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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Stag beetle habitat

Posted: 01/03/2015 at 15:24

pansyface, any beetle that can get tangled in my hair is a beetle worth a b____y fortune to the male beauty industry, because it'd have to get me to grow some!

Gemma, willow logs are pretty easy to grow if you've got space. You just find a willow tree, cut lots of 2' wips off it, take them home, stab the cut ends into the ground at 8" intervals and wait. If it's a long way, you may want to collect them in a bucket of water to keep them wet but willow doesn't really care. Cut down a third of the resulting trees every year. Planting three, six or nine rows 3' apart works well for that. If you find gaps in the rows, you can always fill them with cuttings from the trees that did take. Just don't stop pruning them. If you start doing this and then give up and let them grow you end up with a thicket and a huge chainsaw job to clear it followed by the thought: "what the %^*$ do i do with all this freshly-cut willow?"

Camera Corner

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 17:54

David K, I did actually take two pictures of those crocuses from the same place, one in "super macro" mode with a guaranteed very short focal length and one in "landscape" mode with a guaranteed longer focal length. I kind of miss the "tell the camera what aperture to use" setting on my old Nikon F55, but the Olympus SP-820UZ does have a "tell it a film speed to pretend to be using" option which is nearly the same thing. The one I posted is the short-focus one, achieved by pointing downwards at a nearby flower, holding the button halfway down and then moving and tilting to frame the picture I wanted. The long-focus one, with the foreground flowers out of focus, the ones behind them in "soft focus" and the rest of the flowerbed in focus ... was kind of crap, really. Much detail of invading grass, last autumn's leaves, the edge of the lawn, a couple of canes waiting for lilies to need them and so on. They're there in the one I did post, too, but part of an impressionist background to a detailed study so they don't get your attention.

Camera Corner

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 15:17


You know spring is on its way when....

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 12:32

Spring is coming when the striepd crocus leaves show (unless that happens in October, of course, because crocuses get confused), the birds start ferrying mealworms off into the bushes rather than eating them where they find them, the crocus flowers appear (except that one that showed up back in ... September, was it?), new buds appear on the wild rose that keeps trying to ambush me at the entrance to work and on my roses here and of course Orion is past the zenith by the time the sky's dark enough to see him.

Sadly, a lesson not learned!

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 12:25

Mice, lizards, (British) snakes, (British) spiders, robins ... they're all lovely, although there are places I wouldn't want them for various reasons. Mice can't half do damage. Spiders I just worry that I'll hurt. If you're ever in Laos, lizards are a good thing. They eat mosquitoes for you all night.

They got under the stairs here and nested in a roll of old carpet for a while. Not so bad but they raided my kitchen. Then they got more adventurous and explored the whole flat. Then one tried to eat my toe while I was playing a zombie survival shoot-em-and-run game. Cheeky little git. They had to go. If you're using humane traps, take the mice at least quarter of a mile away or they'll find their way back. Drop the off in the woods or by a hedge between open fields or something, away from houses.

My grandfather kept bees. He used to sit in the garden, by the birdbath, with a book and occasionally lift them out of the water on his fingertips. He never got stung. "Calm old man" isn't a panic-inducing smell to a bee, apparently.


Rats, though? Air rifle, blow a hole through it and leave it there. Don't get close enough to flick it away with a six-foot bargepole.

Camera Corner

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 11:41

Currently the only flowers in the flower bed:

 ... although there are a few on the winter jasmine, too.

Close-ups of individuals:

 A whole group of the magenta ones:

 Maybe just a little bit crowded.

The centre of the golden one, cropped to desktop size (1920 x 1080) not scaled down at all:


Chionodoxas and aconites - advice?

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 11:37

"Lots of green in my bulb patch, but only the crocuses are actually flowering ... "

 See? Those ones are plants, these ones are plants, those over there are plants and on that side I have some plants.

Chionodoxas and aconites - advice?

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 21:36

Oh, I've just got your common or garden man-in-the-street anemone blanda here. Nice little blue flowers early in spring. Some of the others look wonderful but like you said they'd be an expensive way to carpet an area. £15 per plant? Really? Sure, I'll take 100 of those ...

I think you could get a good patch of woodland anemones very cheaply as long as you don't mind waiting about ten or twenty years for your initial purchase to spread itself out.

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 21:26

Just for you fans of the process, then:


Camera Corner

Posted: 26/02/2015 at 21:16

Well ... sort of. Orion Nebula, the middle "star" of the sword:

 Orion's belt:

 Sorry about the caption but the forum didn't like it without that.


Not the best pictures, are they? I should probably get my tripod back and use that rather than leaning on a gate.

Discussions started by Charlie November

3-part hedge

This is what you get for neglecting it for 20 years! 
Replies: 8    Views: 312
Last Post: 04/04/2015 at 22:42

Most embarassing failure of the weekend

Replies: 10    Views: 670
Last Post: 09/04/2015 at 19:59

An octopus's garden in the shade

No octopodes, but lots of shade 
Replies: 7    Views: 415
Last Post: 20/03/2015 at 22:49

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 718
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 8    Views: 609
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: 1940
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: 449
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 621
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 26    Views: 1500
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: 2911
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
10 threads returned