Latest posts by higgy50

Connecting water butts to a greenhouse

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 17:36

If your making something yourself out of guttering get some 'gutter sealer' as it's great for sealing around joints etc, it's also flexible and 100% waterproof.

I also use this on pond filters - The pipe delivering water from the pump to the filter box often leaks so I wipe a small amount of sealant around the thread where it screws onto the filter box and once screwed together, no leaks!

Try and find an environmentally friendly one though as you don't want anything nasty leaching into your water butts or pond!



Talkback: An early spring?

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 17:26

Hi Kate it is a funny old situation with the weather and I can report a bumblebee and a 7-spot ladybird sighting in my garden last Saturday also!

Unfortunately I'm not privileged with much in the way of flowers like you are at the moment but I think that is down to being on low grazing marsh which is pretty saturated at the moment and probably keeping plant's roots cold at this time of year.

My fish in my Koi pond are still actively seeking food when I walk out on the decking but the wildlife ponds are quiet now.

Bird wise it's been busy but not as busy as this time last year and I have also been awoken by my resident Robin on quite a few occasions recently! On the day that I did my early bird survey for the BTO he was singing an hour before daylight!! I don't mind though!...




Sowing flowers from seed

Posted: 17/01/2014 at 00:06

Hi Nick,

You can sow some flowers and many of our native wildflowers are good candidates as they need a period of cold to germinate.

Native wildflowers such as corn cockle will be ok sown now as will quite a few perennial plants.

These are a few that I have found worked quite well...

Corn Cockle

Californian Poppy

'Love in the mist'

Sweet William





That names just a few to try but there are a lot more and s stated above lots of our wildflowers..

Another way to know what might work is to think about all the little seedlings that come up around the garden in Spring and make you curse, any of these plants will probably be easy to propagate from winter sowing and can of course then be planted where you want them!




Talkback: Territorial garden birds

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 23:46

Hey Bill that's a great looking bird!

Thanks for the kind words Heather and Kate!

Just started reading your wildlife gardening book Kate and thoroughly enjoying it thus far!




Talkback: Creating a wildflower meadow

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 23:13

If your lawn has been cared for then leaving it to it's own devices probably won't give you the wildflowers that you desire as rye and similar grasses used in lawns are too 'thuggish' for wildflowers. Adding seed will help if you rake the lawn aggressively and create some 'bold' patches to sow onto however you may not get results as quick as you had hoped from my experience.

I have tried it several ways but found the best was to strip the turf and sow fresh, this has certainly proved the most reliable as far as perennial wild flowers go for me, however I did sow some annuals the first year whilst the perennials grew as they will generally flower best from their second season on.

The other thing I did was researched what type of wildflowers were native to my part of North Somerset and where possible sowed these species.

Another tip from me is to also grow some perennial wildflower plugs from seed and plant these in any gaps for the first year or so and they will soon mix in! If you end up not needing them all plant them in large pots for a mini meadow or what I do is plant them in between herbaceous perennials in my pollinating border and they add a nice twist.


 Plant annuals in the first year so Perennials have a season to get going...


 Hope that helps




Camera Corner

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 22:55

Shame that camellia doesn't smell David, always nice to have some scent drifting around the garden.

I'm still trying to follow the theme (sort of) so I will offer a macro shot first....

Speckled Wood

And then I'm going to sneak back a few posts and stick in a Kestrel....

Sadly not taken in the garden although they do hover over occasionally!






Crows and Magpies!!!

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 22:42

My advice would be to try and enjoy all that visits, however I know some birds can be bullies so I would feed the larger birds like the crows and magpies in another part of the garden if you can. This will leave the seed feeders to the smaller birds?

I would also ask what you are feeding that's so attractive to the bigger birds? Let us know??

Generally sunflower hearts in a hanging feeder would only be attractive to your smaller visitors. If you are feeding bigger food on the bird table or ground then this may be causing your problem?



What 2 plants would you put together in the herbaceous/perennial border?

Posted: 16/01/2014 at 19:07

Well for me it depends on the time of year but it will always be a combination for pollinators....

Spring / Early Summer - Astrantia with Foxgloves and Perennial Scabious under planted with Sweet William

Added for Mid Summer - Purple Loosestrife with Verbena Hostata & Verbena Bonineriasis and Veronicastrum is a winning combination (underplanted with Rudbeckia and Scabious)

Added for Late Summer / Autumn - Rudbeckia with Asters (adding to the above choice which will still be hanging on!)

The above 'later' combination will be bright and bold and look something like this...


For a completely different idea and approach that may be of interest...

The last two years I have been experimenting with planting wildflowers through my perennial borders which has proven a magnet for pollinators and here are two combinations that have proved good so far...

Helenium and annual Corn Marigolds get the pollinators buzzing in a border!...

 The other combination is perennial and is Helenium and Knapweed

 So now you have something very different to consider also!?.....





Cold frames

Posted: 15/01/2014 at 22:50

I went on the 'free ads' recently and managed to buy two small wooden framed windows. When I got them home they fitted my new home built cold-frame perfectly!! LOL

Find your local 'Freecycle' group and see what's going as people give stuff away for free so it doesn't go in landfill and I've often seen old doors and window frames etc on mine so well worth a look and it will be free!!



Discussions started by higgy50

Anyone name this bee magnet please?

Plant ID 
Replies: 20    Views: 2277
Last Post: 19/02/2014 at 22:18

Sanguisorba menziesii

Plants for wildlife 
Replies: 4    Views: 1250
Last Post: 03/01/2014 at 16:42

Talkback: Brimstone butterflies

A brilliant piece Richard and demonstrating what we can all do very easily in our own gardens - Grow the right plants for the right species!... 
Replies: 30    Views: 27833
Last Post: 09/01/2014 at 09:18

Talkback: Growing spring flowers for bumblebees

This is a really interesting post Kate and timely as I spent most of the day last Saturday planting my Crocus, Snakes Head Fritillary, alli... 
Replies: 6    Views: 1221
Last Post: 31/10/2013 at 21:49

ID this plant for me please???

Replies: 10    Views: 1735
Last Post: 30/08/2012 at 12:49
5 threads returned