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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Whats moving our bird seed feeder?

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 23:58
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

Grey squirrels, definitely - they do it to the feeders at my workplace - the only way I can keep them away from the feeders is to hang them.



Harsh, but effective.

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 17:43

Rows of tiny little red "cod liver oil capsules" about 1mm long, stuck to the underside of the leaf. I doubt they do very well on the ground if you brush them off. I'm sure they don't do well at all if you squash them.

Whats moving our bird seed feeder?

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 17:38

I'd say squirrel. I've seen one pick up a caged worm bowl by the cage and shake it to spill food where it could reach it, I've seen one pull the lid off the barrel-caged "squirrel-resistant" peanut feeder and go head-first down the mesh tube to get at the nuts and I've seen the plastic dustbin lid chewed through all the way around the edge by an industrious little b.......undle of fun that was determined to get at the contents. As for peanuts, I suspect squirrels, like everything else except woodpeckers, leave them for last.

cow parsley and hogweed

Posted: 07/06/2013 at 17:27

Pigs and sheep, according to one website, are the things that can eat giant hogweed safely. The one field that always has sheep in it is the one part of the riverbank here that never has giant hogweed.

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

Posted: 06/06/2013 at 19:54

10 beetles and 100 eggs crushed yesterday and today. Does nothing native predate these little gits?

Looking for best/fastest creeper/vine for a time lapse music video idea

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 19:42

Also this:

Far too fond of "camera shake," flashing lights and fades in and out, but it's got some good bits.


The jungle in my garden needs to go.

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 22:25

Yeah, that's a pretty horrific bramble mass there. Not going to be walking over that with a backpack sprayer.

I suspect it's a job for a steel-blade strimmer or a chainsaw plus someone with a rake hauling it all out of the way to clear it down to stumps then, as advised, let them put out lots of fresh green growth so you've got something to spray and go over the lot with weedkiller.

How long it takes depends on the weedkiller. There's stuff the farmers up the Dales use to take out nettles and docks in the pastures that will make them curl up and fall down in 24 hours. Glyphosate won't make a visible difference in 10 times that long, but it'll kill almost anything.

Under all that, it's probably such a mess that you'll have to dig it out and start again anyway, so you could skip the weedkiller and go straight to tearing up the top 50cm of soil with some sort of scary machine.

Covering it with biodegradable cloth and then turf will buy you a lot of time to think about what to do next, and a lawn can be kept bramble-free with a broadleaf-killer. Best to leave the lawn clippings on the lawn if you're using that stuff.

Looking for best/fastest creeper/vine for a time lapse music video idea

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 22:09

Two further thoughts on design:

Build your city in a valley, and start filming from behind the crest of the hills overlooking it, so the ground through which the giant plants will grow is not visible.

Build a 15m track down the side of the city, put a truck on the track and put your camera on the truck, then advance it 0.5mm for each frame. At 1 frame per 10 minutes for smooth day-to-night-to-day transitions, that'll give you 208 days, which is enough for early April to mid-October. At 60 frames per second, that's 500 seconds, or 8 minutes 20 seconds, of playback, but you could skip most of the nocturnal frames, like 11pm to 3am Summer Time. LEGO is your friend here, although a gently curving track to keep the city centre in centre-frame might be a better design than a linear pass.

fast growing climbers

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 21:54

My experience with pyracantha is that it has exactly as many thorns as leaves, and pretty much grows as a tree. I've got one woven into a trellis but it's not really paying attention to where I want it to be. It just grows. Definitely a good anti-climber plant.

Neighbour has winter jasmine growing up the wall and a trellis on top of the wall and trailing down on the public side ... two feet thick. Fortunately, it's a wide path. That's not really a climber, either, just a bush that tends to be taller if it has somewhere to rest on the way up.

Honeysuckle Lonicera and Chocolate Vine Akebia Quinata would be my first suggestions, because my experience of clematis is that they have a 12-month half-life. Of the two, Honeysuckle definitely favours the sunny side, so if you've got a south-facing fence there you'll probably be looking at the leafless inner branches while the public get the display. You could probably beat this by having fence panels on the public side and trellis on your side. ChocVin's a bit more inclined to just grow in all directions, but really likes being sunlit.

I've got "climbing" roses too, but attempts to get them to branch out into big fans of climbing roses merely caused the root stock to grow past the grafted climber. Turns out the root stock produces gorgeous flowers, so I'm letting it do that. Again, though, it's not really doing the trellis thing.

If it's a long fence, I'd suggest putting purple and white varieties of Akebia and a few of Lonicera along it, pruning them each spring for a few years to get them to spread out and then letting them mingle on the trellis. It'll be a few years before you get really good cover, but you should get a charming mix of foliage and flowers and loads of hoverflies, your very own anti-aphid air cavalry! A little layering will spread each plant both ways, to give you a more thorough mixture.

Just beware with the Lonicera that not all of them are climbers. Some are shrubs and some are best grown as hedges. I don't know, personally, because it might not like our winters down here in the frost hollow, but if you get the trellis filled with other climbers it should cope with growing up through them.

Having typed all that I read the rest of their list and hit Wisteria at the bottom. Hmm. Well, you'd certainly get some privacy with one of those 8m high and 8m wide but you might need planning permission for that trellis. O.o

If you like it riotous, the mixed honeysuckles and chocolate vines with berberidopsis to follow once they provide shelter. If you like it neat and simple, just one or two kinds of wisteria.


Posted: 03/06/2013 at 17:56

Two websites with Lonicera say it "will flower best in a warm, sunny position" and produces more flowers "when kept in check." If it's in the shade, it's probably putting everything it's got into climbing higher, trying to find sunshine.

If you have a sunnier place for it, you'd probably get away with cutting it right back and moving it some time around first frost. Just make sure you get a big root ball. It'll probably take a while to decide it's big enough to flower, but that might work.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 542
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

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Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 17:26

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

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

Apple tree with white leaves

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


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 462
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 842
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: 1511
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned