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Latest posts by BrendaScott53

Talkback: Monty Don returns to Gardeners' World

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 09:00

I tend to agree with a reply submitted by 'Anonymous' at the beginning of this thread....continuity is everything.  I've never got over Geoff Hamilton dying ( although I'm sure he didn't do it to spite us, bless him ) and Gardener's World has never been the same since.  I didn't much appreciate Alan Titchmarsh, although he's an excellent presenter with a sound background in horticulture and knows his stuff; but there was always a bit too much 'titillation' for the ladies and that Yorkshire charm doesn't do anything for me.  Rachel de Thame is a pretty lass, Sarah Raven lives at Sissinghurst and bosses plants into growing, Alys was a passing fancy and Toby likewise.  It seems that we, the viewers, must be constantly stimulated by 'new' or 'fresh' presenters wearing weirder and more eccentric 'costumes' in order to keep the viewing figures up - maybe it's a case of touting for new viewers rather than giving the loyal gardening public a reliable and familiar programme they can continue to appreciate?

Monty Don drives me mad with his manic digging and every time I see him wielding a trowel I cringe; but he's back, so can we keep him, please, and not have to put up with this constant stream of unfamiliar faces? Keep Joe, keep Carol, ditch the rest and maybe introduce one newcomer with whom we can familiarise ourselves and who will, perhaps, one day, provide the programme with it's 'new' front man or woman.

Big blobs of clear jelly!

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:39

It might be aliens...but as it's been so dreadfully wet everywhere of late, it probably just is expanded water-retaining crystals.  If they start turning green and grow legs, it's definitely aliens...


Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:36

I'm pretty certain this is Clematis Montana'll grow to about 16 feet and it's lovely! Pretty tough so you shouldn't have any problems with it.  Hope the propagating goes well!


Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:32

Is this the one with the prickly leaves and rather pretty small mid blue flowers?  It's a tough wild flower but it does tend to take over and the big black taproots go down to Australia and are a bugger to dig out.  Good for making a bright red dye, though, apparently!

I'd think composting the leaves would be okay, although I'd get rid of the roots unless you want it everywhere!  Comfrey makes, as you know, great green manure, but I'm not 100% certain about this 'cousin'.

Weather Lore - and more

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:22

I've always thought Michael Flanders of Flanders and Swann got it just about right in his 'Song of the Weather:

January brings the snow

Makes your feet and fingers glow

February's ice and sleet

Freeze the toes right off your feet

Welcome March with wintry wind

Would thou wer't not so unkind

April brings the sweet spring showers

On and on for hours and hours

Farmers fear unkindly May

Frost by night and hail by day

June just rains and never stops

Thirty days and spoils the crops

In July the sun is hot

Is it shining? No, it's not

August cold, and dank, and wet

Brings more rain than any yet

Bleak September's mist and mud

Is enough to chill the blood

Then October adds a gale

Wind and slush and rain and hail

Dark November brings the fog

Should not do it to a dog

Freezing wet December then:

Bloody January again!

Himalayan blue poppy

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 08:03

I've never found these easy plants to grow but every year I buy one more just to try to keep them going!  I've got three or four all looking healthy right now, and all planted directly into a south facing bed with pretty poor soil.  They are shaded by tulips until late May, and then by the 'Bowl of Beauty' paeonies so they don't get too much full sun.  In the past I have planted them in shade but they've not survived the very harsh winters.  Growing them from seed is something I have never managed to achieve so I've given up buying expensive seeds.  My dream of a huge drift of these lovely plants is just that, I'm afraid, a dream.

I have hundreds of the blowsy bright scarlet double oriental poppies, which I can't eradicate ( even if I wanted to! ) which grow and proliferate like weeds!  Peaty soil, lots of rain, cold winters, late frosts ( Aberdeenshire ).  And of course the bright lemon Welsh poppy just about everywhere.

Like Yvieh I have never managed to grow ANY variety of poppies from seed, so I would tend to agree that it's more a question of luck!  Keep trying with the meconopsis, Rosemary, and maybe try buying different varieties as some may be tougher than others ( I buy whatever happens to be in the garden centre and my three are all blue, but slightly different shades ).  They're worth it.

Unknown beetle..

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 07:46

Thank you for posting this thread, Jules63! I think you may have saved my rosemary!  I bought one a few weeks ago from a reputable garden centre but kept it indoors as the weather up here in Scotland has been dreadful ( it snowed the first weekend in May ).  I found a beetle on it, which my husband 'eradicated' and we thought no more about it.  I'd never heard of rosemary beetles.

This morning I was trundling through the website and saw your thread and all the I went and had a look at the rosemary...and sure enough, there was another of the wee so-and-so's.  I have, I'm sorry to say, squished it.  It was so pretty and looked so innocently harmless, and I feel like a murderer now.  But if it's the thug that these responses suggest I can probably live with myself.  I have put the corpse on the bird table, so it's life was not in vain.

Hyacinth Bulbs

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 14:03

Thanks for that - I will certainly bear it in mind when I plant them out!


Talkback: Growing Verbena bonariensis from seed

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 11:08

I love this plant!  It never stays longer than one season in my garden, and never seeds itself, alas, so I usually buy half a dozen new plants every year - not too expensive as they're in small pots and classed as annuals.  This year I decided to have a go from seed in the hope of getting more plants for less money!  They're in my coldframe and not actually doing much!  I think 2 seeds have germinated so far and they've been in there for weeks!  Are they known to be slow to germinate, or is it just too cold here in snowy Aberdeenshire?  Should I continue to hope, or go to the garden centre and buy my usual half dozen grown plants?

Talkback: Creeping buttercup

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 11:02

They are a bit thuggish once you have them in a border.  Ours tried taking over the chives border at the edge of the veg patch so I had to get the chives dug up and split and then dig out the CB's before replanting the chives, or potting them up to give away.  If I'd not removed them, we'd have had no room to plant our veg.  So yes, pretty wild flower, but unless we choose to have a wild flower garden, they'd be better to stay where they brelong - in the wild.  I've been removing them consistently for the past 23 years and still haven't managed to eradicate them altogether.  You have just got to admire a tough customer like this!  Roundup does seem to weaken them a bit but as blairs says the stems stay alive and root themselves unless we have a long spell of very sunny weather, which does seem to kill them.

Discussions started by BrendaScott53

Propagating and Growing Bilberries

Advice, please 
Replies: 6    Views: 2606
Last Post: 12/04/2014 at 18:27

Hyacinth Bulbs

Will they flower next year? 
Replies: 8    Views: 735
Last Post: 07/05/2012 at 14:03

Mystery 'Tree'

Can YOU help? 
Replies: 18    Views: 890
Last Post: 29/02/2012 at 08:01
3 threads returned