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Latest posts by CurlyCarly

Speakers for the club

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 22:53

Hi Everyone,

I live in the West Midlands and have recently taken on the role of finding speakers for our local gardening club. We are around the South Staffs, West Midlands, N Worcestershire borders. Can anyone out there recommend speakers from this area? (No personal details, just the name and subject should do it).



Talkback: Mouse in the compost bin

Posted: 10/01/2014 at 17:29

Please everyone learn from my experience!

I've read all the above with great interest. I wish I'd known about the baited plastic bag down the rat hole last year when I observed, through my kitchen window, a youngish rat climbing the bird-feeder pole and getting into the squirrel proof peanut feeder. It was shortly followed by a bigger rat that, after pondering the problem for a few moments - don't underestimate the intelligence of rats - managed to squeeze itself into the nut feeder and also had a binge. I poured rat poison down the rat hole I found and (touch wood) no rats since but sadly no birds as I had to stop putting out the food.

On the subject of mice. In my heart, I loved the cute little brown wood mice (Yellow Necked just like the one in the Gruffalo) that came into our house the winter of 2012. We had them in the cupboard under the bath. Humane mouse traps came out and we caught about ten, one each night. Eventually we thought the same mice were returning, so reluctantly bought some death traps. By the time we counted 30 dead ones we decided on poison which seemed to do the trick - no dead bodies around and nothing taking the baited traps. Over the summer we had our house wiring checked. It cost us three and a half grand for a full rewire due to mouse damage. We've learned our lesson and signed up for a contract with the local council pest control officer.  So reader......beware!

Tomato plants wanted

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 21:01

I'd just say keep a close eye on them.... thus speaks the voice of experience. I had my Marmande and Gardeners Delight seedlings just shyly popping up, missed spraying them for ONE DAY and they all flopped.

I sowed them in seed compost. I noticed on Joe Swifts video just now that he sows them in ordinary peat free compost, what do others do? Is the seed compost not rich enough to keep them going?

Help please, my vision of my new greenhouse brimming over with tomatoes this summer is fast receeding


Today I feel so happy....

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 21:31

Marion, you're a real inspiration. Isn't it amazing how after a day spent in the garden all memories of the horrid, cold weather disappear. Keep it up everyone, Aslan is on the move

Sweet Pea

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 13:21

Hi David,

What has happened to your forum topic on Sweet Peas? I haven't been online for a while and all my followed threads have disappeared including your very informative one.

The sweet peas I sowed in January are looking a bit thin and have only one or max two stems on them even though I've nipped them out. Is this to be expected David?

I'm hoping to have sweet peas for the tables at my daughters wedding in August and the weather has been so cold I haven't been able to sow any seed direct as you suggested. Am I too late?

The freebies I ordered through the gardeners world offer arrived the other day and are fairly leafy but were growing in about 1"square plugs which seemed contra to all sweet pea growing advice that suggests a long root run. I've potted most of them up now and put them in the greenhouse. Just off to the garden centre to buy some more potting compost to do the rest.

Still Spring looks as though it's finally sprung so all in the garden could soon be rosy!!!



Bee spotting

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 13:08

Hi there,

I was thrilled to see the pulmonarias in the garden alive with honey bees yesterday. It was beautifully sunny and we are very sheltered from the north and easterly winds which gives us a good microclimate here in West Midlands. There were also a few bumble bees around but not sure what type. It really felt as though Spring is in the air - at last

I'll have a go at taking pics next time to compare with those great photos from Cheerypeabrain above.



Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 20:14
David K wrote (see)

You're welcome, Carly.

Since I posted my last reply, I've taken a peek  at your profile (I'm lusting after your greenhouse) it seems we both live in the same county

I bought the greenhouse from the Greenhouse People in your neck of the woods. It was an ex display, one off model and a real bargain. I haven't stopped smiling since  and can be heard repeatedly chunnering 'I love my greenhouse' as I potter around the garden. Just hope it's the real thing and not a short lived infatuation!


Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 05/03/2013 at 19:20

Thanks David for your helpful advice.

The ones I have in the greenhouse are mid Jan sowings so hopefully they'll not be too bad come August. As you advised I will plant some direct as well as extra insurance otherwise we'll be off to the florist come August!  I've also ordered some of the 'freebies' plugs on offer in this months Gardeners World mag and have the nippings that I potted up looking quite healthy I said,sweet pea factory there'll be room for little else. Only two more daughters to go after this one....

Thanks again ,


Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 04/03/2013 at 20:50

Hi, my s/p's are coming along quite nicely now in the greenhouse. I've nipped them out to about two leaves. Should I grow them on a bit longer before planting outside? They still look a bit wee to face the elements (we are sheltered here from North and easterly winds).

Also do you recommend using an enricher such as 6x (concentrated manure) when they go outside?

Finally, I'm hoping to grow these for table decorations at my daughters wedding at the end of August. Are there likely to still be lots of blooms then? the garden will be looking like a sweet pea factory at the rate I'm sowing

Thanks for any advice folks,


Best climber

Posted: 17/02/2013 at 22:22

Hi Hedgehogsdad, we have a trellis fence that screens off our patio area from a public footpath that goes next to it. I planted Akebia there. It's semi evergreen and from the spring gets some lovely lush growth that works well as a screen for us and as a bonus is covered with perfumed blossom in spring. I have just one of these and next to that is a lovely climbing rose called the Generous Gardener. They were planted about six years ago and this winter I've given the rose a good reshape, the Akebia just needs a spruce up every now and then. The fence is about the same height as yours, around 18 ft long and runs from N to S. The soil is not bad, I guess you'd say moisture retentive but well drained as it never waterlogs but neither do I ever have to water it there. A link to see the Akebia is below

Hope this helps.


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