Latest posts by Birdy13

Possible weeds ... And lilies!

Posted: 15/05/2016 at 11:28

Sorry - everything has gone upside down. Please read left as right etc or alternatively stand on your head 

Possible weeds ... And lilies!

Posted: 15/05/2016 at 11:25

Wow, the forum has changed a bit since I was here last!

Since making last year's new 'wiggles path' border I am tidying up this year's sudden prolific growth of everything to fill bare patches with bedding plants or what ever takes my fancy.

I have come across some plants I don't immediately recognise but don't trust my memory or knowledge to decide whether to leave or pull up. 

Here are a few pictures:

Photo 1 ... The plant among the lupine...

Photo 2 ... The one to the right of the chrysanthemum...

Photo3 ... The broad leafed plant at the back...

Photo 4 ... The thick yellow/green leafed plant on the left...

Photo 5 ... The broad leafed plant dominating the left of the picture...

Photo 6 ... The spiky leafed plant in the centre. Its leaves are a bit like the way a lily grows and just out of the picture I do have a lot lilies - could this be connected? Or is it an intruder in disguise? It also looks a bit like Mares Tail which I defini do not want.

And while on the subject of lilies is the growth shown in photo 7 normal?

Photo 7

They were planted as bulbs early last year and did really well but were generally compact - 12 to 18 inches high. This year they are all 24 to 36 inches high? Any ideas? The surrounding foliage is also a bit higher so is everything just trying to compete for light or is it normal for lilies to grow that high?

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 22:48

I've hardly been out for weeks but I think I broke the pattern at last.

  I at last managed to get out since hurting my back a couple of weeks ago and decided to start gently by raking up all the leaves from under our cherry tree. They'll make leaf mould for next year.   Then decided to do some weeding and had a shock. I had been moving rocks and stones from one end of a raised bed to the other as I worked on clearing the weeds under them - when suddenly... THE ROCK IN MY HAND MOVED!!!

 It was a great, fat, white toad. Very disrespectful appearing without warning like that - and covered in dirt too! Clearly no sense of presentation! 

After my initial seismic shock I instinctively decided that for his own safety he needed to be back under a rock - preferably one that wouldn't get moved again accidentally.   I rolled him gently into the first gap I could see - the one you see here: by pure chance, in tossing the rocks to one side while weeding, I had built a perfect cave; quite stable too. You can just see him (or her?) peeking out to the right of the green stick...


Just before turning in I checked three gutters where they run into the downpipes just to make sure the heavy rain hadn't blocked them with moss again. It had! But unlike the previous time when I had to cut into a blocked downpipe to clear it, due the little chickenwire filters I had made for the top of each downpipe, the job of clearing was a doddle. 

Yep, I guess I did get some gardening done today.

Conference pears

Posted: 06/10/2015 at 12:18

Sounds great Marion! Do you poach them whole, or skinned, cored and quartered?

I wonder if I have time to grow a Japanese Quince by Christmas?

Conference pears

Posted: 06/10/2015 at 11:17

Meant to say, Pansyface, that your living much further north (Peak District) than I do (Norfolk) I would imagine your environment would be a degree or two colder than ours, so your pears probably will take longer to ripen. 

I must say that Happymarion's criteria for picking is more or less my strategy. I suspect, however, that I won't be able to keep up with using them all before they ripen too far and rot. Ho hum! Very fortunate to have them in the first place. Might have to share a few around the neighbours.

Conference pears

Posted: 06/10/2015 at 11:03

Yes, thank you pansyface, much better (so far!) I have take about 60 pears off my little tree to date ...

with a few more left to come. 

Here's a couple more photos showing more clearly that 'joint' I referred to in yesterday's post. The clearly formed 'joint' is right in the centre of the photo...

 ...and the clean break can be seen on the end of the pear's stalk, and where it came from is the small lighter coloured patch next to the leaf and other pear stalk...

 This pear does not seem ready to separate yet, but there are a couple of indentations  just visible that may be where it will eventually separate naturally - if I don't get to it first!



Conference pears

Posted: 05/10/2015 at 22:07

When to pick pears

And here's something else I didn't notice until this year. As I started to harvest my conference pears this year I realised some came off the tree with a clean break and some didn't want to come away.  On inspection I found that the contour of the stalk of some of the pears was totally continuous with the side shoot it had grown on coming out of from the main stem. These pears resisted picking. With others, the end of the pear's stalk had developed a swelling, creating in more advanced cases an actual 'joint' with a line of eventual separation running through it. These fruit, with a careful bend in the right direction (often upwards) broke off cleanly leaving the other half of the 'joint' still on the side stem it had grown from. See pictures...




Tomatoes have a similar swollen 'joint', resembling a knee or elbow, that makes them easy to pick.   I presume the swelling contains a mechanism for cutting off food supply to the fruit when the tree is ready to shed it - a bit like the cork layer that grows across the stalk of leaves in Autumn. 

Grow lighting

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 22:21

LEDs will always be cheaper and cooler to run than the 'energy saving' bulbs - and it is what certain serious growers are experimenting with now: I heard a program about a strawberry grower who was getting very good results Using LEDs. Sorry I can't remember any more details.

Grow lighting

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 20:32 may be worth a try. They're always bringing out new stuff. You could try phoning directly to ask if they can advise on what they might have in the future.

How can I get my wisteria to flower on an east facing wall?

Posted: 02/07/2015 at 12:51

This is an east facing wall, blue rose.


It was planted oabout 15 years ago and has received very little attention in terms of feeding or watering seeming to be deep rooted enough to find moisture beneath the slabs and brickwork surrounding it.

I'm no expert, but I have been pruning more carefully for the last 3 years - since when it has rewarded me like this each year.


So you can see, an East facing aspect is not necessarily the main issue. I would consider mugging up on pruning. Do separate searches for winter pruning wisteria and summer pruning wisteria on this website as well as RHS.


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