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Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Can anyone identify this weed and suggest how we can get rid of it?

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 20:00

If it is vinca, it does tend to smother everything around it. We found it didn't like being cut right back - even if we couldn't get the roots out,  chopping it close to the ground was quite effective. But it does tend to come back eventually.

Bees

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 18:53

We keep bees and agree with Beekeeper 2 above. We look after our bees well and they stay healthy and survive the winters.

Monty alluded to "wild bees" that might choose to make their home in your top-bar hive. There are virtually no honey bee colonies living successfully  in the wild in this country now - any stray swarms will have orignated in an apiary, and are unlikely to survive for long if left unchecked and uncared for. It is a sad fact that various diseases,  probably imported by beekeepers importing queens etc from abroad, will wipe out most colonies quite quickly.

Monty also implies that you can just take some of the honey if you like. To do this when the  comb is not on frames is very difficult; you can't just help yourself to a lump of comb if you don't know how to tell honey stores from brood cells, and you can't use an extractor to spin off the honey without frames. You may also leave the bees short of food if you can't tell whether they have stored more than they need, and then don't offer them any replacement food. Then they will simply starve in the winter, if they don't die of cold or varroa.

That's just a few of the points we take issue with. Anyone interested in beekeeping should take the trouble to find out a bit about it first. There are, as this thread shows, differing views on how best to keep bees,  but it really isn't kind or "bee-friendly" to assume that you can just set up a swarm in any box in your garden and leave the bees to get on with it.

 

 

Help in identifying this plant please

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 18:16

I think it may prove hard to get rid of, although it may depend on how long it's been there. Moving it might also be difficult if you find you can't get all the root out, and as it seems to be next to a path, the roots may not be easy to dig out. If you decide to get rid of it, a chemical solution (glyphosate) might be the most effective way if the roots are too deep.

Lily beetles

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 15:20

I found some a few days ago, in a lily that was planted in the autumn and is making its first appearance as a plant. I mean, how did they find my new lilies? I squished three at the time, and then another four this morning (all, incidentally, on only one of the six lilies in the bed).

Help in identifying this plant please

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 15:13

Comfrey is really good for compost,  or for making a liquid plant food. It also has incredibly deep roots, so you may want to try to curb its habits in order to protect your pathways, other plants etc.

Fascinated by Fasciation

Posted: 24/05/2015 at 08:51

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/77373.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 Here's our mutant bluebell.

Weird mutant bluebell?

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 09:42

Perhaps if I act quickly I can set up my garden as a Bank Holiday attraction and charge my neighbours to come in and view the Mutant Bluebell.

Actually, the grandkids are arriving soon but I doubt they'll be interested - they're more intrigued by the electronic cat-scarer, because they can hear it and I can't.

Weird mutant bluebell?

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 08:53

Aw, that's a shame, Tetley, I was thinking I could collect the seeds and make my fortune!

Asparagus New Shoots

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 18:50

I wouldn't risk hoeing until the plants have revealed where they're going to surface. Best just weed by hand at first.

Fish thieving magpies!

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 18:08

The electronic animal scarers seem to work well. You can get solar powered ones  on Amazon for about £ 14, and they can easily be moved around to other locations as required.

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