Latest posts by Bookertoo

Edging a border with snowdrops (and polyanthus firecracker)

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 18:28

Do add scilla biflora - the best shade of blue there is.  Any of the spring smaller bulbs will just pop up year on year.  Maybe some cyclamen as well?  They will gently spread around - though none of them will last for ever - there is no such thing as a garden that is completely done - but if you can get your brother to add a few small shrubs like hebes and things of that ilk, you will be able to have a garden that needs less work than some of them.

Vermucellite for pot drainage

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:46

You're welcome, have used it for years so know it works.  Have fun. 

Eggplant Seedlings

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:37

Don't worry, we've all nursed a ferocious weed or two in our time - that's called learning, and is great fun, just as all gardening is.  Mind, it was hard to remember this when fighting a bitterly cold wind while trying to gather up heavy terracotta pots for emptying and cleaning the other day - definitely one of those 'remind me why I do this?" times. 

pancake day

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:34

Indeed, the longer you leave the batter to stand before you make the pancakes the better - up to a couple of hours.  This lets the gluten develop and they will stay together.  The pan must be hot, and the pancake cook quite quickly, we love them and eat them at all sorts of times in the year, not just Shrove Tuesday. 

Are you using plain flour Biofreak?  They don't work with self raising flour.  A decent pan kept for that pancakes only (OK the odd omelette is allowed in it, but nothing else ever!), wipe the tiny bit of butter or oil out as Aster2 says, pretty foolproof. Keep them thin - an old Victorian recipe says they should be thin enough to read your love letters through - but I feel that putting them on the computer monitor could get messy!!!!!

Have the photos been superimposed?

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:29

The ones to watch out for are the catalogues, and there are several, which show several flowers all appearing at once, which could not possibly do so.  This is an insinuated lie - they don't actually say they flower together, but showing the pictures side by side give the impression they do.  Then, when new gardeners try to get the effect, it is of course not possible - and sadly, the often blame themselves  "I can't get on with this gardening stuff'.  If you like a plant in a catalogue, search engine it, use the RHS or another good reliable site to see how it really looks, when it flowers, fruits or whatever, and whether it can grow where you live.  This can save alot of heartache, to say nothing on money!!

Vermucellite for pot drainage

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:23

Vermiculite is excellent for lightening and improving drainage of compost in pots, but would get washed out if used as you would like.  Try asking people, including shopkeepers,  to keep some expanded polystyrene for you, the white stuff TV's, fridges etc, come wrapped in.  It is easily  broken it up into lumps and use that in your pot bases.  It is totally inert, keeps things warm in winter and helps drainage when it pours.   Also makes the pots lighter, which is always a good thing. 

Primrose help

Posted: 09/02/2016 at 12:20

Just nip off the flower stems, if the sunshine comes they will flower again.  If you get seeds, sow them fresh in a tray and put somewhere safe and forget about it for a year or two, making sure it does not dry out but otherwise ignoring it.  You should get seedlings in time.  When flowering is finished, just let them be, maybe removing large dead leaves, letting them die back underground in their own time.  Mark the site or you might accidentally dig them up in summer while they are resting. 

They are the prettiest and most gentle of our Spring flowers, so sadly to many left in the wild, but we can keep them going in gardens.  Don't mix them up with hybrid primroses, they get coarse and brighter colours - fine if you like them but not primroses.

You can buy lovely strong plants from specialist surgeries. 

Squirrel Sabotage of my Wildflower meadow

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 18:47

I have, over many years, spent a great deal of money on 'squirrel proof' bird feeders and not one has ever  worked, until this year!!  Go to the web site for 'Squirrel Buster' feeders - ours has been up for several months and the darned things have not got into it - Hooray!!  I'm about to order a second one, and sing their praises!


Squirrel Sabotage of my Wildflower meadow

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 18:45

Holly twigs, pyracantha cuttings and so forth - without these I would have no bulbs at all in the garden or in pots, the b***** squirrels would have them all.  They don't like prickles in their paddy paws any more than we do, it really does help.


Is it too late for this poor sad coprosmia??

Posted: 07/02/2016 at 18:43

It's never too late until rot sets in - and even then ……   Have bought many a reject from the garden centre as being virtually dead, and had some wonderful plants for next to nothing as a result.  Yes indeed, you don't win them all, but it's a joy when you do!  Good luck with this one. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Orange alert, Orange alert

It's tea strainer time again. 
Replies: 1    Views: 311
Last Post: 08/05/2017 at 17:41

What the ?*******? is doing this?

Replies: 8    Views: 1415
Last Post: 24/03/2016 at 18:09

watch out, watch out ……..

…… lily beetle about 
Replies: 2    Views: 760
Last Post: 23/04/2015 at 15:38

Odd corrections?

Use of the English language! 
Replies: 18    Views: 1164
Last Post: 20/02/2015 at 16:37

Happy seasons greetings to all

Be joyful 
Replies: 14    Views: 1169
Last Post: 25/12/2014 at 17:25

squirrels and their cleverness

the unending bane of my life 
Replies: 32    Views: 2991
Last Post: 11/11/2014 at 20:49

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
Replies: 14    Views: 1809
Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

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

Replies: 12    Views: 1816
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 15:08

frosted lilies

any advice? 
Replies: 0    Views: 1051
Last Post: 07/04/2013 at 17:13

out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
Replies: 6    Views: 1460
Last Post: 04/03/2013 at 22:43

bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
Replies: 19    Views: 2677
Last Post: 01/11/2012 at 08:55

Hazel nut queries

Replies: 2    Views: 2522
Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 44    Views: 37019
Last Post: 28/08/2015 at 20:53
13 threads returned