Bookertoo


Latest posts by Bookertoo

Talkback: Hostas, slugs and snails

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:24

I griow around 65 different hostas in pots, and have done for around 15 years.  I nearly gave up around 6 years ago, the slug and snail problems being virtually overwhelming.  I tried it all, hair, egg shells, garlic, porrige oats etc. et. ad nauseaum.  Then I discovered copper tape, now each pot has its own collar of copper, and that has done the trick. I have a three tiered display, like a very large auricular theratre, and the edges of that are also trimmed with copper tape.  There will always be the odd clever slug that walks up the wall and drops into the pots, but on the whole the collectiion is doing very well.  I also bury odd bits of copper tubing (from a friendly plumber) around the stems of plants that are devoured by slugs, e.g delphiniums, and that has helped enormously tool.  Apparently they get a small static shock from the copper and will not cross it.  It was quite expensive to do at first because I had to do the whole lot at once, but now just as any new pot arrives.  Do try it, it really does work.

Ferrous pellets work somewhat, but are very dangerous for children, as an overdose of iron can be lethal.  They do not harm birds and other mammals as far as I know.  Use them very sparingly and where they cannot be seen by small people.  The other kind should be abolished at once I agree.  We have no children coming to our garden so I can, and occasionally do, use these here. 

Tulips

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:16

Yes you can, but you will do better to try and keep the leaves on them as long as possible, as much of next years flowers will depend upon what the bulb gathers from the leaves as they dry.  I must admit that tulips are one set of bulbs I do not bother about keeping, as I find they rarely come well again, and tend to treat them, as Monty said, as annuals - except for the specie ones which do come back true.  Maybe you could hang them somewhere while the leaves dry off - maybe a pair of tights hung somewhere dry and cool while the leaves dry off?  Don't be too disappointed if, after all that, they don't grow well next Spring - but they might, so if you want to go that route - good for you, and good luck

Colour!

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 11:12

I was a nurse for nearly 50 years, and indeed, red and white flowers were deeply frowned upon - to the point where one of my senior nurses took a yellow flower from one persons vase to put in another!!  However, that won't arise these days as you're not allowed to have flowers in the hospital these days - those flowers you know, they killed so many people!!!

I love mixed borders, and am always amazed by how lovely some peoples are, especially when they are disciplined as as to what they buy or grow - mine are not disciplined, but are lovely too, just in a different way.  

Colour!

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 22:29

All colours really - they all fit together because of the amount of green that comes with most plants.  There have been some accidental colour mixtures that I did not, would not have, planned, and they have been remarkably good.  Nature just does what we cannot do, gets it right most of the time.   I think the main difference in peoples gardens, as far as colour is concerned, is how formal they want to be.  If you want a fairly formal layout then that choice will probably influence the colours you use and put togethr. My garden could not be less formal, so the rather riotous look lends itself more to colour combinations we might not choose in a more formal setting.

Some of the gardens people show here are just so amazingly good, beautifully designed and so on, and I love to see and admire them - but they are not my style.  There is room for all of us, and our colour choices I think.

Also our colour perception changes with age I think - my friend disliked yellow in her garden  for years, and now enjoys it in moderation.  I suspect she sees it differently now - our older eyes may not percieve colour quite as clearly as we once did.

 

 

Dahlias..an unintended trial

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 22:20

The ones I lleft in pots survived, though one was very late starting and I did think Ihad lost it. Some were in the cold greenhouse over winter, some not - the larger pots I just could not move.  Don't have so many but all OK so far. 

Pear Tree

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 22:16

It may well just be dropping some of the young fruits that it cannot bring to fruition this year, the June drop is quite normal, you should still get a good crop.

Talkback: Edible weeds

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 22:15

Thank you very much, this I am very tempted to try.

Hello I'm a Lily Beetle, come and get me!

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 11:07

I'd love to think the blighters drowned, yet they seem to be here is some numbers, though I will admit fewer than is some years.  Maybe they will die out naturally?  No, come to think of it, probably not - look at japanese knotweed - or rather don't!  They didn't reduce in the bitter winter of a few years ago - maybe they don't like having their antennae wet. 

A Cautionary Tale .....

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 11:02

I love it when things start to self seed, even my lavender has done so into the gravel path, but some things (like the British rain!), never know when to stop.  My friend has invasion trouble with japanese anemones, yet I really have to care for them to get them to flourish - but lily of the valley, bronze carex, white campanula - these all sow themselves with abandon - everywhere.  Some things like anemone blanda blue I am happy to allow, but others really do make a meal of it. 

Can someone anser this Question

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:33

It makes no difference whatsoever, it is one of those persistent urban myths that keep people chatting in pubs for hours!

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