Latest posts by obelixx

Job Done!

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 13:57

Huge list I've been saving for OH's retirement but haven't actually written down for fear of frightening him so I plan to spring them one at a time after preparing the proverbial and metaphorical ground.   He's had January off to get used to not having to get up and catch a train to work and we've just had the build up to the dance club's 40th anniversary ball this weekend and are off to the Hague tomorrow so nothing doing till next week really.

He knows about the compost heaps needing turning and emptying and fixing.   He knows about the trellis panels swaps and repairs and replacements that need doing.   Just waiting for decent weather.

Then there's finishing the edging of the holly hedge bed with granite pavers and laying chipped bark.  Ditto one edge of the back lawn without the bark, pruning dead branches from our prunus cerastifera, cutting back other shrubs, wading into the pond to clear flag iris and so on and so forth. 


would you ???

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 10:32

Grass likes sunlight.   You have shade.   Go with the flow and redesign.  Loads of fabulous plants like shady woodland situations.   The RHS Plant Selector lets you search for plants by aspect, available light, soil etc.  I typed in perennials and partial shade and it returned 1358 plants - https://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Search-Results?form-mode=true&context=l%3Den%26q%3D%2523all%26sl%3DplantForm%26r%3Df%252Fplant_sunlight%252Fpartial%2Bshade%26r%3Df%252Fplant_plant_type%252Fherbaceous%2Bperennial 

You could do the same search entering your soil type, drainage, more shade etc.  

It may be worth looking at raising the canopy of your oaks to let in more light.  This just means removing the lower branches to a a certain height without changing the shape or size or look of the rest of the tree.  You can consult a tree surgeon if you like and they should chip any small offcuts and leave bigger ones  so you can use them as mulch or woodpiles for habitat according to preference.

Have fun.

Plant supports

Posted: 08/02/2016 at 10:24

I loathe the look of cane supports in gardens plus tehy rot and have to be re-done and they can poke your eye out.  I use the bent metal rods with great success - discreet, can be made to order for the plant and cheap and everlasting.

I buy 5m lengths at the local building supplies shop and then cut them in half or 3 depending on the height of plant to be supported which can be 2m high helianthemums, slightly shorter echinops, then phlomis (the purple one), occasional floppy roses and so on.   I bend them round an upright railway sleeper which supports a retaining wall then stand on a plank to bend the legs up.   They push into the soil easily, go deep without snapping, no need for strings and become invisible very quickly as the plants grow.



Posted: 07/02/2016 at 15:04

I have a Betty Corning.  Once she gets going she's a good strong grower and very hardy.  Needs cutting back to just above ground level every year in late winter/early spring and then a good dollop of slow release feed.

Gentle perfume and lovely flowers.  I grow mine on a trellis with rosa Constance Spry so the flowers succeed each other but you could combine it with a  repeat flowering rambler or climber.

The culprit is discovered!!

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 15:40

Three main reason - drumming to make a noise to mark out territory for the breeding season, drilling to make a hole to nest and tapping to forage for insects for food.

Gardening by the Moon

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 15:37

I saw a biodynamic gardener on TV once who soaked her peas in paraffin before sowing them.  The smell puts off the rodents.

I do my peas and beans in toilet rolls up on a shelf where the peskies can't get to them since I lost the lot in a cold frame some years ago.

clematis pruning

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 10:03

I wouldn't at this stage but maybe in a couple of years when they're really established you can.   In the mean time, give them a good feed and wait and see what you've got.

You can use this website to help identify them.  It's a research website so has no commercial axe to grind.  You can search by colour of tepals, stamens, flowering period and so on.


The Gingernut Cover-up ?

Posted: 03/02/2016 at 15:16

Glad you enjoyed it Hogweed.  I tend to use fewer bowls than many recipes think are needed.   

Think I might make us one next week.

clematis pruning

Posted: 03/02/2016 at 00:15

I treat all my group 2s as group 3s as they usually get their tops frozen to bits in a normal winter.

Gave up growing group 1s as they too get frozen and then die as they don't respond well to being cut back hard unless they've been going for years and years and have good strong roots to drive recovery.

Poor quality clematis?

Posted: 02/02/2016 at 14:56

At this size I would leave it and see what grows this season.  It is a group 1 and can be trimmed, if needs be, after any flowers have formed in April/May/June.

This clematis website gives pruning info and can be searched for info on hundreds of clematis and their growing habits - http://www.clematis.hull.ac.uk/new-pruning.cfm 

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1 to 15 of 19 threads