London (change)
Today 10°C / 5°C
Tomorrow 13°C / 4°C


Latest posts by Birdy13

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 22:19

Quite muggy in East Anglia at times - warm and needing rain, but it didnt happen.

What did you do in your garden today?

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 22:13

Started hardening off all my potted up plugs. Snapdragons still too tender to plant out. Not sure whether some of them got a bit windburnt . A lot of the begonias are still very small and underdeveloped. They were poor quality when they were delivered. I suspect  their rooting systems were no good from the start.

Emptied old hanging baskets and garden pots, sieved out the weeds and spread the spent compost as a mulch in less visited part of the garden.

I have some questions about spent compost from old pots. It's about after I have sieved out most of the old roots -  the sieve is usually full of  'microhairs" which I take to be left over from the old rooting systems of what grew there.

I am in two minds   as to whether I should keep the microhair content to add structure  to the the soil (is that right?) or ...

should I dispose of the compost in case the microhairs are from the weeds that grew over winter and might regenerate?

Q If they are from weeds can the weeds regenerate  from even broken up microhair rooting systems?

Planted out some Verbena Patchwork (16 plants) into much larger pots. Flowers have already appeared on a few of the plants. Will photograph in a day or two once they've developed a bit more.

Washed out the 16 pots for re-use  (looking for my halo!)


Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 21:40

Busy Lizzie - same for me with the emails. Might you have accidentally stopped them by tapping on to the wrong link of the three GW send us in their email notifications?

Mind you, since mine have disappeared too I suspect GW website is 'up to something'.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 14:10

Thanks for the advice FG - perhaps I'll resume ripping.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 13:34

And this foxglove (?) , in the 'wrong' place, nearly got ripped out as I tried to sort plants from weeds aromd the raised bed earlier in the year. That near mistake reminds me to be circumspect about what should stay and what should go.


Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 13:28

Just noticed this came out today


Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 11/06/2013 at 13:17

Wintersong: your concerns over your 'misplaced' poppy have brought on another bout of philosophy.

The Japanese potters (or was it Chinese?) used to deliberately include, or allow to remain, an imperfection in their making of their pots - eg a thumbprint in the wet clay, a slightly crooked handle etc. They did this because it left evidence of the human element in creating art. I think they were also concerned not to allow 'accidental perfection' to cause vanity thereby 'angering their gods'.  We can see that evidence of the potter's hand even today, thousands of years later, in museum pieces.

Your poppy could have seeded itself there but you now have evidence of your own input. The time scale is different of course but next year you may have a bunch of red ones among the pinks. You'll then be able to see evidence of your own previous year's work in the garden. Afterall, all we can do is imprint a little bit of our own plan on our gardens - nature does the rest. Its nice to see our contribution stand out sometimes. 

(Not intended as a lecture - just happened by accident!  )


The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 11:16

 Nice to make people laugh  

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 00:38

This is a story of idiocy and grim determination to use alternative thinking to find a 'quick' way of solving a practical gardening problem, and how I ended up spending two days at a job that should have taken about two hours max' - the first with my head and shoulders in a deep hole in the ground and the second performing a ludicrous aggressive 'caveman' type ballet involving three bits of wood and a workmate!

Several decades ago I needed to replace an rotten fence post. Should be simple enough? But no!   Having removed the broken off top bit of post, I was left with the rotten stump embedded in its concrete foundation underground. I didn't know how to get the huge bit of concrete out of the ground so decided to reuse it.  

First I drilled, chiselled and generally chipped away at the bits of rotten wood left in the post-hole in the concrete - much like a dentist working at a huge decayed tooth. Took a good day's work ...  in a kneeling position ... In the sun!  

The next day (blisteringly hot) I presented the new post to the existing, cleaned out hole. It seemed to fit and somehow I managed to get it vertically balanced in the hole ready to bang it in with a clubhammer.

I really needed a heavier hammer - a sledgehammer - but I didn't have one and couldn't have lifted high enough anyway as the top of the 8 foot post was too high for me to get any weight behind the hammer blows.   But, being exactly the right size the post did go in ... about 3 inches! Then it was stuck! It would go no further and there was no way of getting it out again either.  

So I knew I had to invent something... A really big BIG hammer!

 I had a couple of spare beams, really thick, heavy ones. I screwed them together with a hefty hinge and wedged one of them vertical in my workmate so that the other rested horizontally on top of the jammed new post.  

I was proud of my manually operated 'steam hammer' - even if it did look a bit like a gibbet! It was my hammer!  

Standing on the workmate I could lift the transverse section of the 'gibbet' up above my head to bring it crashing down on top of the post. But when it came down I quickly realised I was going to be in the way of it achieving its full arc.   

So I got back down on the ground ... But then I couldn't reach up enough to get the huge beam high enough in the air to build up a downward momentum.   So I worked out a way of standing beneath this Heath Robinson contraption, pushing the cross beam high in the air with a stout stick and then pulling it down hard again with a rope; and if I crouchedlow as it crashed down on the post I could avoid braining myself!  

It worked! But I had to get out of the way of the beam really quickly as it came down or I would really quickly be dead.  

It was all working so well I got into a nice rhythm: push up, pull down, crouch low, CRASH! I found if I could put even more energy into the pull stroke the beam came down harder and the post went in further...Push. Pull. Crouch.  CRASSSHH!  

Now I expect you are all waiting for the unexpected happening, 'the accident'. There wasn't one - but I must have looked totally crazy, I certainly felt like a right idiot... Push, PUll, crouch,  CRASSSHH! Push, PULL, crouch,  CRASSSHH! Anyone seeing my antics, without knowing WHY I was doing it, would have definitely considered me insane - but the invention worked! 

After about an hour or two of this strange dance the new post had travelled the full length of the hole in the old concrete base and was eventually in!   And I hadn't even needed to make up a new bucket of concrete!   

If you want a punchline then it must be that I couldn't move the next day - my back went into spasm and I was laid up for a week!


Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 09/06/2013 at 18:53

You wouldn't know it.

I was the same - but I think it is gradually changing me - for the better, I think.

Felt low earlier, better now after an hour or so outside.

Discussions started by Birdy13

Plant Identification please

Proliferating bulbs  
Replies: 29    Views: 923
Last Post: 23/03/2015 at 07:57

Exotic plant or weed or triffid?

Just another plant ID request please. 
Replies: 11    Views: 458
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: 260
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: 743
Last Post: 14/11/2014 at 11:07

Cotoneaster, ferns and Cotswold stone

Effect on plants of the limestone 'mulch 
Replies: 7    Views: 264
Last Post: 31/10/2014 at 20:47

Is it too late to cut back lavender?

Pruning lavender 
Replies: 3    Views: 340
Last Post: 08/10/2014 at 20:03

Service 503 Unavailable

Can't post photos 
Replies: 4    Views: 328
Last Post: 25/09/2014 at 01:43

Propagating Stephanotis

Can I take cuttings from my Stephanotis house plant? 
Replies: 6    Views: 290
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: 2    Views: 280
Last Post: 02/06/2014 at 22:08

Dianthus reborn?

ID needed for unexpected trough contents 
Replies: 3    Views: 313
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: 541
Last Post: 02/03/2014 at 22:35

The Bully and the Policeman

Garden pests (human - but only just!) 
Replies: 33    Views: 1714
Last Post: 14/10/2013 at 20:54

Can't find toolbars, icons or post photo?

Absence of necessary Toolbars 
Replies: 2    Views: 569
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:47

Cistus pulverulentus (sunset)

Frost damaged - should I cut back 
Replies: 6    Views: 1962
Last Post: 15/04/2015 at 11:45
14 threads returned