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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Posted: 22/01/2014 at 10:58

You are right T-N and nc, this is a good gardening site - there are others where you can rant about other issues!

Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 15:09

How lovely that you all respond so positively to my fair trade remarks.  I run fair trade stall in various places around the town I live in, we need to value what we have rather than destroy it - I guess that's why we are gardeners huh?  Thank you. 

use of compost/peat

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 12:09

There are now some good peat free composts around, I've been peat free for several years now - a shaky start but now it seems to be OK.  I use old compost in the bottom of pots, as a mulch anywhere, and in the bottom of baskets, with new good stuff on top - works for me.

Personally I don't like grow bags, the root space is too shallow, since I started using deep pots for tomatoes etc. in the greenhouse, it goes better.

The green algae on the compost is harmless, but does indicate wetness.

Feeding daily is too much, better to use a good quality feed weekly, or a pelleted one now and again.  Over fed plants just get long, pale and weak, as it is said  'treat 'em mean and grow 'em hard'  for good results. Let the plants do the work, you are just the carer!

Some of last years lilies

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 12:03

We grow large numbers of lilies, mostly in pots, but a few in the ground.  I also go around - with a tea strainer - once the lily beetles appear, and do a dance of joy as I kill them on the paths.  Twice a day watchfulness, plus the odd one spotted out of the kitchen window keeps the infestation to the almost manageable status.  Some lilies are more attacked than others, one or two small yellow ground grown ones are just used as sacrificial plants, upon which I can catch and kill larger numbers of the red devils, thus hopefully protecting the others.  Also grow fritillaries which they are supposed to like, but so far, thank goodness, have not found the beetles on those - enough lilies to keep them busy I suppose. 

Greenhouse electrified!

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:53

When we had electricity put into our greenhouse, the electrician dug a trench all the way - about 20 meters, lined it with ??, put the cable, armoured, into an old hose pipe, and buried it all deep.  Never had a moments trouble in 12 years.  The switch and socket is in the kitchen, the cable runs down the wall and then underground as I said, to the greenhouse.  It went under the beds, a lawn, through a hedge, under slabs and arrived eventually - best days work I ever paid for, worth every penny it cost.  Not a tai people want to do themselves unless qualified to do so - electricity is dangerous stuff isn't it?

Am I a sillee billee?

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:48

It is s god to know that I am not the only silly billy out here!  I have the idea that all gardeners cannot resist a plant, or anything that is reduced in price, or - if you are like me - a poor plant lurking sadly in the 'reduced to clear' box, that looks half dead!  My local shop now greets me with 'hello, we've got some dead plants for you to look at!'.  Having said that, I have a large golden bay tree I got when small for 49p., and several similar bargains that just needed TLC - but many don't make it.  I comfort myself with the thought that at least they had a comfortable home and chance - oh dear, how sad is that?


Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:42

Hi again, have just been on the clematis man web site.  The first thing that struck me was how very cheap he is - I just wonder what size the plants are.  He says they are two years old, and in 1 litre pots, I would be interested to see them.  The clematis breeders, Raymond Evason, charged 4 - 5 time those prices, but they are guaranteed to be what they say they are, and you have a guarantee if they don't grow.  I have bought a couple from them as a special treat, and they have been wonderful.

Clematis man seems to have a good range, I guess it is worth trying one or two and seeing how good they are.

If you do decide to try, please let us know how you got on and how good the plants are?  Thank you. 

Gardeners world live

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:35

We went to GWL for several years running, and loved it. We arrived at 9 a.m. just as it was opening and stayed till it closed.  We took a packed lunch and had a wonderful time.  You can buy as you go around, putting things in the 'creche' , and collecting larger things afterwards.

I stopped going when it got combined with the Good Food Show, it was then too big and too many people for me,  but that is a personal response only. 

It is very easy to buy more than you can use, but once in a while that is fun!  Take plenty of water or whatever you like to drink as it gets very hot, even on wet days. It takes us about 2 hours to get there, but always wanted to come home as sleeping in my own bed outweighed anything else, and we didn't have to try and keep plants and things happy in the car overnight, then load and unload them when tired the next day.  I was usually washed up for a day or two afterwards, but it was worth it.  

Now I am a good few years older I tend to give it a miss, I may try Malvern again this year. that's a great show too. 

Vanilla is an Orchid!!

Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:29

No, cotton is a tropical shrub, the 'boll' of cotton that gets woven into cloth is the seed head, somewhat the same as clematis and dandelions.  If left alone, it will break up and spread the seeds all over the place.  Picking out the seeds is one of the most difficult jobs in cotton production.

Actually, cotton is a dreadful crop, it takes huge amounts of water and, in America, uses 75% of the pesticides used in that country.  When grown elsewhere the treatment of the workers is appalling.  It ruins the soil in which its is grown repeatedly - not really a good crop at all.  I ask that maybe when you buy cotton clothing, you consider trying to buy fairly traded cotton?  The T-shirts and so on are well made, and don't ruin either the soils they are grown in nor the people who grow it.

I know this is not a gardening remark, and possibly the powers that be will remove it but I had to try.

Anyway, cotton still isn't an orchid, but a shrub!


Posted: 21/01/2014 at 11:23

Not seen this one, have bought clematis on line and they have been good -will investigate this site too.

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