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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

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.


Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:44

Having the same thing here with a 25' ash tree. Feeding them will only encourage them. Personal recommendations:

... or ...

... in .177 with ...

... and ...

... or ...

... and plenty of practice. Ambidextrous design is an advantage if you don't know whether you're a right- or left-handed shooter or if you may find yourself havign to shoot around the "wrong" side of a barn to get a particular rabbit. The pre-charged are probably better in that you don't have to move much to prepare a second shot, but they do require you to purchase, store and occasionally pay for refills and servicing of an air bottle. The underlever is a bit simpler. Look for something that shoots at 11.5 or 11.9 foot-pounds, 12 being the legal energy limit on an unlicensed air rifle (after that (16.27J and up) it's a class 1 firearm, the same as the 5.56x45mm L98A1 (1.77kJ), with the same legal requirements). As the limit is on energy, the lighter .177 pellets have 41% more muzzle energy than the heavier .22, so you'll get a flatter trajectory and more reach with the .177. I'd suggest zeroing it at 25m and learning the aim offsets for 5m, 10m, 15m, 20m, 30m and 35m.

Bear in mind that these things will punch holes through fence rails at short range and through rabbits at 50m, so you do need to be careful with them. Rules can be found here:

Also, as a molecular biologist, I advise you to dispose of dead pigeons the way you would dispose of dog dirt, only using a larger bag.

privet hedge problem

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:11

Yes it will. I cut the Japanese privet hedge here back from 6 feet thick and 20 feet tall to more of a hedge size and it's come back lush. I did it in two stages, taking the front off up to 6 feet first then taking the tops off the next year once it had put out some greenery on its new face, but even the ones cut down to bare trunks have come back. I've actually had to prune it again this weekend, even though it's summer, to get it off the flower bed. I found an Allium "Star of Persia" completely hidden among the new growth.


Good point on birds' nests. Best to prune in October, when disturbing one won't matter.

Weed or Not? Photo's here

Posted: 16/06/2013 at 10:09

How the heck is anyone supposed to tell them apart before they flower? DNA testing, maybe?

Slug killer on edibles advice needed

Posted: 14/06/2013 at 23:52

Using my tea bags wouldn't do much to deter them. I drink Morrisons own Green Tea With Mint. I keep finding the bags pulled off the compost heap and scattered around the garden. 

You could try rabbit mesh aka chicken wire. It won't stop them leaving a mess but it'll stop them digging up the patch. Probably not a concern for you, but it has a weakness when used on fences: sheep love to rub against it, and they rub it down to the ground, whereupon the rabbits hop right over it.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 608
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 7    Views: 403
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: 1645
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: 350
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 518
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 916
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: 2256
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned