Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Which Clematis

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 20:00

PS: and I don't think even they flower until about May.

Which Clematis

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 19:59

The very vigorous types (species clematis, I think I mean) such as Montana and Armandii flower quite early. but they can get a bit out of hand and might not be manageable on an arch with a rose.

Which Clematis

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 14:52

I can't think of a clematis that flowers so early, except perhaps clematis cirrhosa "Freckles" or similar, which have sporadic flowers from autumn to spring, but are quite subtle and delicate, not very colourful.

Is this ragwort

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 14:48

Well, the actual legislation states that if there is a medium or high risk to nearby livestock, there is a legal obligation on the landowner to put in place a policy to control ragwort. This is in the Code Of Practice in the 2003 legislation.

Regardless of the law, I would prefer not to risk poisoning my neighbours'  livestock, or introduce ragwort to fields that I know are used for hay and silage, which can become contaminated by ragwort.

What do you carry you hand tools around in?

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 12:43

I lost my Felco secateurs, and they turned up over a year later, in the compost heap. I cleaned them up and they still work OK.

Is this ragwort

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 11:45

Ragwort is very poisonous to horsesand cattle. If you have it on your land, you have a legal duty not to let it spread to grazing areas, so rural gardeners should take care. The seeds are wind-borne, so I wouldn't want it in my garden as we are quite close to farmland.

Having said that, there's a big field nearby that is waste land (disused private allotments); I believe it's now owned by a pension company who are hoping that one day they can sell it for development. It is now full of ragwort (and cinnebar moths) but is just across the road from open farmland. No one attempts to control or manage it.

Coffee grounds and slugs

Posted: 17/06/2015 at 09:15

If there are envionmental reasons for a pesticide ban, then the bad results would not be immediately obvious. The annoying thing is that commercial growers are still allowed some of the chemicals banned to the rest of us, even though we would use them on a small scale and in a very targeted way.

But in practice I can't imagine even the UK police knocking on my door to ask what precisely I was hoping to achieve by putting coffee grounds on my flower beds. If it's lawful to use as a soil conditioner, it can't be harmful as a pest deterrent.

I think the trouble is that there's some blanket rule saying that any substance used to kill or even deter wildlife has to be approved. This is where it gets silly, as some creatures are deterred by harmless substances - and some, like slugs, are not likely to be an endangered species anywhere!


Posted: 16/06/2015 at 22:42

Oh don't start me on mice in the strawberries! We lost so many to mice last week, it's full-scale war now.... traps (useless), deterrents such as clove oil, ultra-sonic scarers and poison.  

Coffee grounds and slugs

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 22:31

I think coffee grounds tend to make the soil more acidic, so in this case it wouldn't be the best thing to use around brassicas, which like an alkaline soil.

Is this ragwort

Posted: 16/06/2015 at 22:27

Just enjoy it. It's not ragwort, it's just a really pretty euphorbia, and it won't become a pest. If it ends up in your flower beds, it looks wonderful against blue or purple flowers in Spring.

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