Latest posts by obelixx

No good asking nicely...

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 11:24

I suspect a water scarecrow might work on herons.  Bit easier and less unsightly than netting.

Herons are resident along the local streams here and often to be seen hunting along the one that borders our paddock.  In winter we get Great Egrets too so there's an odd territorial clash but generally there's enough space for them all and they like fossicking in the fields as well as the streams.

They don't investigate our pond anymore as it has no fish.  Built for drainage and home now to frogs, toads and newts but we have a Wheaten terrier who is a demon huntress and chases anything that moves so herons stay away now.  The Lab now gives chase too but they never catch anything.

Plant labels

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 22:11

A gardening friend is experimenting with roof slates which she gets her husband to cut into suitable strips and then she uses some sort of white marker to write the names of plants.   Pretty indestructible by all accounts.  i'll ask her how the writing is doing next time I see her.   Might try it myself.

I think I've fallen in love

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 22:02

Dove - I have alkaline loam on a clay subsoil and hellebores do well so you'd just need to beef up the soil with lots of organic matter to keep them happy.

I think I've fallen in love

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 16:57

Hello Dove.  My friends tell me the new hellebores have been flowering constantly since bough on 15/12 and planted out the following day.   They've left them whole so they can get established in their new home but may divide in a year or two.

They have acid clay soil which Jon mulches every year with his own garden compost plus a truck load bought in from the local council every November.   We've had a mild winter so far but temps down to -15C are normal for them and good rainfall most of the year though we had a long dry spell last year which cost them several trees and shrubs.

They belong to the Belgian Yellow Book scheme.

http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/150421%20Ginny%20and%20Jon?sort=2&page=1 last April.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 11:52

RM - my Sceptr'd Isle has a great perfume.  Not as strong as GJ but still good and the flowers are lovely and some still going since we've had such a mild winter.

Fantasy garden

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 11:50

There needs to be a long pergola walk to enjoy perfumed climbing roses and honeysuckles and clematis.

No weeds!  And a lovely potager with no heebie-jeebies, large or small, to spoil the crops.


I think I've fallen in love

Posted: 13/01/2016 at 10:27

No, but I can understand your loving them.

I did see large specimens of this on sale at my favourite Christmas garden centre trip - Intratuin at Aarschot for any Belgian posters.  Absolutely gorgeous but 25€ a pop and even though they were splittable I decided not to risk winter arriving and upsetting them.

My friends, who have a hectare of garden and very deep pockets bought 3!  I can ask how they got on if you like.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 17:04

GWRS - I did restrict the roots but it's a variety that stands up to harsh Belgian winters (in the ground) so clearly thought the cold greenhouse was just too cosy.

Cuttings do better without strong direct light as this can lead them to produce early top growth before they have roots to support themselves so a north facing aspect is perfect.

What new seeds will you be trying this year?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:49

I once saw ruby chard and cavolo nero grown with dahlia Bishop of Landaff in an ornamental border at Kalmthout arboretum.   Looked stunning.

David Austin Roses, are they worth it?

Posted: 12/01/2016 at 10:05

I ordered loads of bare roots DA roses years ago when we first started doing roses here.  I wanted the perfume and disease resistance.  However, harsh winters meant quite a few didn't survive so now I buy DA roses from  Belgian grower who orders them in and then grows them in pots and thus takes the winter risk for me.  i then collect at my favourite spring plant fair in May and get a good, established plant for the same price as the bare rooted ones sent direct.  He doesn't have the full range as not all DA roses stand up to our winters.

These days, I grow them on in bigger pots for at least a season before putting them out in the hurly burly of my borders.   Generous Gardener is excellent, as are Gertrude Jekyll, Constance Spry, Queen of Sweden and Sceptr'd Isle.   William Shakespeare is a wuss that needs nurturing and sheltering.  Teasing Georgia is magnificent now I have given her a some shelter form northerly winds.

Moluneux didn't make and nor did one of the Malvern Hills I planted either side of an arch.   Benjamin Britten, Geoff Hamilton and Munstead Wood are back in pots while I clean bindweed out of their border.  Jacqueline Duprée, Tess of the Durbevilles and Crocus Rose are all doing well in the garden.   Graham Thomas almost died so is now in a pot in the greenhouse and Grace couldn't cope at all.

None DA roses are Hot Chocolate - no pong but glorious colour - and Kiftsgate which I have spreading over our south facing house front.  It was almost wiped out by a -32C in 2009 but has recovered well.   Guinée and New Dawn didn't survive.

I find these days I select single flowers for the bees so will have to see if I can get Dove's suggestion which looks gorgeous. 

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1 to 15 of 18 threads