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Latest posts by obelixx

shop bought spring onions

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 20:03

I should imagine proper onion sets form a garden shop or stall are cheaper per item than spring onions sold in grocers and supermarkets and they are primed to grow whereas spring onions have been harvested, had their roots and tops trimmed, been sorted, packed and chilled and bunched.   All traumatic stuff they will have difficulty overcoming.  

Ideas for a burial plot

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 18:28

I am sorry for you loss and understand your desire to have an attractive grave to visit.  I  think you've made a good decision taking up the wildflowers and planting roses and bulbs but you can still plant things to attract bees and other insects.    

Are the fairy roses tall enough to be underplanted with something like hardy geraniums?   These come in a variety of colours from white through pinks and purples to blue and also vary in size and leaf forms and their flowers are attractive to insects so will keep the wildflower theme going for you.

Geums are good doers and also come in a variety of flower colours on the warm side of the spectrum if they will look better with the flowers of your roses.  BOth geraniums and geums will disguise the dying foliage of teh bulbs once they go over.

Lavender is a classic plant combination with roses but again depends on their size.  Munstead and Hidcote are hardy and floriferous and adored by insects such as bees.   They need to be trimmed back after flowering finishes to keep them neat and compact, just cutting into the top inch of the foliage to keep them healthy.  You could use them as a small hedge round the edge of the grave with other plants inside.

shop bought spring onions

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 18:17

Spring onions are so easy to grow from seed and thus give a choice of colour and strength of flavour that I don't see the point of trying to grow the shop bought ones.   I am going to try some red spring onions this year as a short term crop between other, slower crops while tehre's space and then in troughs or window boxes.

I've found this blog which is full of useful info on growing spring onions -


Dedicated to dogs

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 17:35

They're all gorgeous and clearly much loved. I do hope Tigger keeps well.

Our Rasta didn't take to mothering Bonzo.   She's great with pups but clearly thought he was big enough to need showing who was boss so now it's really funny watching him see what he can get away with and how he entices her to play.   They are the best of pals.    Different approaches to gardening though.  He keeps as close as possile which often involves lying on treasures I have just weeded or planted or freed from last season's growth while she does a thorough terrier check of all possible rodent and mole holes and gets gloriously filthy.

Selling plants for charity

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 10:45

Funnily enough I have recently sown chililes and toms for me and the plant sale.  The chilies are up but no toms or sweet peppers yet.

Selling plants for charity

Posted: 29/03/2015 at 09:41

I'm afraid it depends on where you are and who is likely to be coming to buy and also whether you have hselter such as a greenhouse or coldframes for growing half-hardy annuals..

I help organise a plant sale every May and one year plants like tomatoes, courgettes and pumpkins can do very well and another year be left sitting there.   

I would suggest a mix of annuals and perennials so cosmos, zinnias, French marigolds, larkspur and nicotiana for borders, lobelia and petunias for hanging baskets, achillea, delphinium, lupins and such for perennials.    All of these are good, strudy, recognisable plants and easy to care for.    If your target market is experienced you could try less common plants.


Dedicated to dogs

Posted: 28/03/2015 at 11:02

Our tow rescue dogs - Rasta who will be 8 on April 1st and looks and behaves like a Wheaten Terrier but is of unknown race .  Needs a hair cut every 2 monthe ans is clever and stubborn and a joy.   Bonzo will be 6 some time soon.   This picture was taken 3 years ago when Bonzo had just come to share our lives.    He had never been outside or had a garden or been for walkies or been toilet trained and is still afraid of anything new but is a bundle of love and fun with us.



What can I plant in a shaded north facing garden?

Posted: 27/03/2015 at 09:25

Yes,but you need to do it every autumn on established beds.

For a new bed you don't have to wait till autumn.   Once you've cleared all the weeds and their roots, rake as level as you can and leave for a week or 3 to see if any regrow.  You can then hoe annual weedlings and either dig out new perennial weeds or spray them with glyphosate to kill the roots.   That takes 2 more weeks to act.

Then you can apply a good layer of compost and plant straight away rather than waiting till autumn.   Just make sure that anything you plant from late spring to iteh end of summer is watered regularly to help it settle in and get established.

What can I plant in a shaded north facing garden?

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 21:36

Layer on inches of garden compost and/or well rotted manure in late autumn once all your perennials have died back.   The worms will work it in for you over the winter and the new shoots will burst through in spring.   No need to dig.  Just the effort of barrowing and spreading.

Is this normal

Posted: 26/03/2015 at 12:02

I talk to mine too.  I split one big ceramic pot's worth on Tuesday after spotting the tiny tips of new purple shoots.  It gave me 2 quarters in fresh compost in ceramic pots and 4 eighths in plastic pots to grow on and swap or give to a charity sale a friend and I organise in early May.  No idea what it is as the label is long gone but it has 3 to 4" wide pointed glaucous leaves and lightly scented lilac flowers.  

In another pot I have a huge Sum and Substance which is desperately in need of dividing and re-invigorating but I'm going to have to butcher it in the pot to get that one out as it's a curved pot.  Not making that mistake again.  I see today that it has wee purple points showing so will be tackling that one tomorrow or Saturday.  

The others in pots are fine for another season but get a daily pep talk.  The ones outside in the ground are sensible keeping shtum till April is here.   I always grow new hostas in pots for a season or two to let them bulk up and now I also pot on new perennials and grow them on in bigger pots so they can cope better when planted out a few weeks later on.

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