Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Help needed to create a new garden

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 21:20

Probably is all thin turf over all the rubble left over from construction. Standard practice in the building trade, that.

By the angles of shadows, I'm guessing the left side in the first picture is the north side, meaning that fence gets a lot of sun. Good spot for Choisya.

I'd agree with "bit by bit" but plan your bits so you don't find one in the way of another (never plant the bulbs before you've finished trimming the hedge behind them, for example) and in general I'd say start at one side and work your way across or start big and fill in the small stuff later. It's a lot easier to change your mind about the Asiatic lily than it is to change your mind about the apple tree, right?

Wheelchair on lawn ... depends on the wheelchair and the weather. Soggy lawns wouldn't be much fun. A loop of path may be a good addition. Space out the strongly-scented ones along it, so you and she can enjoy the different fragrances on the way round.

Check the estate rules before planting anything "heeyauge" because there may be some sort of tenants' agreement that covers owner-occupiers too and prohibits ... trees over 20ft, or whatever.

If Sarah's into birds, provision for birds should be a feature. They get "friendly" (made bold by desperation, more like, in some cases) when they're feeding the young. For the birds' sakes, it's best to put the feeders seven feet up, surrounded by dense thorn bushes, with no clear route for a hawk and nowhere a cat can climb up and jump across ... but that's not much good for someone in a wheelchair on the patio who wants to watch them and can't reach to refill the feeders. A feeder pole, out of pounce range of the fence, could be good. With a simple tool (L-shaped stick) the feeders could be lifted down for filling and lifted back up when full, and that would bring birds to the edge of the patio. It's a bit hawk-friendly, though. You'd want something big and thick (no, not the Colour Sergeant, a tree) close behind it to give them somewhere to hide. Hawthorn's fairly good at becoming cover, but not really friendly. An elder tree might do well, if you prune it hard. I cut one right back to a bare trunk here in autumn, and it regrew so quickly I had to prune it in June to stop the green branches breaking off under their own weight and again in November, and now it's a dense bush on a pole, which should become great bird cover next year after one more pruning this October or November.

Evergreen Flowering climber

Posted: 10/06/2013 at 20:53

Big question: do you mean just things that will climb the wall themselves like hydrangea, Virginia creeper and ivy or things that will climb it if you add wires or trellises like jasminum, wisteria, lonicera and akebia? full sun climbers, according to crocus. full sun climbers

That Sollya looks nice but doesn't like temperatures to drop below 5'C. Heh. We get -10 here. Likewise, Cobaea looks and sounds great until they say "usually grown as annuals in the UK" and mark it as "tender" ... meaning it won't survive the first winter.

Passion flower and Chilean potato tree look good as long as it doesn't get too cold where you are.

I'm reluctant to recommend anything that self-clings, because it comes with the need to spend a day or several days, depending on the size of your wall, on a ladder ripping the stuff off the wall and cutting it back to clear of the windows and a foot below the barge boards or gables every year. Ivy actually protects walls from the elements, but you probably don't want it in the attic.

I'd also warn you that Akebia is an explorer. One of mine has put out three feet of new growth since spring got here (late) and the green stems have been curling and uncurling, feeling around like snakes in slow motion, trying to find things to climb. You might want to keep trellises well clear of windows if you choose one of those.

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.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 558
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 347
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: 1469
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: 310
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 475
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 864
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: 1608
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned