Latest posts by Dinah

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 19:44

More cold-frames. Yes of course. I've filled them all up with overwintering plants again, and I need another one for seeds. Well spotted GWRS!

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 19:07

Hi Loana, Cornflower and Nigella are very well behaved and sensible things to grow. Great for Bees too. Sweet peas are lovely. Are you growing the scented annuals or the perennials? They can be put in now, since once they have grown a few inches they will sit and wait patiently on a cool window sill until spring and then leap into an early start. Watch for slugs though, even on a window sill in winter. I have no idea how the slugs get in the house, but once in they can run riot.

Your air-born garden furniture sounded very alarming. You will have to watch where you put pots and seed trays too. I remember putting some seeds in vermiculite to stratify, and the plastic trays took off, with the vermiculite flying everywhere in the wind. It was actually very funny, but I think that was when I started putting things in the fridge instead.

I didn't mean to put anyone off stratifying! It's just that nature seems to be so, so much better at it than me. I look at the way the blueberries and blackberries and raspberries, and various species roses, have populated the mountain, and not just tough bushes, the marsh orchids do fine left to themselves, finding out the sheltered pockets, and they all need a period of cold to start them growing. I manage two or three lableless "some-things" coming up, somewhere other than the tray where I put them. Maybe I'm too busy looking at my failures to count blessings. The wind has produced quite a lot of nice trees, shrubs and perennials that wouldn't be there if I hadn't planted them, even if they did come up on the other side of the garden. 

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 17:18

The wind is dropping now a bit - just as it went dark, so I didn't get out there.

I'm thinking of planting the seeds that need to be stratified - at least that is something important that can be done indoors. 

I still find it difficult to sort out what to do to protect the trays from wind and rain, and have often kept them in the fridge up till now, but I've lost a few batches to drying out in there, so if anyone knows how to keep them from being washed and blown out by rain and wind I'd love to know methods. I tried plastic bags, but slugs got in as the tape dissolved

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 21/11/2016 at 23:39

We don't get flooding on the mountain (obviously) but the behrn sometimes floods, and the two estuary towns expect to have bits washed away most years.

What can happen here is that water moves in such quantity that walls and bits of the cliff-side road get washed away. The walls and roads that go are usually those built recently. You can only use dry stone walls to successfully hold back a mountain load of water - they just let the water through, whereas it just builds and builds behind mortar walls, until it undermines or simply pushes them down. The cliff-side roads usually go if the Sloe, Gorse and Hawthorn bushes have been rooted out. Modern road building methods tend not only to take the root defences away, but then add impenetrable walls and wider, flatter roads that don't gully water away because the ditches are sacrificed in favour of the widest possible vehicle space, for faster vehicle speeds, and probably for the scenic views. I have finished my small rant now. Sorry for that folks.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 21/11/2016 at 22:25

Hi Logan, Pets and weather! They can be surprisingly demanding in bad weather. I have all but two of the cats in because the worst of the wind and rain has reached us in the past hour. I won't go out looking for them because they are the two who most enjoy catching mice and rats in the barns - and the barns are where all the rodents will be heading right now.

Who gets dried first in your house, the dogs or the humans? I suspect the dogs are dried first.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 21/11/2016 at 22:07

Hi Busy-Lizzie, that sounded quite a journey. I usually love travelling in the wind and rain (as long as the vehicle is water tight and can be trusted not to break down). I get a better sense real distance and of the endeavour of travelling. That sounds rather too much for me though. Did you get chance for breaks on the way? I imagine it was quite harrowing. Motorways are very tiring and have a strangely isolating atmosphere in storms.

At least the motorway guarantees that you won't end up like people in horror films, where they have to stop and go and get help at the nearest castle, because a tree has fallen across the road, or a bridge has been swept away.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 21/11/2016 at 18:19

Up in the North of Ireland we have had more frost in the last 5 days than in the whole of last winter. It will help with the leather jackets, aphids and slugs, midges and ticks (serious here - I picked up Lyme disease from a tick 10 years back). Best of all, maybe the fruit trees will flower better next spring - all good. Tonight it seems colder because the wind has picked up, but it's probably warming up a bit.

Last edited: 21 November 2016 18:23:28

Tulip and Hankerchief trees

Posted: 20/11/2016 at 18:37

OK, that sounds doable. I will move the pots into the porch just for the time being (there is a frost tonight) and plant them in the most sheltered "exotics" area of the garden as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, we are well north of L. Spar and quite far north of you, but the right spot in the garden is a sun-trap on the south side, with those long, long summer days, so the plants may be OK for quick seasons of growth. We do have the moderating effect of the gulf stream here, the worst thing is the seasons whisking around so fast and the paucity of daylight in winter.

Thank you also for the heads up about the pruned option growing 5ft high, I didn't realise they were so big! I'd better watch out for the sheep too. They don't go for the Foxgloves, but then those are the devil they have come to know.

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 19/11/2016 at 23:30

To all those in the south, I hope the storm blows itself out quickly! There is a saying:

"The harder it blows the faster it goes"

I never rated this saying much up here with the relentless winter, north-wind, but maybe it is true of storms.

Tulip and Hankerchief trees

Posted: 18/11/2016 at 18:05

Thank you Invicta2 I have two Paulownia, so the most fun thing to do seems to be to prune the one, and try for a flowering tree with the other. Would it be OK to prune now? The leaves have all dropped for the winter. Maybe if I keep the pruned one in the pot and plant out the tree?

I wonder if the Paulownia has adapted to have these two behaviours as a survival strategy to avoid being killed off by grazing animals? I just had a look at it's details on Wiki, and it says that some relatives were found in North America, fossilised during the Pliocene. There would have been long nosed and large creatures feeding on them. Maybe, when regularly grazed it would have been easier to recover in the form of a leafy shrub? - though that does sound a bit like labelling oneself "supper". I love plants that have various alternative survival strategies.

Thanks again.

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