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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Camera Corner

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 11:43

Today's partial solar eclipse, seen from "somewhere in Yorkshire" just before the peak:

 ... and just after it:

 Much more sky in this image, which sort of works as a moody sky but looks more "over-exposed crescent moon" than "partial solar eclipse":

 Also, yes, corvid photo-bomber on the left side.

An octopus's garden in the shade

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 23:03

Thanks for the tips, Oldtyke. I like the look of some of those, particularly the waterside astilbe for hiding the wall at the far end. I'll have to get measurements and sketch out how much space I have.

Blue Onion, I think low maintenance and hardy plants, preferably with all-year interest when combined, and, yes, shade-lovers that don't mind poorly-drained soil. I think there's a bit of a drop from the paving by the house to the ground around the laundry line, so by the time I've taken the turf out any paving I put there will be raised. That should help it stay clean, or help me brush it clean. Plants around it that'll overlap the edges and put people off stepping too far off, low enough to leave the quilt covers alone, which could be some of those bog primulas (chungensis and pulverulenta go with the pink theme in the astilbe image search results) or bergenia (more pinks) ... and dusky cranesbill between the tall astilbe at the back and the little primulas and bergenias at the front. Got to have something that isn't pink, haven't I?


I've got hellebores in the wishlist too. Also magnolia 'Susan' and burkwood viburnum, but I can't have meant either of them for that space. They're huge!

Suggestions for Hiding Ugly Back Fence

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 14:46

That mesh fence is yours? Get rid of it. That thing is ugly. Also, it's shot. It won't support a load of climbers. Honeysuckle (I'd offer some free but Wales is a long way) would tear it down. You could replace it with a newer, more solid fence, but then you'd just have a different fence looking ugly down there.

Good news is that it's sunlit, so you can cover it with plants if you put something solid there for them to climb. Try covering the shady side of a fence with honeysuckle, hydrangea and akebia and you're just decorating the far side of it. Once they find the sunny side they don't bother with leaves on the shady side.

Probably the better idea, especially on a tight budget, is a hedge. Bundles of tiny bare-root trees are fairly cheap and within a few years they'll have overtaken trees bought larger at the same time, because the larger ones take longer to get over being relocated. You can plant a staggered double row for extra density, and either cut them down to 6" next year, 10" the year after, 14" the year after that and so on or "lay" the hedge for a really dense bottom that'll provide good hedgehog habitat and be more of an obstacle to rabbits.

I wouldn't put twining climbers under a hedge because they might overwhelm it, but you can put the sprawling types under it, like the roses I happen to have sitting in pots by the south wall of the house. Long way to Wales, though.

As landgirl100 said, get rid of the ivy. Get rid of it before you start on anything else. Rip it all out and lay it out on the concrete to dry. That stuff's a plague.

Camera Corner

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 14:04

Great bird pics, Pdoc. Love the sharpness on that pheasant and the colour splash effect of the yellowhammer.

I've just been checking bird footage from my camera. I gave up on taking their pictures. I just leave it recording video in bright light with some food right in front of it. It worked yesterday. I can take frames from the video as portraits. Today, the camera focused right past the feeder onto the branches beyond, so I have out-of-focus blue tits, long-tailed tits, house sparrows and coal tit. :\

I may try again with the smaller feeders in a few minutes. They'll probably be all over the large one while the camera's pointing at the smaller ones.

Forgot these in yesterday's picture upload:


 Sure, it fell in the river, got broken in a storm and got buried and the sheep have nibbled on it a bit, but is a willow tree going to let that stop it? No.

 The footpath up the side of the river goes over this stile and along the riverbank to ... er ... a fencepost with a little sign that says: "end of clearly marked right of way on the authoritative map," or something like that. You can walk quite a long way upriver then turn round and come back the same way, but you can't walk up into the Dales or anything interesting like that.

Camera Corner

Posted: 18/03/2015 at 17:56

A grey day here:

 Still some colour to be found, red:

... and purple:

 I had to lean over to get that one and the camera was reluctant to focus on it, so I wasn't as steady as I'd have liked by the time I took the picture. That's why it's only 1080p not full size.

Even found some green!

 Took a few goes to persuade it to focus on that, too, but I was in a better position.

I think this picture would more usually have been taken somewhere colourful on a sunny day, with blue sky reflecting in the water, but it works for me in a sort of over-dramatic way:

 Also spotted four of these floating aruond, two of each, but the other one was camera-shy:


An octopus's garden in the shade

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 13:46

The back lawn:

 It's a bit crap, isn't it?

The first view is from the south. River to the right, people's bedroom and living room windows to the left, car parking spaces in the foreground and neighbours in the background. Between the building and the riverbank trees, it's a dull sort of place, so shade-loving plants only, I think.

Yes, that's a washing line. We have three of those for twelve flats. That one's not used much partly because it's in a chilly, dull place relative to the other two, but it is used.

The trees are overcrowded, forked, leaning towards the house, rubbing together and so on, I know. Professionals with access equipment, power tools and insurance are coming to sort them out. That'll let in a little more light.

So, once that's done, what do I do with that space? I'm thinking a wide paved area from house wall to washing line, as the house already has paving next to it and that's shorter than from drive to washing line, low-growing plants south of the line to the drive and all around the line, medium-height ones along the top of the riverbank and beyond laundry-contact range to the north and something dense and pretty covering that wall. They all have to like it shady and slow-draining, and they mustn't annoy the people living around them or reduce the sale or rent value of the flats.

So ...

Any ideas?

Camera Corner

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 13:27

I was going to quote fidgetbones there and ask what they were and where I could get them ... but apparently everybody else recognises them.

So, hellebores, eh? Might have a look, see whether I've got space for them, order a few and so on.

 Akebia: twisted!


Posted: 15/03/2015 at 13:12

The spade and secateurs. I don't really need the shovel, rake and trowel as long as I have the spade. I could use the saw instead of secateurs, I suppose, but I use them a lot and it relatively rarely, so I'd choose to keep them and borrow a chainsaw occasionally.

Ideas for metal trough

Posted: 15/03/2015 at 13:07

Looking at the rust, I'd say it's going to go to pieces, so not a good pond unless you want to pay a fortune to get it copper-plated inside or something. Might last a fair while as a planter, depending how thick it is, but it'll give up eventually. Poke holes in the bottom for drainage and in the sides and fill it with soil and strawberry plants.

Slug..... Or is it ?

Posted: 12/03/2015 at 18:18

Looks like a cross between a Muppet, a tapeworm and Dracula.

Discussions started by Charlie November

An octopus's garden in the shade

No octopodes, but lots of shade 
Replies: 7    Views: 338
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: 691
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 8    Views: 548
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: 1874
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: 436
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 601
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 21    Views: 1217
Last Post: 22/03/2015 at 19:14

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 2660
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
8 threads returned