Latest posts by Obelixx

Modules v insitu

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 18:06

Beechgrove is right up in the far north east of Scotland so their soil takes ages to warm up and dry out for direct sowing and then has a short growing season.  I would expect modules sown under cover and kept protected would be streets ahead for many crops, especially those that don't like root disturbance such as thinning or pricking out.

Verdun, as ever, you forget the benefits of gardening right down in the balmy south west of England which makes a huge difference to what and when you can sow and grow whether in the ground or in modules.

I do love the way Beechgrove does organised trials on methods and timings and feedings and pruning and so on with fact sheets to boot.  Interesting and very useful.

Garden Pictures 2016

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 15:01

Much too cold here in a normal winter so I have to lift them and store them.   That part is fine but tedious.   Bringing them back to growth is also fine but tedious as there is no room in the greenhouse then so I have to keep them at the front of the garage and open its door every day so they get light once they start to shoot.

I may well end up sowing Children from seed and then I can keep the colours I like and give away the others.   Milder winters in new garden so they can go in the ground and stay there once big enough.  

Garden Pictures 2016

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 14:31

I've gone off them again as they are such a slug fest and there's all that palaver with lifting and drying the roots and then starting them again in spring.  gave them all away to good home except some carefully saved dark leaved white flowered After Eights.

Potted them up to take with me and blow me if one of them doesn't turn out to be a Bishop's Child with bright red flowers.   To keep or give away???

Is it just me?

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 14:25

I have collected most of my "nursery" pots together and use a sprinkler so I can have a glass of wine or cook dinner in peace.   Display pots get one hand on teh hose and one hand either weeding the pot or holding back foliage for easier access or dead heading or picking a nearby alpine strawberry depending on where and what they are.

Camera Talk

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 11:55

Gorgeous photos.  Thanks.


Posted: 22/07/2016 at 08:35

Ha-ha Topbird.  Maybe I should send him to the States!

Fish and chips on the pier sounds great but after 25 years in Belgium it has to be mayo and not vinegar.   Can't do pickles any more but love a good chutney with my sausages.

Haven't seen a greenfinch here in about 10 years.  Used to have loads and then they got sick but the chaffinches have replaced them.   No goldfinches or bullfinches.    Woodpeckers, blue, great and coal tits with occasional marsh tits.   Turtle doves, pheasants, jays, crows and jackdaws and lots of little brown jobs I can't identify other than the sparrows, dunnocks and wrens and no nuthatches.   Warblers of some sort.  Blackbirds but no thrushes.

Don't tell anyone but we haven't had a magpie here for a few years either and they used to come and wreck the feeders to get at fat balls and peanuts.

Feeding Wisteria

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 08:19

Maybe you are over watering and washing away nutrients.   I would try adding some liquid tomato food to the water.   Next spring, give it a slow release feed of rose or tomato fertiliser granules and an occasional liquid tonic of tomato feed.

The key to getting a wisteria to flower is correct pruning in July/August and then again Jan/Feb.  There's some useful info and videos here - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=242 

Monty planting florence fennel near bean

Posted: 22/07/2016 at 08:03

According to the usual companion planting charts I consult online, Fennel has no friends apart from dill but will then cross pollinate so the seeds are of no use for new crops.

On the other hand, it does attract all sorts of beneficial insects and I found caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly on mine one year.   It's strong perfume is also excellent for keeping fleas away apparently and there's an old saying about planting fennel next to your kennel to protect your dog.

Having said all that, I never grow runner or French beans so can't say how they will do but I grow fennel every year, usually near my lettuce crops and I haven't noticed any problems with the Cos or oak leaf lettuce.   


Posted: 22/07/2016 at 07:52

Cool start today thank goodness.  I've been out to remove the tattier leaves form my gunner in a pot and which is definitely ready to be liberated into the ground but has to wait a bit yet.    Had a word with my roses in pots too.  Clems next but first I have to do a shop.

Supper at the coast sounds lovely Dove.  Can you still do that in the holiday season?  Tried it in the Vendée last week and all the accesses were pedestrianised for summer so gave up.  Will try later in the year and get to know the places so we know where to park and walk.

News from the US is frightening.   Why do they have to go round shooting each other?  Do they really think DT will make the US safer, as he promises, from Jan 2017?   Dream on!

I shall go and spray some pernicious weeds this pm to make me feel better.  Wee showers expected at the end of the morning so no point doing it early.



Posted: 21/07/2016 at 22:41

It's just a simple case of people thinking all botanical names have Latin origins.  Many have Greek origins to their name - clematis for example - so they really should use the word Botanical instead.

CB was a lecturer at Pershore so probably can't help himself and I usually learn from his explanations and his eye for detail but yes, he can be a bit earnest sometimes.

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