Jess is in the Garden


Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

Golfinches have landed!

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 13:17

After almost a year of virtually no activity with my bird feeder, I was positively delighted when TEN (yes 10!) goldfinches started using it a couple of weeks back.

Now it's a constant food fest up there - along with a few coal tits, some blue tits and the odd blackbird/robin/wood pigeon that hoover up what ends up in the flower bed beneath 

It has been pure joy for me and my little girl, aged 6, to sit at the kitchen window and watch them all.

I've been using 'no mess' sunflower hearts - all the birds soon to love them - but after doing a bit of research and reading that goldfinches' natural food is seed, I was wondering if there is a particular kind they prefer or that is better for them, as they are the ones feeding from my garden the most - messy too - they scatter the husk less seeds everywhere!

Thanks

Hellebores

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 13:12

Really? That's lifted my spirits! Thanks 

One of mine has a dark cluster of new growth in the centre - can't tell if only leaves or some buds too yet...

How big are vine weevil grubs?

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 12:20

UGH , ugh and ugh again - hate the blighters!

They can be anything up to and inch long - orangey head, creamy, disgusting, fat body.

Have I mentioned how much I despise them?

Definitely use nematodes to control them in the future - April and October for a big infestation. Or alternatively Provado only in pots that doth have pollinating insects visiting that plant.

Works for me.

Dreaded thrips

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 12:14

Last year, my small and very enclosed urban garden aaas decimated by thrips.

I tried everything: SB invigorator spray which worked very well, but it rained a lot in spring, when I was away, so that didn't help and they had really settled in by the time I returned.

I tried thrip nematodes too - waste of money - though i use slug and weevil nematodes every year and they are brilliant. Unfortunately, thrip nematodes have to make direct contact with the insect, via a spray, so unless you get the buggers as they're flying off, no good.

I don't like spraying chemicals, because my garden, though tiny, has 3 frogs that visit regularly, as well as loads of pollinating insects and birds.

So once the annual insects had died off in late December, the birds were out of sight and the frogs too, I sprayed the whole lot within an inch of its life, to try and kill any eggs lying about.

I also cleared lal fallen annual and hardy perennial leaves ext, which I hadn't done previously, to remove as much diseased stuff as possible.

I've also winter washed my two dwarf acers and dwarf apple tree.

All is looking good, but right up until early December 2014, here in London it was very milk and the blooming' thrips were still flying out in clouds from their favourite nibbles - Japanese anemones, hellebores, hebes....

Some plants were so decimated last year, they've died over the winter (my favourite hebe Pascal ) and many hardy geraniums and anemones which had been glorious in previous years, didn't flower at all in 2014.

I am fed up!

Has anyone else had this problem and found the best solution for it?

Have I missed something crucial? Ought I spray again before Spring perhaps, or do something else?

My tiny garden is my oasis and I was so down when I saw it being chewed up...even a vine weevil infestation and red spider mite infestation were easier to handle than thrips and I managed to get them under control.

Please help 

Gardenia to be moved

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 12:03

Ok, fussy gardenia update then :

I repotted it and kept it indoors, in a not too warm room, away from radiators. It is sitting on a bed of small pebbles, which I mist frequently, as well as misting the little darling itself every other day or so. Soil is ericaceous compost, top dressed with horticultural grit.

Seemed really happy just before days got very short - put out a few cautious new leaves.

But now, after so much care and attention, many leaves are going yellowish and dropping off. No new growth. 

No pests to speak of.

I want to start feeding it ( I read that it just needs a generic feed and not much either, over winter, then from Spring a nitrogen rich feed specific to gardenias, weekly), but what is best to use and how ought I apply it? Do I water that in weekly and then separately mist the leaves, or do i water the feed into the pebble tray?

Argh! Too high maintenance for me, but I refuse to give up! 

Hellebores

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 11:55

Due to money reasons, I bought some Crocus ones in the end (sorry nut and verdun ) but I got 2L pots and the plants were very healthy when they arrived. 

Still looking good, but although I planted them early october, I haven't had a single blooming' flower 

Sternbergia Autumn. daffodils

Posted: 27/01/2015 at 11:53

Thanks everyone - at least I know I'm not doing anything wrong! Mine have a lovely mass of fresh, green leaves and not a flower in sight 

 

Clematis Cirrhosa

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 12:14

Likewise! Hope this rain stops soon 

Clematis Cirrhosa

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 11:33

Ok - I'll be buying that next then! Thank for the tip Dove - always good to ask the experts on here 

Clematis Cirrhosa

Posted: 08/01/2015 at 10:21

 thanks Dove - perhaps I ought to feed mine too? Hadn't thought it needed feeding, as compost is pretty new there...there are two other clematis nearby, but spring/summer varieties. Does it have to be clematis feed or will tomato feed/seaweed do?

Thanks again.

Discussions started by Jess is in the Garden

Wilting pelargonium leaves

What disease is this? 
Replies: 16    Views: 1120
Last Post: 12/10/2015 at 12:23

What is this succulent please?

Label fell off and I can't remember! 
Replies: 4    Views: 768
Last Post: 04/10/2015 at 20:23

Phalenopsis failing to thrive and eventually dying.

Lost 3, this is my last one standing... 
Replies: 18    Views: 1319
Last Post: 31/01/2017 at 14:43

Lobelia/Pratia pedunculata or Blue Star Creeper

Where can I buy it? 
Replies: 10    Views: 1526
Last Post: 29/01/2015 at 10:02

Golfinches have landed!

Best seed for them? 
Replies: 46    Views: 2204
Last Post: 08/02/2015 at 19:34

Dreaded thrips

How can I get the better of them this year?! 
Replies: 17    Views: 1647
Last Post: 28/01/2015 at 19:32

Clematis Cirrhosa

does it flower in its first year? 
Replies: 7    Views: 661
Last Post: 08/01/2015 at 12:35

Sternbergia Autumn. daffodils

Still no flowers... 
Replies: 6    Views: 771
Last Post: 27/01/2015 at 16:23

Planting up my grandmother's abandoned grave

Any ideas? 
Replies: 31    Views: 2690
Last Post: 18/10/2014 at 19:48

Hellebores

Best online retailer? 
Replies: 28    Views: 2502
Last Post: 27/01/2015 at 13:12

Clematis Alba Luxurians

Why do I have to prune it mid. February? 
Replies: 6    Views: 705
Last Post: 01/10/2014 at 21:31

Nematodes for thrips

Too late to apply in a sheltered London garden? 
Replies: 3    Views: 636
Last Post: 24/09/2014 at 14:49

Gardenia to be moved

From outdoors to indoors 
Replies: 15    Views: 1097
Last Post: 31/01/2015 at 11:08

Thalictrum needs a boost

Will it re flower if I deadhead or more? 
Replies: 9    Views: 848
Last Post: 17/07/2014 at 21:08

Erodium Bishops Form

Has never re-flowered :-( 
Replies: 17    Views: 1034
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 22:43
1 to 15 of 69 threads