Latest posts by Botticelliwoman

Talkback: Mice in the garden

Posted: 27/02/2012 at 07:18

Short of demanding that the neighbours stop keeping chickens and rabbits and stopping feeding the birds and hedgehogs, I'm at a loss to know how I can keep the rodents out (well, the rat at least).  I do my best to clean round the bird feeders but the starlings insist on turfing out anything not to their liking, which seems to be everything but the fat pellets and the rat is as happy to be out during the day as at night.  Two doors down there's a small-holding and beyond that the open countryside, so even before the neighbours had a menagerie we had rats tramping through.  I'm not about to use poison, so any suggestions would be welcome.


Lavender ?

Posted: 25/02/2012 at 08:43

Munstead was very popular with the bees last year and it makes a nice mini hedge or border edging.  I planted several other varieties last year but as they won't flower until this year I can't comment.

Talkback: Mice in the garden

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 16:27

I thought I had mice in the garden (and I probably do) but the ones I saw all looked like their tails had been cropped short.....seems I have a very healthy tribe of bank voles (and a very cheeky rat)

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 16:14

I've been known, after getting rid of the worst of the muck, to put the feeders through the dishwasher   There are some appalling designs, even the expensive ones, so now, when I buy new feeders, I make sure I can dismantle them before I pay (I get some strange looks from the staff and other shoppers but who cares?)  Hot water and mild disninfectant, rinsed well and dried thoroughly; soaked overnight if it's welded on.
JAG, think of a bird table like the doctor's waiting room....

Big Garden Birdwatch

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 15:50

They know when it's BGBW day, I swear!

Wildflowers in tubs

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 15:47

Yes, it certainly is possible and they like pretty poor, well-drained soil.  The only problem with perennial wildflowers is they tend to get going in the second year.  You could group the pots together and surround those pots with pots of annual wildflowers until your perennials get going.  I mix mine together, annuals and perennials in a border as the annuals self-seed and I pull up what I don't want

Bee friendly plants for hanging baskets

Posted: 23/02/2012 at 08:41

The problem is the height of most wildlife-friendly plants! You could try herbs such as thyme, chives, rosemary, sage, mint and marjoram etc which are good for beneficial insects and useful in the kitchen.  Lavender is always a winner, and I found that the bees were attracted to gazania (though I'm not sure how nectar rich they are). Sweet Williams, single-flowered Marigolds and nasturtiums are all good too. I'm going to experiment this year by sowing annual seeds, like poached egg plant, directly into containers and hanging baskets and a modern meadow mix into window-boxes.

Bird Feeders on the allotment?

Posted: 22/02/2012 at 08:30

I would....but then birds and beasties come before fruit and veg in my garden
You could always check with the committee (if there is one) whether there are any objections to encouraging wildlife.  I'd be mindful though of neighbouring gardeners who might be using slug pellets etc.  Enjoy your new plot!!!!

meadow plants

Posted: 19/02/2012 at 08:35

Hi dobby, are you planning to plant into a grassed area or start from scratch on a    patch of bare earth?  If you're planting in grass, cut the grass as low as you can then rake it to create bare patches.  It's best to sow yellow rattle seed onto the prepared area in autumn but you can buy yellow rattle as plug plants in april.  Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant on grass and will help to create areas for other plants to grow. Find a supplier of wildflower plants and seeds on line; the list of native wildflowers is vast and your choice will depend on the situation of your meadow area.  Also try and find out which plants are native to your area as these will probably do better.

Another easier alternative is to clear the proposed area of grass, as if you were digging a seed bed, and sow a wildflower mix but I would still plant the yellow rattle plugs.  Hope this helps.

Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

Posted: 17/02/2012 at 08:21

I noticed whilst walking the dog yesterday, one of our grass verges is full of yarrow.  It crossed my mind that it was a pity that the council mowers would be along before it had a chance.  We have a local group that organises the flower beds and planters around the village, all of which are filled with sterile bedding, and there are certainly plenty of green areas that could be transformed with a bit of imagination.  I might have to become a mole.....

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7 threads returned