Latest posts by Dinah

Hundreds of missing bulbs

Posted: 02/02/2017 at 18:17

Many thanks for all the thoughtful responses. We have been investigating the problem online, but also, (inspired by Pansyface - thank you again!) we have looked for anything that might have heightened the possibility of rot in the past few years.

Astonishingly, we found out yesterday that the disappearance of my mother's bulbs could be the result of a new housing estate being built just above my mother's house on the high ridge where she lives. This came to light when she called the water authority to investigate a different problem, a very worrying noise of gushing water, which she had assumed was a broken pipe. An investigative engineer came out, and advised that it sounded more like a gushing stream. The probable source of this new stream seems likely to be inadequate drainage provided for the new estate, the water having found a new course, rushing away on the outside of the existent pipework. This new stream is, according to the engineer, either passing very close by my mother's foundations, or under her house, possibly emerging and gathering on the other side, in her previously well drained garden! We are quite stunned. According to the engineer, the problem(s) caused, which may involve structural repairs, can be solved once the entire road has been closed, taken up, and a new and adequate system installed

My advice to anyone who has something big and unexpected happen in their garden is not to ignore it, but to look out for changes in the nearby landscape in case there is a causal link!!!

I recounted all your suggestions to my mother, and she wants me to pass on her thanks to all for sharing your valuable experience and information

Hundreds of missing bulbs

Posted: 31/01/2017 at 23:48

Hogweed - They disappeared in some cases many years after planting and flowering happily, in some one year after flowering and some in their second year after flowering. They simply haven't appeared again - all except one sad little clump of snowdrops that is situated amidst the roots of a conifer tree.

Pansyface - Thank you for the link, I will check out the eelworm and rot. Yes, there were new daffodils planted three years ago, before the problem started. They came up perfectly well the first spring, but I suppose something could have been brought in with them. I will check.

Hundreds of missing bulbs

Posted: 31/01/2017 at 19:22

I'm writing this on behalf of my mother, so please excuse my crossness and consternation on her part!

Something has caused my Mother's bulbs to disappear over a two year period. They started vanishing last year, all her Rippling Waters daffodils, miniature daffodils, poet's daffodils. and various tulips. This was followed this year by the disappearance of hundreds of snowdrops, winter aconites and more. She rarely sees squirrels in the area, and the dog is half terrier, so would get very excited if there were lots of rats and mice. She does live next to a garden that can reasonably be called a wildlife sanctuary, consisting of a huge bramble patch which is inhabited by foxes (who keep the rats and mice down) and badgers. I suspected the badgers straight away, but she says that there has been no sign of significantly disturbed earth - something she would have noticed while walking the dog. The garden is on a slope, the soil is sandy with some lime deposits, but it is very fertile from decades of cultivation. No bulbs disappeared prior to these happenings.Whatever THING is taking/eating them leaves without a trace of bulb or root or stalk, and must level the soil afterwards in order not to be noticed.

My mother is very upset about the loss of her spring garden, and wonders if anyone has any advice, firstly about what might be happening, and secondly how to stop it happening. We would be particularly interested in reading about methods of stopping bulbs being eaten/stolen in some way, but any advice would be very, very welcome.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 08/12/2016 at 19:23

The temperature has risen quite a bit. I checked the salad garden, and yes, all the rocket and red mustard is still growing nicely.

The birds have started flocking to the bird-table every day, so the autumnal stores must be beginning to dwindle. I'm hoping that they don't start flocking to my salad patch instead, so we are well stocked up with their favourite snack food. The bird table towers above the garden at about 7 foot 6 inches. It is also roofed, huge all around, and fortified with wire, looking rather like an Army observation post. This is our the cat defence system. It works nearly all of the time, except that when the wind is exceptionally strong and blows the food out of the food containers - I have to be very quick to clear it up if this happens, but forewarned is forearmed.

The rooks and magpies take some of the food from the table, but they have to stretch a long way in to get it. The cats seem to be afraid of the big birds, who mob them - a major cat siren starts up if a seagulls appear. For some reason, the cats use the same noise for 'seagull' as they do for 'postman'. Funnily enough, the postman approaches the house with his back against the hedge, facing any cats. I suspect there might have been an incident with the biggest cat, Charlie. The postman is at a disadvantage, since he can't swoop.

The magpies have learned to pull the root-balls out of my pots to peck at slugs and grubs. A mixed blessing - great for getting rid of pests, but they occasionally turn their attention to the roots themselves!

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 06/12/2016 at 17:26

Hello Johnny Canoe. My husband would love your weather. He has trouble with restless legs. Cold weather extremes suit him down to the ground.

I hope you got the cream for your coffee without it freezing on the way back. We are getting rain, and the temperature has risen accordingly

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 01/12/2016 at 18:17

Well done with the weeding Clarice673.   It's too cold for me to be out here, damp and drizzly but I finally got round to sorting out the seeds that need stratifying, they should have been in weeks ago, but hopefully I will get the three months stratification in if I use outdoors and the fridge for the final push.

Beans and Sweetcorn combo?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 23:31

Shrinking Violet, I won't pin my hopes on it or try it in the Vegetable plot then. Just in fun corner. Thank you. "Three sisters" sounds so appealing. I will try for three little sisters instead.

The pollinating would be the biggest problem with a small quantity of the corn, so Zoomer44, mini pop sounds a lot more realistic for around here. Thank you - and well done with your plants! I love the miniature sweetcorn. I'll keep my eye on the depth and spacing. I think a lot may depend on me getting the things started early enough. They should get about 10 hours of sun at it's zenith for a couple of months, around mid-summer in fun corner. I am thinking of grabbing a stretch of what is now the lawn for the purpose, so the area will form a wide triangle. That space is waisted on lawn, since nobody has time to sit about on it at the hight of summer anyway. I shall have to do a bit of soil improving though - get rid of quite a few big stones and lots of small ones if I am going to achieve anything like a trench there. I can always put something else in late season if it doesn't work out (more mustard and rocket - there can never be too much mustard and rocket!.)

Beans and Sweetcorn combo?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 20:17

Thank you Dove, I will have a read about Swift (sounds like a message in a spy film with bird references). I think I will need to grow the baby corns, the days are longer up here in summer, but the season is cut off at toward the equinox, so a short and speedy growing time is important.

Loana, I don't have any garden centres near, but I agree with you about the post - it can be hit and miss ordering plants. Seed is probably my best option. Things I've grown from seed seem to do better anyway, but it is limited. Tomatoes don't seem to do much at all. I wonder how gardeners manage in Northern Scotland? Shetland Gardeners seem to manage OK with Shetland potatoes - I put a few of those in - seemed to grow well, though I've yet to dig them up. I may leave them to grow next year instead now, I expect the slugs are into this years crop.

Beans and Sweetcorn combo?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 19:03

Strange, my last post went up twice, once part way to finishing. Must have been the cat treading on the keyboard! Sorry for that.

Beans and Sweetcorn combo?

Posted: 27/11/2016 at 18:59

Lorana, maybe it will be too cold up here. We really don't get the heat in summer building up, because the sea breezes do cooling in summer, warming in winter. It could be that, as Dove suggests, there wasn't enough root room in the raised bed. I'll give it a go in the warm spot, nothing ventured nothing gained. Thank you for the information, I won't have my hopes built too high (I'll have my shade-loving Chinese vegetables to fall back on if all else fails.)

Where did you get your plants from, were they locally grown, or ordered online?

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