Latest posts by obelixx

Alnwick poison garden

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 09:49

Both are beautiful counties with lovely coastlines and long beaches.  Try and make a detour along the coast by Seahouses and Bamburgh castle.   Lots of fabulous countryside inland too.

Help with ideas

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 09:27

Basic design B is best but smaller circles of lawn to get greater planting depth.  Maybe a pergola and/or trellis and an arch across the garden where the circles meet.  This entices people to go and see what is beyond and gives the opportunity for climbing roses/clematis/honeysuckles etc.

Don't do stepping stones.  If you have a path, make it a proper one and make it inviting or you'll just end up taking the direct route across the lawn.

Don't put big trees so close to the house, especially birch which is short lived and shallow rooted and may fall the wrong way in high winds.  Put the plum nearer the pea gravel area to make fruit picking easy and maybe some soft fruit such as tayberry, blackberry etc on the garage area trellis.

Narrow hedge plant?

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 09:12

There is an apple and pear farm near here that has narrow, 9" deep hedges of single rows of beech around the orchards next to the road.   They trim them once a year as far as I can tell.   Very neat, quite dense, good windbreak I'd have thought.  No thorns or fruits so child friendly.

You'd need to prepare the soil well and then, for economy, plant single bare root whips at 9 to 12 inches apart in autumn and cut them back to 9 to 12 inches high.   You then let them grow up to the height you need but keep the front and back trimmed to make the hedge narrow and dense.  

An alternative would be a fence or trellis panels which would be very low maintenance and can be stained to protect the wood for longer life and in a colour that makes it a feature or discreetly blends into the background.   You could then put troughs or pots of plants in front of it, planted according to the season.

Anyone done any gardening today - Version 2

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 09:01

Yesterday was first day in garden since before Easter.  Away for a week then decorating and then the thumb infection.  Got hailed off after 20 mins but took a barrowload of plants from the nursery bed to the shed for potting up for next week's charity sale.  4 barrowloads later I have dozens of bearded iris, hemerocallis in assorted colours, hardy geraniums, pulmonaria and aquilegias.

This morning, weather permitting, veggie and nursery beds to clear for veggie plugs I bought on Monday.   Pak choi in the garden centre for the first time ever!

Good luck to anyone hoping to get outside today.  Not looking good here now.

Alnwick poison garden

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 08:53

I went to Alnwick about 13 years ago when the amazing water feature was brand spanking new and they were still building the tree house.   They had the poison garden and a rose garden but have expanded and improved and added since then.

Enjoy.  It's a great place to visit.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 27/04/2016 at 08:49

Morning all.   Cold and grey and damp here but not torrential.  After yesterday's efforts I now have dozens of assorted hemerocallis and iris and hardy geraniums and pulmonaria and aquilegia and strawberries potted up for the charity sale next week.   They won't all fit in the car but it's a nice problem to have.   All tucked up in the garage by night so they stay warm and doors open by day so they get light.

Now to get the rest of the veggie and nursery beds cleared for crops.

I am not so much concerned about living longer but living well so am interested in stuff that keeps my brain, organs, joints and muscles functioning well.  Seems to me that's about good diet and lifestyle - family, friends, gardening and dancing.   Wouldn't knowingly take drugs to prolong life while I'm otherwise healthy. 



Average gardeners spending

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 15:18

Aster - the main reason for me sewing my own clothes was my shape - hourglass and curvy so not shop-shaped.  Easier to make than alter.  Plus which, I like natural fibres and everything seems to be polycotton or viscose or worse.   It's a great skill to have and you can find some lovely fabrics on the internet - I used to get my suiting from a mill in Bradford that sold ends of rolls of designer wool and wool/silk mixes in summer and winter weights.   Fab.

Was supposed to spend all afternoon clearing my nursery and veggie beds so I can plant out the plugs I bought yesterday but we've had thunder, lightening, sleet, hail and rain so I just dug up the nursery plants and have been happily stuck in the potting shed for 3 hours potting them up for the charity plant sale next week.   That has cost me two big bags of compost but will net much more in funds for the charity and is a cheap way to stock up on goodies.


Posted: 26/04/2016 at 13:13

Seeds sown this year are unlikely to flower this year but should make good strong plant for next year.   They will grow tall and the flowers are very attractive to bees and other pollinators.   The foliage is noticeably tatty towards the end of the season so I clear it all away in autumn.   Mine self seed with gay abandon so be prepared to clear babies in spring - or donate them to charity sales and friends..

What is your weather like?

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 13:08

They call it wet snow - natte sneeuw.   Horrendous here.  Wind, thunder, lightening, downpours, sleet, hail and odd minutes of bright but not sunny in between.   I do love the colour of fresh green spring foliage against the backdrop of heavy, purple grey clouds.


Average gardeners spending

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 11:06

Definitely easier to propagate hostas than shirts.  I have been known to make casual shirts for OH and do most of my dance frocks, trousers and tops.  When I worked I also made my own suits and smart blouses and even coats.   Takes a couple of days but is cheaper than buying made to measure and decent off the peg.

The longest it's taken me to split a hosta wa slast spring when I needed to get Sum and Substance out of a large ceramic pot without breaking it.   Took nearly an hour in the end and I had to cut it up into chunks with a bread knife and extricate lump by lump.   9 huge hostas resulted, of which 6 ended up at the charity sale.

I buy perennials in 4"pots in spring when they're on special offer and reduced to €1.99 a pot if I buy 10 or more.    If I want something special I buy seeds or else go to a specialist plant fair.   

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