Latest posts by Obelixx

Sparrow infestation in leylandii hedge

Posted: 23/10/2017 at 10:20

It's not an infestation.  I used to call ours a conference as they'd fly into the middle by day when the hawks were about and have long chats and then the ones which weren't nesting in our eaves would roost there at night.  Great security form weather and predators as the interior of a leylandii is naturally dry, hence the brown.   The sparrows eat aphids from all over the garden too, not just in the conifers.

This is nature at its best, living in harmony and symbiosis.  Leave the sparrows alone and keep your hedge trimmed only in the green and in August, once the breeding season is over.  As PG says, once you cut back into brown wood these plants cannot regenerate.

Last edited: 23 October 2017 10:21:14

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 23/10/2017 at 10:16

I agree that talking is the best place to start but then I suspect, from previous posts and behaviour, that PD is not the most "listening" kind.   You have to put your own fears aside and let her know your are worried for her and want to make her feel good.   A bit of pampering won't go amiss and there are people who will come to your home and do hair, nails, reflexology, massage etc but the best thing you can do is be a good patient and not go all doom and gloom and sorry for yourself.   The best outcome for both is for you to get well and then go and enjoy some quality time together somewhere good for the soul.

Grey day here but not too dull and it's dry so chappies are busy roofing the shower room.

Feeling better today but still headachy so a quiet day getting on with sewing projects and patchwork homework.   If I can get OH away from his golf on TV I'll watch the Jacqueline Du Pré programme.  I have the rose but have never, consciously, heard her play.

Hope all goes well with DD's visitor and that Charlie has a good time.   Good luck to everyone else for their activities today.  Love those Possum's Pat.

I like dogs and bananas (to eat, not grow) but there's too much of both on GW.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 23/10/2017 at 10:01

The artists get massive publicity for little effort. The audience is wound up on purpose to cheer the dancers tho, like Frank, I'd rather they were quiet and really watched the dancing tho i can forgive them for not always listening to the act.

Another good set of dances with clever choreography from the professionals who really seem to be suiting things to their partner and using dance and not gimmicks this year.  Loved Gemma's foxtrot - and the frock - and thought Debbie did very well with the rumba despite the dreadful frock.  Very good Paso from the wee Scots chappy and I thought Susan did well with her cha-cha despite being completely the wrong build for it.   

Both dance off contestants needed to go home.  Just a question of time.  Very wooden Charleston and lack lustre jive.

Layered beech

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 22:53

Layering is a well known method of propagation for shrubs and trees.   You bend branches or stems down to the ground, scratch or slightly cut the bark on the underside and then peg it down to the soil with a bent wire or a stone.   Leave for a year by which time it should have produced roots and the branch can then be severed from the parent and dug up and potted or planted elsewhere.

A layered tree such as the one you describe is simply one that has naturally, or with a little help, had low lying branches root into the soil and has then been left enough years or decades to become a feature.

Honey fungus how much to remove

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 22:47

There are no chemical controls for honey fungus so you need to dig out as much of the affected wood and roots as possible and burn it and then put in fresh soil and plant non-susceptible plants.  The RHS has a list of those most susceptible as well as those not known to have been infected so far.

Perennials best resistant to honey fungus?

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 22:42

I think you'll find that honey fungus affects woody plants so herbaceous perennials will be OK.   The RHS publishes a list which includes the trees and shrubs most likely to be affected and another of those which have never reported infection.   You can peruse that list and find out which will grow in your soil and climate - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/pdfs/honey-fungus-host-list.pdf

Hello Forkers.....It's October!

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 22:36

Is there a spa resort/hotel/complex near you where you can send her for a day or 2 or 3 to be pampered, steamed, massaged?   Or a hobby or interest where she can go and do a day's course or a weekend?  I'm assuming she won't want or accept anything that takes her away too long if you're at home cos she'll want to be sure you're OK too.

Invite friends round for dinner/lunch/Sunday brunch but order all the food and drink in so you have to do very little but get to share time with good friends who can amuse and distract her.   Tickets for concerts to see with a  friend......

I'm watching GW at the mo and reckon stone plant chap just has a bad barber.   Thick, straight hair is really hard to get cut well and shows hat lines very easily.  OH has had some horror cuts in the past but we've managed to find someone reasonably good here.    Just need to hide all his horrible golf caps now.

Off to bed now.  Sweet dreams all.

Transplanting a potted late flowering clematis to open ground

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 17:59

Clematis are hungry, thirsty plants so you will need to make sure it has a very good planting hole where it can get its roots down deep and not have to compete, especially whilst it's getting established.  This may mean you need to distance it from the trunk and lead it up the cherry tree with wires or a stake of some sort.

Water well then plant it a few inches deeper than it was in the pot as this encourages extra shoots to form and give it another good drink.  Make sure you give it a generous feed of clematis food every spring and prune and train it as necessary.  Late flowerers usually get pruned back hard in Feb/March and then flower on new season's growth.

Last edited: 22 October 2017 18:00:59

Giant Bay tree

Posted: 22/10/2017 at 16:20

I have a large, fat culinary bay in this new garden and some new gardening friends who were here to see the "before" garden on Friday suggested I could topiarise it into a formal column or a cone or maybe cloud prune it.

Worth a go once I decide on a shape as there's no way I can just trim it by taking a few leaves when I'm making a casserole and it's definitely too big where it is and I have another so it doesn't matter if it doesn't like it.

Warren - I like the shape fo your trees but if they are too big for you I suggest you take a hedge trimmer to them and reduce them back in stages till you get the shape and size you want or you go back to thicker stems that need cutting with secateurs or loppers to get the size you want.   


Posted: 22/10/2017 at 14:42

First thing is to remove obvious dead leaves then soak each pot in a bucket of water till no further air bubbles appear and then leave it to drain.    Then it's a case of putting them in a well lit position, but not direct sun, and out of draughts and a wait and see if anything grows.

Repeat the dunkings once a week for now but do make sure they have time to drain thoroughly afterwards as they won't want their roots to drown.

If there is no new growth after a month or two, I would bin them and start again.  If new growth does show, try a gentle dose of feed for leafy house plants.  You can buy this in small stick from in good supermarkets and DIY stores.  Just push a couple into each pot.  If they do revive and grow, you can up the feed next spring but stick to the dunking method for watering as it's the best way to avoid over or under watering.   A light shower to remove dust from the leaves every few weeks also helps.

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