Latest posts by Berkley

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Hedgehog or Rat Hole??

Posted: 23/11/2017 at 21:20

Rat droppings in our garage last week made it obvious that we had a rat problem.... as did the considerable damage done to large amounts of fleece, bags of straw, wiring and pots of bulbs. We put down sachets of poison, which were taken each night for four nights - then no more. So we stripped the garage, including unscrewing cupboards from the wall. There were obvious signs of a nest (and one sachet) behind them - but no rat!!  Where can he/ she be? I know it's silly - but I would feel much happier if I knew. The garage doors were kept shut at all times because we have dogs.

Just one last thought: a significant amount of compost was removed from one large pot of fuchsias. Probably looking for water? So now there's a big hole ... please tell me he isn't in there ...

Rat poo or mouse poo?

Posted: 19/11/2017 at 18:46

I would say "rat". The size indicates this is the case. We know we have a rat in our garage ( we have seen it and removed what was obviously its nest) and have also removed all dog food and bird food. Despite putting down poison sachets every night for the last week (they are taken every night) there is still evidence of rat presence: holes nibbled in polythene bags of grit, holes dug in pots of overwintering plants (looking for water?), carrier bags ripped to shreds.

Hope you will solve your problem more easily than we seem to be able to.

Peace Lily help

Posted: 17/10/2017 at 19:23

I love them - and after a lot of trial and error and following advice from lots of sources, this is what works for me: I keep them out of direct sunlight, stand in water immediately the leaves droop (but not before), cut off dead flowers, mist frequently and feed every other week when in flower. I use a kitchen knife in March to "hack" them in to several pieces, which I then repot in fresh compost. They are lovely plants; I love their shiny leaves and long-lasting "sails" (flowers).

Dahlia failure

Posted: 14/10/2017 at 18:57

Is it a regional thing, I wonder? I have moaned about ground elder (and elephant hawk moths). I have also had some snail damage - but no slugs! Can't believe it! (Live in Dorset).

Fuchsias and elephant hawk moths

Posted: 09/10/2017 at 21:27

I have lots of different fuchsias and am particularly fond of the long border of them at the front of the house.......there are always one or two hawk moth caterpillars in August, which I pick off. No great problem. But this year ten plants were completely stripped of their leaves and look awful.

Has it been a specially good year for them? Is there anything I can do to avoid a repeat next year? I don't like drastic remedies ... but am quite upset by the amount of damage.

Pruning lavender

Posted: 29/09/2017 at 20:24

Whatever you decide to do, if there is about four inches of healthy growth on stems, take cuttings! Strip off most of the leaves and place them around the outside of a pot containing an equal mix of compost and vermiculite. I do this every September. Not all cuttings take but I always have some plantlets to put out the following year.

Bergenia and ground elder

Posted: 24/09/2017 at 21:08

I have appreciated all the opinions expressed: there doesn't seem to be a "right" or "wrong" time to tackle the problem .... I understand that many people don't rate bergenias - but mine are a collection of individually bought, named varieties and give me a great  deal of pleasure. Thank you for your thoughts.

Bergenia and ground elder

Posted: 22/09/2017 at 20:27

My large clump of lovely bergenias is riddled with ground elder. I know I'll have to lift the whole clump and try to remove every bit of white root ... but when should I do it? I love the winter foliage colours and the Spring flowers .... I would appreciate any advice or personal experience. Now or next Spring?

Red Robin from shrub to tree?

Posted: 04/09/2017 at 06:59

When we moved in to our garden nine years ago there was a very large photinia bush, taking up a lot of room. Its branches were already thick, but I removed many of the lower ones until I had a tree. It looks lovely now. (I'll try to find a "before" and "after" photo when I get back from holiday.)Go for it - and feed it well afterwards. 

Evergreen clematis dying

Posted: 29/07/2017 at 11:51

I have the same clematis - and was relieved to read the other day that the evergreen ones go through a sort of dormancy in the Summer and often look quite poorly. I make sure mine are kept well-watered (and fed in the period before blooming). They have survived several Summers of looking decidedly unwell - so don't panic!

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Discussions started by Berkley

Fuchsias and elephant hawk moths

Replies: 6    Views: 386
Last Post: 10/10/2017 at 17:38

Bergenia and ground elder

Sort it now or next Spring? 
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Last Post: 24/09/2017 at 21:19

Salvia coccinea

GW: We love August 
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What has happened? 
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Last Post: 20/07/2017 at 22:19

Not so sweet Williams ....

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Last Post: 18/07/2017 at 20:31

Is this an Erigeron?

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Last Post: 22/05/2017 at 17:19

Purple leaves on yucca

Replies: 1    Views: 246
Last Post: 09/05/2017 at 17:29

Are these allium worth keeping?

Replies: 6    Views: 553
Last Post: 27/04/2017 at 15:28

Would you chop this cornus?

Replies: 3    Views: 411
Last Post: 04/04/2017 at 21:38

I'm so worried about my roses

Replies: 7    Views: 769
Last Post: 22/03/2017 at 23:29

Look at my mallow!

Replies: 4    Views: 617
Last Post: 03/02/2017 at 13:32

Sealant for my acer?

Replies: 8    Views: 699
Last Post: 31/12/2016 at 15:45

Blooming bellis!

Replies: 2    Views: 580
Last Post: 21/12/2016 at 08:35

Hardy geraniums

Replies: 6    Views: 952
Last Post: 12/11/2016 at 21:29

Bare stems on escallonia

Replies: 8    Views: 1395
Last Post: 27/08/2016 at 22:16
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