Latest posts by obelixx

To stone or not to stone

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 14:32

The RHS has been doing some research on container gardening and best techniques and now advises not to crock or stone in layers but just enough to stop compost leaking from the drainage hole(s).

The interesting thing about the wine corks is that they soak up excess moisture and then release it if the compost gets a bit dry - and the collection process is enjoyable too.

Rose Garden

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 14:23

Ornamental alliums and lavender are great companions and help deter aphids which don't like their smell.

Hardy geraniums and heucheras make great ground cover hummocks of attractive foliage with the bonus of flowers.  Which you use depends on your soil and aspect and exposure.

I also have hardy cyclamens, snowdrops, daffodils, hyacinths, pulsatilla, aquilegia, London Pride and penstemons in my main rose bed.   In another more shaded bed I have variegated ground elder, violets and hellebores under the roses.

To stone or not to stone

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 14:18

I now use a piece of weed suppressant fabric in the bottom of pots to stop soil/compost escaping and allow drainage.   If it's a large pot with a tall plant, I might add stones at the bottom as they add stability with their weight.  If it's a deep pot and not such a deep rooted plant, I'll use wine corks to reduce the compost needed and make the pot lighter to move.   

If it's a ceramic pot with just one hole, I still sometimes cover the hole with one or two bits of broken crocks to aid drainage and stop compost escaping.

What's wrong with my chilli?

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 14:12

Keep them warm.  Feed and water as needed and put down some organic slug pellets.

Vinegar Weed Killer

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 12:38

There's some more info here, including different formulations, where it works best and the fact that it only kills top growth, not roots so is no good on deep rotted or perennial weeds - http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-killer.html

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 12/05/2016 at 11:17

I've seen ketchup advised for loosening nuts and hinges on old furniture.   I stopped drinking coke when I saw what a spilled glass did to the varnish on my desk at work.  Confirmed my dislike of it when it was recommended for loosening the metal wheels on a decorative iron wine rack being bought by a friend in a junk shop.   All that plus the total lack of social ethics from the manufacturers and their marketing policies.

Bonzo dog is barking mad today.   We've had another group of Belgian blue/white breeding cows arrive in the pasture next door.  Late arrivals as they have to recover from their Caesarians cos their calves are so big.   He likes to remind them that this is our garden but, being curious, they line up along the fence and just look at him.

I should be at a regional patchwork day today but am on doggy duty and house cleaning ready for visitors tomorrow.   Rasta is still doing her thespian limping - until someone mentions treats or walkies.

Gardening later then as it's lovely and sunny and warm.

I hope your lecture has gone well Busy and everyone else's projects are bearing fruit.

Forum notifications - please take part!

Posted: 11/05/2016 at 22:42

I receive email notifications of PMs.  Didn't always happen before.  I never receive notifications of replies to posts.

I didn't in the old format either and have never ticked the box to ask for them.   Too intrusive.  If I'm in email I'm busy doing non-GW forum stuff and don't want the distraction.

I use Outlook to manage my emails but have recently had to change to a gmail address as my old one developed problems following a change to our internet provider.  They all still come into Outlook and there's nothing lurking in Junk or anywhere else.

Works for me.

Garden Pictures 2016

Posted: 11/05/2016 at 22:34

Garden group meeting yesterday - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/160510%20Fleurisart?sort=2&page=1 

It's the retirement dream of a couple of friends who bought a 1 hectare/2.5 acre sloping, wooded plot about 9 years ago and set about clearing it to make a garden and build their forever home.   They spend a great deal of time, thought and money having fun in and with their garden as well as researching plants that will be good doers - no prima donnas.   

The soil is heavy clay except for some sandy pockets at the top and is acidic.   They spread a truck load of compost on every winter and every time I visit there's a new bed or a new feature.   They buy each other sculptures for Xmas.   It's fabulous and great fun to explore.

What memories do your plants bring back?

Posted: 11/05/2016 at 22:25

Neither parent was keen on gardening and in fact got very cross with me when, aged 9, I spent one summer holiday day - home alone and bored - clearing the back half of our newish garden where I discovered a series of paths and square beds and all sorts of lovely plants lurking.   

My paternal grandad, whom I hardly knew as he lived a long way away was a keen and inventive gardener so I assume the genes skipped a generation.  

I don't have anything that reminds me of my childhood or long lost rellies but I do have some which were bought with friends on trips to Tatton or Malvern and local plant fairs here.  I have others from swaps with friends  and, should I move, these will come with me either whole or as cuttings or divisions so I can keep those memories and connections.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 11/05/2016 at 13:44

Good afternoon all.  I have spent my morning taking Rasta for her hair cut.   She has the post-op limping for sympathy down to a fine art - until someone suggests walkies or throws a tennis ball for her to chase and kill.   Then everything functions normally.

Then I did the report for my garden group meeting yesterday - the biggest garden in teh group at 1 hectare (2.5 acres).   Photos here if you're interested - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/160510%20Fleurisart?sort=2&page=1 the garden is on heavy , acid clay except at the top which is quite sandy in pockets.  It is 10m higher at the top end than at the bottom.   The house sits on a middle level and the photos start from the terrace and then go up, along and back down again.   The garden is their retirement dream and they spend a great deal of time, thought and money on it.   Every time I go there's a new bed or a new feature.

OH wanted to go and buy chipped bark this morning for under our holly hedge so I went along to supervise and make sure he got me the right planting compost and soil conditioner and some lovely big pots as I have some hosts that need lifting and splitting if they're to have room to grow.   6 hardy geranium Cantabrigiensis Biokova and 5 lychnis arkwright Vesuvius leapt into my trolley.  These are 4" square pots sold at €2.95 each but reduced to €1.95 for 10 or more.

Fairly sunny and warm so I'm off to play with my plants.   I hope everyone's having a good day.  Hugs to all with people or pet worries.

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