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Latest posts by obelixx

Essential Tools

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 12:16

I have a stainless steel spade and fork as they are best for clay soils and tend to last.  Buy th ebest you can afford and pay attention to the length of the handle.  The longer the better for avoiding back trouble - unless you yourself are short.   I also have a stainless steel hand fork with a wooden handle that is very comfy to use for close work. 

The best secateurs are Felco's - last for years and years.   For all my other tools I like the Wolf system of interchangeable short, medium and long handles and assorted heads depending on the job in hand.  I like the double bladed hoe for weeding, available in two widths in the UK and good for going between plants in the border and rows of veggies.   The cultivator heads, rake head and weed extractor are very good to have and they do a decent pair of big loppers too.

Another essential tool is WD40 for spraying on tools after cleaning and a couple of plastic trugs for weeding in borders where a wheelbarrow won't fit.


Covering an Unsightly Fence

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 10:02

You can also screw vine eyes to th eposts at regular intervals and stretch wires between them to support climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis and/or other climbers as well as a mix of shrubs and perennials to extend seasonal interest..  

Sometimes it helps just to change the colour so consider painting it cream to make your garden look wider and lighter and show off the plants you do put in front of it.

Hard pruning Rhodedendrons?

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 15:24

You can remove any dead, broken or diseased stems now when there is no frost about but should then wait till it's flowered this spring to cut back what's left to at least one pair of leaves.    Give it a good feed suitable for ericeous plants.  In future, keep it tidy by trimming once flowering is over.

This is what the RHS has to say about pruning evergreen shrubs -

Problems with Polyanthus

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 14:20

Put some wildlife friendly slug pellets down and see if that does the trick.   The ones round the patio and up against walls are probably dryer and less easy for slugs to access.

Skimmia Japonica

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 14:18

Sequestrin will help if there's an iron deficiency but ericaceous plants can also get anaemic looking if they are short of magensium.  To fix this, give them a foliar feed of 1tbs/15ml of Epsom salts dissolved in 1 gallon/5 litres of water.  Use a watering can to sprinkle it on the leaves.

Where are my snowdrops?

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 14:24

I love your snowdrop wood Berghill.  I hadn't thought of putting snowdrops in my woodland corner but I will now.

Neighbours not wildlife friendly

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 14:22

I'm afraid that some people are oblivious to the needs of wildlife and very ignorant about gardening and plants.   All you can do is show him by example.    Keep your garden looking good and wildlife firendly - but not too wild as most people detest the wild look and think it's all weeds and out of control - and maybe one day he'll twig.

Everedge steel lawn edging?

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 11:46

As stated, we have railway sleepers all round our lawn which has big curves.   Then I nicked some grass to make a bigger bed and the new edge is slowly being edged with pavers as and when I have time.  It means I can trundle round with the lawn mower and not worry about damaging the grass edge or running over plants in borders.

Everedge steel lawn edging?

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 10:25

Do you need the edging as well as a path?  We have mowing strips round our lawn - railway sleepers round half, cut at angles to get the bends and then, having nicked grass for beds, I'm gradually edging the new edges with granite paver cobbles just laid in the soil as an edge.

I just cut the lot with the mower and OH occasionally goes round with a  strimmer to neaten edges.

Just think what you could buy with the money you'd save.

Great British Garden Revival

Posted: 13/01/2014 at 19:30

You're not thinking of Hidden Gardens with Chris Beardshaw on BBC2 are you?  I really liked that series and would love some more and a follow up on the ones they rescued.  Flying Gardener was a very good format too.


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