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Latest posts by Birdy13

Seeds I've collected

Posted: 20/11/2013 at 14:59

I have some seed collection questions specifically about runner beans:

I planted runner beans plants this year (don't know the variety) and had a very successful harvest; so I would like to grow next year's beans from from the seed of this year's successful plants.

Two or three weeks ago, well after the plants had stopped producing any beans that were good enough to eat, I collected in some of the best looking pods for the seeds for next year's plants.

  1. How early should the pods be removed from the plants? I took some off a month ago and some last week when I took up the finished plants.
  2. When should the beans be removed from the pod? I have taken a few out just to inspect them - they do not yet have a hard, glossy dark 'skin' yet but are still white and tender.
  3. Should they be dried in the pod i.e. until the pod itself goes dry?
  4. Will they dry more effectively to the familiar glossy dark 'skin' outside the pod?
  5. When and how should I plant these for next year? ie in the ground, or started off in pots?

Help I made a weeping willow purchasing mistake, can it be potted??

Posted: 16/11/2013 at 21:56

I concur with above experiences. We had a weeping willow to one side of our drive in. Each year, even after cutting back, it spread over to the opposite side of the drive as well as over the road. The branches are quite brittle - you can break off quite thick ones by pulling hard on them - which meant our the cars parked in our drive were always at risk in high winds, as was passing traffic. We had to take it down in the end.

They are lovely trees in the right setting - overhanging a river or pond - but their spread above ground can be extensive, and below ground they are forever seeking out water making the range of their roots vast. Definitely keep away from underground water pipes, drains and sewers.

One possibility might be to donate to a school or college, but then they might not want the liability or possible risks. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 21:50

Norfolk: About 5-8° today but didnt feel too cold; midday, very pleasant for the time of year for a nice walk; afternoon good for clearing out the greenhouse (at last!) but temperature dropped dramatically as sun went down. Dark by 5 o'clock so back in for tea and a warm up.

Bird feeders

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 18:35

Thankyou for the link Dove. That's going to be useful for future research and info.

That also explains how both robins seemed pretty laid back about each other's presence. Perhaps I was thinking of how the male blackbird is a glossier black than the female.

Maybe I also I assumed that the typical  'Christmas Robin' is male because it has a brighter coat than earlier in the year and males of a number of other species often have much brighter coats than the females.

Bird feeders

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 17:38


KEF said: "The robin keeps putting in an appearance, I think maybe more than one."

I too noticed we hade two robins in and out of the garden during most of the summer. Judging by the bright feathers they were both males. Isn't that quite unusual? I thought that the males were ferociously territorial and normally one would see off the other.

Bird feeders

Posted: 15/11/2013 at 17:32

Just seen this thread and coincidently have just got in from filling up my feeders after neglecting to for too long .

I've put up three sorts: mixed seed, sunflower seeds (I think - they were black and with an elongated shape) and Niger because we have a colony of Goldfinch that seem to nest somewhere in our pinetrees.

I'll report back once I have seen some activity. 

I don't remember seeing goldfinches on the feeders during previous winters - do they migrate or take different food during the cold months?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/11/2013 at 23:10

Zoomer said: Thing is Birdy, the shed needs cleaning first to fit stuff in from the GH

Precisely, Zoomer! You've done it again - described my situation exactly: there's always the shed - too small to keep everything tidy when in use during the summer;

Then the greenhouse - pristine and organised in early spring gradually becoming more and more disorganised during summer as it took delivery of all sorts - unidentified plants, bulbs dislodged when weeding, gardening gloves and implements laid down anywhere at ends of tiring days etc

Not to mention the tiny full-to-the-gunnels garage capacity remaining after being converted into an 'office'...  

The 'office' which I have meant to tidy for something like 8years (8years!) and had to further disorganise to house the recently improvised apple rack since our wonderful summer weather produced a great crop of fruit... 

And ... back to the shed: if the weather dries up again in the next few days I'll have to pull the lawnmower out of the chaos of the shed again for the final (hopefully) cut of the year...

... Not that I'm complaining, of course!  Just thought I'd like to show solidarity with all those other lovely gardening people out there who through lack of experience might feel as guilty as me that they can never quite provide - what shall we call it? - the 'full Monty'? - in horticultural organisation and certainty of purpose! 

Oh! I meant to say - and it's felt freezing again in Norfolk today around 6°C most of the day and then dropping, dropping, dropping... brrrrrrr!

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/11/2013 at 11:52

Zoomer said:

the french beans which had been drying on the plants for seed collection. I keep putting off cleaning the GH... 

You could be writing my own post for me, Zoomer.

It really feels quite cold here (Norfolk), a bit of wind chill: 6 degrees with a gentle breeze, few clouds quite high in a bright blue sky.

When I think of the greenhouse my mind immediately considers something else - like a nice cup of coffee! 

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 01/11/2013 at 11:09

Gardengirl..: Can you please tell me what the yellow plant is in your first photo? It is lovely. can it stay outside all year?

Here are the survivors of my first year gardening on my own. There are about three types of begonias. I'm quite pleased with how long they've kept going - and quite surprised how the Hosta seems to keep producing new flowers. The wall they're against is East facing and I suppose they are to some extent protected from the prevailing wind which comes from the West.


What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 01/11/2013 at 10:31

Norfolk: bright, occasionally sunny, bit of a breeze

07:30 Northfacing window thermometer around 5°C

10:30 Northfacing window thermometer around 10°C; Westfacing around 12°C


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