Adam Young

Latest posts by Adam Young

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Running the gauntlet

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 17:22

Cheers Fairygirl, that's true and good advice, but this is the only path in the garden and it really has got very tight with plants spilling over, so, I think though the teaching of bees is something I want to do, I'm also aware that he's not even one yet and will have bees around him before I can even teach him how lovely they are. Plus, I have a golden retriever that tries to nip at them every now and then and I can see him getting stung!

Why so few insects this year?

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 13:43

Absolutely loads of honey bees at the moment, their focus being Allium Sphearocephalon, (purple and green drumstick one) Geranium 'Rozanne,' Stachys byzantina 'Big ears,' and Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna.' Bumble bees are less fussy and seem to go whereever they will and at a much slower pace.

Hoverflies are everywhere and so many different types, from minute ones, to great big almost bee looking ones. They love the flat headed flowers and fennel/dill type flowers.

We've also had lots and lots of verious flies in the garden, very small ones, green backed ones and lots of small black beetles.

Unfortunately, we've had more aphids than I can cope with. I leave them, but it has been at the expense of all my Lupins, which I have now thrown on the composter. Alarmingly, given the amount of aphids, there have been next to no ladybirds. I know there are some, because I've seen the odd larvea here and there in my garden, but they tend to be attacked in rapid time by the ants who are farming the aphids.

I would say bee-wise, we're doing well in my garden as I've catered for them, but the lack of butterflies is frightening. I can see no reason why we're not getting them, but we're not; not even on the Buddleias or Verbena Bonariensis.

Running the gauntlet

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 13:28

Agree with the humming, definitely a lovely sound, unless of course you've got to walk through those busy bees, then I definitely go slowly! On the note of buzzing bees, I'm gona have to do something as I have a little one and a dog, so I don't want them getting stung, so will have to change the garden to make it safer.

Forgot about the Verbena Bonariensis. I've got it in a lovely spot at quite a size, but again, not really attracting anything, and I can't for the life of me work out why it has hardly any visitors. D'you think it might be that there is so much other stuff for the insects that they're just focusing on certain plants and leaving ones they would normally go for?

Running the gauntlet

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 10:15

For those interested in plants for bees, hover flies and butterflies, I thought I'd share what works in my garden.

Allium Sphaerocephalon has at least 3 honey bees per head!

Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna,' though not as many bees as last year.

Stachys byzantina 'Big ears' this is smothered with all manner of bees and hover flies, a definite favourite. Moths love this as well.

Digitalis (Foxgloves) of any kind are always great.

Allium Cristophii was smothered in bees.

Erysium 'Bowles Mauve' is currently the most visited of butterflies, but I am genuinely concerned at the lack of butterflies given how many plants I have for them, I really should have more, but then again, you can't attract what's not there.

Helenium 'Moerheim Beauty,' Eryngium 'Big Blue and Saphire Blue,' Sedums of any kind, Lupins, Geranium 'Rozanne,' and the Agastaches 'Black Adder' and 'Blue Fortune' are all great plants.

Some I'm surprised with, for the lack of visits so far, are, Centranthus ruber 'Coccinea' (I thought butteflies would love it) Hesperis matronalis 'Alba' (though I know the moths like it) all 3 of my Buddleia buzz varieties (I haven't seen a single butterfly on them) Lavandula 'Hidcote,' Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue,' Achillea 'Moonshine,' Pulmonaria 'Blue Ensign,' and possibly some more.

Any way, be interesting to hear about your own gardens and observations.

Oh, nearly forgot, the title is how it feels going up my narrow path with all the bees either side of it, it really is humming aloud with insects and the honey bees, bumble bees and hoverflies are there in mass, it really is scary at times. Butterflies though, where are they?


Posted: 10/01/2014 at 09:09

Sungold, by Thompson & Morgan, from seed. They are a cherry tomato, with good acidity and grow prolifically. I have grown them both in the greenhouse and outside, doing very well outside (though blight got them the third time outside).

I would recommend growing them in grow bags with grow pots inserted. They have an outer reservoir which make watering and feeding easier, avoids splashes on the foliage and helps prevent fruit from splitting, though if you grow this variety, you'll have so many, you won't mind a few split ones, just eat them straight away, which you'll want to do any way!

Greenhouse Advice

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 09:06

Probably a sales ploy. Companies by law have to sell something at a set price for 3 months before they can call it a sale. So, for example, a company wants to sell their greenhouse at £1500, but they start off selling it at £2000, (knowing all along that it's only really worth £1500) and then it miraculously appears after 3 months with the 25% off offer! Who can resist?

Will come back with price, am at work and can't remember off top of my head.

Greenhouse Advice

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 12:34

Supernoodle - The powder coat finish will obviously still need cleaning, more to stop the build up of germs than anything, but it would be a heck of a lot easier to clean than plain aluminium which has a slightly abrasive finish. The other thing to bear in mind is the quality of the green powder coat. Greenhousesdirect say that they put on layer and layer, heat treated I believe, so that it actually becomes part of the aluminium itself, hence the price of a powder-coat finish. That said, do be really careful when it says powder coat, because some, no doubt, will be a simple paint on job, in which case I doubt it will last 5 minutes.

Makes - I paid for a guy who is sub-contracted to put up Rhino's and he said that there is barely any difference (certainly not enough to justify the price) between the harvester (which I have) and the premium. Both come with 4mm safety glass as standard, both have a 25 year frame guarantee (at least 10 more than I could find else where), vents are included, though louvres have to be added. The customer service was absolutely brilliant. The guy they recommend to put it up even came out just after the snow on valentines day! Elite, the GX range looked very, very good, but for the money and features the Rhino harvester definitely had the upper hand. Hercules also looked very good, but again, less years in guarantee and they actually ended up costing more. This is a major point by the way - do not be fooled into buying a cheap greenhouse unless it really is a budget thing, because they will end up costing a fortune. How anyone can sell a greenhouse without louvres and vents is beyond me, they are a must! And, do consider the base for the greenhouse, mine is drilled into patio paving, but the Rhino and some other makes, come with 2 different types of anchors, meaning you can erect on grass or concrete, saving a fortune in the grass case, as you don't have to pay for a concrete base to be built, they will simply need concrete poured around the anchors, much like a garden feature, arch, etc. so work out prices. Once you have done that, you'll find that the Elite and harvester are great options, if you have the money.

Do think of it as an investment. I absolute love mine and even in aluminium it looks the business. Everyone I know is really, really impressed by the build quality and general aesthetics. Actually, they're green with envy!

Greenhouse Advice

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 15:16

bought a rhino harvester with 4mm toughened glass from greenhousesdirect, who were very helpful and knowledgable. Safety glass for me was a must and this stuff is strong, I know this because my dog jumped the wall and bounced off of the glass leaving only muddy paw prints behind! Only regret is not getting it in a maintenance free, green powder coat finish, but that was a budget thing. I'd suggest 4 roof vents and a couple of louvres, automatic prevents you from becoming a slave to the greenhouse. The rhino is extremely strong, has a 25 year frame guarantee and really good head room. The low threshold doorway is brilliant, and the frame on the harvester is so strong you can have hanging baskets inside. I obviously recommend greenhousesdirect highly as I've used them, but I've bought staging form TwoWests&Elliotts and they were a pleasure to deal with and staging is extremely good.

Saint or sinner?.....don't like annuals

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 13:10

Moved late autumn last year and had a garden full of cigarette butts, balls, inflatables, ivy, brambles, battered shrubs, etc. and have now cleared the lot. I'm going to grow cosmos sulphureus, calendula indian prince, nigella love in a mist (white and blue), cerinthe major purpurascens 'shrimp plant', french marigolds (GH for toms), papaver lacinatum 'pink fizz', chrysanthemum polar star, rudbeckia cherry brandy and some catananche cupids darts. I really want to encourage as many bees, hover flies and butterflies as possible and think these will fill any gaps I have this year. On the plus side, went to crocus' open day in early May and have got some very nice perennials for the future. Can't wait, but definitely won't have room next year for all those annuals, not in the borders anyway! By the way, if you want bees, then cerinthe major purpurascens shrimp plants literally hum with them.

Feeding Seedlings and Plug Plants

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 10:42

Plants are a bit like people in that some are more vigorous and fill out quicker than others, don't worry at this stage, it just depends on the genetic make up of the plant. If the parent plant was a gooden and it was propagated from that, then you'll have a strong grower, but, likewise, if it is from a not so good parent, I don't know, let's say like a Jeremy Kyle 'show parent,' then the chances are, it will be a bit more weedy and slow growing, though hopefully less promiscuous. Hang on, that's not right, they don't normally know who the parent is, but you know what I mean!

On a practical note, I would agree with not feeding seedlings and that seed compost is the best thing for them. Most compost mixes give enough nutrients for 4-6 weeks, after this time, assuming you've started with seed and cutting compost, you can then go on to potting on compost, which, again, will give another 4-6 weeks of nutrients. It's really important not to over feed them at the young stage. If you are going to use a liquid/granular fertiliser, then make sure it's a very weak solution, maybe 10 times weaker than for stronger plants. Nitrogen is used for leaf and root growth, so using that will help the early stages, but do make sure you then switch to a higher potassium one for flowering/fruiting plants, as you'll end up promoting foliage over flowers if you don't.

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Discussions started by Adam Young

Running the gauntlet

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Do these grow through plants?

Don't know growing nature of these plants 
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Potted Lilly Companions Please

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