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David Matthews2

Latest posts by David Matthews2

I got lucky last night...

Posted: 26/12/2014 at 15:25

I've had two of those lightweight 'seedtray' shelters utterly destroyed: (plastic cover torn to shreds, frame sections 'disassembled') in recent gales. No, I'm not on a windy SW-facing clifftop - but slap in the middle of PD town; mid-terrace and as 'sheltered' as one could imagine!! Still, mustn't grumble! It's so mild here the question of GH heating doesn't arise. Best wishes for 2015/6 growing season to all forkers!!


Posted: 19/12/2014 at 19:08

I must confess to a long-term relationship with Nora wellies - it started when I moved to wet West Pembrokeshire in 1976. My role as tutor was dominated by fieldwork sessions involving 4-5 days per week working on either seaweedy seashores and/ or jumping in & out of rivers AND driving minibuses for the student groups. It would have been a quick (and expensive death) to my decent leather walking boots if subjected to immersion in seawater, so Noras were recommended by a neighbourly farmer friend. I sped to the nearby Farmers' Cooperative & bought two pairs, (one to wear and one to dry out). Result!! Those first boots* cost about £5 each pair and lasted until I wore the soles to 'racing slick' condition - over a 12 year period!

*Their replacements were a bit more expensive, but lasted far longer as my work as a walk leader for the National Park needed walking boots far more frequently than wellies.

Shrub ID

Posted: 18/12/2014 at 20:27

How nice it is that we have so many willing 'assistant' gardeners that grant use free seedlings, either or growing on in more favoured locations, or being left to grow within a diverse hedgeline??? "Good on them", I say. I'm quite willing to share the annual berry feast with them (& their continental cousins)!!

Christmas Door Garland/Wreath

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 20:10

Sorry, folks: The 'smart' ones amongst you may have noted that the two previous pics are merely two stages in the development of the same wreath! Third pic shows palm / phormium 'cladding' for the 2nd intended wreath; much heavier pattern so as to withstand wind/ weather etc on the outside streetside front door. [The lighter weight one goes on the inner rippled glass door of the porch]. {see much earlier posted pic, ie 2013 wreath}.

Christmas Door Garland/Wreath

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 20:00

 Just to show the early stages of my two wreaths for 2014... Last week was taken up with visits to distant 'relies' in the Midlands. Now it's back to the work bench and 'adorning those basic shapes. .. More news/ pics anon...

Winter project

Posted: 16/12/2014 at 19:38

Sounds (& looks) like a suitable project to engage my two granddaughters (8&5yo) when they descend on us next w/e.... should be going along nicely when they revisit in the summer holidays??? [I've two 'empty' Belfast sinks, so they could end up with one each - less fighting that way, eh??]. More news anon...


Posted: 16/12/2014 at 19:32

All my hellebores got a severe 'haircut' last month, then a thickish mulch of about 6" home-made compost..should rot / settle dw to about 2" by early spring, say Jan 2nd here in SW coastal Pembs. Then I await those gorgeous early-season blooms!!

According to Pidge the Toad we're in for a white Christmas

Posted: 15/12/2014 at 19:48

Here in below snow-level SW Pembs, we have a number of informal weather indicators: The ducks on the millpond around the castle in Pembroke generally float on the water's surface. If their progress toward the proffered foodstuffs seems to be impeded, they're probably frozen solid into the ice!

  Being coastal, we have the benefit of copious supplies of variously shaped / coloured seaweeds nearby- if it's flying past the the windows below head height, it's a bit windy - above head high, it's a full gale and probably best to carry a spare beanie hat in your pocket for when the first one blows away.

Rain can generally be expected, sooner or later - but almost universally 5 minutes before you've gotten all the washing in off the line! 

The sun is there, most days around 93,000,000 miles away.

The 'fine detail' of daily existence we make up as we go along; but most folk who've been here longer than a 12-month place more credence on the 'met forecasts' off Irish radio, as the London-oriented 'beeb' forecasts aren't all that pertinent!


Black Friday bargains

Posted: 02/12/2014 at 20:39

Response to Cangran.. & Topbird: may I echo your appreciations for this forum - such a breadth of experience and knowledge 'on tap'. I've gained enormously and love the informality of the 'drop-in chat atmos' that develops within the threads...!!

Talkback: Cooking green tomatoes

Posted: 02/12/2014 at 20:02

Thanks for the 'terrifying tips', EDD: my assistant & I jammed the toms this morning without too much trouble. The resultant 'goo' has the working title of "5G (NT)" - this translates as "Grandad's Ghastly Green Ghoulish Goo (non toxic)" - the girls will probably love its olive green colour and the floating 'bits' are reminiscent of slugs, spiders and bats' teeth (pips). [my cautious pre-tasting reveals a surprisingly sweet, vaguely tomatoey flavour, with near treacle viscosity!]. Should be a winner??? 

Discussions started by David Matthews2

I've got a luverly bunch of ? Definitely not coconuts!

So I've grown gourds this season & needing to know whether these are edible, or merely ornamental?? Positive information would be most welcome - before I poison aybody!! 
Replies: 11    Views: 540
Last Post: 19/10/2015 at 19:03

What shall i do with a 'Hairy Onion'?

Head of bolting onion has grown 4 feet, then sprouted 'hair' 
Replies: 2    Views: 315
Last Post: 10/08/2014 at 19:47

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: 833
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: 492
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: 541
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: 901
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 06:56
6 threads returned