Latest posts by Obelixx

The Virtual Café

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 19:36

Never heard of Norfolk Dapple and unlikely to find it here.   What's it like?

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 18:21

We saw a hedgehog in next door's grass near the fence a couple of months ago.  Much excitement from Rasta but never seen any in our garden yet.  I shall have to look into making safe shelters for them - cat and dog proof!

Joyce - Minstrel lived on her wits for a while as a very young thing.  Found covered in oil under a truck and underweight for her age.   Cosmos is younger and has always had food on tap so has less motivation but he has progressed from flies to butterflies when playing in the garden.  Still waits for birds to come to him at the feeder tho.   They have his measure but steer clear when Minstrel's about.

The Virtual Café

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 18:15

Spiced Blackcurrant Jelly - on toast, croissants, goat's cheese or use in sauces for fatty meats

1 kilo blackcurrants
900ml water
200ml cider vinegar
5cm stick cinnamon
12 cloves (I often substitute 3 or 4 whole star anise)
white sugar

Wash the currants then add to a stainless steel pan with the spices and water.  bring to a boil then simmer gently for one hour.   Strain through a fine sieve or muslin overnight but do not press as this will cloud the juices.

Combine the juice and vinegar in a clean pan and then, for every 600ml of juice, add 450g white caster sugar.   Bring gently to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then boil hard until a set is obtained - usual trick wit cold saucers and a bit of the jelly till it wrinkles.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal.   Can be eaten as soon as it's cold and lasts for ages.

Blackcurrant vinegar - Same recipe works for raspberries and blueberries.

1 kilo of blackcurrants, washed
1.5 litres cider vinegar
white caster sugar

Soak the fruit in the vinegar in an earthenware or pyrex crock.  Cover and leave to stand for 5 days, stirring occasionally.   Strain thru a muslin cloth overnight.   

For every 600ml of liquid, add between 225 and 450g of white sugar then bring to a boil in a stainless steel pan, stirring till the sugar is dissolved.   Boil for 10 minutes then pour into sterilised bottlles and seal.

Mix with honey or sugar and hot water as an antidote to tickly coughs.

Use as a dressing for winter salads, with or without walnut, hazelnut or virgin olive oil.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 17:02

I'm sure you can spare a few as he's not tall enough to get many.   I expect our local hunters will be out in force soon as the new season starts.  1st of September I think.   Rasta doesn't like all the bang bang and runs home if she's off the lead.

Busy - Minstrel is a sweet puss and leaves us all sorts of half eaten presents in the bathroom but this was rather larger and in the dining room.    Lots of spiders here too but par for the course at the mo.  No autumn invasions yet.

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 16:26

Joyce - lovely foliage.  Lots of kitten excitement earlier as Minstrel - always a busy girl - brought in a rather large live mouse.  Cosmos just sat and watched, fascinated while I went to try and rescue it.  Unfortunately, Rasta doggy is faster than me so that was that.  Exit, one dog with mouse firmly clamped in teeth.  Good job everyone is up to date on wormers and flea and tick stuff.

Clari - can't someone else look after the plumbers?

The Virtual Café

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 16:21

Blackcurrant cordial (good for vitamin C in winter), blackcurrant vinegar, blackcurrant liqueur, spiced blackcurrant jelly - done with cinnamon and star anise and a bit of vinegar so good on toast or with goat's cheese as you prefer or in sauces for duck.

Acid-loving plants

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 16:19

It's lovely but is this to be an entirely shrubby bed?  No herbaceous perennials or bulbs to extend the season and add interest in form and height?

Hello Forkers ... August edition

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 14:26

I saw them once here in late spring and bought some.  Haven't seen them since.   Love mushrooms but they're off the menu when Possum's here as she hates the texture.  I know she likes the flavour tho as I'm naughty and hide them in things like Mushroom and lentil slice which she thinks is cheese, onion and lentils...........

Acid-loving plants

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 13:09

If you go to the Plant Selector feature on the RHS site you can search for summer interest plants that like ericaceous conditions.   783 suggestions came up.  Clearly I haven't looked at them all but roses, dahlias and sanguisorbias should make a start on giving you summer colour and on into autumn. 

Hardy Geraniums, Recommendations

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 11:30

There are so many and suited to sun, shade, moist or well drained soils.   The RHS gives AGMs to plants of particular garden merit and lists 10 top hardy geraniums.  I suggest you start there and see if any take your fancy - https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/articles/graham-rice/10-hardy-geraniums 

Personally, I like geranium macrorhizums for dry spots, Kashmir white for shady spots and Ann Folkard for the deep cerise blooms and slightly golden foliage.   I find Rozanne far too floppy but like the look of Brookside which I planted this spring.  Good blue and much better behaved.

Last edited: 15 August 2017 11:32:42

Discussions started by Obelixx

Taxonomists and name changes

When did this happen? 
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Sphaeralcea - globe mallow

Anyone grow this? 
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Garden visits - Asphodèle group, Vendée

Photos of two very different gardens visited on 17/10 
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Loire chateaux

Pics of a few chateaux and grounds 
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Hello Forkers ... September edition

A friendly place of frolics and conversation where everyone is welcome to join in to chat and procrastinate to their heart's content... 
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Who's nicked my figs?

Mystery fig disappearance 
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Snake ID please

Found canoodling in the sun but what are they? 
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Clematis ID

Can you name this clematis? 
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Feeble hyacinths or Spanish bluebells?

Opinions please 
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Erection and siting 
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Cutting garden

Tips please 
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What to do with them 
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Weather station

Recommendations please 
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Clematis varieties

New varieties (to me). Anyone grow them? 
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Non fruiting fig

How to prod it into fruiting mode? 
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1 to 15 of 34 threads