Latest posts by obelixx

Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 03/05/2016 at 17:46

First, the show gardens, big and small.   Then the floral pavilion so you can absorb the colours and perfumes and get up close to some of the most popular exhibits and also chat with the nurserymen and women as they're very happy to answer questions and hand out plant lists and/or catalogues so you can order plants if desired.

The only plants you can buy at Chelsea are some lily bulbs on the lily stand and seeds on some nursery displays and at the seed stalls in the shopping street.

There are also people selling decorative stuff including a chap who sells rusty iron peony supports which are also great for herbaceous clems but he sells out quite quickly so get in quick and ask him to keep them for you.

After that relax and see the show gardens again later on as the light changes and casts different shadows.   It's a full day so take the time to relax and sit a while.  

On a practical note, there's a Felco stand where you can get spare parts for your secateurs and they'll fix them if you bring them.  Stands selling gloves at good deals, wellies, hand tools, clothing and so on.  

Make sure you take your camera to help you remember memorable plants and combinations and gardens and, maybe, the odd gardening hero.


Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 03/05/2016 at 17:13

They now limit the numbers so it isn't as crowded but, obviously, there can be a bit of a crush at some exhibits.    It is a world class event and at 12 hours for a full day ticket and with so much variety is certainly better value for money than a premier division English football match lasting 90 minutes.

B-list celebs get everywhere but are avoidable at the show.  Not so, unfortunately, on the TV coverage unless you record and FF.   

All the 4 big RHS gardens have undergone huge changes and improvements in planting, layout, facilities and activities for kids and adults plus there's a 5th under construction at Bridgewater, Manchester so always something new to see and do plus the various outdoor shows from Cardiff through to Malvern in autumn and the monthly shows in London.   Then there's Britain in Bloom and all the schools projects and apprenticeships and research.    Great value and a worthy cause.

Hydrangeas and bougainvillea discolouring

Posted: 03/05/2016 at 15:19

Frost?   It's been very cold and bougainvillea aren't hardy.   Fresh new foliage on many hardy plants is vulnerable to frosts too.  Bring them in at night until mid to late May when the last frosts are likely to have passed or protect with horticultural fleece at night if you can't bring them in.

The hydrangeas should recover but you will ahve to prune back the bougainvilleas to healthy growth.  

Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 03/05/2016 at 15:14

I am off to Chelsea and taking OH this year.  His first and probably last visit but he has to do it at least once.   Whilst we're on we're going to see Beth Chatto's garden and Harlow Carr too.

Good advice to wear comfy shoes. I also take a plastic bin liner to sit on as there is never enough seating in the picnic/drinks area.   I take a bottle of water and sandwiches as choices are limited and expensive on the day and there are queues.

The show opens at 8:30 and it's easy enough to get to see the gardens before the crowds get too thick.  People are generally polite and patient about moving aside to let new arrivals see the gardens - more so on members' days than the public days.  They are also friendly and chatty if you like.  

You can get all day tickets with 12 hours of access or ones valid from 3:30 to 8:30pm which is when it gets more crowded.    Show gardens, artisan and city gardens, floral marquee filled with displays from nurserymen and women and special displays, goods and materials and tools and seeds and art and sculpture stands.   Floral art, water features, environmental features etc etc.

Tickets go on sale in autumn and it's first come first served with the Tuesday and Wednesday being members only.   Worth joining just for that but you get a monthly magazine and free access to the RHS gardens and lots of partner gardens around the UK and some in mainland Europe.

What's not to like?


HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 03/05/2016 at 15:00

Steve - getting a second opinion in Belgium is at least a doddle.  Just make an appointment with a surgeon you fancy.  I know a very good one in Brussels who did my back for me - if that can help.

Busy - It is hard work getting ready for an Open Garden but it will be worth it and you can feel proud and have a big fat flop on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday........... as long as it takes.

I have been helping out at the British Women's club's annual plant sale for charity this morning.   I despair.   So many who haven't a clue about which way is up, don't listen to the answers to their questions, ask about every single plant there and then say they only want white or purple, admire the plants but then just retreat into he clubhouse for more coffee and cake...........   Thank heavens for the ones who did buy plants and/or provided refreshments to add to the coffers........

Sunny but a chill wind blowing today.   Dance show admin now and until it's all over on Saturday pm.  Family day out on Sunday.   I hope it stays bright as I'm itching to get my hands dirty again as of Monday.

Anyone know what this nice purple plant is?

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 20:25

Over here they're called "monnaie de pape" Pope's money.   There's a white flowered version too.

HELLO FORKERS May 2016 Edition

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 18:56

Got to 22C today.  I've been busy labelling plants for the charity sale tomorrow and watering treasures in pots.   At last I have buds on my hydrangea macrophylla.   

Annual end of season show at the dance club on Saturday and I have so much to organise.  Not much gardening for me till Sunday then but I did treat us to some more baby veggie plugs - kohlrabi, red cabbage, Romanesco, yellow courgette to help pollinat the first one and 2 potimarron - while out stocking up on bird food.   They've scoffed the lot over this last cold spell..

Small triangular garden design. Advice required for hosting please.

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 18:48

Absolutely.  I put up some bamboo ones which weren't really that noisy but they lasted a couple of weeks and then came down.   Couldn't be doing with the constant noise.

We have no immediate neighbours but had to move our BBQ from the back wall of the house (where I could't see it from any window) to the far corner of the terrace to stop the smoke coming in the house so I'd say any BBQ needs careful positioning with neighbours in mind, even if they get invited to the party.

Anyone brave enough to plant out runner beans yet?

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 13:09

You can get frosts up to mid to late May depending on where you are so keep an eye on local forecasts and be prepared to protect them at night.

Small triangular garden design. Advice required for hosting please.

Posted: 02/05/2016 at 12:50

Your patio needs to be big enough to fit a table and then have at least a metre all round it for chairs and movement plus space for the BBQ and maybe a serving area.   If that leaves a pocket handkerchief of grass I'd consider having no grass at all as teeny bits are hard to maintain and keep looking good.

Think instead about a chamomile lawn, or thyme if it's sunny, or else do away with it all together and lay some weed suppressant membrane covered with slate chippings, gravel or chipped bark according to budget, taste and style of house.

You can use the tree icon to upload photos.

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