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Latest posts by BrendaScott53

Anyone able to identify this plant?

Posted: 10/04/2015 at 08:03

Ah, the 'Marmite' plant!  You either love it or you hate it.  I think it's common country name is 'Pilewort' because the tiny beige bulbils grow in clusters like piles and were used to make an ointment to cure the same condition!   This is the old Doctrine of Signatures...if a plant looks like something else, it may hold a cure for the condition of the body part it looks like.  Fascinating if somewhat unreliable.

I live in the country and have a garden full of celandine.  Yes, it's brash brightness is a nuisance as it clashes with my hellebores and it's difficult to eradicate.  I don't bother any more, I just let it romp.  It does no harm, and once it's died back it virtually disappears from borders and beds and grass and I rake out the mesh of dried up left overs.

It's not a weed, it's a native wild flower, and a carpet of it in spring, under a copper beech tree is a delight.  I love that white one....surely nobody could object to that?

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 15:09

Thank you Mattbeer87, I'll go find my bag of pebbles and do just that!

Much appreciated!

Foxglove ?

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 14:39

Foxies are fab and never really a problem as they're so easy to pull out where you don't want them to be without doing much damage to nearby plants.  I like Dove's idea to 'swish' the spikes around to spread the seeds.  I'll be giving that a go with mine!

What is this plant?

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 14:28

Most certainly Astrania and possibly variety  'Hadspen Blood' which is a darkish ruby shade.  Nice!

Deepest red astrantia

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 14:11

I have the common pale one, and a darker rosy pink, and an ever darker red ( which I think is Hadspen Blood ) and they just seed themselves everywhere, which is a bit of a pain as I don't much like the very limited colour palette!  Handy in a shady border, though! The 'reds' are really more of a darkish washed-out burgundy than a true red, don't you think?

Hope you find the richest red for you!

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 24/08/2014 at 09:59

Thank you both so much!  I shall TRY to keep it going, it's very pretty and looks extremely healthy.  It's in the correct potting medium - the bark-like compost, and in what I assume is a 'proper' plastic orchid basket, very free draining and see-through.

The only 'pests' around ( so far ) are my cats, so it will have to be kept way out of their reach, probably in a room to which they're not allowed, or a high mantelshelf near a west-facing window.  Would that be okay?

I'm in north east Scotland, by the way, so it's not exactly warm and/or humid.

Again, thank you for your advice, much appreciated

Phalaenopsis orchids

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 22:55

I've been given what I assume is a phalaenopsis orchid as a present and have no idea how to care for it, never having owned one before.  Any advice on light levels, watering, feeding, etc. would be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Help Identifying Lawn Invader!

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 20:58

I can lend you a big ginger cat.  Mind you, he's entirely indoor and has never met a horsetail.

Nightmare 'weed', the black, wiry roots go down to Australia.  You can try to pull it up, you can spray with glyphosate...again and again and again...but it usually still comes up, year after year after year.  However, those roots are stuffed with silica, so it makes a great polish for pewter!  Make a 'brush' from the roots and rub over your tankards, plates, etc.  It's the only upside - start collecting pewter!

What are these balls on my oak leaves?

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 20:46

Oak galls are fab!  Wait till you see them full size!  They're like Maltesers!  Don't eat them!  Caused by a sort of parasitic wasp ( not the usual big stripy one ) and as  fidgetbones says, they won't harm the tree.  Oak galls can be used to make INK.

help needed to identify weed/grass please

Posted: 24/04/2014 at 20:38

Hmmm....the 'bamboo' and 'grass' description put me off a bit, but could it possibly be horsetail?  At this time of year it's beige, with a strange seed head, then the leaves and slender.  Hope that's NOT what it is, it's a nightmare to remove.


Steve...the pets HAVE to come first.  Unless you can keep them indoors till the weed-killer has become less harmful.  Dig out the dandelions and thistles and re-sow the grass.  And KEEP MOWING.  With luck, they'll eventually give up.

Discussions started by BrendaScott53

Knot for the faint-hearted

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