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When I returned from holiday, found my bin lid difficult to lift up. Suprise honey bees hard at work with a rugby ball sized honeycomb!! Had to call the local Be sherrif, who put the queen in a small hive and all the others followed her.
green fingers - it depends on the type of weedkiller you use. You'd need a 'selective' weedkiller designed for lawns, that only killed the weeds and not the grass. But, seeing as you've landed on my blog and not another's, can I persuade you to not use weedkiller? Some weedkillers can damage the soil, kill worms or harm frogs. They don't have a lasting effect on weeds, unless you get to them before they set seed. If you can, it's far better to combine regular mowing with removing the weeds by hand. The mowing will weaken the plants and prevent them from seeding around. Many lawn weeds, like selfheal, clover and bird's foot trefoil are very beautiful and great for bees and butterflies. Are your lawn weeds so bad?? Kate
no not now you said it like that,maybe im just trying to be perfect,as we know the best gardens never are.... so thank you.
Thank goodness you are so diligent , Kate, as I was so tempted to persuade green fingers to turn her lawn into a wild flower meadow! I can eulogise over them as i have seen so many beautiful ones and, really green fingers, in many modern gardeners eyes the "perfect" garden has no lawn but lots of biodiversity, including lots of native flowers.
green fingers/happymarion - great news! I visited the garden of a very eminent gardener the other week and he makes a feature of lawn weeds by leaving a strip unmown for around six weeks. It's a beautiful mini-meadow of self heal, clover and trefoil. I wish I had these growing in my lawn. Instead I have huge thistles, which attack me and prevent me from visiting one part of the garden. I may as well let them flower for the bees now, but I'll be digging out any more seedlings. They are lethal! Kate


Oh,dear, yes, Kate - thistles! I've just been chased indoors by the heavy rain and am trying to forget my nettle tingles. I do suffer for my butterflies but they are worth it. I love mini meadows in gardens. They can bring dull gardens to life. Even if the gardens all seem to grow the same plants because of millions being "factory" produced or friends sharing, they are quite different when nature has a hand. The Lady thistle is very pretty and good for the bees and not quite so lethal, Kate. And it has a lovely name- Sillybum marianum.
I have had a field mouse living in a terracotta nest box that has been on the side of my house for several years. I put bird food on a windowsill that is close to the box to feed my blackbirds and robins and have taken photos of the mouse feeding there. It uses a climbing hydrangea petiolaris as its staircase to access the nest box. I will be getting the stepladder out soon as I clean the box each year so I'm not sure what I might find there. It has been very entertaining watching its antics.
oh firecrest how lovely to have a mouse nesting in a bird box[well im guessing a birdbox]was it put low down to encourage a mouse to nest in it?
We have a family of mice living in our garden but I don't know one mouse type from another. They are really sweet and we love watching them picking up the droppings from the bird feeders. It is one of the added bonuses you get from gardening - welcoming wildlife ino the space you create.
I had a big influx of aphid on our poppies,roses and runner beans for about 6 weeks.I am glad to say we have had a swarm of 7 spot ladybirds and hover flies which have just about destroyed the aphid so who needs insectisides. Peter
Have just read comments regarding rats and other vermin being controlled by electrical repellants! Dont waste your money- they are useless. Once caught 43 mice in our garage using a trap when there was a repellant device not more than 6ins away. Rats are vermin- call the rat catcher-they soon will take over your garden.
you are so right ,irene,im very dissapointed with the 1 i brought,what a waste of money,the rats were/are still running right up to it ..... however i did buy some nasty food [and my god do i feel bad about doing it] and ive only now have maybe 2 or 3 rats in the garden,so the food has worked but i feel the guilt really bad. im guessing the other rats havent found the food yet,but i guess they will,on the instructions its says re-aply 7/10 days..... its very difficult where to put it as i have a dog,hedgehogs and loads of other wildlife coming into the garden im scared they will get the poison.....
Poppy - stop feeding the birds for a few weeks and make sure all food is cleared away. Is the rat poison in special containers, so the hedgehogs and other wildlife can't access it? Kate
they were...but this afternoon i noticed that half the bloody bait out of the box so now im really upset and i will never do this again,im so worried for my dog hedgehogs and my birds mo my little dog is NOT allowed in the garden at all until i get this sorted,i wish i had left well alone.. ive still got some poison in shed wrapped in 5 plastic bags and taped up but how do i dispose of that.. god god god im worried.
Poppy. does your council not have a vermin control officer who can help you? The officer from Bristol City council who saw to my rat invasion was very efficient and kind and visited every month till he was sure I was safe from rats. He even warned me that I would have an infestation of bluebottles the following spring which indeed I did have.


morning happymarion,last night i said to my neighbour that on tuesday im gonna ring the council,'so great minds think alike', just found 1 more dying slowly [awful and it was 1 of the babys] i really want to cry,but i guess its part my own fault [as people keep telling me] as i put food out for my birds. not looking forward to the bluebottles happymarion....this situation justs gets worse. it doesnt bother me having them but they just breed so quick and i have to say im worried about the electric situation as i hadnt thought of that. but i must chill out about it as i know people have much worse to deal with,im only upset as i know they have to die. i just wish they would run of and find somewhere else to live,i do keep telling them that ive put nasty food down and dont eat it ...if you were to find another place perhaps far into the woods it would be better for you or go back to the farm... anyway will keep you posted and thanks for your advice garden friends.x
we also once bought one of those electrical repellants things, didn't work. local council enforcement officer did a wonderful job.
Hi green fingers. My bird nestbox - current home of field mouse - is about 8 feet above the ground but the climbing hydrangea makes a wonderful staircase! Regarding your lawn, I agree with Kate. I have a very small front lawn and I have filled it up with native wild flowers. In the spring it is full of snakes head fritillaries, snowdrops and the native small wild daffodils. I have sown yellow rattle to control the remaining grass and I have wild carrot, poppies, clover, selfheal, knapweed, cats ear, meadow sweet, birds foot trefoil, and buttercups with primroses, ragged robin and cyclamen around the edges. This is an ongoing project and each year it looks better. The bees, butterflies,ladybirds and hoverflies seem to enjoy it almost as much as enjoy watching them.
Poppy, sorry you are being so stressed out by the rats but, believe me, you're better off without them. I ignored them for a while in the hope they'd just move on, but when they started climbing trees in broad daylight to get into my bird feeders I knew I was onto a loser.... And then they got into my house, living behind and under my kitchen units, using them as toilets... Urrrgh. It was horrendous, took weeks to get rid of them, and cost money for poisons and a rat man as our council no longer pays. Bait in plastic bags pushed into their holes and in closed tunnels along their runs ensured that pets and birds were safe. Be brutal, get rid, make sure they're all dead and remove all food sources. I was so sorry to have to give up feeding the birds - I'd used every method I could think of to prevent waste and keep the rats out, but in the end I had no choice, sadly. I hope you find something that works for you, and good luck.