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Green Magpie

Latest posts by Green Magpie

save a bee with some sugar water

Posted: 12/06/2015 at 22:35

I've done this a couple of times with bees that I have found swimming - or drowning-  in a watering can or bucket. In the big picture, one bee is not significant, but I'm sure it is appreciated by that bee.


Posted: 09/06/2015 at 07:42

Lupin aphids are bigger than normal greenfly, they're a different variety. Thye are fat and tough-looking, almost as bad as the Willow Aphid, which is quite revolting.

Are you eating your home grown fruit and veg yet?

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:54

Last night we had our first proper garden dinner, which included potatoes, baby carrots, asparagus and strawberries. Can't wait for the other crops to be ready!


Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:51

If you do leave some nettles, they're an important food plant for many butterflies and caterpillars, so you can feel virtuous about the ones you miss.


Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:43

Yes they should do. Mine don't have aphids yet but snails are a problem. Lupins seem to be very tasty to various creatures, pity we can't eat them!

bean seed germinating

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:42

I grow Cobra every year from saved seed and usually they crop from the second half of July for a few weeks. This year mine are very slow, they've been out for a couple of weeks and I think it's been too cold at nights. 

I have to report that the dwarf French beans I mentioned in an earlier post, sown direct about two weeks ago, have all germinated but they are tiny and yellow and stunted, with leaves about the size of my little finger nail. Again, I think low overnight temperatures may be to blame (down to 5 or 6 last night), so today I sowed some more in modules in the mini-greenhouse.


Posted: 03/06/2015 at 16:42

Don't worry, they won't be aggressive, and they won't stay there more than a day or two. Soon they will be off to a more suitable home.

please id climber

Posted: 29/05/2015 at 20:19

I agree with nucutlet.  We have one of these, and although ours is quite sturdy, it is very prone to black fugal infection, due probably to sticky secretions from aphids. I sprayed ours earlier this year and it has perked up quite a bit.

DIY bug hotel

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 13:47

I was a bit taken aback when some distinguished gardener - I think it was Carole Klein- suggested gathering hollow-stemmed sticks and pushing them into a slice of a plastic bottle. Such a nearly-good idea, but why ruin it with plastic? Natural materials (e.g. jute twine to hold it all together) are so much better, as you can tuck the whole thing into a corner of the garden and forget about it, letting it degrade when it's ready.

Climbers with non invasive roots

Posted: 28/05/2015 at 13:40

Lonicera roots can do dreadful damage to drains, as we (and our insurance company) know to our cost.

For autumn colour, you could plant a Virginia creeper, although it's bare in winter.

Discussions started by Green Magpie

Onion Smut!

Replies: 11    Views: 405
Last Post: 21/07/2015 at 17:08

Weird mutant bluebell?

Replies: 10    Views: 527
Last Post: 23/05/2015 at 20:02

Leaking squash, help!

Replies: 12    Views: 601
Last Post: 19/08/2014 at 08:57

Moths and lavender

Replies: 0    Views: 334
Last Post: 08/08/2014 at 12:14

Drama in the compost heap

Replies: 5    Views: 472
Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 21:18

Tomato thriving on neglect!

Replies: 5    Views: 512
Last Post: 20/06/2014 at 10:54

Secateurs open?

Replies: 5    Views: 874
Last Post: 06/05/2014 at 21:27

Lobelia for wedding at end of May

Replies: 6    Views: 594
Last Post: 04/06/2014 at 22:39


Replies: 8    Views: 1010
Last Post: 03/02/2014 at 07:50

Runners on new strawberry plants

Replies: 6    Views: 823
Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 08:39

Nettles for butterflies

Replies: 10    Views: 1947
Last Post: 22/07/2013 at 14:25

What not to grow

Replies: 25    Views: 1821
Last Post: 31/07/2014 at 18:08

Photinia Red Robin pruning?

Replies: 29    Views: 22206
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 10:01

Searching the site?

Replies: 17    Views: 2243
Last Post: 04/02/2014 at 15:30
14 threads returned