London (change)
Wed 14°C / 10°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 14°C

Jim Macd


Latest posts by Jim Macd

Incredible luck

Posted: 09/06/2014 at 08:50
nutcutlet wrote (see)

I have a wildlife reserve first and a garden second


horsetail weed

Posted: 08/06/2014 at 14:55
Hostafan1 wrote (see)

horsetail / marestail survived being covered in ice during the ice age: 

Really? Wow! 

Incredible luck

Posted: 08/06/2014 at 14:37

Yup, the whole reason I emphasise concentrating on natives supplemented only by a few non-natives. You won't get adults to feed if there's no larval food plants. l know we have gardens not wildlife reserves but if wildlife is the raison d'être for your efforts then best not to get too distracted with exotics. On the other hand many natives don't feed a great deal if anything and even then if their range doesn't include your house is there any point growing that ugly look plant if nothing is going to eat it? Or should you grow it for the pure conservation aspect of our native species? It isn't easy to get information. And the information available isn't always the easiest to understand. Take Oaks, it's estimated that about 284 species of insect (depending on your source) eat it or live on it in some way where as the sycamore only has 15 but nobody seems to tell you if those 15 species of insect on a sycamore supply an equal weight of food for birds as the 284 species of insects on an oak. Having said that I don't think that should be your whole outlook on it. It's a big subject and many perspectives. Raw data isn't much use to most of us.

horsetail weed

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 11:18

 

vigilance is the key as FG says. Think of it this way, no plant, not even Japanese Knotweed can survive without light, so as long as you keep at it, whatever method you're choosing to knock it back, then it will work. Hoe it, regularly, once every two weeks at least is the simplest method. I have a bit of it in my garden but it isn't a problem because I keep on top of, plant densely around it and pull it out every time I see it. If you leave it to recover from whatever method you've chosen though, all the effort you've been in so far has been for naught. That's what you've got to remember. But it is a native plant and part of our ecology, it's not Japanese Knotweed or Spanish Bluebells, or Mink... so, ultimately it's only a problem if you see it as such.

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 18:34

Yeah, I was going to add, a turf stripper would make short work of it, but if you don't have grass, then you don't have turf. Or, pretend, after all corn poppies aren't native anyway. Have some small flowered variety of oriental poppy. This one is a bit orange, but I've got a pillar box red variety waiting to take over. The bees don't mind though. These were in when I moved in and I've just not had the heart to yank them out. They've grown on me too much now.

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48153.jpg?width=350

 

 

 Oo, that wasn't meant to happen, that's because I had two windows going at the same time.

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 18:31

I hope this inspires you to include some wild grasses which you can get from Emorsgate seed for very little. There's quite a bit of rye in here which you wouldn't normally want but my OH wouldn't let me strip the turf the first year we moved in an now it's almost too late, but as the meadow gets established I'll get a turf stripper and have an annual bit in a section every year. I'll just turn over the turfs so hopefully the perennials won't mind too much. 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48154.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48155.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48156.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48157.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48158.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48160.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48161.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 18:18

Yeah, I was going to add, a turf stripper would make short work of it, but if don't have grass, then you don't have turf. Or, pretend, after all corn poppies aren't native anyway. Have some small flowered variety for oriental poppy. 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/48153.jpg?width=280&height=350&mode=max

 

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 18:02

Grass is part of the meadow, and if you use wild grasses they're as important as the other flowers. Many moths will only feed on those grasses and those moths will feed the birds and bats. You're creating an ecosystem if you're doing it right. And my impression is you want to do it right. But anything you do is better than doing nothing so don't be disheartened.

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 17:58

Just edited my above post, you might not have seen it all. I'm not sure what you mean about "will it not destroy the other seeds of the mix I used?"

But no, you can't dig it over every year. Hire a rotavator maybe but you'll have to live with perennials if you don't want to do that. I don't know of any other way. Like I said I've only got a few poppies this year because I didn't dig over and I really wanted loads being the centenary of the first world war. 

Growing wildflowers

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 17:45
nick nicolas wrote (see)

Thanx Jim,

point taken, & another thing these Boston seeds I was given they do not say if they are Perennial, which I would prefer instead of plant every year. 

So I wonder what should I do end of summer or next year, do I moan them down or what happens?       ......nick 

for checking if something is annual or perennial pfaf is a good place to look, followed by wiki of course, the trouble with wiki is every page is formatted slightly differently so finding the right bit of info quickly isn't so easy. I have pfaf store as a search engine. 

For example

 http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cardamine+pratensis

By the way, a lot of seed suppliers only give very general advice, if any on how to sow your seed so I check with pfaf first to find out if the seed needs special treatment. Again, another example of why you can't always leave it to nature. sorry, take Thrift, Ameria maritima, a lovely plant, and fairly common on the coast. I've always had some so never bothered trying to grow it from seed until I moved here and wanting a clean slate wanted to collect local seed. It didn't grow. I checked on pfaf, and after soaking the seeds got hundreds come up. Saves you wasting seed. I just did the same thing with hounds tongue. Sowed it without thinking. Realised what I'd done after watering in the seeds. I soaked the next batch and they all came up in just over  a week. First lot still not come up. 

Discussions started by Jim Macd

Astrantia Roma

Replies: 8    Views: 272
Last Post: 22/06/2014 at 10:57

Inarching update

Update on Apple Spartan graft of two new mm106 rootstocks (inarches) 
Replies: 8    Views: 304
Last Post: 19/10/2014 at 18:12

Incredible luck

It's incredible what you can find when you least expect it.  
Replies: 22    Views: 716
Last Post: 09/06/2014 at 08:50

Geranium sanguineum striatum

Geranium sanguineum striatum other wise known as Geranium sanguineum lancastriense 
Replies: 2    Views: 272
Last Post: 26/05/2014 at 19:32

Appalling Customer Service!

Replies: 12    Views: 1346
Last Post: 18/03/2014 at 18:53

Peter Beales

Great Irises 
Replies: 19    Views: 671
Last Post: 21/03/2014 at 14:48

Crocks for ....

what are crocks for? 
Replies: 9    Views: 450
Last Post: 05/03/2014 at 11:56

Helleborus argutifolius?

Any Hellebore experts? 
Replies: 34    Views: 886
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 10:18

First Wild Daffodil

The First Wild Daffodil in my garden County Durham 
Replies: 7    Views: 412
Last Post: 04/03/2014 at 18:20

Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb

What varieties have you got and which do you like best? 
Replies: 64    Views: 2186
Last Post: 18/03/2014 at 18:27

B&Q dead plants

B&Q dead plants 
Replies: 31    Views: 2742
Last Post: 16/02/2014 at 22:16

Large bird of prey

I just saw a large bird of prey in my Garden 
Replies: 25    Views: 952
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 11:34

Pulmonaria obscura seeds

Anyone have seeds /plants of Pulmonaria obscura 
Replies: 19    Views: 748
Last Post: 21/12/2013 at 11:30

Crabapples,

Different Crabapple varieties.  
Replies: 31    Views: 1193
Last Post: 18/09/2014 at 21:47

Pyrus calleryana chanticleer

Pyrus calleryana chanticleer 
Replies: 8    Views: 542
Last Post: 11/11/2013 at 10:20
1 to 15 of 18 threads