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Latest posts by Birdy13


Posted: 17/06/2015 at 23:30

Elvira, I had the same query last year and thought you might like to see these pictures.

My geraniums 2nd June 2014:

  8th August 2014, (10 -14 days after cutting to the ground):  



1st September 2014:


  Today, 17th June 2015:


 Clearly cutting back hard does work!

Planting out hydrangeas

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 22:49

I bought this lovely blue hydrangea a couple of weeks ago




  It lived happily for a week in a plastic bag in its 7" or 8" pot where I kept it watered until able to clear a site for it on the north side of my fern patch.    I prepared its new home by digging a very large hole (the dark patch) which I filled with ericaceous compost. I understand from a number of sources this is what hydrangeas need.   I now seem to be witnessing it's fast demise with the petals turning brown and the beautiful pastel blue colour becoming pinker each day. (Ignore the white rectangles each side of the plant - they're just temporary boards to stand on while working.)  





  Anyone know what could be wrong? Have I got it the wrong way round re: ericaceous compost? Does it actually turn blue hydrangeas pink?   

Is all lost? I'm wondering whether to dig it up and just plant it somewhere else or pot it up again in a slightly larger pot of ordinary compost. Incidentally, it seems unlikely that it has simply reached the end of its season as I have three other hydrangeas in different parts of the garden whose buds are only just about to come into flower.  

trailing begonias

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 13:20

A plant''s life force is something we could all learn from I expect.

A propos my earlier post - just found some in my tray of 'no hopers'  are beginning to sprout at last. So there you go! 

trailing begonias

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 08:52

I've had similar uncertaintIves this year:

over winter I have kept my tubers dry then put them in dampish compost (see 16april post). Note: dampish, not wet. Have they got too wet and rotted (feel squishy when pressed)? The healthy corm will be quite hard when the sides are pressed - don't press top and bottom or you'll damaged any emerging shoots.

I'm still learning myself, Duchess,  and am never sure which of these can delay shooting: compost too old or too new? too dry or too damp? storage conditions too warm etc but it might be just a question of time:

4-6weeks ago only about 70% of my corms had begun to shoot but a more experienced gardener encouraged me to give the slower ones longer: I've now got about 85% success! They are all bursting to be potted up, some lush leafy growth almost 8 inches high. I'm hopefully getting them into their summer homes today - just gearing up my mind for all that potting up.

Perhaps you could separate the 'slow' ones from those  which can be potted up and change something for the slow ones - compost perhaps. Then, if they've not rotted, just give them longer. That's what I'm doing.


What is this plant please?

Posted: 16/05/2015 at 21:56

Thanks for that. I knew that I knew the plant's name last year and have been wracking my brains to remember the word and kept on coming up with names like Savory or Sage knowing that these were wrong but that they were close.

Yes, it was Salvia I had - I now know what to do with it. Thanks again!

What is this plant please?

Posted: 16/05/2015 at 13:20

I saved 3 or 4 of these from a border I was giving a makeover but I'm not sure what I have got...

If i am remembering correctly from seeing it last year - assuming it is the same plant I saw growing last year - it has blue/purplish flowers. I know it looks like some type of herb but I can't detect any distinct aroma. 


Best tasting rhubarb

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 22:50

Stewed rhubarb:

Don't know about which type to buy but I can say the flavour of my first harvest this year (which was accidentally 'forced' and was all the pinker and sweeter for the mistake) was further enhanced by adding to the saucepan just one single piece of crystallised ginger which I had cut up into tiny little cubes.

Having a bit of the stewed rhubarb left over I then experimented with making four individual trifles:

Into each of four microwaveable glasses put: 3 cubes of raspberry jelly; add some hot water (or microwave with cold water) until jelly has melted; break in a few pieces of leftover cake or sponge; mix in a few spoonfuls of the stewed rhubarb.

Let it all cool then refrigerate. The exact quantities aren't critical and the flavours and texture seemed to improve each day. I nice little cool treat to come in to from an afternoon in the garden!

How to apply blood, fish and bone fertilizer?

Posted: 05/05/2015 at 22:29

And if you do get some on the plants you can just gently shake it off again to fork with the rest of it into the soil. If it were me, I would then lightly water the residue off the plant that I got it on - which is what the rain would do anyway.

How do I renovate area under weed control fabric?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 22:24

Did someone mention weed fabric and path prep...?

 If anyone's interested I can start a new thread on how I am building my wiggly path - but not tonight, just too tired from trying to build my wiggly path... 


Does anyone recognise this?

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 22:42

Yes, Solomon's Seal for certain.

I'm only posting to say it's worth keeping an eye out for hungry colonies of a particularly pest (caterpillar I think) that will attack Soloman's Seal if it finds it: it reduced my plants to virtual skeletons a year or two ago.

I'm not sure when they come but I believe the remedy (and/or prevention) I used was Derris Powder - something recommended in a rather dated gardening book I had. Not sure whether it's still on the market; there may be something else better recommended nowadays.

Discussions started by Birdy13

Possible weeds ... And lilies!

Some weed identifications and advice on lilies needed 
Replies: 14    Views: 270
Last Post: 15/05/2016 at 20:03

Planting out hydrangeas

Why is my Hydrangea Hortensia not thriving? 
Replies: 12    Views: 736
Last Post: 18/06/2015 at 13:51

What is this plant please?

ID needed for plant I saved... 
Replies: 2    Views: 389
Last Post: 16/05/2015 at 21:56

Plant Identification please

Proliferating bulbs  
Replies: 29    Views: 1458
Last Post: 23/03/2015 at 07:57

Exotic plant or weed or triffid?

Just another plant ID request please. 
Replies: 11    Views: 871
Last Post: 17/12/2014 at 22:00

Do Bramleys get bitter pit?

What is this condition that has affected my Bramley apples this year? 
Replies: 5    Views: 536
Last Post: 20/11/2014 at 14:45

Weed or flower?

Plant identification please and advice on planting under an apple tree. 
Replies: 20    Views: 1159
Last Post: 14/11/2014 at 11:07

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Effect on plants of the limestone 'mulch 
Replies: 7    Views: 588
Last Post: 31/10/2014 at 20:47

Is it too late to cut back lavender?

Pruning lavender 
Replies: 3    Views: 738
Last Post: 08/10/2014 at 20:03

Service 503 Unavailable

Can't post photos 
Replies: 4    Views: 590
Last Post: 25/09/2014 at 01:43

Propagating Stephanotis

Can I take cuttings from my Stephanotis house plant? 
Replies: 6    Views: 807
Last Post: 27/09/2014 at 21:39

Advice needed on Strawberry leaf disease

Appearance of what looks like rust on newly planted strawberries 
Replies: 1    Views: 447
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 22:08

Dianthus reborn?

ID needed for unexpected trough contents 
Replies: 3    Views: 519
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:29

Fern flourished through mild winter.

What should I do about fern whose foliage has not died down as normal? 
Replies: 13    Views: 783
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 22:35

The Bully and the Policeman

Garden pests (human - but only just!) 
Replies: 33    Views: 2178
Last Post: 14/10/2013 at 20:54
1 to 15 of 17 threads