Latest posts by obelixx

Shall I hack my Verbena bonariensis?

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 11:53

I usually leave mine purely because the tops then take any frost and protect the crowns a bit.  Having said that, in the last 5 winters every one of them has succumbed to severe frosts but leaving the stalks and flower heads means they self seed so I get free new plants in spring.

Overwintering Yourself...

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 16:35

I decorated my bedroom last winter between Xmas and New Year because I knew I wouldn't be able to after the foot surgery.  The walls are fine but I need to do the ceiling again.  Looks fine in normal light but with bright light reflecting back off the snow in January it looked quite streaky.   It'll have to wait till next summer now though.  Too busy outside in spring.

large/gigantic flower pots

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 15:03

The show is definitely more Monty's World than Gardeners' World.  he and the production team need to take a step back and think about how ordinary folk garden, often on pocket hankerchief sized plots with available time and budgets to suit.

There need to be more simple solutions and design suggestions for common design and garden problems.    I can afford to buy three roses at a time but not if I also want clematis or other shrubs and perennials so I'd like to see the return of Carol on propagating for multiplying to save money but also for insurance against bad weather.  Also a section on dealing with common pests both organically and with products available to ordinary gardeners.

Quick survey for University research

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 14:04

It wouldn't have taken much gumption or much research to find out a bit more about gardeners, especially if the project is a product design and placement.   Even just picking up a weekly or monthly gardening magazine would have been an eye opener re this quiz.

Do you give a fig?

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 13:03

I have colder winters than most of the UK and have had very severe winters for the last 5 years.   My fig in a pot has had all its top growth frozen to bits for several years on the run so it's a while since I've had any figs to eat and I was about to throw it out until I discovered new shoots at the base in June.   It is now in the ground in the greenhouse and doing very well.   I have had to remove several spare stems in order to fan train the rest against the back wall.

I think it would be fairly safe to prune yours right back if your really want to but it would perhaps be better to cut the stems back by half in order to encourage new stems from the base and from higher up to promote a bushier plant.


Quick survey for University research

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 12:10

Have to agree about the questions.  Very limited and unimaginative and, as Dove says, show a poor knowledge of gardening either as a necessity or an enthusiastic hobby or means of growing one's own fruit and veg.

Box Blight

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 11:12

Monty didn't have box blight.  He'd neglected his hedges because of illness then trimmed them too late in the season so they got frost bite.

You can try cutting yours back to healthy wood to see if they regenerate over the next year.   Destroy all the removed wood and tidy up any fallen stems and foliage then treat the plant and the area with a fungicide.

Chillis not yet ripe but it's winter?

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 23:06

I freeze some for adding to soups as they get blitzed so it doesn't matter that they go a bit mushy when thawed.  I use some frozen ones in curries.  I make chilli jam with fresh chillies and which makes an excellent seasoning for soups and sauces but also a good spread for a ham sandwich or goats cheese.  

This year I've also strung them up on vertical strings of sewing thread which I've hung in the kitchen window facing south and above a radiator so they'll dry.  It looks very festive as there are green, yellow, red, purple and black ones.

Lavender pruning

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 22:59

A lot depends on what lavender you have.  Musntead and Hidcote are hardy and will survive anything the British winter can throw at them as lo,g as they are well drained and their roots don't get soggy and rot.  As mentioned, lavenders in pots may appreciate a layer or two of bubble wrap roun the pot to insulate their roots from cold but the main theing is to make sure the pots are up on feet or bricks to maintain good drianage.

Leave the flowers.  They'll be fine.  Prune the plants in spring cutting back to the base of the flower stems and a wee bit into the foliage but not as far back as borwn wood as this will not regenerate.   Next summer, prune back once flowering finishes and this will stop them becoming leggy and straggly.

Butternut Squash

Posted: 13/11/2013 at 11:34

Vegetable spaghetti squash is rather bland but it can be made tasty.  Pierce the skin with a skewer.   Boil or bake whole till tender.  Cut in half, remove seeds and shred the flesh with a fork then season with s&p and serve with herby, garlicky or spicy butter on its own or with a meat or veg accompaniment.

Pumpkins and squashes can be used in a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes.  Loads of recipes on the BBC Food and BBC Good Food sites and here - http://www.chow.com/search?q=pumpkin#!q=pumpkin&o=rank&start=0&c%5B%5D=


Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1099
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 509
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 672
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 1008
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 559
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3181
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1550
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 843
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2167
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 6526
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned