Latest posts by Obelixx

pet companions

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 11:09

Haven't bothered with pet insurance here as vet's prices are only just catching up with what we had to pay in Harrow before we left in 1991.

Cosmos has been practising his skills in trees and decided to follow Minstrel up the albizia this time.  Not as easy as the walnut tree.....   Ooops!

Help! I can't create a design for my new garden!

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 10:32

PS - If you don't want to do the membrane thing, just cover all the bare soil after planting with a  good layer of bark chippings.  It'll be cheaper and they will eventually break down into the soil but it'll be easier to add plats later on or change teh scheme as taste, time and budget allow and you can refresh the chippings.  Buy the large size to stop them blowing away.

You can also buy small pots of bulbs in flower quite cheaply at the mo.  Enjoy them in the house then grow them on with liquid feed and water till the leaves finish feeding the bulbs for next year and then plant them out - or wait till next autumn and buy different varieties.

Help! I can't create a design for my new garden!

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 10:11

I had two manhole covers in my last front garden and just stood pots on them, filled with hardy bulbs and pansies for winter and easy maintenance pelargoniums for summer as they don't need much watering.

I would agree with Buttercup about losing the grass altogether and improving the soil by forking in some compost.  There are often special offers on large bags of cheap multi purpose compost which would improve the texture of your clay.  Then cover with a weed suppressing membrane with cross slits for planting shrubs and then spread gravel to tone with your house bricks or slate chippings if you want a contrast.  As long as you go for a large grade they should stay put.

As your soil is alkaline, you could use Verdun's suggestion of a lavender edge but you would need to break up the clay with some fine grit and compost as they need good drainage.  Don't like wet feet.   You won't be able to grow acid lovers such as rhododendron, azalea and camellia but there are plenty of other shrubs that will love it and give you colour and perfume.   

Have a look at mahonia Charity and Winter Beauty - evergreen foliage and scented yellow flowers in winter followed by blue-ish berries in summer; hydrangea paniculata forms - flowers on new season's growth so can be pruned back every spring to encourage new flowering stems; viburnum Bodnantense Dawn - scented pink flowers thru winter.  For ground cover, have a look at forms of hardy geranium - lots of flower colours plus different forms and colours of foliage.  You just need to cut them back after flowering to encourage fresh new foliage and maybe more flowers.   Bees love them.   

The RHS website has a plant search facility that lets you enter soil type, aspect etc and then suggests suitable plants but the most important thing to do is to improve the soil first so whatever you do choose will thrive with little after care once planted.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 09:56

Chunnel can be expensive if not booked well ahead but ferries are usually do-able and you can have a rest and a meal during the crossing to gird your loins for the M25.   We do either quite happily depending in whether we have the dogs with us - have to leave them in the car in the hold on the ferry.  Not good

Hosta - hope he likes the card and yes, I'm curious about LG's plans and would just say - don't break yourself trying to get everything done before you leave.  The world of work will continue to turn, tho maybe not in the same way and, as a good friend in Belgium always says, the cemeteries are full of indispensable people.     Enjoy the time left and then enjoy your future.

FG - lovely photo.  Hope you get some walking this weekend or at least some seeds sown.

OH is still battling with the last kitchen unit which has all the plumbing for the sinks so isn't coming out easily.  Had to wait till late yesterday for the plumber to seal the water pipes as they had no taps and when he came back from walkies he promptly fell asleep for over an hour......

Ultimate Alphabet 'Q'

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 09:38

The yellow flag is a Q flag (in boating and shipping anyway).  The pony is not a quarter horse.   Too short.   The hands with parallel finger and thumb are sign language for Q.


Help! I can't create a design for my new garden!

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 09:30

Where are you, which way does it face, what kind of soil is it - acid or alkaline or neutral, how much time do you have to keep it looking good and will people be walking across it or round it to get to your door and how big is it?

Your location will affect mean temps and rainfall plus exposure  to wind and frost.  The aspect will govern how much direct sunshine plants will receive.   The soil type dictates which plants will or won't thrive.   The time dictates whether you go for low maintenance shrubs and perennials or high maintenance lawn and annuals.   Lastly, doe sit need a path to stop wera and tear on plants from passing feet.

Lastly, its size will dictate the number of plants you need and how big shrubs can be allowed to grow.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 04/03/2017 at 09:01

Got up at 3;30 after having a bad session of cramps and finding my Kindle battery dead.  Came downstairs, watched a bit of TV and read The Garden before dozing off on the sofa with a dog and a kitten vying for space and cuddles.   Going to be a bit weary today but must crack on with steaming the kitchen.

It's rather nice gardening weather at the mos so maybe I'll get some done this pm.   We've now had a whole 11cm of rain since Jan 20th.  No sign of the crocuses I hid in the grass but all the other bulbs are now showing buds or at least tips for those I planted later.  OH had a moan about me letting weeds grow in the biggest bed we cleared and planted but I was right to wait and see.  Lots of them are baby cyclamen - but also sticky bud/goose grass and bittercress.

I assume if Busy is to swim or paddle across the Channel with OH and baggage in tow she will arrive there by car or train so could maybe complete the journey that way?  Easier, faster and drier.   Just a thought.   Do you get flights refunded if they're cancelled for strikes?

Must finish coffee and get dressed.  Have a good day, whatever you're doing.

herbal hair rinses

Posted: 03/03/2017 at 21:10

I can't understand anyone buying Cadbury's creme eggs, let alone eating them.

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 03/03/2017 at 18:05

Fingers crossed for you then Busy.

We have a system here.  I prune and he clears - my theory goes that it's a skilled and unskilled division of labour....    He's asleep on the sofa now after a week of early starts, hard labour today and walkies too.   

Loads of heavy pruning to do here too in order to get things under control and there's fencing to take down so men with bulldozers can play.   Cleaning and painting first though then I can play outside while paint dries.

herbal hair rinses

Posted: 03/03/2017 at 15:39

Found this - http://www.naturallivingideas.com/home-remedies-for-gray-hair/

My hair is still mostly dark blonde/light brown and I'm expecting lots of natural streaks this summer but in the past I have used lemon juice and chamomile to brighten it up in dull winter months.

Rosemary is supposed to be good for darker hair and also black, as opposed to green, tea.

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