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Alina W


Latest posts by Alina W

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Baffled Pink

Posted: 30/09/2014 at 17:13

It's not unusual for pinks of unusual colours to lack the normal heady scent; it's been lost during the breeding to get the colour.

Unless the plant is sold as heavily scented, you have no guarantee that it will be.

Ivy invasion

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 15:15

WelshOnion is right - you need to bring the ivy under control, as they grow very fast. They are also very strong growers, and it will get under your tiles and damage the roof.

It will need to be cut back at least a couple of times a year at that size. Light trimming won't do because the weight will become enormous in a short space of time.

Too Much Buxus

Posted: 26/09/2014 at 13:03

With the moving plants, yes, deciduous plants should generally be moved in winter, but this is usually best done with small plants, not large ones. Large plants have large roots; damage too many and they die. Also, you say "trees" - what size of tree? Unless very small, trees can't be moved. The same is true of your buxus - unless it's small, you can't just dig up a small root ball and expect it to survive - it won't.

Be careful trying to move things around if you don't know what you're doing - plants are living things, and need to be treated carefully. Have you thought about the fact that everything you move will need watering until it re-establishes, for example? Sorry to be depressing, but I'd rather you weren't faced with a half-dead garden next spring!

 

What is eating my primrose buds?

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 14:31

Yes, it's definitely birds. If you can put up with it, put a wire cage over them and the birds will go off the idea. Do be very careful that anything you use can't trap or injure birds, though - they can easily get into unlikely spaces and suffer terribly as a result.

 

 

Berries with black stuff on

Posted: 24/09/2014 at 14:26

Don't worry, it's harmless. It's a fungus growing on aphid "honeydew", a sweet excrescence. It happens when trees have a heavy aphid infestation, and their droppings fall on to shrubs and plants beneath. These infestations are perfectly normal, and occur randomly - I've had one in about 15 years.

It won't spread to anything of yours, and can be washed off the berries.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 22:16

Should be fine near a west-facing window, Brenda.

In fact, if you have a net curtain in the way, it can go on a windowsill, but you do need the tray of pebbles.

Yes, the pot should be transparent so the roots get light, too. When the flowers have finished, cut the stem off at the first green "node" left on the flowering stem. A node is a little bump with a tiny raised edge across it. With luck, you will get more flowers coming from the node.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 00:39

Hi Brenda.

Your orchid is happy indoors, but nowhere near a radiator. It likes a minimum of about 15C - think of it as a lot like an African violet in its temperature needs. It likes a bright but not sunny windowsill, and it must be warm, so don't trap it between the window and the curtain.

You'll notice it's potted in bark-like "soil" - you can't put it in normal compost. Water every 2-3 weeks depending on how warm it is, and let the water run through - never let it stand in water, and never, ever get water into the crown - it will rot quickly. Feed with half-strength plant food about every 3 weeks in summer. If the place you keep it has dry air, it'll help if you put it, in a base, on top of a tray of damp pebbles.

They're actually not difficult to grow as they need little attention, and the flowers last for weeks.

Hope that covers most things - enjoy!

Help. Not sleeping.

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 22:49

Sleep tight, Pauline.

And if you need any more ideas - slow breathing is another.

Force yourself to breathe in by your nose and out by your mouth 10 times, but slowly and deeply, concentrating on your breathing. By the tenth breath you will  (or should be) more relaxed, and hopefully sleepy.

Help. Not sleeping.

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 16:36

Can you still get milk with melatonin? That will help you sleep.

And to the person that said they knew they didn't get any deep sleep because they didn't dream, that's the wrong way round - dreams mean LIGHT sleep, dreamless is deep.

The only things I can suggest are what I do - drink a malted drink before going to bed, go there at the same time, listen to a quiet radio station and if you can't sleep - give it a set time (say 15 minutes) and if you're not sleepy, get up and stay up. Make the most of the extra time - it's better to use it constructively and feel you've done something rather than be tossing and turning and feeling wound up about it.

Good luck!

Bag the weeds!

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 12:12

I tend to cut the flower heads off weeds before trying to pull them out.

But I agree, there's pleanty of seeds in the ground anyway - it just makes me feel better!

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