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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 13/05/2012 at 18:07

I had some old hanging-basket frames that I got at a a garage sale, and I have successfully used two of these to create a cage in which to hang the peanut feeder. It's aimed at protecting from squirrels, which don't just take the nuts but will pull apart the whole feeder, or knock it down and hide or remove it.

I'm now considering making a second one to protect the fatballs from the jackdaws and magpies, who demolish them in no time, but I can't decide whether I'm just bieng soppy in wanting the tits and finches to have first peck at them.

Talkback: Cleavers

Posted: 12/05/2012 at 17:50

I'm hoping to refresh this thread, as I was going to ask the same thing. We suddenly have a plague of cleavers (aka goose grass or "sticky willie"), probably because we reomved a big conifer and there's a lot more light in this part of the garden. Can I compost it or will it return to haunt me next year?

Talkback: Ground elder

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 16:20

I wouldn't compost the roots, just in case they regenerate somehow, but I think the foliage is OK to compost. I have a problem with this too, all the more since we removed a big conifer, allowing more light to a wild part of the garden, which seems to please the ground elder.

Guinea pigs enjoy eating the foliage if you feed it to them (not after spraying, of course!). This probably means it's safe for us to eat too, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's worth doing so. Anyone tried it?


Posted: 08/05/2012 at 18:21

I've ordered the perennials too. Don't know where I'm going to put them all but I can't resist a bargain! Like Jock above, I first tried the T&M website and couldn't find it, but when I put the whole web address with the code into the browser (as in hte link above), the offer appeared.

Tomatos not growing well

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 13:56

I wonder if I dare put mine out in the ground now? I'm in Devon and the tomato bed is quite sheltered and sunny. The plants have been in 3-inch pots in a a mini-greenhouse for a couple of weeks and have had regular daytime excursions to get them used to the sun and wind.  I'd like to get them into the ground as they are quite big and strong - one variety even has flower buds starting. But I normally wait until near the end of May, and don't want to lose them to the cold. Am I just being impatient?

cordiline palm

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 18:42

The greeny ones should be OK now (ours has been outside for several weeks) but the pinky ones are less hardy (ours died last year). They needs to be protected from frost and from cold winds, so maybe leave it a bit later, depending on whereabouts you are in the country.

Garden arches planting - help needed

Posted: 03/05/2012 at 17:31

We have a jasmine that is supposed to be growing up an arch but it's very slow growing, and also suffers from sooty mould due to scale insects.

Clematis is good for combining with other, slower-growing plants. The fast-growing ones like Montana and Armandii don't need much cutting back but might get a bit out of hand as they are very vigorous. Of the others, the Viticella and Jackmanii varieties are very hardy and quite profuse once they get going. They do need cutting back in early spring, so they're not there all year round.

Passion flowers climb well nad stay green all year round (with luck).

Perennial sweet peas are another option but the vanish completely in the winter. You could also grow annual climbers like nasturtiums or thunbergia (Black eyed Susan) to add a bit of summer colour.

Pruning a Broom

Posted: 03/05/2012 at 17:15

They don't regrow if you cut back into old wood, so you're limited in what you can do. We used to have a lovely deep pinkish-red flowered broom but it got leggy and lopsided, and eventually died. What I wish I had done (and you might want to do this) is try to take summer cuttings from new shoots, so that if the old plant is not viable you'll have a young replacement.

Sycamore tree - why are they monsters?

Posted: 02/05/2012 at 12:07

 I think another thing about sycamore is that it's not a very good habitat for wildlife, compared with many other broad-leaved trees.

And I agree the keys and seedling can be a real pest. We once lived near a park and our front lawn was always peppered with seedling sycamores that had to be weeded out regularly.

Yellow/orange maple

Posted: 02/05/2012 at 09:26

Acer Palmatum "Orange Dream" has golden yellow leaves. Our daughter has a splendid specimen of this in her garden, looking wonderful at the moment. We have a tiny one (bought in Morrisons for a couple of quid) that I hope will be as good one day. If you google for that you'll see if it's what you're after,

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Leaking squash, help!

Replies: 12    Views: 231
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 08:57

Moths and lavender

Replies: 0    Views: 74
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 12:14

Drama in the compost heap

Replies: 5    Views: 205
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 21:18

Tomato thriving on neglect!

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Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

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Last Post: 06/05/2014 at 21:27

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

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Last Post: 04/06/2014 at 22:39


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Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

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Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

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What not to grow

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Last Post: 31/07/2014 at 18:08

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 25    Views: 14088
Last Post: 06/06/2014 at 22:33

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 1824
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
12 threads returned