London (change)
13/03/2013 at 18:46

Can't remember where I got this from now, but it shows that you can't rely on the spell-checker; I've just tried it here & it says "No misspellings found"

Spell-Check Poem

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea.

It plainly marques four my revue,
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye strike a quay and type a word,
And weight four it two say.

Weather eye am wrong oar write,
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid,
It nose bee fore two long.

And eye can put the error rite,
It's rare lea ever wrong.

Eye halve put this poem threw it,
I am shore your pleased two no.
Its letter perfect awl the weigh,
My chequer tolled me sew.

Sauce unknown

13/03/2013 at 18:58

Will copy that for my grandchildren Highland Jennie. 

13/03/2013 at 19:41

me thinks we need a new rant what say ye


13/03/2013 at 20:15
Gardening Grandma wrote (see)

Parents and electronic gadgets have something to do with it, too, Frank!

You could be right G/Grandma although I saw my children the victims of various educational schemes that failed, one being they did not need to spell?? As long as the word looked something like the sound it was OK. Joan and I spent hours teaching my daughter the correct spelling which did pay off for her in a good job at a large firm, quite a few of the other kids were not so lucky.
ICI sent me back to college for 26 weeks of Quantum Mechanics, three of us older men and a group of very much younger students, to say I was astounded at their lack of English puts it mildly. We had to explain the reasoning and findings using blackboards and drop sheets, most of the young ones could not do that.
When we relaxed in the union building with them it came across they did not really care and at the end of the course it showed, there was a huge gap in results, the three oldest getting highest and diploma's the rest a re-sit. Where are they now I wonder.
"Hm" I write G/Grandma, just thought that could be Galloping, Glamorous, Glorious, Gregarious or Gnome, I better watch it and write it out in full Gardenia /Grandma.


13/03/2013 at 20:24

OK Derek, how is this.
Why oh why do garden centres fill up with bedding plants way too early and no explanation about not putting them out before the last frosts are gone. The number of times I have advised people they need to take great care and may need to keep them sheltered for some time especially up here on the North East Coast.
Then they go out in beds and baskets and are gone over because new gardeners do not realise some are quite short lived.
Sowing your own seed every couple of weeks and you have a long showing as you remove the older plants and put in the new ones. Much cheaper too.


13/03/2013 at 21:59
clogherhead wrote (see)

me thinks we need a new rant what say ye


Over to you Derek.  What would you like to rant about?

13/03/2013 at 22:31

Frank,the voice of experience it only come's with age. The garden centers need to make money and since there  is no guarantee with many bedding plants I suppose they will get repeat custom , if you look at the other threads a lot of people keep asking the same questions when can I sow this or that the most experienced amongst us know  that Feb' and March can be dodgy months I myself made that mistake last year when I sowed my Parsnips in the middle of March and they failed because we had a very wet last two weeks that month , then again a lot of young Adults look upon older people when they give advice , what does he/she know ? the saying "Don't re-invent the wheel every time you do something new" is I believe they never heard off.


14/03/2013 at 00:08

Derek, I have no idea why, probably the grey head but in Garden Centres I usually end up advising, often women on how to look after a plant or what to look for.
Last time I was in the big centre a woman picked up a plant and asked me to check, dropping it out of the pot vine weevil fell from the root ball. I informed the attendant who was not very happy about it, I am afraid I have an acid tongue at times so he lost that one and the sale.
I normally use a Nursery just a couple of miles up the lane from me and even there you need to check the plants although they will replace them no questions asked.
I will start to sow seed in around two weeks time as light is just as important as heat, by then the sun will be higher and more light. We all make mistakes hopefully only once, sowing seed early I found from experience did not give you much of a start, well in this area, they are all different.


14/03/2013 at 07:46

Well, what a lot of interesting and entertaining stuff since I last looked!!!

Highland Jeannie, I just lerrrrve the poem! Never seen the point so well made!

To return the spelling for a moment, the fault (as Palaisglide has pointed out) is not with the schools so much as with the education system and the way it is run. Methods of teaching come into fashion, every teacher has to follow them or else - then they are exposed for their weaknesses and replaced. In the meantime, teachers have to do things against their better judgement and children suffer.

Burt here's another point - there are actually five hours of actual lessons every day. If you have lots of subjects on the national curriculum, each has to be given time and the time given to traditional subjects like English and maths is squeezed. There is general rejoicing because gardening now has to be taught at all schools. Which subjects will lose time for it? Something will have to give. I'm not against teaching gardening at all - just pointing out the realities.  

I was taught spelling the traditional way and found it easy anyway (unlike maths) but my son was taught by methods that regarded creativity and oral ability as more important. He has degrees from both Oxford and Cambridge and is still frustrated by the fact that he cannot spell or punctuate as well as he should.

This is such a long post that I'll post again about the other topics!!!

14/03/2013 at 08:34

 I had such an experience last October, I went with the intention of buying leaf mold from a local Garden center/Nursery/Agricultural Collage , as I entered the G/C till area I came across two shop assistants who were very busy on their I phones their thumbs going at a fast rate of speed , do you collect leaf's to make leafmould I asked , the look I got you would swear I came from Mars the place was empty .No. one of them said but you'r well come to make your own , why don't you collect the leafs I asked  we are two are too busy was there joint reply this place I am talking about is huge , most of the trees are deciduous and all the grass borders where covered with fallen leaves  so I went home got loads of plastic refuse bags and a leaf rake then returned to An Grianan in Termonfeckin 5 km away, and spent the day collecting leaves which will be put to good use when I am planting my spuds in three weeks,.


14/03/2013 at 09:06

I reckon the private GCs are better. Our local Wyevale closed recently and the building was reopened privately by the landowner, a well-known Welsh tv personality. Suddenly, it had better, healthier plants, men around to give advice and even a vastly better cafe. I love going there now and usually find something interesting to buy - yet the prices are around the same. I guess that if it does not succeed, they'll all be out of a job, so they have a vested interest in making it succeed? 

14/03/2013 at 09:52

I usually end up advising, often women on how to look after a plant or what to look for.

No sexism please Frank.

My little GC used to have an abundance of knowledgable staff but, sadly, that's changed.  Whether it's to cut costs by employing untrained people, I don't know.  I commented last year that half the plants looked dead, through lack of water.  Such a shame.  Never buy any summer bedding until end of May however tempted I am to pick up the offers as I have nowhere to keep them.

Regarding education, I am appalled at what goes on in the schools these days and I'm not knocking teachers.  I agree GG that the days are busy, busy.  When I look at my childrens' reports, which didn't start until they were in Junior School and view those of my grandchildren, I wonder how they manage to cram everything into a day.  Son's girlfriend is Finnish and I believe they have the best educational system in the world. It certainly shows where she's concerned.  They don't sanction children being taught at 3 or whatever it is here!  Far too young, IMO.

14/03/2013 at 12:47

Sexist Tina, moi, not on your nelly, it is when I go into those places there seems to be three times as many women as men and they ask me I do not approach them. If asked I give a comprehensive answer and on more than one occasion have then had an escort round the place discussing plants, once even had coffee bought for me.

The local large GC had a very nice Polish lady who knew her plants, she also watered everything on the outside racks, the plants were always clean and looked after, in a buy out the good ones went and youngsters came on the scene. No watering properly, a quick flash with a hose pipe, no knowledge of the plants they read the labels and that is it. People ask questions do not get answers so leave and go elsewhere do you blame them. "Oh" and the coffee and cake went up to £7 so I do not bother.


14/03/2013 at 14:55

Hi, Tina. The trouble is that many children (ones that I taught)  arrive at playschool not knowing basic things like their colours and with few language skills, because their parents do not teach them. I taught for a long time in a quite deprived area where some parents were simply not equipped to teach thier children basic life skills. Parenting classes were available but could not make up for the deprivation the parents themselves had suffereded. I always thought that the best thing the state could do for those children would be to start them at playschool at 18 months or 2 years.

Some teachers are better than others, of course. A few aren't much good, some are excellent. The trouble is that educational decisions are made by politicians with a reputations to make, not be educationalists. Chidren who could barely read and write English had the 'right' to be taught French (and Welsh in my area). Why? Also, standards of discipline have fallen and childrewn are no longer able to concentrate for extended periods of time. Probably, this will eventually come full circle and we'll have discipine and basic skills again, but right now, things are weak in that area. It is not all bad, by any means, but basic maths and English do not get enough time and attention and they do suffer.


14/03/2013 at 15:18

GG I had quite a big gap between eldest 2 children and my 'baby' (33).  Even in the short time, approximately 5 years, between the eldest 2 moving onto senior school and the youngest starting, I was really taken aback at how things had changed.  His teacher, who had always taken reception, knowing I was a 'lady of leisure', in that I didn't work, asked me if I would be willing to help out at PE time.  No, not with the games, but to dress the 5 year olds!  She wished parents would stop teaching them to read, etc, and concentrate on the basics, toilet, dressing, tying shoe laces, etc. They just stood there!

Nursery school, when mine were young, were places to socialise with other children and play.  School started at 5.  Oh dear, I do sound old. 

If you are interested, although you probably know already, have a look at the Finnish schooling system.  Seems pretty good to me and I know my soon to be guest is very proud of it.

14/03/2013 at 15:57

My Wife's school had one very bad teacher and everyone knew she was bad although they could not get rid of her she was young at the time. I was talking to another ex-teacher who told me she is still there and they cannot get rid of her.
We may be lucky, the schools my Grandchildren go to and have done since they were three are very good indeed. They have discipline and the teaching skills outstanding, Parents take a lot of interest and school events have to be rationed so many wish to attend.
My Grandson 12 can recite times tables, I quietly set him tasks in Math which he does in quick time, probably my genes as I excelled at maths. What I am saying is all schools differ depending on area, size, quality of Heads and Teaching Staff, I think area has more influence on things as the parents set goals. I watch my Granddaughter 8 concentrate on doing something an hour at a time and people say children have a thirty second concentration level, don't believe it, I have hopes for their future which is all we can do.


14/03/2013 at 22:04

Children with attentive, caring, relatively educated parents will do well virtually anywhere. Unfortunately, children don't start with a level playing field and the education system has to try to meet the needs of all of them. 

Tina, I'm enjoying reading your responses. I was told that stuff about not teaching your child to read, teach 'em to tie their shoelaces. I didn't teach him to read. Unfortunately, since other mothers had taught their children to read, he was at a disadvantage for several years.He was underachieving and, as one teacher so tactfully told me, 'only average.'

In secondary school I did not sit down and revise for his exams with him, but let him find his level. The result - he did worse that the children whose mothers knew all the answers to the exam questions because they had coached their children for the exams. In short, I was a sucker. I disadvantaged my child.

That 'only average' child went to both Oxford and Cambridge but he still can't spell properly. So what should I really have done? 


14/03/2013 at 23:09

Here's a rant. I lost my temper today, which I seldom do. Although most people on this forum are charming and helpful, a minority think it is ok to make personal comments about other posters. You may think I should grow up. I may think you should grow up. Fine - but it is NOT OK to say so in a public forum. It is simply not OK to be personal, whether about other members of the forum or about well-known gardeners. Doing so says more about the person making the comments than about the person they attack or undermine. Everyone is vulnerable and everyone has faults. We need to be gentle with each other. I l love an argument if it is constructive and involves the cut and thrust of IDEAS. I also love a joke if it is without malice. Anything else is both ill-mannered and stupid. it is undignified and it causes hurt and provokes quarrels.  

14/03/2013 at 23:43

Hi GG, First I am very glad that you have decided to continue to post, I don't think you could  have put it any better Age and Life experience speak volumes against those who have no Tolerance for another persons opinion ,I have an early start tomorrow , goodnight


15/03/2013 at 10:50

I sympathise GG.  Am a refugee from 'The Garden Shed' Beeb forum and, apart from the odd troll/grid, always found posters pleasant and most helpful. I, too, do not understand why some posters try to inflict their ideas on others and can be quite cutting if you don't agree.  We are all entitled to our own opinion on matters and, just because it may not sit well with others, it is not for them to be unpleasant about it. I mean, I could have taken serious issue with Frank about us women in the GC's! but I treated him gently. 

Back to education, if I may, I never taught my 3 anything either, other than to be very pleasant children/adults. 2 were 'average' , but both found their niche, daughter a 'stay at home' Mum now and son doing extremely well. Youngest son was finally diagnosed as dyslexic at the age of 20 which lifted a huge burden from him but eventually, he found what he wanted to do and all is well. I never regret my laid back attitude as I feel they had a proper childhood.  IMO!!