Latest posts by JAG

9 returned

Using treated railway sleepers as a garden wall...

Posted: 03/09/2015 at 16:59

I was thinking of doing it a bit like this:


or like the garden wall in this one:


I can't go for gabions unfortunately, they are just too expensive and we cannot concrete here either which is why sleepers are so far the best compromise. Unless someone can suggest something else? I don't want to redo the wall in 5years time... so all Ineed to know is what plants will grow and cover the sleepers? Ivy, moss, alpine plants?

privacy screen

Posted: 03/09/2015 at 10:57

I don't see why you can't use conifers. Just please don't use bamboo. If I am not wrong, the soil you have sounds like dream soil for bamboo! With the conifers, you could plant a mix so that it will blend in to the forest a bit... Use a different variety of them... And use climbers to climb over your fence... Use a mix of decidous and evergreen ones... they will look really nice and hopefully give you a screen asap until the conifers(and other trees) catch up.

Mare's Tail

Posted: 03/09/2015 at 10:52

we have an enormous problem with mare's tail and horsetail in our garden, and I have found the best thing to be either A) hire a digger and dig up as much as possible of the area. Go down at least 60cm, maybe a metre?(depends how established it is), get rid of that soil and leave the hole for a while to see what comes up(if any more mare's tail) and/or treat it with special weedkiller designed for these plants. Then after that refill the hole with good soil and replant or B) follow the following: Horsetail/Marestail hates fertile soil(lots of compost!), hates dry, hates alkaline soil(not good if you are growing rhododendrons..) and loves shade. We have an established flowerbed in an area of the garden where the horsetail is growing, and I have been digging out by hand every scrap of that weed that appears, mulching the bed and so far so good. I just need to dig up the lawn though... it is rife in there...

Using treated railway sleepers as a garden wall...

Posted: 03/09/2015 at 10:44

Hi everybody, I have a rather big dilemma.

We have a large garden, that is also in a valley of it's own, thus everybody else(road and etc) is at least 1.5-2m above ground from us. We need to build a secure garden wall, and it is not only going to be quite high(to provide soundproofing from the road and privacy) but also very long...  My question is that, since we don't want to concrete anything we were going to use gabions, but where we are they are really very expensive. Last night I had a brainwave thought to use railway sleepers and there are a lot of old, creosote treated, ones available. If we used these, are there any plants that will willingly grow over them and over the decades keeps a check on the tar and absorb the toxins?? I won't use them to grow food for eating.... please, any suggestions or comments would be very much appreciated! Thank you!

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 15:15
lupin wrote (see)

I live in the country and have never seen a dead bird unless having been run over by traffic. Has anyone else seen many ?   A good soaking with warm water and using a stiff brush will shift any dirt in seed containers I find.

Lupin, exactly my thoughts! Bleach is too harsh, even for cleaning cat trays(totally different matter, sorry). Hot water. Dettol maybe a little. Bleach and washing liquids and god knows what else  - too dangerous

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 17/02/2012 at 11:49

Holedigger - how on earth do the seeds sprout?! i have never heard of that before... if you put away the tables over the summer months when they are not needed, thus closing them off from sunlight ... crikey, why don't you just pull out the sprouting seeds when it happens?!

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 17/02/2012 at 11:47

Ms Bradbury - fair point. But you'd be surprised how well they cope. And it does not necessarily mean, that all the birds that come to your table, actually live in the close surroundings. Animals adapt, and birds are extremely clever. Living in close surroundings hasn't harmed them for decades yet.

Of course, I see the point that some of the larger birds get at the food that was destined for the smaller ones, but who is to say that the larger ones are well fed anyway? Maybe they are just as hungry as the small ones?? I cannot say. As with the cleaning, do they actually poop all over the feeder? I cannot believe that. Cleaning detergents are unnatural, and definitely contribute to the diseases that exist today. Use plain water and soda crystals and a good scrubbing brush. What dirt stays, stays. Birds don't complain. They just want/need the food.

Talkback: How to clean bird feeders

Posted: 09/02/2012 at 07:11

I think you may be worrying too much. All this cleaning and disinfecting will harm the birds and the environment more in that you reduce their natural ability to fight diseases and infections. The same rule applies to households. Of course, if you do actually genuinely see an ill bird, do clean but otherwise I wouldn't even think about it. We've been putting sunflower seeds out on simple bird tables hanging from trees and our balconies, for years, and it's a sight to behold! Can't recall the last time we cleaned them. Birds are not that dirty, its the holders. I'd recommend sticking to simple bird tables with a low roof cover if you want, and hang them in places away from trees if you have a problem with squirrels...


Posted: 08/02/2012 at 22:05

Honestly, just put everything in the compost. We have dogs and cats and chickens and etc. so basically whatever that was not eaten is put on the compost heap. Even bones - although those don't actually break down. If you have newspaper - shred it and put it there. If you've just eaten fish and have the leftover bones and skin - put it in the compost heap. People worry too much!

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Discussions started by JAG

Using treated railway sleepers as a garden wall...

Are there any plants that will grow and cover them? 
Replies: 12    Views: 3014
Last Post: 05/09/2015 at 07:01
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