Latest posts by Obelixx

Garden Visits

Posted: 18/06/2016 at 14:15

Thanks Busy.  If there's one thing Beth Chatto's garden and your lovely photos illustrate it's that I have to stop planting groups of just 3 or 5 and go for 7, 9 and 11 and make big bold groups of all my plants - so much more impact.

Can anyone know or recognise the identity of this plant.

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 16:25

I let mine scramble around on the ground as well as guiding it into a cotinus coggyra.  Hendryetta is another pretty, non clinging clem which isn't quite as vigorous as Arabella.

Why has my rhubarb gone mad!

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 16:22

Ours is huge too and I have 7 plants.   Mild winter, cool wet spring.  perfect conditions for rhubarb.

I bake a batch regularly for OH to have with ice cream and make cakes to give away or feed groups and then there's chutney, jam, freezing for autumn........

Safe to pick and eat till mid July after which levels of oxalic acid build up so best avoided by anyone with arthritic or gouty tendencies and the plants need a rest to build up energy for next year's crop anyway.

Removed old deck... now where to start!!

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 14:08

For the bed under the camellia, I would fork in a couple of big bags of ericaceous compost which will improve the fertility for the camellia and then plant shade lovers such as hostas, ferns, geranium macrorhizum, cyclamen hederifolium to give you an extended season of form and colour.

For the rest, it depends on what you want to do and how much time you have.   In such a small, shaded space a lawn may well be more bother than it's worth to prepare the soil, plant or sow and then maintain and the dog won't help either.   

Build your raised beds for veggies in the sunniest spot and be prepared to limit your crops to things which don't need prolonged sunshine to ripen them so salad leaves and assorted brassicas - see here for more info - http://www.harvesttotable.com/2012/04/vegetables-for-growing-in-shade/

Then make a decision about those paving slabs - keep or throw - and consider making a solid paved area on which to perch a table and chairs securely.  The rest of the space should then be cleared, levelled, covered with a  weed suppressant membrane which allows water to penetrate and then cover that with gravel or slate chippings or chipped bark according to budget and taste.   You can use changing pots of other plants such as spring bulbs, summer bedding, winter interest plants to add colour and form throughout the rest of the year.

You may want to consider painting or staining the fence to make it look smarter and/or plant a climbing rose such as New Dawn which doesn't mind shade and will give lightly scented pale pink flowers.  Depends on where your raised beds end up.

Last edited: 17 June 2016 14:10:33

Garden Visits

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 11:21

OH and I visited Harlow Carr and Beth Chatto's garden in Essex after Chelsea.  Too many photos to post individually so here are the links:-



Harlow Carr is clearly a work in progress with a winter garden being planted, a new vegetable garden and lots of trees being planted.

Beth Chatto's garden is inspirational from the dry garden to the main garden with its water features and luscious plant combinations.

I visited Sissinghurst a few years ago and was extremely disappointed but it looks as though the new head gardener is getting to grips with it.   Great Dixter is fab.

Dark foliage plants

Posted: 17/06/2016 at 11:13

There's a purple leaved persicaria - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/152665/Persicaria-microcephala-Red-Dragon-(PBR)/Details - and a ligularia Britt-Marie Crawford.    For low ground cover there's ajuga reptans "Burgundy Glow" and almost black leaved ophiopogon planescapus nigrescens.   You can heck out their cultivation needs on the RHS site.


Posted: 17/06/2016 at 10:38

The news is just depressing.  So much senseless violence in Yorkshire and France.   

Weather depressing too.  Mid June and I'm rugged up as though it were March.  More deluges and thunder expected so no gardening again today but I can do some potting indoors and then make a rhubarb cake and some savoury muffins for tonight - last ballroom class of the season.

The birds are eating all my bird food!

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 22:00

I put out fresh mixed bird seed every day, all year.  

At this time of year parent birds need lots of fuel so they can forage and feed their nestlings on fresh, juicy aphids and caterpillars and other insects.  When they fledge and can drink water from puddles and streams the fledglings will also eat seed so my current daily amount is 1 and a half times the norm.

There are also fat balls in  a dispenser, suet and insect sticks in another and 5 or 6 peanut feeders, one of which is a favourite against a post and gets re-filled every day.   The others swing more in the wind so are less popular and only need to be re-filled every few days.

Once all the breeding is over things quieten down as they eat spilled seeds form the corn harvests and berries in the woods and hedgerows and my garden.   Then winter comes and they need feeding all the way through to help them survive and be strong enough to lay good eggs in spring and sit on them.

I don't think it's reasonable to ration food if you want to see birds frequenting your garden and help them survive and thrive.

Aspirin for Tomatoes

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 21:46

Asprin is salicylic acid - exactly the same as the growth hormone in plants - so good for reviving sickly plants and also for giving some oomph to cut flowers if put i their vase water - one aspirin to a pint of water.

Gardening Crafters

Posted: 16/06/2016 at 13:46

If you photocopy you'll still have the original if it all goes wrong - too wet, too dry, too vibrant....- and you can try it in different forms.

There are some fabulous things being shown here.  Aren't we a creative bunch?  I can't draw or paint for toffee so hats off to those who can.  All those fine embroideries have reminded me I have the highlighter stitching to do on a Chinese dragon and a phoenix.   I'll have to buy some stronger reading glasses!

Thanks for the kind remarks about my appliqué Pat but I really am a beginner at this sort of thing and the other ladies in the group all do it so much better than I can - yet! - and are much more artistic about it.   Some are working on projects for display and competition at the Belgian quilt festival in October which is not something I shall aspire to for a few years yet.  They also do it all by hand which is something for which I have neither the time nor patience.   I've just undone on block I started to stitch by hand so I can do it properly - and accurately - by machine. 

Discussions started by Obelixx

Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
Replies: 5    Views: 252
Last Post: 18/09/2016 at 12:30

Another ID please

Replies: 6    Views: 274
Last Post: 20/07/2016 at 12:46

Shrub ID please

Replies: 4    Views: 356
Last Post: 05/06/2016 at 20:00

Beechgrove has started

Replies: 48    Views: 2298
Last Post: 03/04/2016 at 11:22


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 2    Views: 636
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 15:29


Horticultural Retail Therapy 
Replies: 0    Views: 790
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 13:04

Phuopsis stylosa aka Crosswort

Replies: 8    Views: 862
Last Post: 02/10/2015 at 10:01

Lawn care after moles

Replies: 4    Views: 613
Last Post: 05/08/2015 at 23:00

Plant id for Obxx

Who knows what this is please? 
Replies: 8    Views: 962
Last Post: 03/10/2015 at 12:49

GW 2015

Programme content discussion 
Replies: 46    Views: 2981
Last Post: 16/03/2015 at 18:44

Chelsea photos

Replies: 36    Views: 2704
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 09:30

Hello Jro - and any other old friends

Catch up chat 
Replies: 3    Views: 1253
Last Post: 27/05/2013 at 09:18

Mare's tail

Replies: 3    Views: 1931
Last Post: 01/08/2013 at 17:01

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Replies: 23    Views: 2397
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:35

Beechgrove this weekend

Replies: 6    Views: 1268
Last Post: 12/04/2013 at 11:05
1 to 15 of 20 threads