Latest posts by Obelixx

False Acacia Tree (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Posted: 08/09/2017 at 08:48

Probably best just to sow them in good compost and leave the pot outside over winter for natural stratification.   I had a golden pseudoacacia robinia frisia which died quite young of the disease they're getting but did leave behind a greener self sown baby which germinated and grew in the border.

The golden form is brittle so needs protection from strong winds and also suffers in very cold winters. 

Loire chateaux

Posted: 08/09/2017 at 08:39

3 days spent visiting a few chateaux in the Loire region.  Too many pics to load so here are some links.

All these chateaux were built on the site of old fortresses and vastly modified in the French Rennaissance style with grounds combining fine trees alongside formal planted spaces where man (or woman) is in control of nature.

Ussé - inspiration for the tale of Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault (1697) and also for Disney's drawings for the film.   Privately owned and being gradually restored using visitor fees as funding.   Beautiful rooms and lots of Flemish tapestries and, of course, a tower full of scenes from Sleeping Beauty.


Chenonceau - home of the king's favourite mistress,Diane de Poitiers, and then Catherine de Medici after Henry died.  Both made gardens as well as huge additions to the chateau which started as a fortress and water mill.


Amboise - home to many French kings during the 100 years war.  Stunning location high up on the banks of the Loire.  Leonardo da Vinci is buried here after serving as 1st painter and engineer to Francis I.   


Clos Lucé - the home given to Leonardo where he did a bit of painting but mostly worked on inventions for water management - locks, canals - and military engineering such as swing bridges, the first tank, flying machines and so on.   The grounds are planted to reflect his theories on light and shade in perspective and water as well as showing models of his work and major paintings.


Azay-le-Rideau - a little gem built on an island in the Indre river.   Beautiful chateau with one room having a display of dining room automatons plus sweeping grounds with fine trees and a small flower garden in what used to be the potager


 Great trip and so many more chateaux still to see......

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 08/09/2017 at 08:17

I'm assuming the difference is because monsoons are expected every year and are usually pretty devastating whereas these hurricanes are following in unusually rapid succession and with extreme force in major tourism areas for Brits.   That doesn't account for any skew in Oz of course.

It's grey here and cool and quite windy and a bit dribbly.   Supposed to be wet later but I'm not holding my breath.   I watered the sunny bed last night so I could try and weed it today.   Errands first though.

Busy - glad you've arrived safely and hope you enjoy your stay.

Pdoc - lots of stories on Beeb where families discover hitherto unknown or long lost full or half siblings.  When they meet they see family resemblances, piece together missing bits of a parent's life and often make better sense of their own and go on to become close but it's all about connections.   Meet up somewhere half way in a pub or café.   You may be pleasantly surprised and you may learn something interesting about your father but, if not, you can walk away.   You'll never know if you don't try.   Do you want to spend the rest of your life thinking you may have missed an opportunity to have a brother or make a new friend?

Chicky - a view of Ussé - sleeping beauty chateau

Diane de Poitier's garden at Chenonceau - very pink and purple

More chateaux and grounds on another thread.   

Fence height

Posted: 08/09/2017 at 07:40

In the UK there is no law about fence heights so you have to check your own local planning rules with the appropriate department of your local council.  Generally speaking, back garden fences can be up to 2m high.

Have a look here for some basic info - http://www.boundary-problems.co.uk/boundary-problems/fences.html

Rules also differ between England, Wales and Scotland and no doubt NI.  You may need planning permission to change the height of a fence but not to repair or replace with a similar fence or change a fence in a conservation area..

Garden Gallery 2017

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 19:33

Yesterday, chappy came to see to 2 old, sick ash trees:-

which has left us lots of firewood and mulching material to chop up

and he tidied up 2 more healthy ones over by the pond.

It'll all keep OH busy till we get some rain.

To much Moss and Weeds in lawn

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 19:11

I would make drainage a priority too or you'll never get anything nice for her to play on and weeds and moss will re-grow faster than grass.

Last edited: 07 September 2017 19:14:49

Hello Forkers ... September edition

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 18:28

Internet creeping at snail's pace today Joyce so it's taken all day to load my pics onto photobucket.  If it speeds up I'll post some here but if not, I'll just post links.

I want to train my Wisteria as free standing

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 16:37

Read the RHS article.  Pruning is a bit different for creating a standard.  If you cut the growing tip all you'll get henceforth are laterals so be sure about what height it's at when you do stop it.

The support will be needed till the plant's own stem is thick enough and sturdy enough to support the top on its own and in all weathers without breaking.

White Bird Of Paradise

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 15:20

In spring and summer you need to keep its compost moist, but not sodden, and feed it fortnightly with flowering house plant food or maybe liquid tomato feed.  Stop feeding and reduce watering gradually thru autumn and let it get quite dry between waterings thru winter.  Start again in spring.

It wants to be in a sunny, well ventilated spot in summer - outside is good - but it needs to be warm at night with a minimum of about 12C.   The best compost/growing medium is a John Innes no 3 loamy soil with added grit for drainage.  Check the base of the pot in spring and, if roots are visible, re-pot in a slightly bigger size of pot.  If it has reached your maximum pot size, remove the top inch or so of compost and add fresh every spring.

It's a long time since I've grown one of these and it wasn't the white form but mine liked an occasional holiday in the shower - good rinse to get off all the dust and also left there while we were away on hols along with our ficus benjamina.  Other plants rinsed in the bath with a bit of water and the door closed to make a micro-climate.

The RHS has this advice on care - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=847 

There is a name and shame thread somewhere for suppliers who deliver poor quality plants or bad customer care.   We also have one for the good guys.

Ideas for planting a new front garden raised bed

Posted: 07/09/2017 at 15:06

Even small trees need plenty of root depth to seek out moisture and nutrients as well as anchor them and 50cms will be nowhere near enough.   You therefore need to look at trees that can cope in containers and that usually means dwarf conifers, fruit on dwarfing rootstocks, Japanese maples or topiarised yew and box or possible holly.

If you are breaking up the sand and limestone at the base you shouldn't need gravel as well for drainage but the limestone means plants that need neutral or acid soil will not be happy so acers are out, as are magnolias, rhodos, azaleas and pieris.   There is usually also a certain amount of lime in brick mortar.......   Even if you fill your bed with ericaceous compost you will get alkalinity so I suggest you search for plants that don't care about soil type or tolerate lime.

Discussions started by Obelixx

SOS Allotments appeal

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Taxonomists and name changes

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Loire chateaux

Pics of a few chateaux and grounds 
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Can you name this clematis? 
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Feeble hyacinths or Spanish bluebells?

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Cutting garden

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1 to 15 of 36 threads