London (change)


Latest posts by obelixx

Shabby Chic Anyone?

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 17:23

Know the feeling BM.  I have boxes of stuff we cleared out of our kitchen when it needed re-plastering and new pipe work and they are still in the attic.  Things like old jelly molds I had on the wall and some copper pans.

They can stay there now as we are planning to sell this place and downsize when OH retires while we still have the energy to create a new garden we can manage more easily when we're older and also get a house the way we want it.

Removing Rosemary?

Posted: 29/08/2015 at 13:10

Dry or freeze the fresh green bits on the old plant and they'll still taste good in cooking.

Flower in Africa

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 21:24

Both are commonly available as houseplants in the UK.

Gardens we have visited 2015

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 17:10

Gorgeous looking gardens.  I do like that stone and slate seating area.  So many people neglect seating in a garden.

Looking forward to pics of the 2nd.


Container plant with year around interest

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 17:02

You could also grow something like a variegated holly which would give you year round foliage interest and berries in autumn and winter as long as you choose a female or self fertile variety.    They lend themselves well to pruning to a shape so you could easily keep it to a cone or a pyramid or let it grow a main trunk with branches.

The RHS has this article on trees in containers - 

If the pot is generous size, you could try quite a few of the flowering cherries.  Prunus serrulata will give you a lovely shape and fabulous, glossy winter bark as long as you pick one of the cultivars as they don't get as tall as the original.

Apples and pears on dwarf root stocks would be good too and you can now get "family" trees with more than one variety grafted to the main stem so they cross pollinate and you get blossom and fruit.  

How much....

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 14:14

No idea what OH paid for his first car and I didn't take a test til I was 30 and we moved to the outskirts of London with no more tubes and buses everywhere.

Possum has just got her first car.   In Belgium learners must first pass a theory test then either have a minimum number of hours with a fully licensed driver - parent or friend - or pay for 20 hours with a driving school at €2000 which we had to do as both our cars are automatics.

Then they take a driving test of sorts.   She now has a provisional license and can drive on her own but not after 10pm and not on Saturdays and public holidays.   We have bought her a tank - Toyota Corolla - €1750 - with a good engine and sturdy bodywork and manual gearbox and I am no longer a taxi - except on Saturdays.

Transplanting Perennials

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 12:16

Lavenders hate wet feet so it's the only way Monty can hope to grow them well as he has long, wet, cold winters.   

Since he's always on about right plant right place and going with what you've got I'm not sure why he's persisting with lavender in that situation but let's hope it works. 

I too have long, cold, wet winters and grow my lavender hedge in a raised bed just along the retaining wall so they have fierce drainage and full sun all year.  Happy as Larry but I did choose hardy English varieties.   French lavenders can be a bit wussy.

Stag's Head Sumach

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 11:01

Cut off the three branches that spread directly over the lawn, preferably after leaf fall so you get the autumn colour.  Remove any remaining horizontal shoots that spread over the lawn and stop you mowing.   You'll need a pruning saw.   Wolf do one that is good and not expensive and can be attached to handles of varying length - short for hand work, long for high branches and hoeing heads.  

New shoots should appear in spring on the branches that are left.   That curving, serpentine one is very attractive.

Be warned however that sumach's often respond to pruning by suckering with gay abandon and you may well get new shoots appearing in your lawn.  You can mow them off quite easily but you may also get them in your border around the trunk.

Transplanting Perennials

Posted: 28/08/2015 at 10:16

It's best to move plants once they have finished flowering as then you can cut off the spent stems and reduce stress on the roots and foliage as they settle in again.

I have friends who garden on heavy clay and have carved their garden out of a former wilderness of gangly conifers, even ganglier birches, brambles and weeds.   Apart from digging over new borders and gving a generous layer of muck and compost to their new beds their soil improvement regime consists of giving all the beds a generous layer of well rotted compost every autumn after they've moved any plants that need relocating, dividing or introducing and once perennial foliage has largely died down.   The worms work it all in over the winter and the new shoots come through happily the following spring.  

Their garden is 2.5 acres and they get the local council to deliver a truck load of municipal compost as they can't generate enough themselves.   You could simply reorganise your bed in September and October while the soil is still warm and not too wet to be workable and then mulch in the same way in November and December using your own garden compost or bought in soil conditioner.  You don't need to dig it in first apart from adding some to the soil when re-planting.   Putting piles of grit under individual plants can have the reverse effect and lead to water collecting there in a sort of sump effect.

Need a couple of trees to screen a shed

Posted: 27/08/2015 at 18:25

I have to say I tried the Try years ago when I first started converting former cow pasture to a garden.   Found them hopeless as  I placed a huge order for hedging plants, shrubs and conifers and he couldn't source some of the more special ones and ended up delivering none and was rude.  

However, my friends have excellent service from them and they have a 1 hectare garden that features a lot on Jardins Loisirs on RTBF and will be open on Sunday 13th of September as part of Jardins Ouverts for charity.   I shall be helping by manning the gate and taking the money and maybe doing a bit of guiding if needed.

PM me if you want the address.  It's in Bousval so not far away.   Excellent opportunity to "meet" lots of shrubs and trees.  These photos are from April - 

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1 to 15 of 17 threads