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Latest posts by obelixx

All right .... own up .... which ones of you do this?

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 14:59

The RHS did tests - painted marks on shells and then waited to see if any came back.  They all head home, admittedly at snail's pace, but they like home best.

All right .... own up .... which ones of you do this?

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 14:25

More slugs than snails here but I toss them in the pond or in the road depending on which is nearer.

We have arable crops behind and to one side and pasture to the other side so they'd just come straight back to my juicy treasures if I lobbed them over the fence.

Wooden Pergola

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 12:42

It depends on how good the soil is.  If it's poor to medium fertility I would restirct myself to one plant per post but if it's good soil I'd plant two, maybe a rose and a cleamtis that would compliment each other in colour or flowering period so maybe a clematis for April/May and a rose to take over flowering from late May and June.

Whatever the case, I would prepare really deep planting holes back filled with added garden or bought compost and some well rotted manure if possible.    Plant clematis at least 4" deeper than they were in te hpot and roses with the graft join 2" below soil level.   Soak the pots throroughly before planting out and water generously once planted.  Feed generously every spring and mulch every autumn.

I would also stretch wires horizontally between the posts to allow the roses and clems to spread their stems horizontally as well as vertically as this encourages more flowers to form.

Depending on how exposed you are you could consider grapes which would give you a crop as well as as attractive foliage.  Wisteria is very good on pergolas as long as you follow the pruning regime to encourage flowering spurs.

I think honeysuckle is best on walls or trellises but you could look for forms of that which please you.   You could also grow morning  glory which is a tender annual so would allow you to have different colours each year.


Painting of fence

Posted: 16/04/2014 at 17:37

Cream will be lovely and show off your plants well and bounce light from the bits that aren't hidden by plants.  You'll need two or three coats to cover up the brown.

watering systems for holiday periods

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 09:36

We have been tied to holidaying in high summer while our daughter completes her schooling.   I bought one of those watering pod thingies with individual pipes coming off into each pot of toms and so on in the greenhouse but I find it a pain to set up and the number of pots allowed is restricted to the number of pods you buy so it can get expensive.

I solved the problem by buying a simple timer from Gardena which attaches to the outside tap and runs on battery power.  I put a Y connector below that to run two hosepipes.  One ends in a sprinkler in the greenhouse and the other is set in the middle of all the outside pots and hanging baskets which I gather into one spot behind the house for the duration of our holiday.

I set the time to run for 30 to 40 minutes at about midnight so the plants get a good drink and time to soak up what they need before the sun comes out.  Simple, cheap and effective.


Support for Sarah Bernhardt

Posted: 15/04/2014 at 09:27

I grow Sarah Bernhardt without stakes and she's fine.  So are my other peonies, despite the strong winds which occasionally blow through my exposed garden.


Protecting railway sleepers, what have you used?

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 17:37

This has been discussed on another thread - where the general consensus was also to leave them natural.

The only reason to paint them would be as a design statement - like those fuchsia/orange/turquoise walls Diarmuid Gavin used to put in his garden designs for TV.  In which case Cuprinol is a good quality, water based product but you'll need several coats and will have to maintain it over the years to keep it looking fresh. 

Faded Cuprinol is not pretty.  OH and I have just been replacing posts and trellis panels following storm damage.  The posts were once blue and are proving a nightmare to sand down.  In my case, I want them natural for another project but it would be just as hard to clean them up for repainting.  I shall probaly end up buying new and cutting these down to make new coldframes.


Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:10

I cover all my new clematis with an upturned terracotta pot whose bottom I have gently bashed out with a hammer.   This saves them from OH who can be very gung hoe and has decapitated several.

I've had cleatis come back after being decapitated and after being frozen to death above ground so I suggest you give the roots a liquid tonic of rose or tomator fertiliser every week or so until mid summer and again next spring.  Don't give up on it for at least two summers.

"Bug. Hotel"

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 17:06

This is mine with its roof garden of assorted sedums to attract pollinators.   The bits on the side are from a collapsed obelisk and were for a campsis but it was clobbered by frosts and one of the supports has now been clobbered by gales.

Friends bring me pine cones form their gardens or walks in the Ardennes and I cut up bamboo canes and other hollow stems to renew the accommodation each spring.  It tends to get a bit messed up by wind, birds and hedgehogs burrowing for winter shelter. 

The gravel mulch on the roof garden includes some upturned mussel and clam shells so they catch rainwater for insects to drink.


Food makers

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 15:09

A lid too, for the pong.

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