21 to 40 of 2,085 posts

Has anyone used Ivy as a hedge?

12 Jan 2018 16:14

We had Ivy growing up a fence. It eventually took over and "ate" the 6ft fence panels and we had to replace them.

But if you have, as has been suggested a strong frame, it could be quite effective. This was really impenetrable.

Overlooked Garden Ideas

11 Jan 2018 18:33

A planting solution, will take quite some time to give you what you want.

I'd be tempted to put some trellis on top of the fence and grow plants of your choice up the fence.

We changed a four foot fence  to a six foot one between ours and our neighbour's drive to which I attached some trellis panels. We have two Mayleen clematis and some roses.

It quickly went from this.

To this, the year before last. It was even thicker last year. It gives us both some privacy.

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

11 Jan 2018 17:01

Dorcascents says:

How lucky are you Doghouse Riley having so many self seeded snowdrops. I planted some but yet to see evidence of growth.However well done on getting to grips  with your Acer. It looks a handsome specimen now cant wait to see it in leaf later on.

I however are chomping at the bit to get out there but currently full of flu and no energy yet.I have received two blueberry plants yesterday and as I only have a small garden with no greenhouse space I intend to grow them in pots. (1 is blue and the other is pink.) So I look forward to planting them up and keeping them in a frost free  area until the weather improves. Always something to look forward to this time of year.

See original post

 Thanks for that.

This is how it looks every year, when it's in full leaf,

But I like it best in the spring when the leaves are still pink

It needs an awful lot of water, as our soil is a bit sandy.

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

11 Jan 2018 14:56

I gave our "lollypop acer" in the front garden its annual trim. If I didn't by now it's be as tall as the house and touching the front bedroom window.

Last yera's growth was as expected uneven, though I did remove some branches that had "bolted" in September.

I've taken off  between six inches and over a foot, to get it roughly back into shape, I may take a little more of yet. But it's a bit like trying to get the legs even  on a dining room table, by the time you've finished you  could end up with a coffee table.

I didn't need a ladder or steps, I used my Barnel extending pruner for the high thinner branches and a Fiscars more robust  pull-cord one for the thicker branches.

Whilst I was in the garden, I did something I kept saying I'd do every year but never got round to do it.

Well hidden under the azaleas below the tree were two clumps of snowdrops, we didn't plant them, they must have been self-seeded or whatever. They were only an inch or two above the surface, so I carefully dug them up and put them in a trough and placed it on the patio steps down from the French windows in the back of the lounge. There must be at least 50 of them.

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 18:11

punkdoc says:

Typical of what, may I ask?

See original post

 People who exaggerate  to try to prove a point.

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 18:08

punkdoc says:

We do not have to all conform to your dictats DHR.

See original post


Yours is a typical response.

How many have you found?

I'm just asking for more civility.

Asking people to not  to include comments that can appear to be sarcastic in a response is hardly an unacceptable request.

Should I have added  "Deary deary me" to this?"

I wouldn't and never have said anything similar.

See what I mean?

Last edited: 10 January 2018 18:09:52

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 17:46

Dovefromabove says:

Oh dear ... I really don't want to argue ... I don't like arguing  ... I'm a Dove .... but this is a forum, to debate and discuss ... you really can't expect everyone to agree with you all the time and get upset if someone has a different opinion.  

'Nuff said. 

See original post


You're still at it!

There was "nuff said," before you posted this response.

Don't try using  the "debate and discuss" argument as an excuse.

I don't expect you to agree with me, what I do expect is you not to include in your post something that can be interpreted as sarcastic. There was no obligation to include your "Deary, deary me," or actually for you to say anything.

Last edited: 10 January 2018 17:46:46

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 17:31

Dovefromabove says:
Doghouse Riley says:

I didn't appreciate the "Deary, deary me," smiley or no smiley.

 Combined with the particular smiley I chose which indicates 'I don't know' I used the phrase to indicate that I didn't know  what else to say in response to your comments.  I was flummoxed. 

It just goes to prove that language is a slippery thing ... as I had said, I was sure you didn't intend to sound as if you were bragging but that was how it could be taken.... you apparently mistakenly read my comment as an assertion that you were indeed bragging.

As you say ... all water under the bridge.  

See original post


In which case you should have said nothing.

There was no obligation to say anything at all, it was your choice to post what you did.

I'm not expecting an apology, but I'm still not impressed.

Fox Problem

10 Jan 2018 16:58

Stephen Lawrence says:

My back garden is about 12m x 12m surrounded by a 2m high wooden fence.  I live in an urban area.  I have a problem with fox wandering the garden during the night.  i have 2 - 3 year old lhasa apso dogs who run around the back garden during the day and early evening.  If there was a confrontation betweeen the fox and the dogs I am concerned the dogs may get harmed or worse !   -   Any suggestions please ?

See original post

It's unlikely that foxes will bother your dogs, they wouldn't bother a cat.Their first instinct is to run away.

We had a mother and six cubs under our summerhouse last year. The mother wouldn't come into the garden if there was a cat in it. The only time they might be aggressive, is if a mother believed her cubs in a den were under threat.

I'd suggest that if a fox is visiting your garden, they may be looking for somewhere to build a den. So have check round for likely places (they are good at digging under wooden outbuildings) and take some preventative measures.

Last edited: 10 January 2018 16:59:00

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 16:51

philippa smith2 says:

Isn't that rather harsh DHR ?

Regular posters are aware of your dislike for the use of any emojis and have learned not to use them when responding to your posts.

I think the emojis ( stupid word I admit ) are used not as an excuse by posters but more to get their meaning/sentiments across if the comment could be taken in more than one way.  I don't think they are meant to impress or otherwise .  If we choose to talk to each other by the written word only, any "help" to enforce the meaning is not to be sniffed at. Our language is complex and It is very easy to misconstrue a statement made in bald type - in the majority of cases you don't know the person and neither can you see their face so you have no real idea - using the aids the Inet offers is surely helpful to most of us. I presume that is why they exist.

Just my opinion of course - I'm not out to impress anyone. - better things to do especially as it promises to be sunny again tomorrow         

See original post

 I understand what your saying, but I'm of the opinion as I said,  that sometimes smilies are used to deflect criticism. Far better not to post anything that could be misconstrued.

As I may have said before. smilies didn't exist in literature, it is possible to understand if someone is  being humorous  or serious by what they write. Why shouldn't it be the same on a message board? We aren't using "txt spk."

I didn't appreciate the "Deary, deary me," smiley or no smiley.

Anyway, enough said, it's water under the bridge now.

Last edited: 10 January 2018 16:52:49

You Have to Smile

10 Jan 2018 16:00

Learnincurve says:

I say this with the greatest possible love and respect, and as the mother of a very disabled child, what we have here is what is known on the internet as "dogpiling" I know people won't have meant this to happen, it's a forum phenomena that just tends to happen on it's own.

It's when when someone has a unpopular opinion and then everyone else on a forum all jumps in,  9/10 the original poster defends themselves, which makes other people more determined to "win", it all gets really ugly and the original person ends up completely miserable.  

OK in some cases it's justified, but in this instance it's such a tiny thing and personally I'm more concerned with somone who's nearly 80 being made really sad by a nice safe forum about plants than anyone being offended by a perceived slight. 

See original post

 Thanks for the support, but it's water off a duck's back to me.

This is like any  forum, where people can hide behind their anonymity, when they want to be really offensive, but I've not experienced any of that here. Though some responses, I consider unnecessary and don't really add much to a thread.

However, there are some on forums who indulge in attempted  "points scoring," responses  for reasons best known to themselves.

I'm not impressed by smilies which some add, as an attempt to excuse  the  message they post which  at face value would be considered sarcastic.

You Have to Smile

09 Jan 2018 23:59

Mike Allen says:

Living in London, well close to Kent.  There are so many tyre dealers around.  I use a small unit called Set Tyres.  They have your details on the computer, so you drive in and you are greeted.  Hello Mr Allen, what can we do for you?

Hi my car is due an MOT, can you check the tyres pleas, and if you think they need swapping around.  I have in the past found them tto be "TOPS".  Ok the odd tyre needs replacing but everything else is gratis. 

Regarding the drivers age etc.  I am over 27, close to 80.  I am now registered disabled.  For any driver if calling for help, especially from the AA or RAC.  Mention you are disabled or a woman alone, and you get first class treatment.

See original post


If the guy had asked for something similar he'd had got the same service from Quick-Fit. But they aren't in the business of just swopping tyres around, for someone who is not a regular customer. I've had a few  tyre changes by Quick-Fit. They have your name on their computer. I had a new set two years ago.

You Have to Smile

09 Jan 2018 23:20

scroggin says:

Rather than " brushing off" the caller, maybe the manager should have had the courtesy to recommend a smaller more ' client' based outfit. 

My father was a motor mechanic for most of his working life, always working at smaller independent garages. They recognised the value of customer service and often would fit in jobs like this, for little or no money, as they knew long term it could lead to future business.  

Not everybody feels comfortable changing a wheel, let alone a full set, I don't see that as any kind of ' inadequacy'.

See original post



As I said, the manager didn't know of anyone who swapped wheels around other than during a service.

Common sense would have told you if the guy was that concerned about his wheels he could have had it done when he  had his car serviced either last time or next time. They'd have done  it as part of the service, as would Quick-Fit.

You Have to Smile

09 Jan 2018 21:08

Dovefromabove says:

I've worked for many years with disabled and less abled people ... why should they tell someone on the phone that they're disabled when asking if they can perform a service for which they're willing to pay?

Deary deary me 

Last edited: 09 January 2018 18:31:39

See original post


Is  being supercilious, really necessary?

Save me the sarcastic smiley.

Deary, deary, you too.

You Have to Smile

09 Jan 2018 17:52

Dovefromabove says:

Apart from the possibility of the driver being disabled, not everybody has a driveway where that sort of job can be done away from traffic. Not the sort of thing to be doing on the street. 

Most garages I know are happy to do that job as part of a service or at a simple hourly rate. 

Just because one person finds something simple it doesn't follow that someone who has difficulty in doing it is in some way inferior. 

Sometimes being pleased with having achieved something can come across as dangerously close to bragging and I'm sure that's not what's intended. 

See original post

 Oh dear!

"Dangerously close to bragging?"

You're really making me smile, no need for those sort of comments, better to scroll down.

My point was an observation that we have generations who expect things to be done for them and don't think of doing it themselves.

Some can find all sorts of excuses for the  person on the phone. Why suggest he was disabled? He obviously wasn't or would have said so.It was his arrogant attitude that made me mention it.

As if the task was something that only a garage could do.

If the guy was going to buy a tyre, it would have been different, as it was when I purchased just one.

Last edited: 09 January 2018 17:53:52

Anyone done any gardening today - version 3

09 Jan 2018 15:56

As it's been dry for a couple of days, I pruned the last three wisterias. I needed a ladder for the one on the pergola over the French windows.

My wife always worries when I'm on a ladder. But I'm not bothered about heights. It was a while  ago but I re-cemented all the ridge tiles on our roof, walking around on top of the thick concrete rough-finish tiles, in a pair of old squash shoes with my bucket of cement and a trowel.

But I get nagged every time I use a ladder. So as she could see me from her chair in the lounge today, I made exaggerated movements to wind her up. She came to the French windows and told me "You're looking very doddery, so you better come in!"

I carried  on, she doesn't like it when I hop round on a tread to face the other direction, to work away from the ladder, to save me from having to move it too often.

Did a lot of pruning of the dead bits on the clematis on the fence and over the front door. Also cut back a lot of jasmine.

Managed to fill the green bin again.

Last edited: 09 January 2018 15:58:34

You Have to Smile

09 Jan 2018 15:47

On my way home from golf yesterday afternoon,  I had a puncture, caught something sharp in the gutter  as I was pulling up at a pillar box to post a letter.

I could see at once I'd need a  new tyre. I considered calling out the LV emergency service, but didn't want to hang around waiting for them in case my wife needed something, I don't like to leave her for too long.  So I changed it myself.

Took about ten minutes or so. Luckily it was the nearside front, so I could do it from the pavement as it was a busy main road.

Didn't think much about it, as although  with 4X4s the wheels and tyres are heavy, but I didn't even have a problem lifting the faulty one back up, supporting the weight whilst I lined  up the holes in the wheel with  the studs of its carrier on the back door, which can be a  bit tricky as it's hard to see what you are doing.

I would have put it in the boot, but it was full, with my electric golf trolley and big tour bag and I wasn't sure I could get a replacement the same day, so it'd have to come out again, if I couldn't.

Drove down to Quick-Fit and got them to replace the tyre, negotiated the price for a new Goodyear down from £135 to £95 including  fitting and balancing. They did a good job swopping the repaired one for the spare I'd put on the front.

It only took about twenty minutes.

Whilst I was waiting I was chatting to the manager when the phone went. He had it on speaker. The voice on the other end of  the phone was obviously a youngish person.

"How much will you charge to rotate the wheels on my car?"

(some people like to swop the fronts with the rear ones to even out tyre wear, it's not always recommended on some cars).

"Sorry, sir we don't offer that sort of service."

Then can you give me the phone number of a place which will?" (said indignantly)

"Sorry sir, I don't know any tyre fitting firm that will do that for you."

"Why not? I can hardly be expected to change them round myself!"

The phone was slammed down at the other end.

If I felt mine needed doing, I'd have no bother doing it myself, it's not that difficult and could hardly be called a job where much of an effort is needed.

I'm nearer 80 than 70.

Another rant in the Potting Shed

06 Jan 2018 11:09

Burglars will take the line of least resistance.

There's a lot you can do to help yourself.

We have two PIRs on the front of our house that I set to turn on if anyone steps over the curtilage.

There's a further two  on the side of the house which illuminate the drive of our semi.

Many neighbours have something similar.

There's another PIR attached to the shed and one over a back bedroom window.

The garage door has more than just the flimsy lock with which they are supplied and is secured from the inside.

All our fences are six ft post and panel ones and here, the most vulnerable point, between the corner of the house and the edge of the garage, I made myself, it's nearly eight feet tall. This now has a sturdy hasp and staple and multi-lever padlock (not what you see here) and a double row of carpet gripper rod along the top edge.

We've never seen any evidence of intruders, nor the presence of any police in our road, not even in a car.

Last edited: 06 January 2018 11:10:09

Feeding the birds

05 Jan 2018 18:09

My wife has told me, "Rocky" the robin has got a girlfriend!


I'll try to get a photo of her.

Last edited: 05 January 2018 18:12:12

Replacing Fence

04 Jan 2018 14:34

If you intend growing plants up a fence, it's worth considering drilling the concrete posts at 1ft intervals and stringing strong horizontal wires between "screw eyes." This will lengthen the life of your panels and as long as the other side is wired the same, replacement panels when necessary can be easily slid in.

Panels often get blown out more because  the wind can catch heavily foliaged  plants which in turn drag out the panel to which they are attached.

Last edited: 04 January 2018 14:35:28