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Latest posts by Bookertoo

Carrot fly

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:35

Keep a layer of fine horticultural fleece over them, my friend has had wonderful carrots since she started doing this.

It is said that growing onions nearby helps, as the onion fly and the carrot fly get confused about the smells.

Don't thin out until late in the day, as they can smell that from a very long way away.  A physical guard like fleece does the trick very well. 

Talkback: Ground elder

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:32

Yes, ground elder was known as Bishops Wort.  It was brought here by the Romans, who used a tea made from the young shoots to ease the pain of, among other things, gout.  Only Bishops could afford to eat well enough to get gout it was thought, hence Bishops Wort.  it does make a good tea for anyone with pain from osteoarthritis, as it is mildly sedative and really does help with the aches after a good day weeding it out.

We cannot get rid of it as the garden backs onto an old quarry - where ground elder reigns supreme.  it is quite satisfying to drink the tea, some slight revenge I suppose.

Ground elder tea: Take a good cupful of very young leaves, steep in boiling water for two or three minutes.  Strain well, sweeten with a little honey if liked, drink warm just before bedtime.   It tastes and smells a bit like cabbage water, but is not actually revolting, I think they were on to something there.  Pity it became such a detested weed. 


Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:26

Heucheras used to be grown for their flowers rather than their leaves as they are now.   The deep geen one with tall, deep red or coral flowers was, and indeed still is, one of my favourite flowers - we always call the flowers the 'firework flowers' as they leap up above everything else at this time of year.   I do not grow the multicoloured ones, but still try and get more of the red flowered ones, so indeed, no matter what colour they are, please do enjoy the flowers. 


Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:23

Majorum from your pots will seed itself everywhere - I love it so have no problem at all with that.  Even in a courtyard garden it will find the tiniest windblown soil and grow.  

Lupins laid low with infestions

Posted: 16/05/2012 at 10:21

These aphids are disgusting, even the hungriest of birds won't eat them.  I  have stopped with all forms of lupins because of them, I really have better things to do than squashing aphids.  Enough time spent dealing with liuly beetle on the plants I want to grow.  I did try tree lupins, just in case, as day lilies are not lilies, they were different, but no, the aphids loved them just as much.  As I hated the aphids, the lupins had to go, luckily - so far - none of the other related legumes are affected, that could be a disaster as one who adores fresh peas!!

Why Miss Bateman?

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:31

The vitcella group ae smaller flowering, but do so profusely.  I use them in all sorts of places, and they are not susceptible to wilt - it seems to be the large flowered hybrids that get this.  For spring (whatever that may be), the montana group are good if you have space for them, as they do get very large aned heay - gorgeous though.  You can grow vitcellas through them when they have stopped flowering themselves, looks good.   If you really want the large flowering clematis (and I still try with them) you need to plant them very deep indeed, then if wilt strikes they will often shoot again from the part that is underground - worth trying. 

The non-climbing herbaceous clematis are good too, in pots, hanging baskets or just clambering around other things in a flower bed - mostly purples yet, but there will come more colours I am sure.

Bought a 'red' clematis this year, it isn't, it is very lovely but definitely purple, although the label shows a clear red - thought it unlikely at the time. 

Water retaining gel crystals

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:25

Must admit that I have stopped using it altogether, I was not impressed with it.  I  preferred my method of lifting the basket slightly from underneath, heavy OK, not, water - as someone else has said.  If we get some twice a day watering weather we will all be delighted, at present it is more like never doing it at all, and anyway it is too dark for the flowers to come anyway.  Fed upness. 

Superb Clematis

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:21

?? Any remarks or questions?  We have some stunning clematis at present.

Hanging baskets

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:19

They are very good if you have small baskets, for anything over 12 - 14 inches they are not strong enough. 

Gourds !!

Posted: 11/05/2012 at 10:18

Basically, find a corner where there is alot of light and not much water, place them there, then ignore.   By the end of the season you wll find pretty decorative small gourds in good numbers.   I have given up on them now as there are no children at home to enjoy the shapes, and I personally have had enough of them, but difficult they are not.  I would wait until into June before planting out.  Once they start to run they will romp away with no help from you.   If you water and feed them you will get loads of leaves but little if any fruit - think about where they orignate, as with all plants the closer we can get to where they evolved the better they will grow.  Have fun & enjoy. 

Discussions started by Bookertoo

Solomon's seal

Where and how? 
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Last Post: 29/06/2013 at 13:46

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

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frosted lilies

any advice? 
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out of season plants

why are these wanted? 
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bird feeders

caged fat ball feeder 
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Hazel nut queries

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Last Post: 09/07/2012 at 11:20

Flippin' pigeons

Replies: 32    Views: 5024
Last Post: 15/08/2014 at 12:57
7 threads returned