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Jim Macd

Latest posts by Jim Macd

Bumble Bees

Posted: 19/05/2014 at 11:10
Fishy65 wrote (see)
Hi folks, Today has seen a gathering of Bumble Bees close to our back door.They are above the kitchen window,probably about 8 or 9ft off the ground and are entering the brickwork through a small hole in the mortar.The mortar is lime mortar so quite soft. I'm pretty sure they'll be fine and certainly don't want the cute fellows wiped out by 'pest' controllers. I know Bumble Bees are peaceful but I don't want them to think I'm too close and a threat...the much-used outside tap is directly below. Any thoughts?

They won't they'll leave you alone, I've got lots of nest

Daisy lawn in trend!

Posted: 16/05/2014 at 11:17
hartleyhare wrote (see)

it looks so pretty

So, would Daisy seeds need to be sown in the same way as you would sow grass seed or other wild flower seeds, ie onto bare soil? I have Daisies on my lawned area, I cut around them when cutting the grass. Would love to have more Daisies

You can cut the lawan short and top dress, that is mix the seed with a light mixture 50:50 sand and compost and scatter that over the are. Obviously that's not as practical if you have a large area but it might be the best solution rather than digging up you lawn. I just grow the daisies in pots, divide them and plant them out but my short wild flower lawn isn't very big and my dogs poach it. 

Shrub ID please.

Posted: 15/05/2014 at 11:43
KEF wrote (see)

Excuse me bumping this back up myself  Just wondered if anyone had any ideas after my last picture.

Hi KEF, sorry was trying to get back but every time had to go. I still think it's Deutzia gracilis.

Daisy lawn in trend!

Posted: 14/05/2014 at 18:29
Kittyrose wrote (see)


Thanks for your comments, I shall now be ordering seeds tonight (don't worry no digging up of anything on the roadside!).

Pictures attached this time (scroll down as there are two) so you can see what I am trying to do!

Thanks everyone. 





Absolutely gorgeous! Think about adding some Speedwell. They are lovely too.


Daisy lawn in trend!

Posted: 14/05/2014 at 18:22
landgirl100 wrote (see)

Please don't advocate taking wild flowers from verges or anywhere else. Even if it is "only a daisy". Uprooting wild plants is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Of course, you may be able to find someone who wouldn't mind you removing daisies from their lawn!

I hear what you're saying LG. And anything else I would be calling the old bill my self. But Daisies? Our verges at the front of the house are covered in them, and they are wonderful, but half the neighbours use lawn weedkiller on them and nobody bats an eye lid. But to be honest they are probably the most common lawn 'weed' next to dandelions so someone rescuing some for propagation to benefit wildlife is, I think, perfectly acceptable. And FAR, FAR, FAR better to have locally sourced plants than introducing seed diluting the local gene pool.


On a worse note. Outside the local cemetery the daisies are being polluted by the godawful monsters the council thinks are acceptable bedding plants.


 So save as many as you can I say. By the way, I shall be rescuing hundreds of northern marsh orchids shortly from weedkiller because the owner things they make the place look messy.

I think you should follow the spirit of the law not the letter. 

Daisy lawn in trend!

Posted: 14/05/2014 at 13:49
You can buy seed, Emorsgate seeds sell plus many others. But if you have a bulb planter you can get them from the road verge no one would mind I'm sure.

Daisy lawn in trend!

Posted: 14/05/2014 at 13:48

chilli peppers

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 16:31

Oooh! Thanks Philippa, I will definitely have a go at making that. 

I know, I think they like us at the local Indian Takeaway because we order rice and dhal with our main and don't order some of the weird English stuff they get asked for. Thanks.

chilli peppers

Posted: 12/05/2014 at 19:53
philippa smith2 wrote (see)

Jim............if it's any help, I am still using my Cayenne chillies from a bumper harvest in you, I grind a few at a time for Chilli powder.  What has surprised me is that I decided to use a few of the seeds from these pods this year just to see if they would germinate.  Lo and behold, they sprung up like good'uns

I always make my own Chilli sauce and paste..........I also like them with Ginger to spice up a Tomato sauce...........just right with Leek and Goat's Cheese Tart.

I agree that you always need fresh as well as dried.  Not come across Chilli Jelly do you do that ?  Like Redcurrant jelly maybe ?

Jeepers that must have been some bumper harvest. They're old enough to be doing their A' Levels.

Mmm. Leak and Goat's Cheese Tart sounds wonderful. 

Here's the recipe I use:


150 gram(s) long red chilli pepper (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
150 gram(s) red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
1 kilogram(s) jam sugar
600 ml cider vinegar


Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.


It's a great basic recipe, I added an Indian Taka to it to make a great accompaniment to a curry and rice and I also made it using mint for a mint jelly. You could add anything to flavour it you can think of. Maybe not chips.

Shrub ID please.

Posted: 12/05/2014 at 17:46

Yes, Deutzia gracilis I think. The orientation of the flowers and the number of petals said it wasn't a Phili not to mention the thickness of the leaves. Well done nut. 

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