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Latest posts by BrendaScott53

Mystery 'Tree'

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 18:13

Nope, Fonzie; I've got quite a few of these, and this isn't one of them.  Thanks for the input, though!  Appreciated!

Talkback: Mouse in the compost bin

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:55

Aw...sweet!  Don't Panic!  It's only a wee sleekit, cowerin', timourous beastie! When I lifted the lid of our compost bin last year, I saw what I first thought were about 6 mice all sitting round a potato on the top, chewing it and sharing their bounty in a very civilised fashion.  Very Beatrix Potter.  Then I thought 'Oo-er - they're a bit big for mice!'..and as they scurried away out of sight, I realised that they were baby rats.  Now that's 'Eek!'

Rose Bed

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:47

I'd forgo the lavender, although it is associated so much in our 'romantic' minds with roses.  I'd plant Nepeta ( catmint ) 'Six Hills Giant' which is tough, tolerant, bomb-proof,  long lived and has that heavenly blue-mauve spike that lavender gives - plus the bees love it just as much, if not more.

A shorter rose which I have had enormous success with is 'Easy Does It'  ( 'Harpageant' - Harkness roses ) which is the most fabulous shade of - well - Zinfandel wine, actually!  A reddish, coppery, rusty...impossible to describe....very unusual...but it flowers all through the season, is disease resistant, and lovely as a cut flower for the house.  Gorgeous little rose. 

And you could try 'L'Aimant' which is a truer pink Floribunda, and taller,  with a lovely scent.  No, they're not the 'New English' roses, but they're a lot tougher.  I developed a bed of the 'New English' roses many years ago, but they practically all failed as I did not fully appreciate that they weren't ideal for the cooler climate and less sunshine of Scotland, so I've reverted to the out-of-fashion hybrid teas and florries, which are not quite as fragrant, but boy! can they pack a punch!

I know that 'rose beds' seem to have currently gone out of favour, but you stick with it!  Fashion fades, style remains!  Do what you love and never mind the fashionistas!

Talkback: How to sow sweet pea seeds

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:31

I live in the Coldest North ( Aberdeenshire ) and I've been growing Sweet Peas for years...not for exhibition, just because I love them.  For years I used to fiddle and faff around, soaking, freezing, 'chitting' the seeds; planting them on, nurturing them, planting them out in toilet roll containers...they were a right pain!  Last year, due to lack of time, a very harsh winter and an arthritic pair of knees,  I planted the seeds directly from the packet into a lovely huge terracotta pot, placed a metal obelisk into it, and just left them to fend for themselves, although I did give them a 'drink' when the weather dried the pot out a little.  They came up within weeks, the mice couldn't climb into the pot to eat them, nor could the rabbits, and they just grew and grew and twined themselves around the obelisk and were fabulous, right through until the first frosts.  Keep picking the flowers - the more you pick, the more they produce!  I'm hoping for the same rate of success this year, and I hope you have the same!

Lavender ?

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:22

Both Hidcote and Munstead are great for bees, and pretty tough for a sun-loving plant.  Lavandula angustifolia is the 'true' lavendar, and both Hidcote and Munstead are hybrids of this, so there's no need to worry about trying to buy it specifically.  Hidcote is a bigger plant, Munstead more compact, but both will attract bees and butterflies.  Maybe not as much as catmint, though, which is much tougher and more long-lived, but without that lovely fragrance.  Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' is a superb hedging plant if you want something that will live longer than short-lived lavendar but look quite similar.  Just a suggestion.

Talkback: Mice in the garden

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:15

Both house and field mice will, if they can, come indoors when the weather is cold, but tend to decamp in spring.  Yes, they are destructive; I've recently found that they've been chewing the rigid plastic cover on the box holding my drill, and they also made short work of a new pair of boots that I kept in the hall!  We do kill them ( 'Little Nipper' traps ) but I hate doing it, so we try to block up all the holes to prevent them getting in in the first place.  That's not easy; it's said that if you can push an ordinary pencil into a hole, a mouse can get through it.  Our rezzie mice seem to get in via an old Victorian metal air vent, which is jammed open,  and then plot and scheme under the floorboards and pop up in the airing cupboard.  There's one lone mouse, sitting in the cooler, bouncing his ball against the wall.  He's called Hiltz, of course.


Posted: 26/02/2012 at 16:05

We used to have up to 5 cats at a time ( now all gone to the great littertray in the sky, alas ) and we have 2/3 of an acre garden in the middle of a rural/agricultural environment.  In all the years we had them they slaughtered a handful of garden birds ( and were severely reprimanded ) and hundreds and hundreds of mice, voles, rabbits, moles and rats, which were, of course, much easier to 'pick off' than fluttering birds.  Since the cats have gone, I have had rats living and breeding in the sheds for the first time, mice in the house, and voles and moles in the garden. Don't disparage the domestic pusscat too much, they earn their keep.  All self-respecting cats would much rather kill and eat a rodent than ever they would a feather-filled garden bird.

Talkback: How to make a hedgehog house

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 15:55

re rats.....well, the brown rat tends to burrow under things - like our shed, for instance, and sets up home underneath it, having excavated a big tunnel, a bit like a badger does with his sett.  They will also make tunnels and live in these, but they really don't much care to have to be out in the 'open' - they usually stay close to a wall/barrier - hence 'rat-run' or 'rat-race'.  If you can site a hedgehog box in the middle of a more open space, and maybe cover it with leaves, it might prove safer than if it were near a wall.  I'm not sure a rat would attempt to eat a 'hog, though.

Mystery 'Tree'

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 15:48

I've just been out and had yet another look at this wee 'stranger'!  The shape of it, short trunked and a bit gnarled ( it is at LEAST 30 years old and was here in the garden long before we arrived ) does look like a Witch Hazel, but the flowers are far more like those of a Lime/Linden - except they're the wrong colour and limes are far bigger trees, and have flowers and leaves at the same time, don't they?  The flowers/plorets are paired, one on each side of the branches, at a leaf node.  Don't know if this is any help?

We do have a Lime which we planted about 10 years ago and it's huge, and nothing like my Mystery Tree.

Mystery 'Tree'

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 15:17

Thanks for the very good suggestion, metasequoia, but no, it isn't.  The flowers are MUCH tinier, and not like the 'tassels' of the witch hazel.

Feedback much appreciated!

Discussions started by BrendaScott53

Propagating and Growing Bilberries

Advice, please 
Replies: 6    Views: 1867
Last Post: 12/04/2014 at 18:27

Hyacinth Bulbs

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

Mystery 'Tree'

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