Latest posts by Botticelliwoman

what's people in the north west growing at the moment.

Posted: 07/03/2012 at 16:30

am in the north east, have garlic and shallots planted out

Balcony Beginner

Posted: 05/03/2012 at 13:39

You could try single-flowered Dahlias in tubs (early bird is a good one you can get from many garden-centres in packs of 6 or 8 for a few quid).  The bonus is that bees and hoverflies love them, they flower through to the first frosts and then you can either discard them or dig up the tubers and store them overwinter and re-use them the following year (also you can take them with you if you have to move).  If you pot up the tubers indoors in January, you can also take cuttings from the growth....more plants for free!  Marigolds are also good goers but I'd go for dahlias every time.  Incidentally you can also grow these from seed.  Plant them now and they get going really quickly.

Talkback: Birds: helping garden birds in spring

Posted: 05/03/2012 at 13:23

Please don't put fatballs out in the pastic mesh they come wrapped in as birds can get tangled in them. Tip:  If you put fatballs and other suet feeds in the fridge they last longer.  Try moving your feeders superbrill, if they are too near a bird box it can cause problems, also birds like to have some trees/shrubs nearby the feeders so they can duck back under cover if predators show up.  I have a dog and also a regular visiting sparrowhawk but it doesn't seem to put the birds off for long


Posted: 05/03/2012 at 13:15

Hi Gary,

You could try teasels grown in pots and also sunflowers


Posted: 04/03/2012 at 11:59

Once you've hauled it all out and left it a couple of days on the pond edge, you can put the algae on your compost heap (if you have one) or your council green-waste bin.  I don't use barley straw, though some people swear by it.  I find that once I get rid of what's built up over winter and start using my solar pump again, the algae is kept to a minumum but it helps that I have a lot of oxygenating plants in the water and much of the surface is covered in floating plants.  If it's not a wildlife pond, I've been told that grass carp keep the green stuff down but you'd have to ask an expert about them.  Hope this helps

Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

Posted: 04/03/2012 at 09:08

Hi MoK, she wasn't great when she jumped on our resident hedgehog the other night
My pal and I have started a wildlife gardening business and are campaigning like crazy both with the borough council and the local town council.  We're writing a series of articles for the local magazine to encourage everybody to think before they buy new plants and how to encourage all wildlife to their gardens.  Our village is filled with beds, troughs and baskets which look reasonably pretty (if a bit samey, year after year) but have absolutely no benefit to wildlife.  We're taking the softly-softly approach (though we'd like to scream at them to stop) with these 'in-Bloomers', who, like the Harrogate folks, are a little set in their ways.


Posted: 04/03/2012 at 08:53

I use a stick.  Drag it through the algae then twirl it round and you should get a good clump but watch out for frog spawn!! When you have heaved the algae out, leave it on the side of the pond so the critters can get back in....or if you're like me, pick through it and see what's living in your pond

Native Wildlife Hedging

Posted: 04/03/2012 at 08:45

I agree with the others, you first need to see what your local hedgerows are made up of but hawthorn and blackthorn are pretty tough (and you may well get your own crop of sloes and get to make sloe gin!)  Do a web search for specialist native hedge growers as these sell whips (the young plant) at very reasonable prices if you're buying in numbers, also they'll be able to give you all the advice you need on planting and care.
I found this site, that has lists of hedging plants that can be grown in costal areas if you want ideas;

Monty Don

Posted: 02/03/2012 at 16:48

I just wish if they were going to change presenters that they'd have picked Carol Klein! But the downfall of GW came, as far as I'm concerned, when it went from an hour to 30 minutes.  Whoever they trundle out as the 'front man now', it aint as good as it used to be, blink and you miss it. 

What do I need for my greenhouse?

Posted: 02/03/2012 at 16:22

Hi meema, if you're growing things that need to be started off before it warms up outside, or plants that need it to be good and warm throughout their growing season, you could invest in a heater of some kind.  I have a paraffin heater but there's lots of ways you can do it, from individual heated propagators, fan heaters, heating mats etc.  It depends how much and what you're growing, and what you can afford.  I tend to keep the stuff I'm growing now on windowsills in the house (as it's already heated) but I'll probably move them out to the greenhouse when they're ready to pot on and then I'll use the paraffin heater and fleece (on especially cold nights) as I don't have a power supply, and frankly can't afford the cost.
I use gravel trays under all my pots and seed trays as it's much easier to water from beneath, so it might be worth you investing in some of those.....a fine rose for your watering can otherwise.
If you're likely to be going away on holiday and can't get anybody on watering duty, then a drip system might save you a lot of heartache.
Really though, it's worth you buying the bare minimum and then deciding what you need as you go along.  After a couple of years you'll probably know how you prefer to do things and what works in your particular situation and location.
Good luck! I remember how excited I was about my new greenhouse

Discussions started by Botticelliwoman

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Plant Labels

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Last Post: 28/03/2017 at 11:13
7 threads returned