London (change)
Today 9°C / 8°C
Tomorrow 12°C / 7°C


Latest posts by Bookertoo

I simply don't believe it

Posted: 18/11/2012 at 14:21

Good hard sharp frost last night, which I hope will help to set the plants clocks to doing what they should.  It is always nice to find the odd flower in a sheltered corner, a few campanulas for example, but flowers and red autumn leaves on the forsythia is rather odd!   Our very odd years weather has upset many plants and some birds, who were chasing each other in a very unexpected way for the time of year a couple of weeks ago - but seem to have settled to eating and getting fat again for the winter. 

Gunnera manicata

Posted: 18/11/2012 at 14:17

Fold the leaves over to protect the centre, and,  if it gets very cold, a layer of fleece might help.  They do get very sad looking in the winter, but unless it is very young it should survive - new shoots will probably arise next year.  I'd love to have one but no space for such a wonderful specimen - good luck. 

Wheres my berries???

Posted: 18/11/2012 at 14:15

Have you ever had berries from it? Were there any signs of flowers earlier in the year? Just wondering if you have a male tree - if that is the case, then no berries ever.  If unsure, try planting a female tree near at hand (if you have room for another), something like Golden King ( which, in spite of it's name, is a female), or any other female tree that takes your fancy.  

We have several holly trees at the bottom of our garden, including Golden Queen, which is a male - just to confuse the issue!!  You do need both with in a fairly small area to flower and berry well - we have quite a good crop of berries this year, which rather surprises me considering the dreadfully cold spring we had when the pollinators shoud have been about.  If your tree is female and a neighbour has a male then you should get berries - even the so called self fertile ones do better with a male for pollination. 

Blasted squirrels!

Posted: 17/11/2012 at 14:01

As ever there is this myth around that squirrels don't like chiili - oh dear, I do so wish it were true!!  We have a batch of squirrels in our immediate area, who watch me when I plant bubs and are digging them up before the back door is closed - prickly cuttings from the pyracantha and holly hedges stuck in the ground or around the pots seem to help, nothing else does.   They are particularly fond of purple crocus bulbs, and yes, they can tell them from the other ones - they probably smell differently.

I soaked my caged 'squirrel proof' feedrs in chilli paste and oil, and put the powder in the feed,  they sniffed at or a day or two, then came back and licked and chewed it all off with signs of great pleasure.  The birds come and tell me now when the feeders are full of squirrels!!  I have managed with one where the holes seem too small for the adults, but this years young - told by their less bushy tails, so they look even more like rats than the older ones -  though of course that is all that they are, can get inside.  If the house door is open I can creep out and spray them with water as one does with cats, they're not too keen on that.   We have tried the above mentioned chillie, white pepper, garlic, soap amd just about everything else you can think of - and probably a few you haven't.  Stll they eat several pounds of seed feed a week.  i am reluctant to give up feeding the birds, but feeding the squirrels was never on the agenda.  

Pease do not tell me about squirrel proof feeders that slide over the food, they know all about those and how to evade them, they can climb under domes, go up and down the poles until the grease or oil is off then climb up or down and feed - I reallly don't want rats in the garden - if anyone has a new idea that actually works I'd be delighted to hear about it - but so far nothing we have been offered deters them for more than 24 hours.

 We have been fighting this battle for 15 years, and so far it is squirrels 15, us 0!!!!


Posted: 17/11/2012 at 13:46

Indeed, you can gorw anything in a pot, as long as a) the pot is large enough, and b) that you are willng and able to provide for all the plants needs. This means watering, feeding, pruning, insect removal where necessary, changing & topping up compost and so on.Some plants adapt to living in pots very well, others take a bit more persuasion. We have over 400 pots in our garden, with ] a range of plants from an oak tree, to little sempervivums.  Many of my spring bulbs have been planted in pots, thoough by no means all.  Fruits do well in pots, if you want to grow trees that are potentially very large, you can use a root bag to contain the roots, thus keeping it smaller thanf it would otherwise be. 

Pot growing is great fun, but does need alot of attention, thus we do not go on holiday from March till October, you cannot ask a neighbour to pop around and water your pots at these numbers!!  Go for it, but don't say you weren't warned when you get hooked!!

sambucca black lace

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 21:24

Yes indeed, it is autumn, just let it rest  - then  wait till spring and see those glorious young leaves arrive from the virtually black buds - stunning. 

Growing hyacinth in a glass vase help please

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 21:23

I usually grow these to flower in February or so, when the decorations have all gone, the days are dark and wet - then fresh hyacinths with their perfume just makes me realise how good life is and that Spring really will come!

Is it a plant or a weed

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 21:03

Any plant can be bith a weed and a delightful addition to your garden, depending whether you like it or not.  There are a couple of things in my garden that I know are considered weeds by my friends, but I like them, the bees like them, and I do my best to keep them under control - tis all a matter of what you want and where. 

Grafted tomato plants

Posted: 14/11/2012 at 20:59

I must say that when I tried them 2 years ago I was very underwhelmed.  I had 2 grafted and3ordinary plants, and all had about the same success - or failure -  for the price I found them quite disappointing.  I shall not bother with them again, but stick to the seed grown ones I have always used - I do not regard this year as anything typical anyway. 

Water butts

Posted: 10/11/2012 at 20:08

We have four water butts - 2 large ones from the house roof, and a smaller ones from both the shed and the greenhouse.  I would not be without them, makes life much better for the plants, and when we have the usual hosepipe ban, especially when it rains all summer, they are really so worth it.  It is worth looking about for recycling large plastic bins, the ones for fruit juices for example are really good - not all are 1,000 litres.  

Discussions started by Bookertoo

watch out, watch out ……..

…… lily beetle about 
Replies: 2    Views: 263
Last Post: 23/04/2015 at 15:38

Odd corrections?

Use of the English language! 
Replies: 18    Views: 575
Last Post: 20/02/2015 at 16:37

Happy seasons greetings to all

Be joyful 
Replies: 14    Views: 612
Last Post: 25/12/2014 at 17:25

squirrels and their cleverness

the unending bane of my life 
Replies: 33    Views: 1523
Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 20:49

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 1046
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

For whom do we garden .............

Replies: 12    Views: 1063
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 560
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 864
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 1770
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 1528
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 44    Views: 16683
Last Post: 28/08/2015 at 20:53
11 threads returned