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Latest posts by obelixx

The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 15:21

The RHS will be offering the prize because they think the process of the programme and the eventual garden build will attract new members and generate publicity and this further its aims to spread gardening knowledge and good practice across the wider community.  

The RHS does excellent work in schools and communities as well as providing help and support and information to its members and researching and evaluating plants, methods and materials.   An annual subscription to support all this costs about the same as an annual subscription to GW magazine.   For this you get a monthly magazine and free entray to their own and many partner gardens.  Entrance to the Chelsea Flower Show for a whole 12 hour day costs less than a ticket for two hours of premier football.    Brilliant organisation worth supporting.

The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 13:47

I honestly do not understand the offence apparently caused by a straight answer to a straight question.    We pay for every public service directly or indirectly through either taxes or license fees or both.   Simples.

The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 12:49

Hogweed - the standard of sewing at the first British sewing bee was risible but the next year far more advanced and adventurous.  If this programme continues next year we should see some really gifted amateurs and would be professionals coming forward.

Little-Ann - do you ask where the budget comes from for paying actors, presenters, directors, scenery makers, researches, editors, scriptwriters, camera people, equipment and set dressing and so on when you're watching fiction, news, reality TV, documentaries, soaps, quizzes on TV?   License fees and income from selling successful programmes and formats to other TV companies around the world.

black eye peas

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 10:17

I love black eyed peas but they are so cheap to buy in Asian supermarkets I prefer to grow other more expensive or hard to find veg which requires less care.  Round here that's fresh salad leaves, fresh beetroot, purple sprouting broccoli, cavolo nero and curly kale and Swiss chard.  

Fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries and blue berries are also prohibitively expensive and often imported so they're worth giving space and care too and can be grown chemical free at home.

The Great Chelsea Garden Design Challenge

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 10:12

Excellent summary of the programme Brenda but I have enjoyed it on the whole and have picked up quite a few design and implementation tips which are interesting even though I will never aspire to design anything other than what pleases me and OH using plants I know or, in the case of new ones, hope will grow well in my garden.  I do it for fun and the satisfying results.

To be a garden designer requires a wider plant knowledge to cover all possible aspects, soils, local weather conditions, budgets and aspirations of the commissioning customer and these people so far seem to be a little lacking in that as well as being unable to follow and interpret a brief.   Having said that, I do think the gold gardens so far have been the best on the day and I really like the Geordie chap's inventive ideas.   The women have all been weak in execution of their designs.

I know it's a formula format but none the worse for that.   I really enjoy the Bake Off because I enjoy baking and cooking tho will never waste time doing a montage on a cake or 2 dozen perfect tartlets or donuts.   I like the Sewing Bee because I sew too but will never waste time transforming old rags because it's quicker and cheaper to sew from new.   On both programmes the standard has risen each year.  Let's hope this one does too if it continues.


Thuja like plant in my garden (picture included)

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 15:44

Don't despair.  I have loads of this in some imported soil I was offered by a farmer when I was creating a new 7 x 4 m raised bed at the front.  I then improved it with a large load of horse manure.   It's in amongst roses and clematis and geraniums and bulbs and all sorts of other lovely stuff so I can't spray.

I just pull it when I see it and leave it to dry before binning. Constant vigilance.

How to deal with pests

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 15:38

Slugs and snails get thrown in the road to be squished and the ones I don't catch get organic pellets from Feb 14th onwards to stop them feeding and breeding once they hatch or emerge form hibernation.

Red lily beetles get squished underfoot when I find them.  Everything else is left to the birds to deal with or predators such as ladybirds and hoverflies.  I feed th ebirds all year so they treat my garden as home.  We have sparrows and tits nesting in our eaves and hedges.  Great for hoovering up aphids and caterpillars.

Thuja like plant in my garden (picture included)

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 14:10

I think it's called both Nut.   Nasty either way.

Thuja like plant in my garden (picture included)

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 13:33

This is a weed called mare's tail.  It is prehistoric in origin and has roots that can go down 30 feet and spread most happily in poor soil.   It is very difficult to eradicate as it propagates from trhe slightest bit left in or on teh soil and has silicates in its cell structure which make it all but impervious to systemic weedkillers.

That being said, it is possible to weaken it by constant attention with a hoe or by hand - remove all visible plant parts and leave them to dry in a sunny spot before burning or putting in the general rubbish bin.  Do not try and compost it as it will thrive and multiply.    Keep doing this so the roots get no food from photosynthesis and it will eventually weaken and die out but it may take a few years.

You can also crush the visible parts with your boots to break down the surface cell structure and allow weedkillers to penetrate.  Then use a glyphosate based solution which will be taken down to the roots and apply it by hand so you can rub it in.  Wear rubber gloves to stop your skin absorbing the active ingredients.   Glyphosate takes two weeks to act and you will need repeat application on this weed.


Bonsi Chinese elm problem.

Posted: 13/05/2015 at 12:33

I was given one of those bonsai elms 12 years ago as part of a birthday present.  I planted it out in the garden and it is now a fine, healthy, mixed hedging plant that I keep at about 4'6" high.

Discussions started by obelixx


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Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
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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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Mare's tail

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Encouraging bats in our gardens

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Beechgrove this weekend

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Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05

Weekend 22 March

Chat about plans for the weekend 
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Good Morning - 21 March

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Choosing chillies

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Hanging baskets and window boxes

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1 to 15 of 16 threads