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Latest posts by obelixx

Visiting Wonderful Gardens

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:13

First of all it's a great way of relaxing so it's good for body and soul.  Then, of course, ideas of what I do and don't like, plant combinations to copy or inspire, new plants I haven't seen in the flesh before and, if I'm lucky, some goodies from the plant sweetie shop at the end but they don't always have one and some are over-priced or badly cared for.  I was thoroughly disappointed and rather disgusted by the offerings when I went to Sissinghurst but Great Dixter certainly made up for that.    

Help I made a weeping willow purchasing mistake, can it be potted??

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:07

Beware robinias.  They are all gradually succumbing to a sickness which kills them.  Mine has struggled for the last 2 years and this year managed to produce one tiny leafing stem before dying completely.   A healthy alternative for golden foliage is gleditisa.

Waitrose turkeys

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 12:04

If we, as customers, don't buy the properly reared stuff and more interesting breeds, the growers will go out of business and those breeds will be lost.  As long as the animal or veg has had a happy life it's good to eat and contains more nutrients for us.  

I find intensively reared meat and veg is pretty tasteless so I grow some soft fruit, herbs, veggies and salads and buy organic poultry and eggs, organic or local and thus recently harvested seasonal fruit and veggies, properly reared pork and lamb.  I rarely by beef as the main Belgian Bleu Blanc beast is almost fat free and so tasteless.  There are occasional offers on Scots or Irish beef which is grass raised but even then it's expensive so it's an occasional treat.

We have to be realistic but fair.   Thank heavens for the RHS and its schools,  community gardening and Edible Britain in Bloom programmes designed to promote gardening and Grow Your Own around the country.  If only Belgium had one.


Help I made a weeping willow purchasing mistake, can it be potted??

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 11:44

It definitely needs rehoming.  You don't want a bill for repairing the sewer pipe nor all the mess that such a repair would make to your garden or the upset with the neighbours.

Bite the bullet and dig it up and then either pot it while you find a good home or chop it up and let it dry out completely before binning or composting it.  

Rose ignorance

Posted: 17/11/2013 at 11:35

There's an alternative to expensive or unsightly supports if your shrub roses are producing long, leggy stems you can peg them.   This simply means placing a peg in the ground and tieing the ends of the stems to it so you get a curved shape.   Do this in late autumn so the stems don't get blown around and broken by the winds.

Come the spring, it's a bit like having trained a climber.  Lots of new, shorter stems are produced from the main stems and these flower more readily as the nutrients pass more easily along a horizintal stem than a vertical one.

I did it on my Sceptr'd Isle roses a few years ago and it was amazing.   Since then I've pruned them back hard to get in and deal with a mares' tail problem but they're ready for pegging again for next year's display.  They can be underplanted with spring bulbs to extend the season of interest and will flower, in my experience, from late May or early June through to early December depending on weather conditions.

Slippery decking

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 14:14

I have a firend with the same problem and who isplanning to replace her decking with stone paving slabs.   Not sure how that will work as on my shady terrace made from recycled granite pavers it always gets slippery in wet weather and all through winter.

Pressure washing is not ideal for wood as it destroys the surface and lets more water penetrate which can lead to premature rotting.   You can use a special spray to prevent algae forming but be careful not to get it on precious plants either side.

You can also stretch chicken wire very tautly across the decking and bridge and staple it down.  Try it on the bridge first to see how it looks and works.   It will soon weather and blend in and will give you grip.

Shall I hack my Verbena bonariensis?

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 13:08

Half my garden is on the lean after those gales and the big storm in summer Nut but the verbenas seem to have coped.   Funny how things differ from one garden to another.

Shall I hack my Verbena bonariensis?

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 12:44

Yes, and you have to be careful not to weed the babies in spring.  Mine still have some flowers now and I love the airy transparency of the plant's structure.

Shall I hack my Verbena bonariensis?

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 11:53

I usually leave mine purely because the tops then take any frost and protect the crowns a bit.  Having said that, in the last 5 winters every one of them has succumbed to severe frosts but leaving the stalks and flower heads means they self seed so I get free new plants in spring.

Overwintering Yourself...

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 16:35

I decorated my bedroom last winter between Xmas and New Year because I knew I wouldn't be able to after the foot surgery.  The walls are fine but I need to do the ceiling again.  Looks fine in normal light but with bright light reflecting back off the snow in January it looked quite streaky.   It'll have to wait till next summer now though.  Too busy outside in spring.

Discussions started by obelixx

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 1316
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
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Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

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Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 639
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
Replies: 108    Views: 3511
Last Post: 24/03/2013 at 18:19

Good Morning - 21 March

Replies: 33    Views: 1680
Last Post: 22/03/2013 at 09:57

Choosing chillies

Replies: 3    Views: 945
Last Post: 23/02/2013 at 18:47

Hanging baskets and window boxes

Replies: 32    Views: 2359
Last Post: 03/03/2013 at 18:12

New shed - any tips?

Replies: 18    Views: 7801
Last Post: 12/01/2013 at 08:55
10 threads returned