London (change)
Today 15°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 12°C

Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Cats in my flowerbeds

Posted: 25/06/2013 at 17:06

I'm pretty sure you can legally just put a 4.5mm hole through a grey squirrel, as long as you've got the landowner's permission and you're really careful not to send pellets beyond the boundary ("squirrel fell off other side of fence with pellet embedded" is probably okay) or to startle anyone by shooting from within 50 feet of the centre-line of a public highway.

Yes, really, within 50 feet of the centre line, whether it's a single-track farm lane 9 feet wide or the A1 at Peterborough (where you'd be on the hard shoulder).

I suspect the fairground airguns were ordinary airguns with an adaptor to hold the corks. As long as you're over 18 and it doesn't shoot over 12 foot-pounds of energy, you're okay owning such a weapon in most places and can lend it to anyone over 14, if I'm remembering correctly. Be aware that a 0.5g .177 pellet with 11.9 ftlb of energy in it is a lethal projectile, and hazardous after a ricochet, so be careful with it.

Rather more effective than the corks would be a paintball marker, but you may get complaints from owners, who feel their precious little sociopaths should be allowed to torture your songbirds to death without fear of getting a sticky mess in their fur and a bruise.

 Did you hear about the scientist who crossed a Scotsman with a Quaking Aspen and got something that can hold onto a grudge for 30,000 years and its wallet for more than twice that long?

Climbing plant for arch

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 11:46

If it's "only" 6 feet high, you probably don't want a wisteria, as those flower spikes would be hanging down to chest height.

My big honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica halliana 'Cream Cascade') is only green on the sunny side, and a bit of a mess of sticks from the north. I'm not sure what it'd look like on an arch. I'd expect green outside and dull from inside.

The Akebia is green all over, but it's inclined to feel around and explore its surroundings, so you may have issues keeping that out of your face too.

My only problem with Clematis is that all three of them died, two in year 1 and one in year 2. I lost 1 of 3 roses and no Lonicera or Akebia.

japanese beetle

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 00:30

Thought I saw one of these at work, so stamped on it. White markings weren't quite the same as in the pictures, but it was the right size and looked right otherwise, and the native chafers don't have those markings.

That RHS link is for citrus longhorn beetles. I tried their custom google search for the Japanese beetle and found this sponsored link:

Discount Japanese Beetles

Get cheap Japanese Beetles & save! - the shop

Aaahhh ... no.

I think I'd rather pay extra and get a British beetle.

Cats in my flowerbeds

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:45

Holly cuttings, pyracantha cuttings, maybe barbed wire at 5cm intervals? I'm pretty sure the water pistol's legal. A paintball marker might be less so.

Evening walk

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 17:43

If I go for an evening walk it's going to turn into a recce patrol, noting locations of giant hogweeds.


Posted: 18/06/2013 at 18:50

I've got white leaves too, but it's not whole swathes of plants. It's a cluster of leaves in the middle of an otherwise very healthy Akebia and one apple tree next to some healthy lilies, healthy privet, healthy elder and annoyingly healthy ground elder. The Akebia has five lobes per leaf stalk and in some places half of one lobe is white and the rest is green, or two lobes are white and three are green. It's weird.


Will anything grow in full shade?

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 18:48

Around here, what grows in shade is a mixture of Himalayan balsam and nettles.

The balsam stalks are actually pretty good, cracked open and turned inside out, for wiping away nettle stings.

Both are, supposedly, edible.

Balsam stalks' straight sections have a softer celery texture and a sweet lettuce taste, and are actually rather nice on a walk. Just break off above dogs' hip-height.

The knots where the leaves are taste rather more bitter.

There are plenty of recipes for the stuff, too, and I think you can pretty much use its leaves instead of spinach in a vegetable soup.

Bees love it ... to the point of not bothering to pollinate anything else while it's in flower!

I can't recommend planting it, as it has this tendency to take over the world.

Rat problem

Posted: 18/06/2013 at 18:43

I don't use poison because I can't see a way to poison the rats without poisoning anything else, short of building a rat hotel just to lure them in and poison them. However, as mentioned in the "pigeons are eating my trees" thread, half a gram of lead at 180 metres per second has significant problem-solving capacity, properly applied. Just make sure you put bait somewhere you can see to shoot, then set up and enjoy watching the birdies until you see a rat.


Posted: 16/06/2013 at 19:16

Just get another watering can, pee in that and when it's full or in the evening take it out and sprinkle the perimeter.

Cuttings from Wisteria?

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:50

£9.99? Wow. Homebase had a "new" purple-flowered one called Amethyst Falls for sale recently at £29.99. That's quite a difference.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 586
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 381
Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 1573
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: 336
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 499
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 892
Last Post: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2148
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned