Latest posts by Esspee

1 to 10 of 185

Bird feeder's

Posted: 22/11/2016 at 07:44

Buttercupdays, what an amazing range of birds you have visiting you!  They must cost a small fortune to feed!  Lucky you.  

Leaf mould

Posted: 10/11/2016 at 16:15

I have only read about the wonderful crumbly textured result of successful leaf mould, never achieved it.  I have read that recycled beer/cider acts as an accelerant but the concentration is never mentioned.  Some say they add grass clippings, some chicken manure but again no details. Perhaps it is a secret process known only to the few. 

Any geologists out there?

Posted: 10/11/2016 at 14:12

Dove, you are a mine of useful information, so glad you generously share with us.

Leaf mould

Posted: 10/11/2016 at 14:09

I am usually very patient (gardeners have to be don't we?) but having collected bins full of shredded leaves with my new vac. I really want results in a year, not two.  In the past I have wet unshredded leaves and left them in plastic sacks with holes and eventually ended up using it to mulch the beds.  Now I have the ability to shred I am much more adventurous and want to try to achieve the crumbly texture I have heard about but never achieved.  What works best?  Bin bags or chicken wire?  Should I use an accelerator and if so what?  Any other tips?

Bird feeder's

Posted: 10/11/2016 at 13:51

I was shocked at just how much food birds get through once they decide to call.   I stopped feeding them during the summer when food was plentiful but will start again soon.  Next year I intend to grow lots of sunflowers as at the moment it is a joy to watch the tits help themselves from my three enormous sunflowers grown just for them.

Any tall pole with a crossmember to hang the food from works well.  If a neighbour is discarding an old wash pole that can be used.  I like the look of a suitable small tree or large branch which has been blown down with food containers hanging from the branches.  Unfortunately it does tend to rot quickly so has to be replaced every year or two.  Best of all why not plant a tree in the best spot to watch it from the house.

Begonia and dahlia bounty

Posted: 01/10/2016 at 11:29

Thank you Verdun.  I usually lift mine much later in the year and allow to die back naturally before packing away but there are so many and they are very wet so I had hoped it would be OK to remove the soil and stems and just let the tubers dry off.  Guess I'll have to hope for some breezy sunny weather and bring them out of the greenhouse to allow air circulation.  

I know Monty hates them but at this time of year they give a reliable blast of colour when almost everything else is on the way out.

Begonia and dahlia bounty

Posted: 01/10/2016 at 07:47

My local parks department was clearing the bedding out and I asked if I could recycle some of it.  They were delighted that it wouldn't be going to waste but were over generous.

I now have hundreds of begonia and dahlias to tend to this weekend.  The dahlias were given to me with the tops wrung off so I have hosed them off and they are now upside down on the greenhouse bench to dry.  The begonias were given to me as complete plants in sizeable plugs of topsoil and are stacked as if growing under the greenhouse bench.

Should I remove the earth and top growth from the begonia tubers now or allow them to die back a but first?  I am thinking of how I allow my daffodils etc. to die back naturally to build up the bulb.  Does this happen with tubers and how long should I leave the dahlias before packing them away?

All advice gratefully received.  


Posted: 25/09/2016 at 20:41

About twenty years ago my worms were annihilated by New Zealand flatworms.  The flatworms which survived my repeated safaris eventually moved on to pastures new having extirpated my lovely worms.  Even today, two decades later, I rarely come across worms in my now compacted lawn despite me trying to reintroduce them.  As this thread has attracted so many worm lovers may I ask for suggestions as to how I can repopulate my garden.  Is there any company which sells the little darlings?  How can I best encourage any in the neighbourhood to move in and multiply?

Made a Bug Hotel

Posted: 08/09/2016 at 15:25

I bought a couple of bug hotels this summer and after installing them I was bitten by a wasp.  For the first time I had a violent reaction both at the site of the bite (upper right arm) and my left forearm where some rose thorns had drawn blood.  Huge red weals on both arms which eventually needed steroids.  Hope your insect life shows more gratitude than mine for their new, very elegant winter abode.  May I ask how expensive the constituent parts are to buy?

Small wildlife pond

Posted: 19/07/2016 at 07:27

Sorry Wendy, just seen your post.  Sounds like blanket weed.  I have it too, amazing how quickly it spreads when the weather is warm.  I have a stool I sit on and a long cane which I use to remove the weed.  I make the cane go in small circles winding up the weed the dump it at the side of the pond for any wildlife to find their way back into the water.  (OH says I look like a garden gnome fishing 😏

There are chemicals to control it or barley straw but I am trying to do without hoping a balance will be reached naturally.

Only a few tadpoles left 😩.  I think they are being eaten.  They grow back legs then disappear.  I've not seen a single baby frog.  Still, this is a long term project so I'll keep trying!

1 to 10 of 185

Discussions started by Esspee

Leaf mould

Best method 
Replies: 20    Views: 1282
Last Post: 19/11/2016 at 21:42

Begonia and dahlia bounty

Replies: 4    Views: 264
Last Post: 02/10/2016 at 16:07

Unknown shrub

It is flowering now, pretty little honeysuckle like flowers which don't seem to be attracting any insects. It has to be moved so I am contemplating whether or not it is worth saving. Any advice welcomed. Thanks. 
Replies: 14    Views: 751
Last Post: 30/05/2016 at 14:45

Chelsea Flower Show

Why was Grayson Perry allowed so much time? 
Replies: 7    Views: 686
Last Post: 26/05/2016 at 19:40

Update on new wildlife pond

Three weeks later 
Replies: 4    Views: 389
Last Post: 02/05/2016 at 16:34

Small wildlife pond

Is tap water a complete no-no? 
Replies: 95    Views: 6748
Last Post: 23/09/2016 at 16:29

Cost effective moss killer

Recommendations needed 
Replies: 8    Views: 714
Last Post: 26/03/2016 at 21:57

Yet another beautiful day!

Replies: 5    Views: 423
Last Post: 06/03/2016 at 13:06

Unusual sight in park

Replies: 6    Views: 645
Last Post: 16/02/2016 at 18:11

Edible, poisonous, hallucogenic?

Mystery mushrooms taking over. 
Replies: 4    Views: 589
Last Post: 20/10/2015 at 07:47

Should I be afraid?.

Mystery visitor spreading through the border 
Replies: 7    Views: 686
Last Post: 23/08/2015 at 12:48

Identification gratefully appreciated

Mystery spreading plant 
Replies: 0    Views: 576
Last Post: 06/08/2015 at 18:37

Autumn flowering wallflowers

Replies: 14    Views: 1735
Last Post: 09/10/2015 at 18:40

Winter project

Magical fairy garden for my granddaughters 
Replies: 22    Views: 1515
Last Post: 09/01/2015 at 17:39

Shredded branches as mulch?

Adding organic matter or depleting plants of nutrients? 
Replies: 15    Views: 3557
Last Post: 21/12/2014 at 14:46
1 to 15 of 19 threads