Green Magpie


Latest posts by Green Magpie

Average gardeners spending

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 14:03

Or keep a few sheep?

Average gardeners spending

Posted: 26/04/2016 at 09:25

Look, my husband used to have a boat! Now there WAS an expensive hobby, and one you can only enjoy on certain occasions. Gardening is very modest in comparison, and pays you back handsome dividends  - flowers, trees, fruit, vegetables, wild life to watch, and a lovely space to spend time in, alone or with friends and family. 

Productive soft fruit plot

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:39

I grow parsley and coriander around my fruit bushes. I sow the parsley on the shady side, so that the shadow of the bushes will stop the soil from drying out too much. Salad crops can be grown the gaps too, or you could try chives. 

Average gardeners spending

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:34

Think what it would cost to buy yourself - or for someone to buy you - a nice bunch of flowers once a week.  If you spend that on seeds, bedding plants or shrubs, you get so much extra value that can last for years. And look at what some people spend on stuff for indoors - cushions, clocks, candles, vases - and yet the things you buy for the garden give you so much more. Plants and seeds work for you, and give you back such a return on your investment, it's money well spent! (Well, we all know that. I'm just suggesting some ways of justifying it to others.)

Has anybody got any tips?

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:21

WD 40 can also help shift stubborn sticky labels.

Hellebores

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:19

They may not breed true, but you could produce a unique hybrid!  They are all so lovely, what have you got to lose?

How do I tell try the nationality of my bluebells

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:14

Oh they do, they make me quite wheezy and asthmatic. 

Many bluebells are hybrids now, so you may have "dual heritage"bluebells, if that makes you feel any better.

Seed / potting on compost? Manure?

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 21:11

As I understand it, seed compost is usually lower in nutrients, and possibly freer -draining, than general.potting compost, because seedlings do better without the  extra nutrients.

Having said that ... Which? do a test of composts each year, and this year they found that Verve multi-purpose compost (B&Q own brand) was just as effective for raising seeds as their seed compost which was, like most seed composts, more expensive. I have used  Verve MP this year with very good germination and growth, and it's handier - and cheaper - just to have the one type of compost on the go.

Tadpoles

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 22:50

They may be too tiny to spot yet. Wait until a sunny day and look around the edge of the pond where the sun is warmest. That's where they will bask and be easiest to see.

Grasses

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 22:47

Monty was cutting bank his Miscanthus a few weeks ago, so I did mine then. If you leave it too late, you can't cut right back without damaging the new shoots. Mine is beginning to sprout again, but very slowly. I'd give it a couple more weeks and then dig it up if there are no fresh green shoits poking through by then.

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