Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Conference pears

Posted: 25/04/2013 at 20:53

I've been buying British grown conference pears for weeks now and wondered how they are harvested & stored - given that it must be months since they were picked - so I googled a bit & found lots of info, which I'm sure you'd find useful too.  It seems that pears don't in fact ripen on the tree!

Whenever I  buy slightly under-ripe fruit, I put it in a bowl with a ripe banana because that always speeds up the ripening process.  Any over-ripe bananas (I prefer to eat them when they're still a bit green at both ends) are then used to make a cake.

Any help on this please

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 19:18

I think it could be butterbur.


Posted: 20/04/2013 at 17:15

Swallows here today!  just a couple of days earlier than their arrival last year.

Windy roof garden destroying everything

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 13:52

Perhaps you could use bamboo (several pots) to make some sort of windbreak which would help the rest of the plants.  Other windbreaks could be made from wooden trellis too - and this would also give you something to use for growing things like the beans you mentioned.

Raising tadpoles in the classroom

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 10:30

Please don't do it!  The whole process from spawn to the stage where any young frog could safely be released is probably about 3 months. During the whole of that time you will have to supervise closely and carefully the whole of the tadpoles'/frogs' environment to ensure their survival, and I feel sure you won't be able to do that successfully, however much you want to.  Not only would there be issues over changing the water in the container as well as providing appropriate food during their various stages of development - but also there's every chance you would encourage disease amongst the developing tadpoles by having too many in a relatively small space. 

The other thing that concerns me is that adult frogs naturally try to make their way back to breed in the pond where they grew up.  I don't think a glass tank in a schoolroom is the right place!

japanese knot weed

Posted: 07/04/2013 at 20:51

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news - but Japanese Knotweed is proving to be a really serious problem in the UK now, even though it was apparently introduced as an "ornamental" in the past. If you find it, you are supposed to inform your local authority, as it is classed as a "notifiable weed".  If it is found on your property, this can seriously affect the property's value, as most lenders will not authorise a mortgage where Japanese Knotweed is present, and because it can affect neighbouring properties (as in your case) it's possible that other legal situations can arise. 

Before doing anything else, I'd suggest you google "Japanese knotweed".  There are lots of websites which explain the situation as regards the position you inadvertently find yourself in, and there are sites which can help explain ways to try to eradicate the plant itself.

bird box

Posted: 04/04/2013 at 20:24

I think you probably need to wait at least a couple of years before you can be sure there'll be no residents!  As Bob has already said, some birds are definitely territorial and this will make a difference.  The size of the entry-hole will dictate to some extent which species will be interested. I think it's probably just as important to make sure that the site doesn't get direct sunlight, & isn't exposed to driving rain & cold winds.  Probably a good idea to make sure that any rainwater which falls on to the box won't drip down over the side with the access hole - so a box with a sloping "roof" & the box itself then fixed at a slight downward angle would probably be best.

Using the back button

Posted: 02/04/2013 at 19:27

I think you can get round the problem for now by clicking on "latest posts" instead.

The first Gardeners' World

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 18:44

I think what Obs says makes a lot of sense - and I'm sorry if I upset/annoyed you, DK - but there are always going to be aspects of the TV programme which irritate all or some of us at any one time.  If it's Monty and his greenhouse this time for David, it was Joe with that i-pad (or whatever it was) that irritated me!


p.s. I really do respect your knowledge & opinions, DK, but can't always agree with you about everything!  Ma. 


Posted: 24/03/2013 at 12:46

The recycling thing here has been handled very poorly by the council - for many years after the advent of wheelie-bins we were told that although almost everyone else had them, those of us who live down this lane could not.  The reason was said to be that the lane is too narrow for the lorry.  So, whilst others had their wheelie bins, we still had to leave our waste stuff out on the lane in plastic bags - by 7 am on collection day - and the bags were, of course, raided by foxes and crows/magpies etc long before the council lorry got anywhere near.  Recycled stuff (not glass) was collected on alternate weeks.  We had to take any glass either to a bottle bank or to the local tip ourselves.  Three years ago the council suddenly changed its mind and, although the lorry was the same one and the lane the same width, we were supplied with three wheelie bins per property.  This time we were able to recycle glass too, and this was collected on alternate weeks.

All seemed to be going fine - until last year when it was announced that Everything Was Going to be Changed.  The council said they would collect and recycle the old bins (which to date they have not) and would issue each household with a new wheelie bin, two lidded re-cycling boxes and a "caddy" for waste food which - they say - is going to be turned into bio-fuel.  They won't now allow us to put plastic bags in the re-cycling bins, nor dark-coloured plastic food trays - even though they have the "recyclable"  symbol.  So, I have to take plastic bags "to the nearest large supermarket" but I can recycle (via the new system) mobile phones, computer printer ink cartridges and spectacles.  Some idiot somewhere in the council offices presumably thinks I have loads of those items to recycle each week and don't have any recyclable plastic bags at all..........


So - I now have four wheelie bins, two re-cycling boxes and a "caddy".  My council tax has gone up again.  Wonder why................

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