Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 10:22

I reckon the best balance would be The Expert and The Average Gardener, so that one could answer the more "technical" questions and the other could be the one who asks them!  I think I've said this before, but will repeat it anyway (!) - whatever's transmitted is almost always the version of what the producer thinks is best, rather than anyone else's ideas, so it's not fair- in my opinion -  to lay the blame at the feet of whoever's in front of the camera. 

international gardeners

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 10:08

Floradog'll be asleep now, I expect - but from what he says I think he could be on the Gulf Coast - Texas perhaps? - mention of "bayou" and shellfish needing some salt in the water.............  my D lives in Texas, not far from the coast, and I know they've had some really cold weather at times in the past couple of years.  Lots of the sub-tropical plants, which are common in gardens there, have really suffered.  Hailstorm damage too - resulting in some cars being so badly battered  by huge hailstones that they've been "written off", and people needing to have house roofs repaired and even completely replaced in some instances........and we think we get odd weather here in the UK!

Too early to chit?

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 12:53

If it's of any help, maybe you'd be interested to know that the commercial potato producer round here has just finished planting potatoes in the field at the back of my house.  They don't chit them - any shoots would be knocked off during the mechanical planting process - so I guess they think now's the time to plant spuds for maximum yield. As far as I know they've planted a variety of maincrop potatoes, because I've been told that what they grow usually ends up as frozen chips!

The first one I've seen this year - 2014

Posted: 08/03/2014 at 19:20

Saw lots of pink things today - a rhododendron & a camellia in full flower, and  "pinks" in someone's front garden rockery.  Two weeks ago there was a tortoiseshell butterfly fluttering in one of the windows in church,

Gardeners World 2014 BBC2

Posted: 08/03/2014 at 19:06

I agree with Edd!  I think the problem with lots of TV programmes these days is that the people who produce/organise them aren't in any way personally involved with the subject they deal with.  This is bound to result in the sort of arty-farty shots which we see in lots of programmes, where what we really want to see are clear and steady close-up shots of what the presenter is actually doing.  It's so easy to blame whoever "fronts" these programmes - they probably have no real  "say" in what is eventually transmitted. 

 A few years ago I was present when one of those "property programmes" was being made, and it was interesting to see what finally ended up on my TV screen!  At least one of the shots was repeated four times...........  I'm sure the car involved didn't actually go down that particular bit of lane as often as that!

Carrots, Parsnips - Manure?

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:15

Hello Mark - the problem with odd-shaped/forked carrots is that you end up with a poorer yield (i.e. what ends up on your plate) because you end up peeling a whole lot more off each individual carrot.  OK if you just scrub them & cook them, but most people don't do that.  I sometimes wonder whether anybody's actually weighed, say, a potato, before & after peeling, just to see how much of it they throw away!

Ask Alan

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:08

I'd like to ask Alan what particular aspect of gardening gives him the most satisfaction/enjoyment, and is there anything he dislikes doing (for instance, I hate mowing grass but love doing all the other stuff) 


Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:03

It's nothing to do with birds' nests.  Unfortunately it's a virus of some sort which has appeared in the UK in the past few years and seems now to have spread everywhere.  I've noticed that some varieties of conifer hedging seem to be more affected than others, but there's no really effective way of preventing it or dealing with its presence, so far as I know 

After the nesting season, you might be able to deal with the brown/dead patches by removing them and tying the remaining branches across the resulting gap.  That's what I'm going to try!

What's digging up lawn?

Posted: 05/03/2014 at 20:07

The holes in my lawn look very like that & they are rabbit latrines, so maybe that's what's your problem too, if you have wild rabbits nearby.  Sometimes I find rabbit droppings in & beside the holes, so maybe you will too if you take a really close look.  I've had badgers dig up the lawn in the past, but the mess they make is different in that they rip the turf up (looking for chafer grubs etc) rather than just making holes.

p.s. today I heard of a good way to stop badgers digging the lawn.  Apparently they don't do it if you've scattered some of that granular lawn fertiliser around.  I won't need to try this out, as my garden is now more-or-less badger-proof, but the person who gave me the advice has in fact tried it, and said it really does work.

Where have the birds gone!!!

Posted: 28/02/2014 at 18:59

Hardly any sparrows here - they obviously prefer your garden, Sue!

There are lots and lots of blue tits, coal tits & great tits - the long-tailed tits always seem to come later in the day than the others.  Wonder why?  There's a robin, a blackbird, a song thrush, a couple of jays sometimes, and greenfinches occasionally, tho' no chaffinch.  Haven't seen a wren for a while - which is odd - and over in the field (and sometimes on the post & rail fence)  there are a couple of magpies and several crows.   Other visitors include the odd wood pigeon or two, but haven't seen a collared dove this year yet.  Yesterday there were two buzzards overhead, and a few gulls in the far field.  Heard a woodpecker in the wood earlier on today.  Used to see fieldfares and redwings together in the field, but not this winter. Starlings are a bit of a rarity round here now, as are plovers - used to see lots & lots of both.  A cock pheasant landed on the lawn last week!

Discussions started by hypercharleyfarley

ID please!

looks like a cross between grass and foxglove 
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