to a healthy bud.  

The next pruning is done immediately after the first flush of flowers goes over in mid June.  Take back any stems exceeding their bounds and dead head the spent flowers.   It should then flower again in late summer.    At each trim, give it a good feed of clematis food and a drink of liquid tomato food to encourage more flowers.

Autumn raspberries can be cut back hard in Feb or March depending on how severe your weather is.   Don't do it in during, or when expecting, heavy frosts.   Patience is a great gardening virtue.

Raised beds - to treat or not to treat wood?

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 13:34

We found that stakes lasted quite a few years without treatment and were easy to replace.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 13:31

Here in the Vendée we have a stone house too but the façade and east wall have rendering and stone mullions.  The doors and windows are newish and double-glazed with electric roll down shutters.   No curtains - yet.  While renovating, the last owners covered all the internal stone walls with plasterboard and did a lot of insulation so we keep warm enough in winter to have only needed to light the wood burner about 4 times.   It gets so hot I'm thinking of swapping it for a smaller model as we like flames but not the overwhelming heat;

No aircon but up until mid November we had at least one or two doors and windows open most of the day and that's what we'll do come summer.   We also have a terrace on the north side so we can stay cool if we need to.

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 11:53

Thanks Busy and Flowers.  She is very happy.

I've only been to Malvern show once Busy but enjoyed it and you definitely need a car boot for the treasures.  Too much going on this year but I've told OH we should go and visit family next year and I can take SIL to the show while he has the dogs for the day.  She lives about 10 mins away and has never been!

We've done the Portsmouth ferry too after a wedding on the IOW and then poodled around places like Honfleur for a few days before heading home to Belgium.   Gorgeous.  haven't been to Monet's garden but friends have and loved it.  Th trick is to stay very nearby and get in early before the coaches arrive.

Flowers, you sound like you've really been in the wars.  Hope the shoulder comes good.  I had cortisone injections in my lumbar spine to sort out 3 slipped discs about 15 years ago and they've been very effective.  I can function more or less normally as long as I listen to any twinges and stop and rest.

Kittens are finally asleep after a morning's romping so I'm off to sort out the annex in peace.

Last edited: 10 February 2017 11:53:43

Hello Forkers - February 2017 Edition

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 11:12

You off on an expedition then Busy?    White frost here too but not that cold.

Forgot to mention that Possum phoned last night in floods of tears - she's passed all her January exams and her course work for last term.   Funny girl.

Rid my hedge of IVY

Posted: 10/02/2017 at 11:07

Ivy will not kill or harm a healthy hedge but it does provide food and shelter for a wide range of wildlife as it matures.   The little aerial roots it uses to cling are for support, not feeding.

If you want to control it, just cut it back now and then but otherwise leave well alone.  You do need to make sure the hedge is well watered in dry spells and gets an annual feed from slow release fertiliser so that every shrub in it can thrive as well as the ivy.

There's some info in this article by Helen Yemm - a well respected gardener - if you scroll down to the relevant paragraphs - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/3338304/Thorny-Problems-a-gift-from-the-birds.html 

Discussions started by Obelixx


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1 to 15 of 25 threads