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Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley

Gardens for Dogs

Posted: 06/08/2012 at 13:04

Hi Obs - how are you these days?  Good to hear that Rasta's playmate has settled in so well. 


As far as choosing  a breed of dog goes, I reckon there are so many "fashions" these days that it's a pity people don't think first before they buy - e.g. if you don't have the sort of lifestyle that suits what was bred to be a working dog, you're probably asking for trouble if you can't give the dog the amount of exercise/work/entertainment it needs.  Ongoing maintenance is something people don't often think about much as well - I dread to think what it costs to have a dog's coat professionally trimmed, for example.  Have just paid over £70 this morning for booster jabs for The Accomplice - and, being a whippet, care of his coat etc is minimal! The late Charleyfarley's successor (whippet - of course!) is doing fine - he's a bit whiney sometimes, and I can't always "read" him the way I've been able to with all my previous whippets. He's quite like HCF in terms of wanting to be outdoors a lot, and not nearly so much of a couch potato as T.A. is.  Just goes to show that even dogs of the same breed can be quite different in terms of character.

Wysteria in a windy environment

Posted: 25/07/2012 at 14:30

I don't think you'd have any particular problems with planting wisteria on a south-facing wall - after all, we don't get much in the way of strong southerly winds in the UK - mostly north-westerly here, and I'm not far from NW Wales.  I think problems usually arise with those plants which have foliage all year round, & a south-facing wall might mean that any plant there would get damaged by winter sunlight on frosty leaves, which wouldn't be the case with wisteria - or roses, come to that!


Posted: 21/07/2012 at 21:35

I think it's more likely to be a mole or a vole than a rat or mouse. I don't think rats or mice would tunnel underground quite like that.  Mole tunnels are surprisingly narrow and the mole can squeeze through narrower gaps in paving etc than you might think.  In any case, I don't think a chocolate-baited mousetrap would do!  Moles are solitary creatures - they only get together to mate, apparently - so you've probably only got the one - if indeed it is a mole. 

I'm not sure how to get rid of voles, but one way to deter moles is to annoy them by creating something which would conduct noise and/or vibrations down into the tunnel.  They like peace & quiet!  I'd suggest this cheap way of trying to disturb the mole:  cut the bottom off a plastic bottle and push the bottle upside down a few inches into the top of the disturbed ground.  The wind noise transmitted through the plastic often does the trick.  You could even tie some old CDs or something to a short stick and see if that would work.  Another way is to get a child's plastic windmill & push the stick down into the hole.  None of these things cost much - if anything - and you've nothing to lose by trying!


Posted: 20/07/2012 at 19:57

'cos that's what they all do!  seriously, though, the flowers (the whole stem is called a raceme, I think) don't seem to last all that long.  This year my wisterias weren't doing their best - due I suppose to the amount of rain we had when the flowers first began to open.  Those at the top of the racemes were well past their best & starting to die off before the whole had flowered.  What's usually left after flowering is a rather tough central "stem" which stays put even over the winter months, giving the plant a bit of a whiskery look sometimes.  I just snip them off - takes hours as the wisterias cover most of the front of my house!  If  any of them set seed, the pod looks a bit like a tough hairy runner bean pod and this will stay on the vine for months if you let it.   I don't think may people attempt to grow wisterias from seed - I believe they're mostly propagated using cuttings.  In any case, they take years to grow & be mature enough to flower, so if you're considering buying another one any time I'd suggest you get one which is in flower at the time of purchase.

what base is best for a compost bin

Posted: 20/07/2012 at 14:23

I think it's a god idea to put some chicken wire beneath the bin to stop any rats getting in if you put it directly on to the soil.  My black bins are in fact on paving slabs which have a bit less than a half-inch gap between them.  No rats - but the worms can get in there.

Closeboard panels or Lap panels

Posted: 11/07/2012 at 15:23

I reckon there are a couple of other things worth adding to Geoff's comments -  1) you can put a horizontal board at ground level first & this can then be replaced if & when any rot sets in - cheaper & simpler than replacing the whole close-board bit.....  and 2) I'd suggest is that you consider whether you want the horizontal supports to be visible on your side of the plot - it's usually the "best" side which the neighbours see!

Fences Legal High

Posted: 25/06/2012 at 09:18

As previous posters have already pointed out, you need to know whose fence it actually is!  Garden boundaries are usually indicated on house plans/deeds etc.  If you look at a site plan there may be T-shaped markers shown on it.  A bit like this: __________T___________.  The owner of the land on which the T shape "sits" (i.e. here it's above the line shown) is responsible for/owns the boundary. It's unlikely that the owner of a garden is responsible for all the boundary fencing, especially if the property is one with neighbouring gardens e.g. a house in a row of similar properties.  It's likely, in that case, that one side and perhaps the rear boundary fence is the responsibility of the owner of the garden - less likely that the garden owner is responsible for all boundaries.


Where have all the birds gone?

Posted: 20/06/2012 at 09:02

Hello BW - yes - I did realise that! but it looked as though some posters were under the impression that parent birds would be feeding their young with the contents of garden bird-feeders!  It's always amazed me that swallows, for example, must have to feed a brood of chicks with literally hundreds of thousands of insects in order to get enough "liquid" into their bodies.

I don't think Wintersong need worry too much about young birds needing to learn to fend for themselves - 


Cheers!  Ma - AKA Hypercharleyfarley - the nickname of one of my (now deceased) much-loved whippets.

Where have all the birds gone?

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 20:20

Not sure whether moulting is the sole reason for the birds' absence.  I think it's more a case of their having to find different sources of food for their offspring - i.e. things which have some moisture content, as opposed to the dried foodstuffs which most of us put out for the birds during the winter months.  I've watched bluetits foraging al day long for tiny green caterpillars in nearby oaktrees - and when I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that it's probably the moisture content of the caterpillars which might be really important for newly hatched chicks.  That got me thinking about when birds actually drink for the first time in their life.  I've no idea!  Does anyone else know?

help with garden shed and bbq area

Posted: 19/06/2012 at 11:01

I reckon that the idea of timber decking was more or less force-fed to us a few years back via one of those  TV "make-over" programmes.  Having seen quite a number of gardens where this has been installed, I've come to the conclusion that - on the whole - it's not a good thing to have.

It might work better in countries where the weather's better/drier, but here in the NW  it can get so slippery in wintertime/wet weather as to be positively dangerous!  If it's not installed properly (i.e. with gaps to allow for expansion) it tends to move a bit, and if you do have the necessary gaps, these allow for all sorts of stuff to fall through them - "lost" jewellery was one example I heard about.  I'm sure it needs far more maintenance than you'd think - and I wonder whether it'd last long anyway.  It does provide shelter for some of the unwanted garden visitors too - and although here in the UK we'd not get a possum living underneath  (as was the case in my D's garden - she lives in the USA) I bet the rats love it.  So - not for me, under any circumstances!

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