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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Monty Don's French Gardens

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 15:06

I've really enjoyed it so far - and Monty looks as though he's enjoying himself as well.  I think it's a pity that there are so few things on TV about gardens - whether those to visit, or one's own garden and what to do/how to do it.  I think there's room for more gardening related programmes,  especially as there are so many TV channels these days - so can only conclude that The Powers That Be don't agree.

BBC Archers Message-Board

Posted: 11/02/2013 at 14:57

Hi Obs - the Archers boards became a place to talk about almost anything - as well as the programme itself.  There are/were countless topics, & I particularly enjoyed the ones about gardening, dogs, horses etc and I found it a very entertaining website - so am sorry it will soon cease to exist.

Talkback: Planting to cut winter fuel bills

Posted: 08/02/2013 at 17:52

When you say you dry the laundry indoors, do you mean that you don't have a tumble dryer?  If you have room - maybe stacked on top of your washing machine - I'd suggest that you consider the value of having one.  Drying things indoors means that all the water has to go somewhere, and if it means your property is affected by damp/condensation as a result, things aren't going to be improved by just a few grilles.  Any mould can even affect your health, as well as the property itself.  The dryers don't always have to be the sort which needs an outside wall for the vent/exhaust - you can get condenser dryers relatively cheaply.


Posted: 07/02/2013 at 09:39

You can get LPG tanks which are sited underground - the only downside (appearance-wise) is that the lid they're usually supplied with is a really vivid shade of green which blends in with nothing!  It would be relatively easy to conceal it by using a planter or something - however people often don't seem to do that so maybe it's not advisable.  Most modern oil tanks are a darker shade so don't look quite so bad.  I think there's a problem if you choose to rely on any solid fuel as the sole source for central heating but there are systems which can utiise the extra heat from a solid-fuel stove.  I don't think you'd be able to keep up with the supply/demand of wood from your own land unless you have a huge acreage!

If you are able to consider a completely new installation ref heating, perhaps you'd google "ground source central heating".  I think this is probably only viable if you have a sufficiently large plot - but I wish I'd been able to have it installed.

On an almost daily basis I meet people (through the course of my work) who want to have a log-burner but who aren't used to the practicalities of it all.  They don't consider the cost of logs in the first place - the delivery and storage issues - and the fact that there would be many occasions when they'd miss the convenience of having an automatic timed system.   Not nice coming home to a cold house in the middle of winter!  Having said that, I do burn logs (on an open fire in the sitting room) but the cost is rising all the time.  Last half-trailer-load was £70 and I have to barrow/stack them myself.  Takes most of an afternoon & it's a real problem if the weather's wet & I have to cover the whole load where it's been dumped, and then move the logs under cover later on.

I recently had to go to an empty house which had a log burner in the sitting room.  There was a small mesh sack of logs on the hearth - the sort & size you often see for sale on garage forecourts round here.  I was astonished to see that the sack was printed with instructions as to how to light a fire - starting with "get a newspaper, tear it into strips, and make them into balls .......... put these in a pile in the fire-grate and put some kindling sticks in the form of a wigwam on top of them................

It didn't actually tell you how to strike a match!


Please fill this in!

Posted: 05/02/2013 at 10:09

I guess from the initial post that "crimstudent" probably used the same text when putting his/her request on several forums, without considering the fact that he/she would need to adapt it to suit each one.

Even if he/she gets fewer responses than he/she was hoping for, at least there's a possibility that he/she might learn something about needing to do that - as well as re-visiting each site to check and acknowledge any replies.  Not the initial object of the request, perhaps, but another (different) lesson learned, maybe...............!

B******* Magpies

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 17:39

I don't think you can deter magpies - but probably because you are throwing stuff which they can easily see - on to an open area - they are going to think it's a permanent picnic!  They are ground feeders and don't/won't/can't eat from suspended bird-feeder type things.  They will, of course, hoover up stuff which falls from them on to the ground below.

I don't think it's ever a good idea to site bird tables/feeders right out in the open.  The smaller birds need to feel safe, and so if you can hang things from the lower branches of, say, a small tree you'll probably find that the small birds will soon discover the food source and will be able to shelter in shrubs etc nearby  - if you have them.

Missing label

Posted: 03/02/2013 at 16:57

looks like stag's horn sumus to me - aka rhus typhinia


Posted: 31/01/2013 at 17:36

thanks for the response, Joe - I did admit to being "dangerous" ref the elastic loop..........& no nozzle with the fuel can (I must have lost it).  I have to empty the grass box far too often, perhaps because I can't always manage to mow when the grass is dry & the chute/boox seem to clog up faster than I'd like.  The Hayter is, as you say, rather low and I don't find it nearly as good as the Atco, which was a rotary with a roller.  Lasted for 27 years & eventually they couldn't get spare parts for it.  The ground/soil here is very light, so compaction not much of a problem really & I spend so much time repairing rabbit damage that the Atco's roller was very useful.  Ref edges - maybe a retractable wider front wheel would work?   I used to have a battery driven lawn edger which was quite heavy - you rolled/dragged it along.  Worked a treat - but it disappeared some time ago - house move I think, when some stuff was accidentally left behind.


I know what you mean about swearing............... my garden's far from immaculate - rabbits & dogs to thank for that!


Posted: 31/01/2013 at 11:11

I don't mind about mowers making a noise!  However, what I'd like would be as follows:-

easy to attach/detach the battery charger plug. (mine has electric/key as well as "pull" start facility)

fuel tank designed so that it was easy to refill from the normal type of plastic fuel containers.

grass box easy to detach from the mower with one hand.

mulch facility (which mine already has)

some means of using the mower to trim lawn edges - additional blade which could be engaged as required, maybe? - plus I find it quite difficult to mow close/parallel to lawn eges without the machine (Hayter) falling off into the flower beds because the wheels are rather narrow & there's no rear roller.  Wider front wheels would help a bit, I suppose.

grass chute which didn't clog up when the grass is damp.

rear rollers + some weight - not just because of "lawn stripes" but also because it would help keep the lawn surface more level and even.  Problems arise in my garden because of mole tunnels, rabbit latrines etc.  My old Atco used to deal with this really well, but the Hayter doesn't.


squirrel shot for coming to the table.

Posted: 26/01/2013 at 08:38

Perhaps you didn't notice that I did say there's a public footpath crossing my land!  I've no objection that - but the people who come after the rabbits don't stay on the footpath......... and I want to know they are there and are taking rabbits, because I don't want the risk of any sort of accident to other animals/people, which is what apparently happened to an acquaintance of someone else who's posted on this thread.

I use the local field footpaths myself, but have asked permission from the owner of the adjoining estate for access to the woodland treebelt where I now often take my dogs for a walk.  There's a "no trespassing" notice + text indicating it's private property & I wouldn't go there without having asked them.

You might not have noticed either that in an earlier post I said that if the chap in question had been a better shot, he'd have got away with it.  I read a report about the case too, and got the clear impression that the man was reported by his neighbours who appeared to be in dispute with him anyway. I still don't understand why you seem so concerned about people trying to get rid of squirrels.  They are classed as vermin.  Would you mind about it if they weren't a "cute little animal with a furry tail" - i.e. a rat?  I'd hoped to make it clear that I'm against cruelty of any sort, and in the case of rats and squirrels, traps might be a better way of dealing with them.  However, a rat trap is designed to kill a rat but a squirrel trap takes them alive so that they have to be "despatched"  by other means.  In my own opinion, a good marksman is probably a better solution in that the squirrel probably won't know what's coming, and doesn't have to spend some time in a cage first.

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