Latest posts by Obelixx

Plant names

Posted: 01/07/2016 at 10:55

I have a clematis princess Diana and it's a cracker - healthy, free flowering, grows well whatever the weather throws at it.    There's another called prince Charles which I couldn't have bought even had it been attractive.  Blekitny Atoll (now called Blue Angel) is so much better.

I admit to hesitating a bit over hydrangea paniculata Pinky Winky but the label has long gone so I can't tell which is Vanille Fraise and which is PW now.   Both gorgeous plants which is what counts in the end.

That geum borisii looks gorgeous doesn't it.   Apparently it's named after Boris III of Bulgaria who accompanied a plant hunter on expeditions.

Bearded Iris division

Posted: 01/07/2016 at 10:42

I meant fine in the sense they're alive.  What they really want is to hang on long enough till I can get them into a well drained border with sun to bake their rhizomes so they can make flowers for the following season.   Even the ones I have in te ground are looking abit sad since Flaming June turned out t be one long downpour.

Creating Raised Beds Help

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 23:49

My vegetable plot is raised and levelled land behind the house and it is held up by proper railway sleepers which were impregnated with preservative stuff for life on the tracks.

Our chaps lined them with black plastic sheeting to protect them from water in the soil before they shipped in top soil from a field where the farmer was clearing soil to lay foundations for his new tractor shed.   Every autumn we bung on the contents of our compost bins for the worms to work in ready for spring planting.

They've been there about 18 years now and are still going strong.

Forum design update

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 23:38

Have to agree about first unread post being re-instated.   Such a time saver.

Independence Day?

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 23:32

I find it more shocking in Europe and the UK where we do have a social safety net - in theory.- but yes, in a country like the US it's frightening because they tend to have guns and nothing to lose and that was what I saw in Texas  and New mexico in 1988 when we hadn't had the banking crisis and all this austerity.

Best climbing rose?

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 22:59

I have Generous Gardener in a north facing garden on a  west facing trellis.  It is superb and has scented, pale peachy pink flowers all summer long.

It did take a year or two tog et going strongly and I do give it a mulch of garden compost every autumn as well as a generous dollop of pelleted chicken manure in spring.   It would appreciate your mixing in a some good quality garden compost and/or well rotted manure in the soil when you prepare its planting hole.

Independence Day?

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 22:17

Doghouse - just who do you know that's going to do the jobs the immigrants do with the skills or willingness needed?  

There was a chap on the Beeb this morning.  Employs 1000 people in Oldham baking biscuits and bread and has loads of immigrant workers because in mainland Europe they still routinely train people to be bakers in the public education system. He can't get skilled UK staff and presumably hasn't the resources or won't train them himself, is very happy with his euromix staff but voted out because he thinks the UK can decide things for itself.   

On the continent, you have to produce an ID card to get a bank account, join a library, buy a train pass, sign up for electricity etc and, of course, health care.   The chip tells them who your health care provider is and what services you are entitled to - eg options such as 4 bed, 2 bed or private ward.  If the UK had that, the NHS would save a lot of money it doesn't currently recoup from EU visitors or the rest of the world.

The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and yet has appalling poverty in some areas.   It needs a major shift of attitude and collaboration between national and local government and relevant NGOs and the education system to improve equality of opportunity for all and not just for those already articulate enough to stand up for themselves in the face of mindless bureaucracy.   Again, home affairs and local affairs are not an EU problem.

Last edited: 30 June 2016 22:23:27

Bulbs and seeds

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 22:05

The first bulbs in flower are usually snowdrops but these are best bought as plants in flower or still with their leaves on as the bulbs don't store well dry.   You can also beg some from friends or neighbours next spring as trhey benefit form being regularly lifted and split.

Crocuses are generally next but need full sun for the flowers to open.  Usually, white, yellow, purple or striped.   Lots of sizes available.

Daffodils/narcissus come in a wide range of heights and sizes as well as colours now.   They'l be in teh shops from the end of August and can be planted as soon as you've bought them as they'll start putting out roots straight away.  In the taller ones I like Thalia and Ice Follies and in the wee ones I like Minnow.  If your garden is sheltered from strong winds, Pheasant's Eye narcissus has delicate flowers and good perfume.

Hyacinths come in a wide range of colours now and are usually scented.

Tulips like full sun and good drainage and are usually treated as annuals but if you plant them deep and choose your varieties wisely they'll come back.   I don't grow many except for some species as my garden is too fertile and moist.

There are lots of other bulbs to fill the gaps - scillas, chinodoxias, dwarf iris, fritillaries, alliums for later on.

Have a google round the RHS website for info on cultivation and websites such as this - http://www.greengardenflowerbulbs.nl/en/ just to get a feel of what there is and then go to yourlocal garden cnetre or big DIY store from late August on to see which ones they offer.  Too easy to go mad in a catalogue!

There's some useful info here - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/problem-solving/top-tips-for-planting-bulbs/

Independence Day?

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 20:37

Perhaps you live in an efficient NHS Bee witched (great tag) as they don't all check and don't all recoup costs but yes, I do know about some of the sun followers.

KT53 - I am not advocating uncontrolled immigration.  Far from it but maybe you should read this - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-immigration-immigrants-jobs-brexit-remain-what-happens-unemployment-a7091566.html  

I don't think the UK does joined up thinking about public services and resources very well.    There are local and county councils who take note of birth rates and plan ahead to provide school places and others, less efficient, who don't.   Apart from the railway building boom (private enterprise) in the Victorian era and the earlier canal systems, the UK has always lagged behind others in providing centrally funded transport infrastructure be it road, rail or air.   Recent projects to improve road communication in South Wales have been done using EU structural funds and not because of wise forethought by local politicians or Whitehall mandarins.   

All too often local politics and dogma get in the way of good service provision and decisions about what services get which funds depend on fickle personal beliefs and agendas - postcode lottery - rather than well considered policies developed for the long term good.  That has nothing to do with the EU.

Independence Day?

Posted: 30/06/2016 at 19:03

The NHS is stretched because it is badly run, does not check IDs of people it treats so there is health tourism but, most of all, because too many people don't take responsibility for their own health - good diet, moderate drinking, not smoking, regular exercise - and then expect the NHS to pick up the pieces. Obesity and late onset diabetes are costing the NHS a fortune to treat avoidable symptoms and complications.

The population is aging so there are more degenerative diseases and creaking joints to treat but non existent or inadequate support services in the community to allow people to go home once treated so NHS beds get blocked and queues and waiting times increase.

Do you know how NHS staff dread the weekend?  All those binge drinkers coming in with injuries and hangovers and alcohol driven strops and violence?  I'm sure health care for all and free at the point of delivery was not intended to support the willfully feckless who consume too great a percentage of limited resources.

Immigration is a natural consequence of a successful economy, especially when compared to so many war or famine torn parts of the world.   Apart from a negligible number of Romanies escaping abject poverty at home, the vast majority of EU migrants are working - often doing jobs UK nationals can't or won't do - and thus generating wealth and paying taxes and should be welcome.  There ought to be a system for ensuring undesirables - criminals, sex offenders etc - don't take up residence in the UK but since the UK won't have an ID card and registration you have no recourse.

What the UK will have difficulty controlling is the illegal immigrants who will be unleashed when Calais decides to stop spending anymore money in containing them on their side of the Channel.  The UK has an extensive and unpatrollable coastline and there will always be some unscrupulous Brits who will exploit illegals and let them loose in a quiet corner or worse, using them as slave or indentured labour to pay their passage.

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