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Latest posts by Birdy13

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 16/03/2015 at 15:45

Today I took the black membrane off my veg patch.

About four years ago it was lawn which never did well being under a Norfolk Pine but after digging over each year and trying unsuccessfully in different years to grow potatoes beans and onions I got fed up with the weeds that kept invading so I cleared it and covered it for the winter. 

The soil is absolutely wonderful - easy to dig and every spadeful crumbled with a firm tap.

 Dug in a bit more manure and compost and planted two rows of First Early "Rocket" potatoes. Let's hope I'll have better luck this year. - the soil has got to be better than past years. 

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 14/03/2015 at 20:23

Been clearing a weedy patch this week. Want to fill it with shrubs but still a lot to do first.

Then had to go shopping for stuff to repair a leaking hot tap...

...found myself going home with four lovely Hebes (£7.95 each from QD)three packets of 'cottage garden' type seeds and a windowsill propagator! 

Wind too cold to do anything once I got home so in for rest of day.

RIP Terry Pratchett

Posted: 12/03/2015 at 23:24

Thanks for this thread KEF. I'm trying to work out how to adequately express just how important Terry Pratchett's writing has been to me but I can't: my words just don't have the right power, but I must try...

The term that comes to mind first is belly laughs. Whilst his stories reference the full range of emotions, the numerous laugh-out-loud moments I experienced over the years actually helped me get through the day so often that I think they kept me healthier than otherwise might have been the case.  

This was also because, in spite of the improbability of the wonderfully storylines he created, the characters inhabiting his fantasy worlds always seemed completely authentic: we could identify with their feelings and motivations - and dare I say it - even even be inspired by them!  

In addition to being a very funny writer he was also a very moral person: this comes through his books loud and clear. I look forward to reading his last book when it comes out and shall miss all the new ones he will no longer be able to give us.



Posted: 26/02/2015 at 23:05

I would agree that the G/H ridge should run from East to West to maximise the sun's effectiveness as it strikes the long South facing length of the slanted roof.

Also - assuming you have a neighbour's house on the other side of the fence - position the greenhouse near the fence rather than near your house: ie as close to halfway as possible between the two houses to avoid the house shadows as long as possible in morning and evening. This maximises the length of time the sun can reach the greenhouse.

Also, remember to leave enough room between fence and g/h so you can treat the fence with preserver every year or two. (Sorry if that advice was a bit obvious but I know at least two neighbours who made that mistake!)

Easy to grow/maintain purple and pink flowers

Posted: 20/02/2015 at 10:49

Could they be the same as your pictured ones, Watery? Geranium Rozanne does ring a bell with me from a previous discussion on this forum.

Rolling Lawn Aerator

Posted: 20/02/2015 at 10:45

If you think of how you use a garden fork,  you need weight to push those points into the soil - a machine as small as that can never have as much weight as you yourself can apply. I would hire a properly designed tool or, as Billy Goat says, just use the fork.

Easy to grow/maintain purple and pink flowers

Posted: 20/02/2015 at 10:38

Not sure which type these are, Matt. But they come back every year without any help or care from me.


Guitar Strings as Plant Ties

Posted: 11/02/2015 at 22:29

You could hang pictures with the thick bass strings.

The thinner single filament metal electric guitar strings could possibly be used to cut cheese (I prefer a knife though) whereas nylon (classical guitar) strings would be suitable to hang up small gardening tools.

I'm a bit of a recycler too and recently found in my office/studio a box of old guitar strings kept from about thirty years ago! I think I eventually gritted my teeth and scopped them out - felt virtuous for hours after that bit of ruthless decluttering. Now I've just got to deal with the rest of the room! Why did you remind me, Sue?


Pear disaster

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 20:17

Just noticed you said they are mature trees. failed pollination does sound more likely - do you get plenty of bees around your garden? If not, try attracting some by planting brightly coloured flowers and shrubs like lavender.

Pear disaster

Posted: 31/01/2015 at 20:11

I'm not an expert but do have a 4-6 year old conference pear which has been doing well for the last 2 years. For the first 2-4 years the few flowers I did get never developed.

A short checklist of care which worked for me would include things like:

  1. Water generously
  2. Feed the roots periodically
  3. Spray against pests
  4. Judiciously prune when you have to (eg cutting out crossing or damaged branches)

I'm still working out just how much of No 4 and if if at all on my conference: I've heard pears shouldn't be pruned very often but I want to keep mine at a manageable height. 

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