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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Best dogwoods for stem colour

Posted: 08/12/2013 at 10:52

My Midwinter Fire is happy as Larry.   So happy in fact that two have become more than 12 as the perishers sucker and spread.   I dug one up to move it to a more visible spot and the next year a dozen new shrubs had grown in the original spot.

As said, it isn't as robust as the bright red alba sibirica forms so I thin, rather than stool it to keep the fresh stem colour going.  The bright red alba sibirica also suckers but not as badly and can be cut back hard every year to maintain a reasonable size and renew stem colour.   Looks stunning even on dull days.

I have the green stemmed one - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=2524 - and it looks great in low winter sun as does - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=531 - the one with mahogany stems and variegated leaves which give added interest through summer..

There is also a purple form - http://apps.rhs.org.uk/plantselector/plant?plantid=5352 - which is on my wish list.

Pulmonaria! :)

Posted: 07/12/2013 at 11:27

It self seeds very easily as well as spreading naturally.  There are many variations of leaf form and flower colour available so I suggest you just go and buy a few of your favourites to start you off.

Late summer flowering clematis

Posted: 05/12/2013 at 16:20

Clematis roots are very thick and felshy and go deep down.   It will be very difficult to move a mature plant without damaging the roots.

Half of my clematis struggled to flower well this year and I put it down to a long, cold, wet spring which made them late to get going followed by a baking hot summer.  I think yours will be fine next year if given a good thick mulch of well rotted manure or garden compost any time now when the ground is wet but not frozen and another next spring when growth starts and you prune out the old stems.  You can then also apply some slow release clematis feed and a liquid tonic of rose or tomato fertiliser.

If we have another hot dry spell, just give it a good drink - at least a gallon /5litres a time - a couple of times a week.

Welly boots

Posted: 05/12/2013 at 16:15

I have 3 pairs of wellies - one for bare feet in summer, one for one pair of socks in spring and autumn and one for 2 pairs of socks or ski socks in winter.

Stretching wellies is asking for leaks.

Shredder

Posted: 04/12/2013 at 22:53

Hello Berghill.   I'd been hoping you'd get some answers to this as OH is talking of getting a chipper/shredder.  Have you tried asking on A4A?

Cleaning plastic plant labels

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 12:14

Try it and see but it could get expensive if you have a lot to clean.   Monty Don reckons a scrub with fine wire wool does the trick.

winter tidy up

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 11:00

We keep the grass clear but not the beds as we like to leave a layer of shelter and food for the worms, insects and birds.   We have log piles for hibernating critters and an insect hotel which I replenish every autumn.  Beds get cleared only of as many weeds as possible and collapsed stems of perennials. 

The rest get left on to take the frosts - and look attractive - and protect the crowns as well as providing food and shelter for tiny critters and birds.   No more hoeing till spring in case we decapitate bulbs and shoots.

Buried treasure

Posted: 27/11/2013 at 09:35

We live in an old farmhouse built in about 1770 and our garden is former cow pasture.  We've found old tiles, horse shoes, bits of crockery and unearthed huge slabs and chunky pavers from old buildings.   Some still surface when I go to clear or replant beds near the house.

The most "interesting" find was a land mine when we we were having the ground prepared for sowing a lawn and making the terrace 16 years ago.   That involved a lot of police and bomb disposal people but they didn't sweep the ground for any more so we don't do deep digging.

Who lives in a microclimate?

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 10:40

Me too.  I can grow a golden sambucus in one spot but not further along where there's more wind exposure so mum has died but daughter is thriving.   The house has garden on all four sides and each has very different exposure to sun, wind, rain and frost as well as different drainage and soil conditions which make a huge difefernce to what can be grown well and what will struggle..

 

fennel

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 16:14

Bulb fennel is best eaten when the white, fleshy part gets about as wide as a tennis ball and no wider than 4"/10cms.   Dig it up with a fork then trim off the roots at the base.   The white part is cooked and the green frothy frondy bits can be used as a garnish or in salads but the green stems are best composted.

Baked Fennel with Goat's Cheese 4 or more, depending

 This quantity is for 4 as a vegetarian meal. It's also good with simply grilled pork, chicken or fish and will then feed 6 to 8. 

4              bulbs of fennel
30g          butter
1              lemon, juice only
4 tbs        water
6              sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
30g          pine nuts
150g         goats' cheese log

Heat the oven to 200C.   Trim the fennel and cut through the middle into 2 and then cut each half again 2 or 3 times to make wedges.   Place these in a shallow oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle on the lemon juice and water and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.   Drain.

 Slice the tomatoes and sprinkle over the fennel, followed by the pine nuts and crumbled goats' cheese.   Drizzle with olive oil (from the tomatoes if you have some) and bake for 15 to 20 minutes till the cheese is browned.

It's also good raw, sliced thinly in salads and there are plenty more recipes here - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/search/recipes?query=fennel&=Search 

 

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10 threads returned