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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

New hedge advise

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 12:47

A row of "climbing" roses against the wall and a structural hedge in front, perhaps? I'm not sure how well the roses would show through, but if you time the hedge-trimming right, you should probably get roses growing out of the cut face each year.

I can tell you from personal experience that it's easier to plant the roses first than to try to plant them under an established hedge ... and also that Homebase "climbing" roses at £5 each have about a 30% 1-year survival rate.

Waterproof Garden Shoes

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 12:43

If I cut my old wellies around the trainer-top line, you'd have tubes. They always split at the ball of the right foot. I've split three pairs across the top, one pair along both sides and the latest pair across the sole, all where they crease at the back of my toes and all on the right side.

I suppose you could nail them to a wall or fence somewhere, much like the Indigo picture, with the toes pointing downwards, and leave them as bird boxes. You should probably put "toenail" holes in for drainage if you do that. Not very squirrel-proof, but definitely rain-proof.

What would you do?

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 12:36

Partly it's a question of aspect. If those trees were shading out the garden, then you don't want them back. If that's the north side, I'd go for some nice trees. Something native, low-maintenance and dense-growing that'll be good habitat for birds ... a bit like what you had before.

The pond idea sounds good. They're a big job, though. Much deep digging and serious building required to get the proper base, deep enough, with a good drain for the overflow and natural water supply to keep it topped up in summer.

For something a little more garden-like and less wildlife-centred, you could screen the far side of the shed with a hedge or some climbers on a trellis fence, screen off the farmland with a nice, dense hedge, screen anywhere else "open" in a similar way, plant a ring of fruit trees, plant shrub roses inside them and have a little area in the centre with a seat where you could sit in peace, surrounded by roses. Maybe "gorgeous flowers, shame about the fruit" cherry trees instead of "ugly but we get a great crop off them" fruit trees.

Silly suggestion: put in trellises in parallel rows, run wires up them too and plant various twining climbers under them. Let different species of honeysuckle, akebia, jasmine and the like fight it out. Have a pedestal somewhere with a good view, and take a photograph from that pedestal every week. After 5 years, assemble the photographs into a 25-second animated .gif and let us all watch the plants wrestle.

water butt

Posted: 25/12/2014 at 12:23

Mine's a 200 litre butt. Top's about chest-high with it up on its stand. Too big to wrap arms around, but not too big to hug. They had 100 litre "slimline" ones too. Given the size of the roof that drains into it, I think half an inch of rain will completely refill it, so I'm not shy about using the thing. It dilutes glyphosate (damn bindweed, damn hogweed) in the black bucket and the 8l sprayer, rose food in the watering can and fungicide (had one packet for several years now) in the 1l sprayer, it fills the bird bath, it wets an old shirt I use to clean the car windows and it fills buckets for planting cuttings, layerings and new purchases, but since putting it in I've never needed to water anything.

1000 litres is 1 cubic metre. It's not an unreasonable size, when you compare it to a little 4-cubic-metre garden shed or a 7.2-cu-m "8x6" shed. Still big for an aquarium, vivarium or water butt, though. Oh well, better a free 1000-litre than paying through the nose for a 200-litre, if you've got the space.

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 24/12/2014 at 23:00

Thank you, everyone.

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 23/12/2014 at 20:12

Been pretending not to mind the way a rich old man treats me for 38.75 years. Is that what prostitution feels like? Ran out of ability to fake it a month ago. Unplugged phone. His gf e-mailed me a week ago, trying to stay friends. No reply. Had to plug phone back in for some e-shopping hiccups. Just had a call. He's got a table booked for Christmas dinner. Turned him down. He seemed surprised. I hung up. Then I got a bottle of rum out and drank straight from the bottle. Takes quite a lot of alcohol to get back to "functional" after hearing his voice. Probably left everything to my brother anyway. So hard to get the dose right some days. Fiancee's birthday just went past. She dumped me in the most painful way she possibly could, on purpose, 15 years ago, and I'd LOVE to get her out of my mind, but that'd be like getting the carvings out of Angkor Wat. So what's on the media player?

You don't remember me but I remember you
I lie awake and try so hard not to think of you
But who can decide what they dream?
And dream I do...

Camera Corner

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 22:37

I saw Jupiter a couple of years ago, late at night. The Sun was somewhere behind the curve of the Earth, NNE of us, and high in the sky to the south was a big, round, breamy-coloured ball of light. One guy was absolutely convinced it was Venus and would not be told otherwise. He kept nodding and agreeing, and then saying it was Venus.

Preposterous question....

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 19:06

"When all you've got is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."

Try telling that to a blacksmith.

Forest rangers who want to get away from it all? Presumably, they go to the desert. It's a bit like time-travel.

Before people


More people

Too many people

Too many people, not enough resources

After people

Long after people

Maybe they just hire boats and go out onto the ocean, not so much "away from it all" as "above it all." (Curious trivium for the day, courtesy of xkcd: the Edmund Fitzgerald, the Kursk and the Lusitania all sank in water shallower than they were long.)

Preposterous question....

Posted: 17/12/2014 at 18:40

I've found proof positive that women are, in fact, even more stupid than men. Sorry, but I have, and I feel obliged to share it.


Men fall in love with women and ask them to marry them. That's stupid alright.

Women, though? Even more stupid than that, they only go and say "Yes!"

Preposterous question....

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 18:31

"Are men more stupid than women?"

That depends on the number of attractive women around at the time, doesn't it?

Actually, it's not that simple. The longer it's been since any attractive women were around, the lower the bar gets set for "attractive," so over time men have to be either isolated more and more or occasionally exposed to really gorgeous women to reset their scales and ...


No, Jonnie, that does not mean you're supposed to expose yourself. Put it away.


Where was I? Oh, yeah, Jennifer Connelly in Blood Diamond. That teenage crush half my generation had on her in Labyrinth? I have that now. Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener was lovely, but not a ...


Wait. That's not where we were. Erm ... Men? Stupid? Yes. Heck, a lot of men read the Sun and aren't offended by its BS. Then again, most of the people buying the Daily Mail again and again because they agree with its hate-filled rantings are women, so "more stupid" is probably a better term than "less intelligent."

Of course, if you believe this chart, men are more stupid and more intelligent. Just not all men.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Most embarassing failure of the weekend

Replies: 3    Views: 162
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 19:56

An octopus's garden in the shade

No octopodes, but lots of shade 
Replies: 7    Views: 369
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: 692
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 8    Views: 575
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: 1884
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: 438
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 610
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 26    Views: 1401
Last Post: Yesterday at 19:53

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2681
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
9 threads returned