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Latest posts by obelixx

Strictly 2014

Posted: 08/11/2014 at 11:54

I'd prefer Alison to go next but don't mind as long as it's her or Judy.    Please, not one of the others yet as they all can dance.   Judy Murray just about moves her feet but there's no rhythm or grace or flow or sway from the ankles up.  Alison is heavy on her feet and has no real leg action.  She mainly dances with her upper body.

Neither does enough.   The others all have great ability and potential and can be watched with pleasure and, above all, without feeling embarrassed for them.

Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 11:12

Many of the plants we grow in the garden are poisonous.     I love aconitums and grow several forms.  The bees and other pollinators love them too.

We just have to treat our plants with respect. 

Strictly 2014

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 10:47

The Ignore facility is designed for people like Mike.

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 21:36

Charlie N - moles travel by tunnels which can be deep or just below the surface.  Whichever, they collapse sooner or later either from rainfall, gravity or people walking on them.  In teh former cases they just look unsightly.  In the latter they can twist or sprain ankles and twinge dodgy backs/knees/hips most painfully.

If I do happen to catch one live and try and liberate it in the paddock across the stream they squeal and bite and scratch with those flipping digger front claws.   Not appreciative at all.

I fail to see what purpose a mole serves.  They mess up my lawn, uproot plants when they pass and eat my soil improving worms.  In late winter and early spring they run rampant huntig for amate an dthen when the bairns go independent there's another flurry of tunnels and hills as they head of to find their own territory.   Flipping pains in bum - and ankle and knee and hip and back depending.   Make it jolly bouncy going round on the mower too.

Skimmias - chalk soil

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 16:43

 The RHS reckons they can be grown on alkaline soil but when I tried they got sick and chlorotic with yellowing leaves.   They also didn't like my cold winters whether in the ground or in pots.

I suggest you look at variegated forms of eunymous or aucubas, Chinese ligustrum, berberis and escallonia, all of which are evergreen and can be pruned to shape and size.    Some have blossom and berries for added interest.

Plants for Winter interest

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 14:56

Hellebores would be very good but she does have to go out and remove all the old foliage as soon as the new shoots appear in winter/spring depending on variety.  This removes old and possibly infected foliage from the plant but also allows it to show off its new flowers and fresh foliage.

Whatever you plant, do work in as much well rotted manure and/or garden compost as you can before planting as this will improve drainage when wet but also moisture retention when dry.   Once everything is planted and watered mulch with something like chipped bark or cocoa shells in agood, thick layer as this will reduce weeds.

Have you thought about a choisya ternata Sundance?  Golden foliage all year and orange smelling blossom in late spring/early summer once it gets established.   Happy in clay and shade. 

Strictly 2014

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 14:11

There are many forms of Argentine tango from the anglicised, formalised ballroom version to the sultry, flowing Argentine groucho version, the backstreet milonga version, the social version danced at soirées and the spectacular mixes of all the styles you get in touring shows with professional Argentine dancers.

Tango is infinitely variable depending on who's dancing it and where - except there are rules about deportment, posture and movements in the ballroom version, especially applicable in competitions.



squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 00:28

Runnybreak - there is a gadget which deals with moles but you can't get it in the UK.  I have used it successfully here but not since we got dogs.  However I'm going to set the device again soon but inside a protective cage to keep the doggies safe and stop their curious noses setting it off prematurely.

Watch the wee video - 

I plan to get the one thats' been taking the micky through my veg patch this week and then the one that's having a laugh in the lawn before they get into gear tunnelling every which way to find mates next spring.


Welcome to the potting shed

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 12:30

Welcome.   Sounds like you've got your priorities right - structure first.   Newt is soil preparation which is best done thoroughly so you only have to do it once.

One tip once you have your edges done is to pile on lots of compost and/or well rotted manure and let the worms and weather work it in over wnter.   Easier than digging, especially for your back.   In spring you can then simply fork it over, removing any weeds and stones as you go then rake it over and plant in spring.  This way you have all winter for playing with layouts and plant lists.

Get some bulbs in now if you can though as they need all winter to grow their roots to be ready to put up shoots and flowers next spring.  

New shrubs and roses are best planted in autumn as they then have all winter to grow new roots, especially the feeding roots and shoudn't need extra watering next year.   However, if you haven't yet got the soil ready or haven't yet decided what to grow, you can also plant container grown specimens at any time of year as long as soak the roots before planting and you keep them well watered till the autumn rains come.

Rose Cuttings

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 12:07

I have taken cuttings of my Generous Gradener climber this year but, like Dove, i've done them outside in the gound tho mine are dibbered in to some soil in a spot sheltered form prevailing westerlies.  I'll be leaving them a year before disturbing them.

As yours are in pots, I would keep them sheltered but outside for winter - maybe a cold frame to reduce risk of the entire pot freezing in cold spells.   When you see roots coming out of the bottom of the pot you'll know they can be safely potted on to grow big enough to plant out in the borders.

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