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Latest posts by obelixx

Lyme disease

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 17:23

The ticks are also a problem for cats and dogs so make sure any of your own pets get proper tick treatment from a vet to prevent bites - their stuff is more effective than Frontline form the pharmacy - and make sure you take medical advice yourself.

We're supposed to have loads of the things round here as there are wild roe deer and foxes in local woods and copses so I do regular treatments for the dogs so they're OK.  We haven't been bitten ourselves yet.


Posted: 17/09/2015 at 17:17

You need to provide some sort of framework to train the stems if you can.   Trellis or posts and wire or wires stretched against a wall on vine eyes.

They fruit on last year's growth so you keep the stems till they've fruited and then cut out those stems at the base once you've harvested.   Meanwhile, new stems will be growing from the base form spring and thru the summer.  You can tie these loosely to a vertical support to keep them out of teh way and then, once the old stems have been cut off, you release the new stems and train them along the supports to get maximum light and sun to make the next season's crop.

This way you automatically renew the vigour of your plant each year.  Giving a generous handful or two of blood, fish and bone or pelleted chicken manure in spring and supplemented with liquid tomato fertiliser drinks from spring to mid summer will increase flower and thus fruiting power.

flower bulbs

Posted: 17/09/2015 at 12:05

Chillies can be treated as house plants and grown on a sunny window sill.   Turn occasionally to even up access to direct light.

Daphnes are really outdoor shrubs and mint can be grown on a window sill for a while but then gets rather large and needs to go outdoors in a pot or in a confined space in the ground.  Outdoors, it will die down in winter and regrow next spring.  Indoors it will get straggly as light levels reduce in autumn.  It is a herbaceous perennial and really does need a period of rest in winter to maintain its flavour.

Advice required

Posted: 16/09/2015 at 22:46

I have a gardening friend who tells me there is a sickness going round that kills acers.  They start with die back, then lose leaves and struggle on for a season or two and then die.

It's happened to one of mine that was looking stunning till July but now is very very sad so will come out this autumn.

Where to buy native plants/seeds?

Posted: 16/09/2015 at 15:10

In evolutionary terms, gardening purely for pleasure and decoration is very recent.  Before then it was about growing herbs for medicines and food to eat.  Gardening for pleasure took off when the growing middle classes wanted pleasure gardens which had, hitherto, been solely for the nobility with space and money to indulge.  

Plants have been brought here for centuries and even millennia by invaders and migrants and traders and then by plant hunters and importers serving a market. 

I spend hours weeding out creeping buttercup, fat hen, nettles, bindweed, thistles, bittercress, couch grass, groundsel, iris pseudocorus and boggy sedges because they are invasive and ugly and I want colour and form from plants with more visual interest throughout the year to provide food and habitat for wildlife.   

Hanging baskets

Posted: 16/09/2015 at 10:43

I like hanging baskets in theory and window boxes and troughs and pots and other sorts of container planting - as long as they're not garish combos of colours or full of plants I loathe such as begonias and busies and painted heathers and so on.

However; I think I may well abandon summer hanging baskets on the sunny side of our house as they just get to hot and dry and windblown.   I already use the two brackets by the garage doors for hanging bird feeders but I may decide to have one last go at a winter basket with variegated ivies and so on for the front door.

On the north side I've had success with baskets of trailing fuchsias which I love but fuchsia chappy wasn't at the plant fair in May so I've just had the old plants growing in a trough up on a shelf under the back kitchen window this year and peanut feeders where the baskets usually go either side of the French windows.  

On the whole, rather more entertaining and a lot less bovver.

Where to buy native plants/seeds?

Posted: 16/09/2015 at 09:39

English lavender arrived with the Romans as did English apples and all sorts of other English fruit, veg and herbs.

In those days England and Wales were largely forested and I assume much of Scotland too but changing weather and human intervention has led to forest clearing, moorland creation for hunting partridge and grouse and deer, lowland draining for growing non native cereals and so on.

How far back do you want to go to get native and just have trees, bracken and brambles in  your garden?

Grass free lawn?

Posted: 15/09/2015 at 17:26

I think you should also consider a chamomile lawn.   Less clumpy than thrift.

Identify a plant

Posted: 15/09/2015 at 17:22

This arrived by bird or wind and self seeds with gay abandon in my moist beds over by the pond.  It's a pain in the bum to keep digging out.   Not a  welcome visitor here and definitely hardy..

Rhubarb in winter

Posted: 15/09/2015 at 17:05

Never been a problem for me but then Mine appreciate the extra blanket when we have our usual cold winters of -15C to -25C for a spell.  The last 3 have been unusually mild so they'll get a good blanket this year, just in case.

Ha-ha Tetley.  No book but I do a newsletter for my garden group with jobs to do now as several are from tropical or southern hemisphere gardens that know no frost so get confounded by our seasons.

Discussions started by obelixx

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Plant id for Obxx

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GW 2015

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Chelsea photos

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Hello Jro - and any other old friends

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Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Weekend 22 March

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Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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1 to 15 of 17 threads