Latest posts by Obelixx

hellebores and camellias

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 17:23

When you see the flower buds on hellebores it's the signal to remove old, faded foliage for two reasons - it shows off the flowers better and reduces the risk of passing on bugs to the fresh new foliage.  reduces shelter for pests like slugs and snails too.

You need to make sure camellias - rhodos and azaleas too - don't dry out at the roots between August,when they form the new flower buds, and spring when they flower or you'll get bud drop and lose flowers. Camellias don't like early morning sun on frosted buds so make sure they're not in an east facing position.  If they're in pots, think about wrapping the pots in bubble wrap for winter to protect them from frost.  Use rain water or soft tap water, never hard water.

Plants you don't like...are there any?

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 16:56

B3 - As most plants have more leaves and for longer than they do flowers I think foliage can be the most important feature.   I do agree that colourful foliage is difficult with flowers too.

Someone mentioned dipped heathers.  I have seen succulents and house leek type plants sprayed with jolly pastel colours and actually bought and used for lining a bed for a party!  Horrid.

Sounds like some fun is to be had in your garden Aster.

Last edited: 29 November 2016 16:58:14

Garden related name for kitten

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 14:49

We have two new rescue kittens, just arrived.  Cosmos is about 10 weeks old and all white with blue eyes.  OH's favourite summer flower is white cosmos.    

Minstrel is black and white and named after a velvet and lace dianthus I have on my wish list.  She is about 5 months old.  They are busy getting to know each other which involves much running around upstairs.   They are quarantined from meeting the dogs till they can have their jabs.

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 14:39

New car for Xmas then Fidget.  You did say the truck driver was insured?

Just back from walkies with two very excited doggies.  Kittens are upstairs in splendid isolation till they get their jabs and running around chasing each other with unfairy-like paws so the doggies are still excited instead of dozing.  Cosmos has bright yellow eyes at the mo cos of the drops.   Bit scary.  Last time I had kittens with flu they were in a dreadful state, found under a box in the street when I was a student, so I fed them Horlicks with a syringe and they survived.  No need so far with Cosmos who is eating well.

I need to go and post some birthday cards and will see if the 2 for 1 offer is still going on the 70 litre bags of compost.  Little reminder to OH to finish forking over the bed under the silk tree so I can get my bulbs in.  Tempus fugit and all that.

T'bird - last time I looked Westminster Abbey is very expensive to visit.   Seriously.  What if you just need to pray?

Plants you don't like...are there any?

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 12:57

Aster - they had some in strong purples and pinks with full flowers instead of the wishy washy half bald flowers I've seen so often.  Have a look here - http://www.autumnasters.co.uk/   They also plant them in mixed borders with other plants like eupatorium and rudbeckias and have varying heights for interest.   I took these pics in mid September when the display was just getting going - http://s211.photobucket.com/user/Obelixx_be/library/1609%20Picton%20gardens?sort=2&page=1 

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 12:52

3C at midday today!  Shock horror!   OH was up early but says he saw no sign of frost but it must have been close.  I had a lie in after a disturbed night - purry kitties and Minstrel swearing a lot at Cosmos but they're playing well this pm.    Seriously unimpressed with the rescue organisation.  The whole collection thing was shambolic and now it turns out Cosmos' weepy eye is cat flu so neither he nor she can have their jabs till he's better and we know she hasn't caught it.  Brilliant!

Both are eating well though and full of beans so fingers crossed.  I've dealt with cat flu before in street rescued kittens and they survived.

Bright and sunny so off out with the dogs after the news and a coffee.

DD  stick to your guns.  The agent won't get any commission at all if he doesn't sell to you and there are no other buyers in prospect.

Busy - no shop like that here and Cholet's over an hour away so I'll just have to wait till I can grow my own pak choi and greens and PSB.  I have the seeds, just need the potager.

Dove - glad the neck's OK.   You too Pat.  Onwards and upwards.

Keep warm everyone.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 29/11/2016 at 11:40

It is light entertainment and was always intended to be so.  What is great is that it shows people learning a skill and improving each week (mostly but not always) but, for me, the best bit is the proper dancing.  OH and I love our dancing and gain much insight into choreography and technique that we can't get in our standard 30 hour season of group classes in which we learn a few new figures of all 10 dances.

These celebrities have access to 30 hours or more per week, depending on their commitment, for one dance with a personal professional teacher.   Anyone who is fit and has a bit of intelligence should be able to produce a decent 90 second dance in such conditions.  The differences then come from age, personality and whether or not they have a clever pro or a selfish one.

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 28/11/2016 at 18:55

Love scallops here too but they've always had to be an Xmas treat.   Still busy exploring lovely fresh fish here and haven't got to shellfish yet.

Busy - where do you find pak choi?  Haven't seen any here yet and curly kale just the once in a market.   

Whilst approaching Challans on the kitten run we saw whole rows of luscious fennel growing outside.  Very impressive.   I do like the way supermarkets here proudly display local grown veggies and fruits and cheeses and meats and misshapen or dirty but well brought up local or French fruit and veg.  Still haven't found a farm shop except for pork and charcuterie but met a man from a local cheese co-operative yesterday ad some local fish smokers.

HELLO FORKERS! November Edition

Posted: 28/11/2016 at 17:08

We now have gas so I have just resumed the cooking of cod with clementines for dinner.

It has been a beautiful, sunny day with clear skies and little wind.  We've been treated to fabulous starry skies for the last two nights.  

We have just got in from a marathon kitten fest.  Drove to Machecoul to fetch 3 kittens and deposit 2 en route home at a flat in La Roche-S-Y except I hadn't banked on over an hour at the vet's waiting for each one to be prodded, poked, given its ID chip, weighed and checked for fleas.   Ours is the little black and white 4 month old who we're calling Minstrel after a dianthus I lust after.   She was found under a vehicle and covered in motor oil nearly 3 weeks ago and has had to be cleaned up and settled.  She's very cuddly and is now upstairs getting to know Cosmos after a good feed.

T'other pair are a gorgeous tabby female of about 7 months and her brother who is the most beautiful taupe and cream subtly striped tabby with dark brown seal points and blue eyes.  Stunning and also very cuddly but we must be sensible sometimes.

Vet tomorrow for jabs and an ID chip for Cosmos.  

Busy - thanks for that link.  We have two levels behind the house with a bank that separates them.  We could probably excavate a bit further to put an above ground pool whose top would then be level with the upper layer with a bit of decking at the join.  On the lower level, there are 3 concrete posts with wires stretched between for washing but which we don't use as I am planning to add extra levels of wire and grow clems and roses so they could hide a pool.  Priorities are a proper potager, a new kitchen and another shower room.  Then we can talk pools - as long as it's heated by solar panels.  I do not do cold water and he's not having a private pool.  There's a cold water ocean just down the road.

Hosta , being a devout atheist brought up by Plymouth Brethren style Methodists, I have a deep mistrust of anything decided on "faith".  I much prefer a sound moral basis and logic plus an understanding of consequences to decide policy.   Just imagine how much more peaceful the world would be with no religion and a respect for one another's differences instead of fear and hatred or contempt.

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