Latest posts by Ginglygangly

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Whitefly in compost heap

Posted: 10/12/2017 at 18:44

They're probably compost flies (there is a more scientific name). Their larvae are part of the composting process and will be munching away on all the contents of your bin, helping to turn it into "black gold", hopefully by spring. I admit it is a bit disconcerting getting clouds of them in the face every time you open the lid - I find chucking some browns (dead leaves, old compost from pots, or even cardboard etc) on the top helps with that. 

Compost do's and don'ts

Posted: 02/12/2017 at 20:34

I use bukashi bins - or that might be bokashi - to process cooked food, meat scraps etc that I can't put in the compost bins. The process is fungal and the food isn't composted as such, more pickled. Whatever the process, once a bin is "full" I leave it a couple of weeks, until I can see the fungus (white fluff) covering the surface and then empty the bin into the compost bin, covering it with other compostable waste, such as dead leaves. This usually coincides with one of my two compost bins being full and once I have emptied bukashi into it, I leave it to "cook". I find the compost breaks down more quickly as a result and apparently it is very nutritious. Certainly the compost bin is full of worms. I have two of the bins. You  have to buy bukashi, either as a spray or in bran. I use the latter. You add a layer of waste food and sprinkle the bran on top. I have two bins so that one can be filling up when the other is full and "cooking". The bins are tighty sealed as the fungus should not be exposed to too much air. And it also stops the smell seeping out, which is good as it stinks to high heaven! You also get a very smelly run off which you drain out of the bin via a tap. This makes very good plant food but I call it "stinky juice" for reasons you would find out if you go with this system! I don't put bread or mouldy cheese in as I am not sure fats would break down well and bread hasn't got many nutrients in it, but in go all my plate scrapings - I have to say I don't waste much. As I live on my own it takes about three months to fill a buksahi bin but a family would probably fill one a month.

Houseplant ID?

Posted: 12/09/2017 at 20:01

looks like a Christmas cactus

new border ideas

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 14:40

or what about Hydrangea Quercifolia - the oak leaved hydrangea. Its leaves go a fabulous red colour in Autumn. I am salivating over one on the crocus website..........

also how about some Euphorbias for that fabulous zingy green they provide in spring? I have euphorbia mellifera because I love its scent in the spring and its tree-like structure, but there are other ones that are better lookers, including a few with red or red-tinted foliage. Best in sun otherwise not fussy plants.

Plants & Flowerbeads

Posted: 10/08/2017 at 14:29

Hi there

As Borderline says, the Acer should be fine in a bit of shade. It and your other plants might be struggling due to your soil. Did you add compost to the soil after creating your beds? I completely get what you are aiming to do with low maintenance shrubs and stones. Some of us love spending a lot of time tending our beloved gardens, some of us don't!

If you are planning to plant shrubs/ small trees it will be important to feed the soil with some compost to get them off to a good start. Once they have got established, they shouldn't need much fussing but they will grow so inevitably some maintenance will be involved, even if it's just a light prune every year.

Plants can cost a lot of money and I would echo Kitty's advice and go to a GOOD garden nursery or centre where you can look at different plants and get some advice before you buy. A knowledgeable garden centre employee should be able to tell you about how big things will get, what sort of conditions the plants need etc. They should also be able to tell you about things that are not currently in season (so unlikely to be in stock at garden centres) - this just simply means they are not flowering or fruiting or displaying lovely foliage at the moment - but that you would  probably be able to order.

Having said all that you might want to consider googling "Chusan palm". This is fully hardy. I have one in my garden.  It was here when I arrived  and has probably only grown four foot in the last 18 years. I reckon it might be about 50 years old and the trunk is probably only 8 foot now. Does need quite a bit of space for the leaves though. Fatsia Japonica might give you the jungly look you are after. Or perhaps you could consider large grasses, including bamboo? (definitely get some professional advice on the latter, as some varieties of bamboo can be really invasive).

Good luck!


What is this yellow flower?

Posted: 02/06/2017 at 13:43

could be Tigridia or Tiger Flower?

Aldi pop up Easter advert

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 15:15

just installed ad blocker. Happy days - listening to GQT on the iPlayer whilst browsing this forum so really don't want Coke jingle interrupting, thanks

Lily beetles

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 15:04

good point lamweedy but hopefully won't affect the berries as I'd only spray the leaves. I took about 200 sawfly caterpillar off my gooseberry bush last summer. Sadly only noticed them when they had munched most of the leaves. No fruit for my gooseberry jam! The plant has survived but I want jam this year!

Aldi pop up Easter advert

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 14:56

the coke advert is driving me nuts. Every time I go on a new page or refresh it serenades me.

Lily beetles

Posted: 17/04/2017 at 14:27

Top tip Bee! I think I've also heard that it keeps off mossies? My gooseberries were massacred by sawfly last year so  I'll definitely be giving that a go.

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