Latest posts by Bookertoo

Shrub ID

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 17:49

You may get your cotoneaster berries indoors this year, as it has been so warm the birds are not particularly hungry yet.  Very few of my, usually by now stripped, shrubs have had any berries taken - and those that have I suspect squirrels rather than birds.  


Posted: 18/12/2014 at 17:45

Don't bother with chilli, pepper, onion, soap, chicken wire that allows a squirrel head to get through, feeders with slides that go over the seed feeder - they learn to hold those up, they can and will get into everything!!  Any hole a bird can get through, so can a squirrel. We moved here 18 years ago, since when I have been fighting the squirrels.  All my bulb pots are covered with holly, berberis, wire etc., they have still dug out some of the bulbs.  They get through up to a kilo of bird seed a day if I put it out - believe me, I've tried the lot.  I've had free gifts from the sellers of squirrel proof feeders when I've sent them pictures of the creatures inside their feeders, or happily eating from them.  At this point it is squirrels 1, me 0 - but I expect I shall go on fighting the good fight!  I love feeding the birds, but have as yet found no way to stop the squirrels.  There were 5 very fat ones on the grass the other day, I guess my bulbs that I hoped to naturalise won't stand a chance.  I do have two tulip boxes under wire and prickly plants that they've not opened yet, but it has not been that cold so I think they're not that hungry yet.

Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 20:03

Phillipa 2, Hi, I loved melons too, until they tried to kill me!! I note that of late cucumbers are beginning to also make my throat swell, a great pity but not too surprising as they are the same family!  


people just need to be sensible - the nanny state is really getting rather ridiculous! How did the human race survive the last couple of million years without people being told what to do ……….

Plant I/D

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 16:47

They do grow out of doors in the west country - but not up here that's for sure.  Nice as an indoor statement though.

Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 16:46

I love my aconite's, and will certainly not be getting rid of them in the near future thanks all the same.  I taught my children to neither touch nor eat anything that was not approved by me, and we are all still here, so is my grandson whose mother is a gardener too.  I would like to know more about this poor mans death - I find it hard to believe he died after just brushing past the plant.  If so, then he had a severe sensitivity - as  I have to melon, which has tried to kill me on several occasions - so far it has not succeeded, and I avoid it like the plague it is for me, but I do not expect the fruit to be banned because of my unusual extreme sensitivity. 

By the by, many of the cardiac failures in people found in their gardens are just that, cardiac failures!  

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 17:44

Actually they probably would not like your sandwich all that much, unless you are eating worm sandwiches?

They can make your grassy areas rather an ankle trap if the burrows are left alone.  

Many years ago when I lived in a nice little terrace of houses, all of whose gardens were overrun with moles, we decided to put the hose running down 1 of our our mole hillsl - totally forgot it until the next morning when our next door neighbour by 2,  i.e 3 houses away, woke to found their garden flooded!  I admit we crept down and turned the water off and did not confess!  Mind, the moles didn't go either. 

Plant I/D

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 17:39

A glorious specimen of flowering yucca - is it in your garden or did you spot it being lovely somewhere? 

Arum maculatum, cuckoopint, lords and ladies

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 17:38

That, sadly, sounds very likely if you have not had extremely hot compost.  One of the reasons for not composting pernicious weeds! 

Arum maculatum, cuckoopint, lords and ladies

Posted: 06/11/2014 at 16:45

Indeed, like just about everything else they don't much like having their heads chopped off on a regular basis!  Keep hoeing every time you spot them, and dig up if and when you can. 

Funny really, it;s another one of those plants that is one persons horrendous weed, and another one someone can't get to grow no matter what.

squirrels and their cleverness

Posted: 05/11/2014 at 19:14

Absolutely love the whirligig thing, that would give me hours of entertainment and might even get the furry rats to stop!!  Can I get it here?  Thanks a million for that.

Not so keen on electric shocks, as I'm not sure unite how green that is - but eventually I might be happy to try that too.

Not shooting anything here, thanks though.

Cayenne does not work here, tried it to the point it almost made me cry when I hung the feeder it was so strong.  Tried it dried, powdered and fresh - no go for these terrors..  Birds didn't notice (they can't taste it), the squirrel jumped the first time then just carried on as usual. 

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