Latest posts by Fairygirl

Encouraging birds to a garden

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 18:25

Claire - I moved into this house three years ago - there was no garden apart from a berberis, a buddleia and a laurel. It was slabs, gravel and grass ...and no birds. I've created a garden but feeding birds all year round made the biggest difference while I gradually got the plants in. Providing areas for them is all part of the process and you can add all kinds of plants that will benefit them.

They will disappear a bit through summer because they find other food naturally. It's a gradual process and the important thing is to be consistent with your feeding. I now have blackbirds  (two obvious pairs last winter ) robins, blue, great and coal tits, wrens, goldcrests, sparrows, dunnocks and magpies etc. 

I like a drink from a teasel leaf Tetley   

HELLO FORKERS! September Edition

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 17:52

Evening lovely people.  

Anyone listening to the Hyde Park concert? Very good.  

I didn't get blown away - I tethered myself with a rope just to make sure 

Yvie...I daren't make another wish list - for tulips especially....

It's not easy fixing a new gate when the problem with it is caused by the wind....I'm fed up buying new latches when delivery men don't bother shutting the gate and the wind whips it back and snaps the latch off, so I've hung it the other way. I've made it more solid and I have a new latch which is the kind you find on footpath gates and copes with being slammed shut,  so hopefully......

Hands are aching as the saw's blunt. I think that's the fifth or sixth one I've gone through since I moved here. I'm knackered. I'll be glad to go back to work tomorrow for a rest....

Our shops are open till late on Sundays Hosta, so I don't suppose that issue arises, but it seems crazy....

Think a carry out is in order here. Chish and fips anyone?

Making a large compost bin

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 17:39

Four posts in a square or rectangle, knocked into the gorund or left free standing depending on where you have it. Planks attached to three sides leaving the front open. Two battens on the inside of each of the two front posts, with a gap between them the same depth as the timber you're using. These act as slots for putting the planks in and out at the front for access.

A lid for the top with hinges if you can be bothered, or just fixed together for lifting off.


Is it just me?

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 17:33

Sorry K on G - I just giggled when I saw that   

I make proper, hand drawn plans. When I moved here the whole place was measured and the design done on paper as to where beds etc would go. Some things have been added, some changed, but essentially the layout of the garden is the way I planned it. 

I have a drawing of it on the 'pooter somewhere....

Clay pot washing

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:56

I'd agree Dove - grape hyacinths ( and crocus)  cope with drier conditions too, which suits the tulips well. 

I thought of getting some white grape hyacinths, but I've spent enough on bulbs recently...

I want to create my first winter pot

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:47

Hi Renata - re the tulips. It's normally recommended to plant them later in the year as they can be susceptible to virus in the warmer weather of early autumn. If you're in a warmer part of the country, you can simply keep them in a cool place for now -  a garage or something if you have that. I often  just plant them and keep them in a cool place outside, as we don't have the higher temps that areas further south have anyway. They like better drainage than many of the other bulbs you've bought, so you might want to plant them separately from the others anyway  

A whisky barrel crammed with bulbs will make a great display - you'll be surprised how quickly the bulbs will be used! I have a 15 inch pot just planted with white Joan of Arc crocus. There's around 60 bulbs in it.


Admit away - we all like different things 

Some of the little semi doubles are beautiful though - Cheerfulness is delightful 

Encouraging birds to a garden

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:34

Hi Claire, first thing I'd do is get some  feeding stations for the birds. Perfect time of year for that. Add some water - even just a little bird bath of some kind for them to drink and bathe. You'll get them coming in initially that way. 

Plants which have berries are always a good start. Easy shrubs like Cotoneaster and Pyracantha are perfect. You can have them on boundary walls or fences so they don't take up a lot of room. Amelanchier is a great shrub/small tree which also has blossom in spring for bees and insects, and then berries for autumn. Any of the rowans (Sorbus)  would be ideal too. Pick ones with the brighter coloured berries as the birds will eat them first - reds and oranges. 

Have a few evergreens near any feeders if possible, for birds to take cover from predators when feeding. 

Hope that gives you a couple of ideas to start with  

Clay pot washing

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:27

I wash mine with hot water and a little drop of detergent and then rinse them. I don't do anything to the outside other than wash any mud off them. They get well weathered here very quickly Dove 

Although, like Hosta, I sometimes don't bother, depending on what's been in them and for how long. 

I think that's an awful lot of layers of bulbs for one pot bulker. You won't get much soil/compost in there with that amount, and there's a chance they'll dry out and/or  lack nutrients and water over time. I'd go for a much bigger pot, or else plant up a couple of smaller ones with some of the crocus and smaller daffs and group them with your bigger pots.

Just my opinion of course  

plug plants

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:19

I tend to leave things like Verb bon and foxgloves outside, but if they're smallish plants, I simply tuck them into a border somewhere. That gives them protection but also means the plants are outside dealing with the elements  as well. Works well for me. 

Recommendation for Lawn Edging

Posted: 11/09/2016 at 09:14

I expect you could paint the edging too Verd - there are concrete paints available, although I'm not sure if you paint them on after or add them to the mix when you make it initially. You could have a greeny colour to help it blend in if you didn't want the grey concrete. 

Just a thought...

Last edited: 11 September 2016 09:14:40

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