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What a wonderful memory, James. We've put up feeders and are always excited to see something new come to visit. We recently had both Indigo Finches and an American Golden Finch start coming around. Still haven't gotten them to eat from my hand though. ;) Might be a good idea for those who feed the birds from feeders to make sure they sanitize feeders and watering containers as Avian Flu is really getting bad... Happy Gardening!
I never buy biscuits in August but eat Sungold tomatoes off the vine and plums and Pearmains off the trees instead, James. Much better for the waistline and to keep September colds at bay After my landscapers finished my new path there was a lot of shifting about of top soil in my garden and myriads of poppy seeds have germinated. Quite beautiful and being left to do their own thing. So I too may have Smartie dispensers for the tits next year. must make some poppy seed sour dough baguettes though.
Are you sure you're not the host to a subversive group of opium eating blue tits. Do the birds show any marked preference for those rather blousy purple ones ? I'd always been told (although probably mischeivously) that they were escapees from illicit farming ventures.
ive been trying for months to get my lovely garden robin to eat from my hand...he now get very close to me,i put seed in my hand and put it out to him or her ...i think he/she wants to and he goes to jump but always changes its mind,,however i think if i put LIVE mealworms in my palm i reckon he will eat out of hand but i dont like touching worms [yuk]. any ideas people?
What is the best way to get plants to grow from poppy seeds, just broadcast them or sow them in trays and then replant ? When is the best time to do this ? Steve Lyon,France


it depends some self seed and some you will need to propergate..oriental poppies you need to propergate,in a gritty mix,sow now in greenhouse ready for outdoors next year....
I love watching the birds in my garden but I dont seem to have many at the moment. Up until recently the garden has been full of birds. Ive got a few sparrows and some blue tits but thats all. They eat all my bugs on the plant, I love them.
This year I have grown a lot of perennials from seed but they are still quite small, what do I do plant them out in the autumn or keep them in a cold frame or cold greenhouse until spring?
It's funny the things that like you and the things that don't! Some 40 years ago in London I bought seed of the double pink opium poppy 'Pink Chiffon! It found its way to Cornwall when we moved, presumably in the compost of some of the things I brought with me. It has now lived with me here for over 30 years. As soon as the soil is disturbed anywhere, up it comes. Yet I can't establish any of the other double flowered opium poppy variants, despite generously scattering the seed. And no, the blue tits don't seem to attack our seed heads, too busy with the seed feeders I guess, nor do any of the other tit species, coal, great, or long-tailed who visit us! By the way does anyone know why my blue tits sport black rather than blue caps? I've noticed this for two years now. And, no, they are not blackcaps which also visit the garden in the spring.
i think barnwellbrian the birds in question are great-tits which have a darker cap, blue-tits have a much lighter cap on there head,i also think blu-tit birds are smaller in size than great-tits... great-tits have a sharper face[if that makes sence].....
I can't seem to get poppy seeds to germinate in my garden though I have tried for the last three years.
No, poppy, they aren't great-tits which are regular visitors here as well and as you say are larger. Any other suggestions?
Hi kathryn/brock. I can't get Papaver rhoeas to go either whereas Papaver rupifragum germinates everywhere and so does Papaver 'Pink Chiffon' - try that if you can get hold of some seed. Funny why some go and some don't. Perhaps they have their own!
what about coal-tits......Barnwellbrian could you give more description ie colour of feathers..... i have looked in my bird book... marsh-tit... willow-tit... long-tailed tit... wagtail... flycatcher... failing that.. cant help..
I noticed a few years ago that starlings were pulling off the seed heads of annual poppies - I watched them doing it. I sometimes helped by breaking off the heads & left them on the grass & they always disappeared. I haven't noticed this at all this year - & have very rarely seen any starlings. Earlier this year I had a delightful, close view from my sitting room window as great tits came to my red hot pokers for the nectar(?) in them. My most common visitors are goldfinches which love sunflower hearts from the feeders but actually took some teasel plant seeds while the feeders were moved from next to them. Incidentally, they opt for the sunflower hearts rather than the niger seeds which hang with them. I've read that the niger seeds are their favourites but this doesn't seem to be the case here.


Evening primrose - it takes patience and a calm attitude to get the small birds to eat from your hand. My late father was known as the "Birdman of Alloa". He would fill his pocket with treats for the birds before he went to do his shopping (crusts from his breakfast toast were crushed up and saved) and, on his way home the birds would be lined up on the wall that separated his road from the main road and alight on his shoulders and arms and feed from his hands. His timing was immaculate as he would not want to disappoint his "friends". This went on for many years as he lived to be ninety one.
hello happymarion,so me thinking ive been trying for about 9months or so...really i need to keep trying for years.....'gulp' well i will keep at it.....
Evening primrose - if you don't like touching live meal worms, have you tried wearing gloves? They also save your hand from some very sharp beaks!
Sallis: Yes, if you want. Steve: Chuck Poppy seed on prepared ground and you should be fine. Do not grow in pots as they will not thrive. Oriental poppies can be propagated from root cuttings.