Latest posts by frensclan

Are these damsons or sloes please?

Posted: 15/09/2014 at 08:07

I have been looking up Buckthorn our of interest and found this site.

Don't know if it is of help but found it interesting to browse through? plus another good site I found is

Many sites feature warnings about the risk to animals if they ingest part of the plant of Alder Buckthorn and some American sites warn of a risk to people but as far as I can see the habit of these bushes is quite distinct.


Are these damsons or sloes please?

Posted: 14/09/2014 at 19:01

Hi, the fruit you have is as I said the wild damson and great for using as are the fruit of the blackthorn ; the sloe. only the thorns to be careful of. Obviously as the tree you picked from had no thorns this confirms you have damsons  Good wine/gin/pudding making.

Are these damsons or sloes please?

Posted: 14/09/2014 at 14:05

I seem to be replying to two different threads with the same lead but as I replied to the other one these are sloes and perfectly good for great sloe gin and wines etc. I think you  might be thinking of the thorns re caution as this is the blackthorn tree/bush and the thorns are poisonous if you get one in your skin.

Are these damsons or sloes please?

Posted: 14/09/2014 at 14:01

I agree they look more like wild damsons than sloes. I have just picked my sloes and they are a little smaller and are "very" bitter to the taste. Did you notice what the twigs were like as the sloe is from the blackthorn and this has lots of very sharp thorns which can cause a bit of damage. We forage  for sloes most years and I never come back uninjured! In fact this year I was really badly scratched and that even with the other half holding back the branches for me.

Anyways I don't see why they will not make sloe gin or whatever you are thinking of as damsons can be used for similar and wine etc.

Even a micro pond helps!

Posted: 11/09/2014 at 17:54

Yes I saw the Alan Titchmarsh  bog garden programme and had made one of these in a previous garden. Really easy. I just dug out a bit of the ground behind my old pond and then laid down some old rubber sheeting with lots of holes spiked in it. Covered it over with the soil again and planted some moisture loving plants in it. This just slows down the rate at which the rain gets through the soil and keeps it nice and damp It got going really quickly and provided lots of cover for wild life.

Also I have seen a really miniature water lily if you really want one in a small pond. I think it was I one of the gardening magazines and they had made a pond out of a large glazed plant pot!

Even a micro pond helps!

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 17:33

Hi Lindsay, can you remember which plants you bought for your micro pond? I only ask as my local pond people are in a multi chain thingy and the assistants a bit fey when asked a question! so I shall probably have to buy from the internet.  I am assuming they were a dwarf variety of something a bit like a rock garden on land? You must be delighted at how your wonderful project has spurred so many people on to have a go

Even a micro pond helps!

Posted: 08/09/2014 at 10:27

This is all so inspiring and of course as with Hester's cautionary tale above reminds us of how greatly we can affect natural processes. I have a s I said before newts well (newtlets) really  and I have read that they move away from the pond once adult for up to three years and live on land. I wonder if they pop back now and them into the water? does anyone our there know if frogs toads and newts use the pond all year round or like the newts do frogs and toads live on land for much of the time?

Even a micro pond helps!

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 19:09

Hi Forester2,

interesting about the male frogs wintering at the bottom of your pond. I didn't know that they did that. Do they come out and about at all? I expect that is a silly question but wondered how I would know if I had some at the bottom of my pond. Whenever I clear out the weed with my net I have to rescue and return tiny newts which I am supposing are baby ones but have never found a frog although my husband sees the odd one when he is watering in the area.

Even a micro pond helps!

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 19:03

Hi Lindsay4,

thanks for that summary of the process as that was going to be my next question. You can see from other responses that we all think your idea and result was/is great. Hopefully you will be enjoying it for many more years to come. I have left some piles of twigs covered in bits of soil and grass near  my bigger pond with old roofing tiles and bits and bobs stacked haphazardly in the hope it will provide some winter shelter.

Sad Crab Apple

Posted: 07/09/2014 at 18:57

Hi Buddyboy,

thankyou for that I have made a note and will get some of the above so that I can treat  my trees in the spring. I will have a good clear up now as you suggest. You have been a great help. thankyou

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