Latest posts by obelixx

What is your weather like?

Posted: 08/03/2016 at 15:13

Yesterday morning we set off in snow at 6am for a raid on Canterbury.  Snow and blizzards off and on all the way to Calais but during the crossing the sun came out and Kent was fine.  Home at 11pm to find snow lying in corners and along ridges and 1C.

Very cold this morning and snow still there with heavy grey skies so no gardening for a few days though we're hoping it'll have thawed enough by the weekend for us to pull out and re-plant fence posts with proper concrete boots this time so we can replace the trellis panels that separate veggie plot from ornamentals.   Then maybe some cutting back of dead perennials and the usual spring clear up.

Willow arch - how to make it NOT grow?

Posted: 06/03/2016 at 14:42

It can be done simply by letting the stems dry out thoroughly.

It's easier to work with fresh green stems when binding and winding them to make a structure but then you need to park it on a hard surface for a few weeks to ensure it is dried and dead.   I did this with a home made willow obelisk and it never grew.  Others on the course who put theirs out straightaway had sprouting obelisks.


In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 06/03/2016 at 14:39

Frank - home  grown British bureaucrats in council and government offices are well known for over interpreting EU rules.   Their tendency to interfere will only diminish when they are of better general calibre and that means paying better salaries - pay peanuts, get monkeys.  

Same applies to Sainsbury's and care homes and fruit picking - poor conditions and low wages are not going to entice the long term British unemployed off its sofa and away from its satellite TV.    UK benefit systems need to change so it's better to work than not.

On the other hand, improving those very same wages and conditions will entice more migrant labour.  Simple economics of the wages of picking fruit or wiping bottoms in Roumania or in the UK.   If Britain stays in the EU it can work to introduce and influence policies that will improve life and work in the poorer countries and thus spread wealth and security.    

Evergreen Shrubs

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 16:45

I have a hedge of Golden King mixed with a few males so I get berries and have to say it doesn't like cold, strong winds which is what I expect you get in Yorkshire.

My garden is in central Belgium and exposed to strong cold winds and I find that evergreens don't like it.    I've tried viburnum tinus, eleagnus, choisya, spotted laurel,  and osmanthus and they've all died or been very weak.   Some conifers do OK but not all.

Recently I've erected a windbreak of green mesh fabric, 1m25 high along our north and north west boundary and at last I have flowers on my hamamelis, an osmanthus which is growing well now but still small yet and happier perennials and shrubs in general. 


Beechgrove returns 31st March 2016

Posted: 05/03/2016 at 15:32

Good.  Need some good, practical advice and info.   GW is becoming just too twee tho I did enjoy Carol's visit to Snowdonia.

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:25

HFC - an MEP is not one of the bureaucrats making the rules and decisions tho they do now have more power to vote on stuff than they did before.  Great waste of space and time that parliament in Strasbourg and huge fiddles and wastes on housing them all and moving them up and down the railway and motorway once a month.

They also have a trail of interpreters and bureaucrats paid for bu us and all the lobbyists that have to accompany them on top of all the ones permanently in Brussels.   They'd have been in Paris but, in the early days of the EEC, the French missed a trick and said they didn't want it so Belgium got it, along with European NATO hq and SHAPE.

Britain has 3 embassies here - to Belgium, EU and NATO........... plus a consulate.

growing rhubarb

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 15:17

No idea what variety ours is but it started shooting in January which is way too early so we buried all the crowns in well rotted garden compost and have only just put our dustbins on 2 of them.    So far, the others are all staying firmly tucked up in their compost blankets.

The point of forcing is not to make them grow faster but to get those tender pink stalks that are so juicy.   You need to have enough plants to let the forced ones rest for the rest of the season and not force them the next and so you can rotate the forcing pot/bucket/bins.

GW magazine subscription

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 14:00

I think Christopher Lloyd is beyond the reach of mortal gardeners..........

I too would go with AT rather than MD when taking advice based purely on my experience with them and a brief comparison of their horticultural credentials for anyone in doubt.

I also prefer The Garden which come free with an RHS subscription - more detail, more varied, less repetitive.  

However, when I was setting off down the path of becoming a keen gardener I did learn loads from both GW on TV and GW magazine but that was back in the day with Geoff H at the helm - great knowledge, great communicator and understood the aspirations and budgets of beginners and experienced gardeners and catered for a variety of budgets and garden sizes.

In Or Out Of The EU Garden?

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 13:49

The bureaucrats live here HCF!  They are seconded on 3 year rolling rotas like diplomats on foreign service.   Some stay here all their professional lives.   Boris Johnson went to Eton thanks to his dad being seconded to the EU!   There are EU schools here too but some prefer to send their kid sto boarding school or BSB, the British school of Brussels.  They get their houses and schools paid for and lots of other perks but there are, proportionally, as many Brits as any other nationality and all working the system for themselves and their career as much as for their home country.

It's not just EU bureaucrats that make daft rules.  How many daft ones does the UK parliament invent each year?  or your local council?

The main problem as I see it is a lack of information in the UK about how much good the EU does and also about what is available to the UK from EU finances and systems.   Too many see it is as a block rather than an opportunity.  It is easier to influence for the good from the inside than it is just peering through a thickly glazed window or a keyhole and wishing.

growing rhubarb

Posted: 04/03/2016 at 13:03

We use an old dustbin with a  brick on top to hold it down when windy.  Works a treat.  Very cheap and can be used for holding garden rubbish when sorting stuff for the compost heap the rest of the year.

Discussions started by obelixx

Shrub ID please

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Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
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GW 2015

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Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Mare's tail

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Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Weekend 22 March

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

Good Morning - 21 March

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1 to 15 of 18 threads