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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 21:11

Arise, thread! Arise from your archive!

Last week's star: line of pink delphiniums in front of the Star Of Persia that were fading away ... or rather turning to seed-heads in huge numbers.

This week's star is actually the elder tree, because it smells beautiful.

Next week's star will probably be the climbing rose at the front, because it's got two buds opening now out of 44 ready to bloom. I shall try to get good pictures.

I don't believe it.

Posted: 07/06/2014 at 11:39

There's a significant amount of gunk that comes out of a 2" leopard slug when it's squished, too.


Well, it was pretty significant when it was in my sock. How that thing got into my bedroom doorway I do not know, but I do know that I was not pleased.

Camera Corner

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 19:17
Busy-Lizzie wrote (see)

Charlie November, are the canoeing ones in the Gorges d'Ardeche? I took my grown up children canoeing there a few years ago, before they all got married and started producing grandchildren.

We did three days on the Tarn, then two on the Ardeche. The pictures are from two cameras, so they got a bit mixed up. The natural arch (Pont d'Arc) and the camping at definitely Ardeche, and the views upriver over the weir and downriver from the same high bridge on page 2 are the top of the Ardeche route, then there's evening drinks on the balcony behind the Auberge du Moulin in Ste Enimie, which is definitely on the Tarn, so I think that's the switch. The slide down a weir is on the Tarn, at the end of day 1, coming back to town. I think the square chalet in the background with a woman taking a drink of water in the front of a canoe in the foreground was the start of day 3 on the Tarn. Castelbouc is on the Tarn @44.3387654,3.4648814 and Pas de Soucy is the part of the Tarn we didn't do, between days 2 and 3.


Oh, yes. The boats! Two days in green boats then one in yellow boats on the Tarn, then red boats on the Ardeche. That's how you know which river it was. I'd forgotten.

Camera Corner

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 18:57
Fairygirl wrote (see)

Steve=what lovely pix - and thanks for showing that it doesn't  rain all the time in the west of Scotland...

Well, yeah, we knew that. Sometimes it snows.

Then there are those rare, special, warm, still, dry days in summer, when it midges.

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Posted: 25/05/2014 at 20:30

Thanks for the replies.

Doesn't look like either of my jasmines, beesianum or nudiflorum.

Close on the Honesty, but the flowers are too small and distributed differently.

Looks like it's Jack By The Hedge. Hrm. It's welcome in my garden, then, but why does it have to take root in the middle of the flower bed where it's got a foot depth of compost and no competition? Oh, yeah, that's why, isn't it? For the record, it seeds like crazy too. Turns out I've got hundreds of younger plants as well as the mature one(s) shown there. Well, it can have some space and breed butterflies for me, and maybe I'll try adding it to a meal some time. Thanks Dove!

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Posted: 25/05/2014 at 19:54

I go on one little walking holiday and I get invaded ...

 It's about waist-high on me, which is fairly large.

My camera chose to focus on the far side of the flower spike, not the near side.

 Those flowers are only a few millimetres across.

Anyone know what this is, and whether I should be thrilled or just get rid of it, please?

Transport needed for flooded gardens

Posted: 07/05/2014 at 22:50

Got a few seed heads I could collect ... on the hyacinths. So, hyacinths that may eventually produce flowers of unknown colour some time around April 2022?


Posted: 07/05/2014 at 16:57

4 adult beetles and around 15 eggs destroyed.

Allium time!



Expensive gardening mistake - help needed

Posted: 03/05/2014 at 13:32
hartleyhare wrote (see)

Hi Everyone,

However, the builders dumped a load of soil and rubble on it from making a new patio and in my madness I decided to try and turn it into a sort of raised bed. I laid more soil - 4 tons of it in fact - on top of the builders mess and then shaped it so that there was a bank of earth in the middle and a flatish bit around the outside. I had planned to put in wooden borders where it sloped away ( to stop the gravel slipping down ) and then after planting up with wildlife friendly plants I was going to cover it all with gravel and  rocks and driftwood, etc. Its difficult to describe it all, pictures would be far better, but I don't know how to add them here.

Well, it sounds like a s***-heap ... but the pictures don't look so bad. I thought you had a big round heap in the middle of a square lawn.

There's a steep earth bank by the canal near here that's been slowly creeping downhill for years. The towpath's getting slightly narrower every year, but it's a very slow process. You should be alright with ground cover stabilising it, but if it flows down against that wall on the right side you'll get damp issues there. You could just shovel it all back to the top in five years' time, I suppose.

Looking at the nice view, I can believe you when you say digging beyond a certain depth is hard. I've tried digging in the Dales and been tampted to put the spade away and make some dynamite. If you don't want to go to the trouble (and rubble) of making holes in bedrock, there is still a way to concrete in a post. You need to build forms for the concrete first, out of cheap MDF board and 2"x2" pine. Put all the pine and screws on the outside so the inside's nice and smooth, sit the thing on bare bedrock, shave bits off the underside until it sits level, stand the post in the middle of it, pour in the wet concrete mix, make sure the post's upright and leave it to set. Once it's done you can dismantle the form and use it for the next one or you can do them all at once, toss the MDF in the bin and use the pine for kindling.

A fence built this way won't have the stability to stop horses or stay upright in a wind with those lap panels on it (I swear they're modelled on windmill sails) but if you're only putting in 2' posts and the bottom 9" of each are in the concrete you'll have some pretty stable things.

Then you put rails across the posts on the uphill side so the weight of the soil is pushing wood against wood, not pulling all your nails out. Then you can put your chemical-soaked rot-resistant retaining wall on the uphill side of the rails. Make sure there's soil (or the builders' waste material from under your mound) packed in downhill of the fence bases to stop them sledging away.

The fence will slowly get toppled by slumping soil, but it'll be something your grandchildren have to fix one day.


Just kidding about the dynamite. Too risky. I'd use TNT.

Discussions started by Charlie November

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 605
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 
Replies: 2    Views: 349
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 516
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 17    Views: 912
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: 2244
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
7 threads returned