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Latest posts by blairs

Buried treasure

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 21:10

In my own garden, I have found only some animal bones and a mysterious long rusty wire that is stuck to something somewhere. I pull it every time I dig part of it out but have no idea what it is?

Much more interesting, my sister found an old Anderson shelter in her garden. The shelter was built on top of the old coal cellar which no one knew existed. It still had coal in it mixed with old Victorian scraps - the whole thing now makes a good garden shed for them.

dirty bark

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 20:28

Just take a strong cloth and soapy water and rub the bark and that restores them.

Who lives in a microclimate?

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 14:30

I would say that I live in a microclimate as I live near the coast, my garden is south facing and sheltered. The top half of my garden rarely gets any frost (though the area where my GH is does and quite often). It is often a good few C warmer than the weather forecasts say at the top of my garden nearest the house (lots of sunny brick walls to retain heat). In winter I can see the frost/snow less than a mile or so away on either side and smile that it is not me .

The problem with microclimates is everyone seems to think that they are in one! Every other gardener says that their garden is not as cold as X Y miles away and etc...surely we cannot all have a microclimate? This is not just a UK thing, I know gardeners all over the EU and US that say the same thing - and quite adamant of it.

What do you think?


I think microclimates only make a difference in 'normal weather' . There is very little difference when weather like 2010 happens as when it gets to -5C and below or we have heavy snow, then we all get damage, though it may fade faster is 'microclimates'

Christmas trees...

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 14:11
ginagibbs wrote (see)

Ironically, last year, some one very kindly dumped their discarded xmas tree in my garden, so I still ended up having to dispose of one!!

Not very nice. I used to collect all the neighbours used trees to make compost and to use as a wildlife hedge (the needles act as a mulch and stops weeds, allowing the saplings to grow). Sometime the dead trees get very light and blow away, so I no longer do that.

Christmas trees...

Posted: 25/11/2013 at 10:44

We have an artificial tree inside but both my children have a live one outside (Picea glauca concia) which I put some lights around that they make some edible decorations for the birds.

Chimney Pot planting

Posted: 24/11/2013 at 20:45

My parents house was on the estate of several medieval country houses (still standing) and I used to find old pottery in the garden all the time. I used to bring back old chimney pots for my mum to pot up, found around the old rose garden and around the walled gardens.

Years later the local paper had a story on how the local hall had one of the best collections of medieval and Jacobean chimney pots  but these had been systematically depleted over the years by thieves...seems over the years I had been robbing valuable and rare chimney pots for me mum to put woolworths bedding into.

Propagating Japanese Cherry trees

Posted: 23/11/2013 at 08:43

That is good advice and I have some Wild Cherry trees that I can shield bud the Japanese buds onto...I will give it a try.

Propagating Japanese Cherry trees

Posted: 22/11/2013 at 20:57

I have a few weeping cherry trees (Prunus kiku-Shidra-Zakura) that to maintain their form I need to prune. Ideally I would like to propagate them using these cuttings.

From what I have read they can only be rooted via air layering or softwood cuttings. It is too late for the latter (though I could wait till spring). Has anyone airlayered successfully or rooted cherry from hardwood cuttings?


Posted: 22/11/2013 at 20:44

Defo a Photinia - those flowers should come in white. The yellowing leaves are a sign of nutrient stress, normally lack of nitrogen. A weak nitrogen feed would help it ticking along till spring.

Greenhouse Condensation

Posted: 22/11/2013 at 20:38
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

If it's caterpillars they will be on the plants all the time.  What does the damage look like?

And they will leave little poo pellets that are a give away...maybe it is Vine Weevil.

I have found that opening the vents and doors during the day helps condensation. Insulation (bubble wrap) does help - at least it stops it dropping on the plants. Since I put tin foil on the floor of the GH that has also helped reduce condensation in my GH.

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