Latest posts by Dovefromabove

slugs, slugs and more slugs

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 06:33

No don't remove the leaves, what is left of them will continue to function as leaves and the plant needs them.  

Only remove leaves from plants if they're carrying an infection (bacterial mould type thing) that would spread to other leaves.

We don't get a lot of slug damage in this garden (we have quite gritty soil and lots of wildlife) but even here the slugs are beginning to annoy me this year 

Just remember, we're all in this together .

I think I heard that somewhere before 


Posted: 03/06/2014 at 06:29

Good morning all   Yes, we did eat quite a few butternut squashes last summer, also  several Crown Prince squashes over the  previous autumn and winter.  Melon seeds also get put out on the compost heap.  I hope we get a good summer so whatever it is can fruit and ripen 

I've put a dish of softened stale bread out on the terrace - the magpies are feasting on it noisily and arguing with the wood pigeons about who it belongs to.  While we're filling the magpies up on starchy bread they're not robbing the songbirds' nests - well, that's my theory anyway 

Clearing a garden

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 06:20

Well, it's Mr Toast's garden and he wants to put his mark on it and has asked for advice - my advice is to do it bit at a time - divide the garden into small areas and decide how you want each area to look then tackle them one at a time.  

Doing the whole job at once would undoubtedly result in loads of mud whenever it rained, and with a family about that would get carted indoors and would cause loadsa stress.

While you're working on one area give the children free rein to play in the rest of the garden - my children would be building camps behind some of those shrubs, son would have been playing cowboys, leaping out on us from behind a bush and daughter would've been in a Fairy Dell, wearing an old bridesmaid dress and having a fairies' picnic with her toys.  (Quite gender stereotypical my two, until daughter learnt how to climb trees then she turned into a tomboy )

Then, bit by bit you'll have worked around the garden, changing the borders and making raised beds and a place for a climbing frame and a sitting out area etc until it's as you want it - then you can lay a new lawn and it will unite the whole garden - doing the lawn last will mean it doesn't get messed up by all the other work you're planning to do.

When you turf a lawn you have to keep off it for quite some weeks, even little people's feet will damage it and you'll have to do it all again - so the longer you can manage with that lawn while they're growing a little older, the better it will be for everyone's stress levels. 

Some of the plants you've got will probably be fine where they are, they'll just need an occasional prune once a year and a bit of fertiliser.  If you can show us pics we'll tell you what they are and when and how to prune them.  If you prune shrubs at the wrong time of the year you risk losing all the flowers.  If you get it right the garden will look a picture. 

If you show us pictures we'll also tell you which plants are past their best and might as well be scrapped, and which ones you could dig up and replant in more suitable places.  

I hope that's helpful 

wild Orchid.????

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 05:58

Bee orchid Ophrys aperifer  

Fantastic that she left it to grow - hopefully it will spread - it needs grassland with no fertiliser on it, so you daughter has the perfect excuse not to apply Weed & Feed etc - she has a Wildlife Lawn - it would be great if she could notify her local Wildlife Trust  They keep records of such things 


Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:16

That's 'cost I keep layering the compost on it LOL  


Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:11

Well, if the slugs don't get it it'll have some more leaves before long - I've put a plastic bottle mini cloche over it to keep the slugs away overnight.

Here's another pic to give a sense of scale

 It's got carrot seedlings to the left of it and Pak Choi to the far right. 

unknown plant

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:09

I've seen a child badly 'burned' by this - I treat it with real respect.  

I would cut it down, but only on a dull day and when wearing good protective clothing and eye protection. 


Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:07

Here's a query for you all - a seedling has appeared overnight in the veg patch next to a row of carrot seedlings.  It's nothing I've sown - it must've come from a seed in the compost that we spread on the veg patch a few weeks ago, so it's a plant we've eaten over the past 12 - 18 months - any ideas?


home grown raspberries ready to eat

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 20:51

I never wash raspberries from my own garden - it spoils them - I'm still here 

unknown plant

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 20:34

It's also an offence to grow it in the wild or to cause it to spread.  It really is a beast.

The sap really is dangerous - please be careful 

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