Latest posts by obelixx

Bark chips

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 14:20

You are right to complain.

Bark chips should be sold graded by size, like gravel or frozen prawns.   When we first made our long, thin triangular bed out front I ordered the biggest possible so they wouldn't get blown away in winter gales.  This was years ago and most of it has now done its job and also decomposed into the soil which is fine as the perennials and shrubs have now more or less covered the bare soil.

For more sheltered beds, under dwarf conifers and the holly hedge and our woodland path I use a medium grade.   I never buy the finer stuff as it degrades too quickly into a happy weed seeding medium.   Easy to clean but not wanted.

Picture Postcard Request

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 14:09

Bought a postcard in France but didn't have time to find a PO for a stamp.  Will put it in an envelope with one of Gembloux. 

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 12:04

Joyce - OH's ambition is to play golf when he's 100 and he's a December baby so that means another 35 years before he can happily croak.   Thinking along those lines you should see the tree peony flower and a couple of generations of its offspring too.

Cool today and vaguely sunny but no gardening still as thumb is still all wrapped up and tender.   Getting better tho so maybe next week?

Busy - our roofing man has been due to fix a couple of loose tiles for the last 4 weeks!   He passes by on his way home to the village nearly every day so it's a bit frustrating.   Recent gales have been having a merry time with our slates.   The electrician has been going to pop in for months to fix a circuit of ceiling spots in our bedroom.  He too lives just down the road so treats us as not urgent for when he has a spare half hour!

It took the plumber's son (two villages and 6kms away) 3 visits to identify that a leak in a bathroom was the toilet cistern and not the u-bend or the connector pipe both of which he "fixed" and then he had to come again with a new cistern.  At least he comes when he says he will and cleans up. 

Hope everyone's having a good day at work, play, visits etc.


Choose just one ...

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 09:21

Stipa anything dies in our winters and i have enough other grasses.  Acanthus grow well here but in my fertile soil they don't flower, just do glossy foliage.

I have alkaline soil which limits choices but, assuming I could grow anything and wanted a shrub it would be this https://www.woottensplants.com/product/corylopsis/corylopsis-pauciflora/

I'd choose this clematis to brighten up winter - https://www.woottensplants.com/product/clematis/clematis-cirrhosa-jingle-bells/

I'd have a group of dieramas for their grace and elegance and height.

Nothing tender or that needs cosseting.



Posted: 20/04/2016 at 19:06

Lot's of laziness and poor vocabulary in English language comes from the Americanisms creeping in to every day usage.    I often have to correct Possum who has grown up bilingual and without grammar instruction in English.

In general, the French speakers are better but I have noticed of late that younger people - under 30s - being interviewed on radio or TV start the answer with a "Donc".  Must be watching dubbed US TV!

Steve - add "gobsmacked" for amazed or astounded.   Such an ugly word.   BBC presenters using the plural verb with singular nouns such as government.   They should know better.

problem sparrows

Posted: 20/04/2016 at 15:41

Lyn, you seem to have argumentative sparrows.  We have loads of them here and they happily share the food with assorted tits, chaffinches, siskins, warblers, robins, wrens, blackbirds, turtle doves and so on but I do put out loose seed mix, fat balls, peanut feeders, plus insect, fruit and fat blocks so there is something for everyone.

The bolshy ones are the greater spotted woodpeckers which shoo everyone off the peanuts and fat balls and the jackdaws and jays whose size is imposing compared to the others.

Slug pellets

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 22:35

Me too.  No more soluble than the nasty ones and when they do dissolve they do it without leaving a harmful residue.  In Belgium they are called Escar-Go.   Worth buying just for the name.


HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 17:37

Hi FG - yes but it was a tiny speck from the end of a bigger splinter and quite deep in so I couldn't get it out.   Doc was amazed when he say just how tiny it was and how much mess it made.

PD - do indeed log every event and maybe get a camera installed - high up where neighbour can't get at it and sabotage it.   Does the neighbour on the other side have similar problems?  Get together?

Our garden isn't looking too clever.  The week after Easter I sent the mower to be tweaked to stop OH from over enthusiastic mowing (too short and too frosty) and it hasn't come back yet so the grass is getting a tad long in places.......   Daffs and hellebores looking great as are early tulips and the hyacinths and lots of lovely fresh growth on hostas and other perennials with fabulous spring foliage shoots.  Great blossom on the amelanchier too.

Rhodohypoxis milloides claret

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 17:29

These plants are freely available in markets here and not that expensive - about €5 for a 10cm pot full of plants.  I have a friend who buys them every year for his summer pots and tubs.  However, they are not reliably hardy here and don't like winter wet so he doesn't keep them apart from a few that he squeezes into his unheated but large greenhouse.

Not sure how they'd cope assuming you're in Yorkshire.   They'd need to be grown as alpines in very free draining soil in order to get them through winter.

Slug pellets

Posted: 19/04/2016 at 15:02

Lots of birds here plus amphibians and hedgehogs so I use the ferrous sulphate pellets sparingly to protect emerging hostas, clems, daffs and hemerocallis and scatter them regularly from St Valentine's day on as it's an easy date to remember.

When I plant out new veggies such as lettuce and brassicas I also use some pellets - again sparingly.

Once plants get to a certain size they have to fend for themselves.  Haven't used methaldehyde pellets for years and never will again.  I want my edible crops to be chemical free.   I've never needed them for toms but then I grow them on to quite a big size of pot before planting them in the greenhouse border.

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