Latest posts by Obelixx

Plants I won't be growing again next year

Posted: 19/08/2016 at 13:23

I shall be moving gardens and going from deep, fertile alkaline loam which gets plenty of rain but also heavy frosts to unknown soil except that it will be neutral to acid as there's a magnolia.  I'm expecting to be able to grow lots of plants that have been off the menu here so I'm expecting to experiment..

However, there will be no begonias of any description, nor impatiens, as I find them nasty and plasticky.  No Victorian bedding, no golden rod and no euphorbia as I really don't like them.

Plant or Weed?

Posted: 19/08/2016 at 13:04

Asters like this are naturally late flowering - hence their being called Michaelmas daisies.    

If that's too late for you in this position, move it somewhere else in late autumn when it's finished flowering or wait till next spring.   Alternatively, introduce some earlier flowering plants nearby to keep the interest going throughout the season.


Posted: 19/08/2016 at 09:38

Yvie - have a great holiday.

Pat - I agree.  Lovely design for a tapestry or cross stitch.  I spent my day at patchwork class doing felt appliqué using blanket stitch and chain stitch which I haven't done since I was about 10 which is many decades ago.    My hand started seizing up which I hope is just wear and tear from waving a paint roller about for 8 days.

Grey and cool here and set to get wet and windy tho not as much as originally forecast.  Either way I'm on curtain altering and chair painting duties for Possum's apartment.   The lift has broken - again - so we have to lug everything up 4 flights of stairs..........but she'll have plenty of light and a great view of Namur citadel which has lots of grass and trees so some greenery all year.

The farmers have been up till the small hours and out early again to harvest their wheat and gather in the straw bales before they all get soaked.   No stubble burning here.  It gets ploughed in and then they sow a green manure.

Our own garden is looking really very good considering I've not done much in it for weeks - apart from the veggie patch which has succumbed to slugs and never really got going this year with all that cold and rain earlier on.   


Posted: 18/08/2016 at 18:51

We have occasional bonfires but always at weekends and always when the wind is blowing away from the road and neighbours who may have open windows.   Our nearest neighbours are several hundred metres away but even so, smoke travels and the smell persists.

At the new house, one immediate neighbour is a policeman who confesses to having an occasional illegal bonfire for rubbish he can't compost or take to the dump so we are going to have to be good about our own rubbish.   The other is a farmer who raises beef cattle and has lots of weaned calves running around the farmyard and mums and calves in a paddock across the road and I don't suppose they'll like fire much.    

I hope the weather holds for you on Saturday Busy.   Can you squeeze people in under cover if necessary?     We haven't had the forecast rain yet today but they reckon Belgium will be very soggy at the weekend which is OK as I have lots of sewing and sorting to do.

Shade container

Posted: 18/08/2016 at 17:18

Have a look at Gautheria aka Pernyetta.  They are small evergreen shrubs which like shade and have white flowers in late spring/early summer followed by fat berries in autumn and winter which can be anything from pink through crimson to purple.   They'll need an ericaceous compost to do well and more than one in order to cross pollinate and keep on producing berries every year..

If you google "RHS+gautheria" you will find information about several forms and also suppliers.


Posted: 18/08/2016 at 08:08

Beautiful moon here too but all clouded over now.  Expecting a mere 24C and maybe some showers.

I have patchwork class today so will be comfy.  Made a banana tea bread to take for the ladies to try, tea breads and banana cakes being not at all Belgian.

After that a raid on the SM so no gardening for me today other than turning the raspberries OH picked yesterday into vinegar since I can't take frozen rasps with us.

Clari - our dogs aren't allowed upstairs cos of the cat but have been known to bark at their reflection in the downstairs French window.

Well done Chicklet.  Hope she is better today.   You too WW.

Dove - one of our courgette plants is finally producing - just in time to make marrows while we were away!  I loathe marrow.

I dreamt about painting last night so am feeling weary.  Onwards and upwards everyone, whatever you're doing today.

What to do with beds in winter

Posted: 17/08/2016 at 22:35

No covers.  Let the weed seeds germinate then zap them with regular hoeing.  

Narrow borders can look good with well chosen herbaceous perennials or shrubs and, once planted up, you can mulch with a 2 to 3 inch/5 to 8cm layer of chipped bark to help keep in moisture and prevent weeds from taking hold again.

What to do with beds in winter

Posted: 17/08/2016 at 21:31

It depends on what you are planning to grow there.   Shrubs and some early flowering perennials are best planted in autumn, as are bulbs for a spring display in which case keep it hoed and weed free for a few more weeks then start planting.  

Daffodils can be planted form mid August as they start to root early.   September and October are good for planting alliums, hyacinths, crocuses and so on.  Tulips are best planted in November or December but all are best planted after any shrubs and perennials so you know they'll go in the gaps.



Posted: 17/08/2016 at 20:46

Lantana - You're a lot more interested than I am or ever will be.

FG - have just watched a programme about some chap failing to cross the Cairngorms on a mountain bike whilst reporting on sport in the highlands.   Lovely views but a shame about the drip with the bike.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 17/08/2016 at 20:23

Thanks for the continued updates BF.  I have to confess I haven't been doing much apart from basic maintenance for weeks and tending pots and potting up babies and divisions for moving to a new garden.   Handy to know which are the best days for the divisions but sometimes needs must and I just do it when I can.

Sorry about your blight.  I don't bother with potatoes as we eat so few and I grow toms in the greenhouse to protect them from catching blight from nearby potato fields.   It was such a long cold wet start to spring and summer that I have only had a few flowers and no sign of any toms yet.   My brassicas, fennel and beets have been decimated by slugs and the salads struggled then bolted.  The courgettes finally got going 10 days ago and turned into marrows in our absence last week.  I give in on veggies this year.

Soft fruits have been good though - apart from the pheasants nicking all the blueberries on dawn raids - and the rhubarb was wonderful. 

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