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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

What are all these little mites and yellow eggs?

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 14:57

My approach to green aphids on the roses was to wait for flower buds to form and the aphids to congregate on them, then "gently brush" them off with finger and thumb. No damage to roses from my intervention visible but the aphids didn't do so well. "Green-fingered," me? Well, yes. Between that, the hoverflies (they love my honeysuckles and the larvae eat aphids), the ladybirds (plenty of places to overwinter and the larvae and adults eat aphids) and the blue tits (I put up boxes and put out food and they eat aphids), the roses are doing fine.

How to Train Honeysuckle

Posted: 26/04/2015 at 14:52

japonica are scarily good at getting hold of support. I found one of those long "self-layering" stems across the lawn (like it had put on 6 feet overnight) and tied it to a cane extending down from my trellis. It was straight when I tied it on. By the next day, it had wrapped three times round the cane.

periclymenum is a bit less twiny and more shrubby here. It'll wrap around its own stems, but not around the trellis. I think it has a maximum diameter that it'll climb. It's pretty well-behaved, and flexible enough to let you just wait until it's tall enough then tuck it behind the supports.

I'd be inclined to put a trellis on spacers and manually tuck stems behind the trellis bars or put 2mm wires hook-to-hook up and down the wall rather than counting on canes to take the weight.

Good choice, by the way. Those flowers are fabulous.


Posted: 26/04/2015 at 14:45

Had a little rain here yesterday but it's sunny and dry now and it was blazing hot (by local standards) and dry (by any standards this side of the Bosphorus) last week. Still got water in the water butt but I think I ought to think about using some of it to mix concrete for some steps down to the stream so I can haul up bucketfuls from there.

I wonder whether the local school would build me an Archimedes screw. I'm not sure it'd be easier than using buckets for the small amounts I use.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 18:17

Fed the birds, did some pest control and mostly stayed in out of the rain.

Plant ID help please.

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 10:14

Second one does look like a climbing lonicera of some sort, planted at the base of a trellis. You'll know more once you see the flowers. Looks like you won't have long to wait. You may want to get really brutal with it next spring and cut it back to near the fence, then train new growth out along the trellis rather than letting it bush out like that. Some of them can get heavy enough to pull a fence down. I had to cut mine back to just the trunk and a few leaves to get space to work then take the top off my extra-tall fence to use the uprights as props for the fence posts. They're only standing in one-foot cubes of concrete two feet down in the ground, so they didn't stand a chance against halliana once it really got going.

growing plants over a shed

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 10:08

Chocolate vine's a twiner, not a clinger. It'll happily enough climb the shed if you mount trellis on spacers or provide wires. Simple enough job to put a trellis up 2" off the shed wall, but putting trellis over the roof without piercing the roof could be a bit trickier. You'd have to mount short legs on the gable ends, rails between them and the trellis on the rails, and I think the trellis would sag in the middle if you didn't give it enough rail support. Could be done, but isn't trivial.

Virginia Creeper and Hydrangea are both clinging climbers, so they'll cover a shed. You just need to occasionally get them away from the windows and door.

One of my hydrangeas has found itself in direct competition with a sycamore ... and its response has been along the lines of: "Nice structure. I'll take it."

 Final height of that plant is reckoned at 15m, so that tree is not too tall to eat.

Alternatively, there's the "heap of rose bush" approach to covering a shed:

 See the shed? There's a shed. It's about 10 x 7 x 4 metres, accessed down a ramp on the far side of that gate. That rose grew up left of the gate and has made it onto the shed roof. I'm pretty sure another specimen of it could cover a 10 x 8 x 7 foot shed quite convincingly ...

... and that'd give the chocolate vine something to climb.

Confession Times!

Posted: 25/04/2015 at 09:43

Brings a new meaning to that song, doesn't it? Next time some preacher tells you you're going to burn in hell for gardening on a Sunday, tell him: "One, nothing wrong with me, two, nothing wrong with me, three, nothing wrong with me, FOUR!!!!!"

Confession Times!

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 21:35

"I can still count them on my fingers Verdun"

So can Verdun. Right thumb is one. Right index finger is two. Right index finger plus right thumb is three. Right middle finger is four. Right middle finger plus right thumb is five. Right middle finger plus right index finger is six. Right middle finger, index finger and thumb make seven. Right ring finger is eight. Carry on like that and by the time you run out of fingers and thumbs ...

00000 00001 = 1
00000 00010 = 2
00000 00011 = 3
00000 00100 = 4
00000 00101 = 5
00000 00110 = 6
00000 00111 = 7
00000 01000 = 8
00000 10000 = 16
00001 00000 = 32
00010 00000 = 64
00011 00100 = 100
00100 00000 = 128
00110 01000 = 200
01000 00000 = 256
01100 10000 = 400
01111 10100 = 500
10000 00000 = 512
11111 01000 = 1000
11111 11111 = 1023

... you've got a LOT of hostas.

If you happen to take 2048 steps to the mile with a heavy pack on, using your right foot for 1 and your fingers and thumbs for 2 to 1024 means you run out of fingers at 1-mile intervals. Handy on those rare occasions when you're turning right up Dentdale and looking for the track leading over towards Hawes.


My confession? When I tried to arrange a holiday in Jordan, stuff happened there (bombs, rockets, that sort of stuff) again and again. When I finally went, the Yemeni airline bomb plot was uncovered while I was there and then the Arab Spring started just after I got back. I recently booked a holiday in Chile. So, er, sorry about that, everyone.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 24/04/2015 at 21:16

Pruned two honeysuckles on one trellis, murmured words of encouragement to my rose cuttings and left the winter honeysuckle alone. It's supposed to be pruned in spring, after flowering, rather than in autumn with the roses, but this year I'm letting it get long so I can take cuttings in autumn. No flowers for me next winter, but maybe some free plants for friends or for other spots in the garden here.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 23/04/2015 at 19:35

Two hours of digging out "that one last stump" from the far end of the hedge, making the hole slightly larger and a lot nearer the house. Also a lot nearer the elder standing over the hedge, which has new growth at knee-height. I figure it's feeling stressed, so I poured about 20 litres of compost into its end of the hole rather than leave it open. I ought to prune that thing back a bit further. Maybe in autumn.

Also looked at some plants. You know, where you stand in the garden and there are plants there and you look at them. It's great. Puts almost no stress on the back or on the shoulder muscles. Five minutes at a time, with breaks for tea, snacks and wine, I could do that all day.

Big clear plastic tub (formerly of dried mealworms) on the far side of the fence had a lot of little weeds in it, but I cleared them out and checked the sides and saw roots! The white-flowered Akebia is putting down roots, and should be ready to come off the parent and be planted elsewhere this autumn. It's also flowering at ground level on both sides of the tub. Not going to let a little thing like cloning itself stop it having babies, eh?

Discussions started by Charlie November

Uh-oh ...

This one doesn't look good. 
Replies: 4    Views: 209
Last Post: 27/06/2015 at 19:03

3-part hedge

This is what you get for neglecting it for 20 years! 
Replies: 8    Views: 365
Last Post: 04/04/2015 at 22:42

Most embarassing failure of the weekend

Replies: 10    Views: 737
Last Post: 09/04/2015 at 19:59

An octopus's garden in the shade

No octopodes, but lots of shade 
Replies: 8    Views: 580
Last Post: 01/05/2015 at 17:05

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 770
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 8    Views: 679
Last Post: 22/03/2015 at 14:30

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 2110
Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
Replies: 2    Views: 481
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 26    Views: 1598
Last Post: 01/04/2015 at 19:53

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 3666
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
11 threads returned