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David Matthews2

Latest posts by David Matthews2

Toil soil advice needed

Posted: 06/03/2014 at 18:50

I've just 'woken' one of my raised beds from its winter slumbers - it had a (very) temporary cover of bubble wrap, held in place by old sash weights. I found the soil to be largely quite friable, needing only a light 'tiffling' with a border fork and hand picking of the odd half dozen weed seedlings harboured therein!

*I had planted it late last Autumn with 24 shallot sets: these had made about 6-8" of healthy green growth, somewhat 'rumpled' by growing under the plastic, but I'm sure that it will straighten out now that it's open to the elements once more.

Mussel shell uses

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 21:13

Cockle shells, crab carapaces and other marine mollusc shells (whelks etc) would all serve equally were as mini-reservoirs for visiting insects, birds etc through the summer months! I can't spare the full pallet 'footprint' in my limited mid-terrace garden. However, I might contrive something similar but in a vertical sense with the pallet rawl-bolted to a limestone boundary wall on the south side of the plot...?

Value branded compost V branded names

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 21:02

Re: variable quality of 'commercial' composts - I visited the local B&Q outlet today and found the 'Verve' branded 60 litre compost bags TOTALLY SODDEN!! The bags were on pallets, minus any plastic overwrapping, in an open courtyard with no protection whatsoever. I spoke to the normally affable (& knowledgable) gardening section chargehand and let him know that I was not impressed, and furthermore would not be buying from that store until they had fresh DRY composts available.

My immediate requirements can be met from my own self-produced  resources, though I will be ekeing it out with sharp sand as Artjak has suggested.



Please help to identify this miniature shrub

Posted: 10/02/2014 at 18:17

Thanks, Salino, for hebe id. I trust you're ok re: current high water levels in the Fens at present? [My son manages various nature reserves in Beds, Cams for Wildlife Trust - he reports 'extreme difficulty' getting anywhere offroad without 4x4 etc].

Aphids ... at this time of year?

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 18:47

Speaking of outdoor aphids reminds me that Team Blue Tit & Co have been checking out the griselina, verbena, wigelia and pelargoniums in my sheltered back yard shrubbery for several weeks now - they're definitely finding it worth their while supplementing their diet of peanuts, seed mix and fatballs etc.....!!

Camera Corner

Posted: 09/02/2014 at 18:37

Thanks, guys n' gals for your comments! Sadly the wild west is living up to its big, bad reputation and I find myself prostrated on 't sofa in front of tv. When it shows signs of promise (for more than 5 minutes together), I'll dash out and "take another shot" like the pome says!!

Stargaze: I love that little homily - any idea where it comes from???

To prune or not to prune

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 20:46

Does the same advice hold true for mature 'mophead' Hydrangea? I've several bushes in my relatively sheltered, mid-terrace garden that are flailing around in the current run of near gale-force winds?

getting started

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 20:28

Croeso, BarbaraH! Instead of 'smilies', here's a 'posy pic' to welcome you:

 This 'hippo' is currently delighting us in our shower room - I think it likes the steamy heat?

 It's red cousin, though, is rather less flambouyant!

For hellebore enthusiasts.

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 20:12

Thanks, Fidget, for such a lovely selection of hellebore & general pics from your visit. Although as I'm in extreme SW Wales a wintry trip to Ynys Mon is utterly out of the realm of 'feasible day trips'!! *I've recently put a couple of H shots on the "Camera Corner" thread, so I'll not repeat here.

Camera Corner

Posted: 08/02/2014 at 19:40

Thanks for your kind remarks, Fairygirl & DavidK, Here's another 'snap' from yesterday's mini-outing to my soggy garden!

 This plant, although a near neighbour of the deep-purple/ plum H pictured yesterday, is in a slightly less favoured position and is generally a week or two behind in its flowering cycle. I love them all and only wish I had scope for more cultivars. *All were bought at the same time about five years ago; sadly their name tags all long gone, but I think the were in the "Ellen" stable?

Discussions started by David Matthews2

Please help to identify this miniature shrub

Small evergreen shrub withsharply-pointed glossy leaves and white 'malteser-sized' bobbles supported on short stems. 
Replies: 18    Views: 525
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 18:17

Gardening featuring in Seasonal Greetings...??

Do other 'forkers' know of examples of gardening techniques and practices being featured? ing in  
Replies: 1    Views: 232
Last Post: 26/12/2013 at 06:47

Getting Crafty in my old age...

Planting and discussing spring bulbs with my grand-daughters prompted an ad hoc craft session with them the playroom 
Replies: 4    Views: 281
Last Post: 23/12/2013 at 21:26

Huge Bee on Winter Clematis "Freckles"

Sighted this afternoon in my sheltered courtyard....can anyone identify the bee species? 
Replies: 11    Views: 530
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 06:56
4 threads returned