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Latest posts by obelixx

cancer has meant I can't manage my garden

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 23:51

I agree.   First find out if you can get help, especially of the cancer treatment is going well and you are likely to regain your energy.  

However I do understand it's dispiriting watching a well loved and tended garden going to rack and ruin.   I lost 2 years in my garden thanks to back surgery and then 2 feet reconstruction ops.   I have been OK since this spring but it is back breaking work trying to get back in control.

The simplest and cheapest thing to do would be to remove the plants - maybe hold a sale to raise a few pennies for you or charity - and then level and grass over the beds.  Paving will require a lot of preparation and materials and expense.

All the best for a full recovery so you can enjoy your garden again.


Posted: 31/07/2014 at 18:18

They will if you can make them big pots, give them very rich compost to grow in, feed them every spring and water regularly.

Help please - replacement ride on mower

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 16:54

We have one with no bags as our grass is always too lush and damp and clogs the tubes.  I herd the clippings into a singe line and OH rakes it up and dumps it on the compost heap.

A friend of mine with a larger garden swears by his mulching mower which minces the cuttings up really fine and puts them back on the grass - so fin ethey are invisible except when teh garss is very wet and sticks a bit.    The automatic ulching feeds the grass and I have to say his is very healthy.

plant I don't have but would love

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 14:02

When I first started this garden - former cow pasture - I planted lots of plants I love and went to plant fairs to hunt for out f the ordinary plants.  Most have proved not hardy enough or tough enough for my local conditions so now I go for good do-ers.

I have tried dierama several times but it doesn't last the winter.

When I do find a plant that does, I seek out other forms of it so lots of hostas, clematis (hardy to -25C only) some acers, roses, veronicas, peonies, perennial cornflowers, hemerocallis, some hardy geraniums, filipendulas, astilbes, astilboides, ligularia, miscanthus, carex, hakonechloa, molinia, hydrangea paniculata but not lace-cap, deciduous viburnums but not evergreen, Japanese anémones (pink, not white so far), echinops, achilleas, aconitums, foxgloves, sedums, thalictrums, lysimachias, sanguisorbia, heleniums, geums, potentillas, persicarias and so on and forth.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 13:00

Yes, but it's a 3.6 metre diametre and I could make matching cushion covers...........

A winter project perhaps.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 12:40

As you can imagine, BM, I was pretty peeved with teh rats but that's what you get for buying a linen/cotton mix parasol.    The wood's still good so if and when I see some fabric I like I'll have a go at making a repacement but it's rather large and will need some thought.

What are you doing with your garden chairs?  Just a paint job or an aged effect too?

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 09:48

BM - I do like your chair and all the enamel bits and pièces.

I could live with that pink parasol and cushions too but when I went to replace our parasol this spring - after finding the old one's fabric had been eaten by rats in the barn and was irreparable, all they had was white, sand, taupe or bottle green.   I chose taupe so it doesn't compete with the garden as yellow would  or look too stark  if it were white or make us all look ill if it were green.


Posted: 30/07/2014 at 13:39

If you're looking for climbers that are evergreen there are clematis and honeysuckles that woud do the job but you'd need to do a lot of soil improvement for clematis as they are hungry plants.  However they won't mind the chalk content at all.

Have a look at

There are evergreen honeysuckles too.  Lonicera henryi produces insignificant orange flowers but lonicera fragrantissima will give you scented white flowers from late winter to spring.   However, they need plenty of moisture in the soil – but not boggy – so, asw ith the clematis,  you’ll have to work in lots of garden compost and well rotted manure before planting and make sure they are well watered at plantin time and then given a mulch to retain moisture.

Give top up feeds every spring to keep them healthy and some bonemeal in autumn.

If climbers aren't the answer for you you need to ook at evergreen hedging plants but these will need regular maintenance and will take time to get to the height and density you need.  Laurel is a thug and will require hand trimming to stop it getting too wide and high.  Using electric shears shreds the large leaves and looks awful.

You could try yew which responds well to being clipped and maintained to size or copper beech which keeps its dried up leaves all winter and then drops them in spring when the new buds open.

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 12:44

Thanks BM.   Painted wine rack stand.   The braderie is this coming weekend.  I have to set up the dance club stand on Saturday morning and then I'll hit the flea market to see what's what before I take my turn at manning the stand.   Definitely no time for gardening this weekend.


Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 11:39


Bizzie-B yes, I am in Belgium.   This weekend is the braderie in the local town and they have a street flea market.  I've picked up some good stuff there such as old galvanised laundry pots.   I painted one black and use it for paries to fill with ice and beer and fizz.   Another was painted red and stencilled with gold snowflakes and Xmas trees to hold the Xmas tree.  Another is yet to be done.  Last year there was a huge, bevelled mirror in a ghastly brown stained frame but when I strip it and paint it cream and crackle it it'll make a fabulous chimney breast mirror - for my next house.

I have a rusty metal hat and coat rack I use to support a window box of fuchsia cuttings on my back wall and an old wine rack used simply as decoration on my bottle wall.   Another rusty wine rack with ice bucket stand was painted cream and is used as a plant stand in my kitchen.

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