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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

Cheap seeds - again!

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 13:33

Chili lover, I've tried Legend a few times. The first time, two years ago, I got some enormous specimens, one weighed over a pound!  But in the last two summers, they've not ripened well at all - I think they need quite a bit of heat. I also found that they are not early, in fact they're later than most others (again, it may be that they need more heat than some). They are supposed to be blight resistant, and were OK the first year, but the blight does eventually get to them. They were expensive seeds, so you've not much to  lose by experimenting with your bargain packet.

We're in south Devon, where the summer it tends to be wetter and cooler than in the east. You might get different results where you are.

Magnolia Stellata

Posted: 19/11/2012 at 13:25

There was a similar question on GQT on the radio a couple of weeks ago. The panel said don't worry, just enjoy the extra flowering.

Raspberry Canes on Allotment

Posted: 17/11/2012 at 09:56

I suppose laying them at an angle makes it easier for you to lift them out later without too much root disturbance.I think they'd be OK like this for a few weeks or so, but don't hang about too long or the ground may freeze and delay your plans.

autumn colour

Posted: 11/11/2012 at 09:00

Doris, my acer is an Acer Palmatum "Shaina". I think it was quite expensive, but it's certainly earning its keep now. If anything it's an even brighter red today. But most of the summer the leaves are a darker, purplish colour.

autumn colour

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:17

 I just remembered I had taken a photo of the acer mentioned above. I've neer uploaded a photo here but it's a doddle, isn't it? So here you go.

autumn colour

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:10

We have a red-leaved Japanese acer in the garden that has turned the most fantastic, almost fluorescent red in the last week or so. I think it's because it has managed to hold on to its foliage until there was an overnight frost a few days ago, and it was after this that we noticed that the red had become brighter and more intense.

raspberries and rhubarb

Posted: 09/11/2012 at 16:07

When we moved into this house we had one rhubarb and two gooseberry plants that had to be dug up in the autumn while the garden was re-shaped. All the plants were shoved into corners and left alone for some weeks, and eventually replanted in the new raised beds. They've all flourished wonderfully and cropped really well ever since.

We were perhaps lucky that it was a mild winter - heavy frosts might have damamged the roots or made replanting difficult. But if you move them now before the soil gets too cold (avoid frosty weather) it's a good time to move dormant plants. I should think the same applies to raspberries, as this is when rasps are sold for planting out.

Helleborus niger in family garden- too dangerous?

Posted: 13/10/2012 at 13:27

I've never worried about poisonous plants when the grandkids come to stay, but I have said to them never to put anything in their mouths unless I've told them it's OK, as some plants could make them sick. I think in most cases that's what would happen, rather than the child just dropping dead. They seem fine about this, but I let them eat raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes straight from the plants, which is fun for them. The age at which they just just put everything in their mouths (from crawling stage up to about 18 months or two years) is not an age when you'd leave them unsupervised to crawl around your flower beds, and by the time they are old enough to run off behind your back, they're also old enough to follow simple rules.

The one plant I would be wary of is yew, which is not commonly found in gardens. The berries look really pretty and appealing but the seeds inside them are very poisonous. My nephew had to be admitted to hospital after eating some in a park, and at one stage they were not sure they would be able to save him. He did make a complete recovery.



Talkback: How to store, freeze and dry your harvests

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 17:36

No, don't blanch soft fruit, it's perfectly OK frozen as it comes. I have some shallow plastic boxes ( from takeaway meals, I think) and find they are perfect for raspberries and blackberries. Blackcurrants and gooseberries and chopped rhubarb I just bung in a freezer bag - I don't find they clump or stick together much.

Otherwise you can cook them (e.g. gooseberries, apples, rhubarb) and thaw when you want to use them in puddings or as fruit purees.

Potting on Perenials plug plants

Posted: 12/10/2012 at 17:31

I had those tiny plugs from T&M (lavender, geum, penstemon, delphinium, digitalis, echinacea) and decided to let them take their chance in the garden. They've been out for a month or so now (two months forthe digitalis as they grew so fast) and look quite happy. I don't know whether they will survive the winter, but I'm sure some will. I will try to remember to report back here in the Spring.

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12 threads returned