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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

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Stoat spotted - a bit worried

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 18:15

stoat or weasel?  One is fairly weasely identified but the other's not stoatally different.................

townie question

Posted: 12/04/2016 at 21:50

could it be juncus effusis  ?  Generally speaking you'd not find good grazing on wet land, but perhaps you were referring to grassland in general terms.

Swallows, swifts and martins - have you seen them yet?

Posted: 12/04/2016 at 19:32

Saw the first swallow here on Friday April 8th - that's about two weeks earlier than usual.  I reckon the first sightings I have are those of birds which are in fact en route to somewhere further north than here, as they usually only stay for a few hours and then fly away. They seem to rest a bit on the telegraph wires and presumably try to find some food of sorts before continuing their journey.  What I call the "local" ones seem to arrive at least three weeks after I see the very first one.


Posted: 12/04/2016 at 12:45

Unfortunately, six inches below ground level isn't deep enough to stop rabbits burrowing underneath.  If you should decide to try the "wire" option, you'd need to dig at least 2 ft down and then place the wire in the hole in such a way that the lower part of it is bent//turned outward from the boundary.  This can work - sometimes - to keep the rabbits out.  Not really worth it, however, as they'll usually find an alternative route!

The most successful - actually "tried and tested" - is to have two semi-feral cats.  Your local RSPCA would probably be delighted to rehome them, as they are usually the ones which people don't choose, because they want a "house cat" rather than a semi-wild outdoor one.  The cats will live happily in a shed - need cat-flaps for access - and do  need to be fed each day, though they will catch and eat young rabbits.  The most useful thing, however, is that they can be outdoors 24/7 - which of course no dog would be - and they will hunt/lie in wait for their prey and thus act as a deterrent too.

My two whippets do catch rabbits in the lane from time to time, but those in the garden usually manage to escape through the fence or down into the burrows.


edited to add that since the last of my two cats died, the rabbits have taken over again..................


Posted: 08/04/2016 at 20:35

Where exactly is your wisteria planted, Ryan?  All too often people plant things close to a boundary where the soil is poor or compacted, and they don't remember to make a really big hole and use some good quality compost to back-fill the hole when planting things. 

I've never heard or read about root-pruning wisteria, so would be reluctant to try it, having found what (to me at least) was a totally satisfactory way of getting the plants to produce plentiful flowers.  During the summer months, after they have finished flowering, the wisterias here seem to grow like triffids.  I think I really should measure the rate some time, as I reckon the shoots grow about 18" per week, and spread across windows etc during the time I'm away in the summer!


Posted: 08/04/2016 at 19:32

I'm certainly not "the expert" mentioned in a previous post, but I have made suggestions in the past ref caring for wisteria.  As others have already said, it can take many years before a newly purchased plant may flower, so it's a good idea to buy one when it is actually flowering so that you know there's every chance that will continue to do so thereafter. 

When I came to my current home - over 20 yeas ago now - there were two very well-established wisterias at the property but neither of them flowered. I found this very frustrating, as the plants themselves had clearly been there for many years with the main stems being at least 3" in diameter.  They had been planted at the front of the house, at the base of the house wall, in rather small holes which had been made in the concrete path which ran along the whole of the front.  I discovered that they needed to be very well-watered during the autumn months, in order  for them to flower the following spring. I made sure that they got lots of water until the time came when the path itself was removed in order to create a shrub bed in its place, together with a new layout for the driveway etc.  Since then the general rainfall has meant that the moisture spreads throughout the shrub beds and extra water for the wisterias has proved to be un-necessary.

The reward has been what could be described as resembling a purple waterfall down the whole of the front of the house - and it's turned out to be one of those things which people use to identify the house itself - i.e.  "that one with the fantastic wisteria". 

My guess is that not only lack of water but also lack of nutrients played a part in the poor "performance" of the plants - the soil close to the house foundations was probably very poor quality and the concrete path certainly meant that there was insufficient water reaching the roots.

It doesn't work, however, to use too much fertiliser because this stimulates leaf growth rather than flowers, so careful and regular watering seems to be the solution.


Need help keeping them fresh

Posted: 30/03/2016 at 21:45

don't think there's an electricity supply where he lives - just LPG - which means you can have a cooker and a fridge, just as you would here in the UK in a touring caravan.

'Flitter arias'......

Posted: 26/03/2016 at 18:19

Flitter Arias  =  Madame Butterfly.......................

spring things

Posted: 19/03/2016 at 20:56

daffs and the like - still some snowdrops - perennial wallflower (Bowles Mauve) - hellebore - primula - jasmine - euphorbia - vinca major - some ericas - iris reticulata - a mole - and at least three  baby rabbits.

Deer eating our privet-tips to repair and control?

Posted: 14/03/2016 at 12:19

If you google "deer repellents" you'll find all kinds of ideas - some from the US - about non-electric ways to stop them eating stuff.  I don't think many of them work for long, so it looks to me as though you only have a few options available if you're determined to keep the privet.

It might be worth making a cage-type structure to cover the new part of the hedge, using small-ish gauge wire netting which the deer's nose couldn't get through. The leaves might then grow enough to establish a solid-looking hedge within the "cage",

You could try the kind of motion-activated cat repellent gadget which people say can also work to deter other animals, or - at virtually no cost whatsoever - you could ask a local hairdresser to let you have some human hair offcuts and hang this in a netting bag close to the privet.


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