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Latest posts by Berghill

Talkback: Planting snake's head fritillaries

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 22:51

Sadly the bulbs you see on sale in packets in G/C's are virtually dead. If you want them, either buy them when they are first dug up (Bridgemere often have them and if you go early they are still alive) or buy them already growing and plant out from pots.

Helleborus niger in family garden- too dangerous?

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 16:04

Rape seed is the ubiquitous yellow flowering plant ones sees in the country side. It is processed to make Rape seed oil which is a better cooking oil than Olive oil as it contains less harmful fats.

Pigeons may just want their lunch, but if you had seen the flock of a 1,000 or so which has just come up from the newly sown Winter wheat field from next to us, and it was your field I think you would be a little less generous. also they defecate over everything in sight. They are classed as vermin.

Helleborus niger in family garden- too dangerous?

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 10:13

Wild creatures do not eat poisonous plants. Our hens wandered our garden and sometimes the fields around us and we never lost one to them eating things they should not have done. Lettuce is more harmful to rabbits than anything else. Again these creatures would not have survived if they ate things which killed them.

The only thing I know of where a bird eats deadly poison is the pigeons which eat Rape seed, which does eventually poison them.

please help- car battery acid in soil how can i change this and make it a good?

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 18:05

Obviously the advice given about the lead pollution is sound, however, the whole of our garden (just under an acre) was full of batteries, though not car ones. Our batteries range in age from the Accumulator types of the early part of the 1900,s up to modern torch batteries. We still find the central core of these (the carbon rod) and the carbon squares of the older types. We put our Veg growing area in the place where we found the least number of them. Been growing fruit and Veg here for the last 18 years and eating it and we ain't dead yet.

So unless the soil is really contaminated there should not be a problem, especially if the batteries were intact, not broekn into pieces.

Hope you manage to find out what has happened, for your own peace of mind.

Anyone dismantled and moved a greenhouse before??

Posted: 11/10/2012 at 10:22

Quick addition, take photos of the way it is put together before you start dismantling it, Makes it easier to remember.

Have to say that the last time we moved a small aluminium greenhouse, once the glass was out and it was detached from the base, 4 of us carried the whole thing to its new site without any dismantling at all.

please help- car battery acid in soil how can i change this and make it a good?

Posted: 09/10/2012 at 17:31

The acid would be Sulphuric acid so the effect would be to make the soil acidic. Buy a cheap soil testing kit and check the pH of the soil. If it is highly acidic (and I doubt it after all this time) then add Lime to bring it up to neutral.

As Kate asks, what is growing there now?


Saxifrage brown in middle?

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 21:28

If not then mossy Saxifragaes are dead easy to propagate. Any piece with roots will soon grow into a healthy clump. Once the centre has gone like that it rarely fills up again, the natural habit is to grow outwards from the centre.

I have just removed a clump of Peter Pan, it was over a metre wide and a bit more long. They can get very big.

Oh and they also dislike midday sun.


Posted: 08/10/2012 at 21:24

The fruit makes a wonderful Air freshener. Just bring one in and leave it on a window ledge and the fragrance will fill the air.

Long-handled bulb planter

Posted: 08/10/2012 at 10:11

Take care though, I bought one from a G/C a few years back. I bent it out of shape the first time I used it.


Posted: 08/10/2012 at 10:09

The only differences between Chaenomeles and  Cydonia are very small Botanical hair splitting things. The fruits are exactly the same taste and texture. The only reason the Cydonia fruits are bigger is because they are from selected trees, in the same way as cultivated Raspberries are bigger than wild ones.

We have made Jelly from both and I defy anyone to distinguish between them.

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