Latest posts by Joe_the_Gardener

First Spring Flowers

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 18:19

Global balding may indeed be a branch of phrenology.

First Spring Flowers

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 13:14

These observations could be put to good use, but it depends on knowing whether they refer to Cornwall or Aberdeen. Phenology is quite a valuable method of amassing a lot of data that might give an indication of climate change and adaptation of organisms. Scientists, conservation bodies, etc, collect such data to help their long-term research. It's simple but effective - a sort of 'people's science'.

Hedge trimmer design and use

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 13:02

Just to add a small point as I think of it. On two of the three makes of petrol hedgecutter that I've used the exhaust is directed straight back towards the user's face, unless they're left-handed, when it's marginally better.

Huge garden hedge

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 11:36

I wouldn't recommend hiring a chainsaw - you might end up losing more than the hedge!

Wildlife blues

Posted: 20/02/2014 at 11:25

I guess you need to see things from the Council's point of view. They're trying to let the house and a prospective tenant says 'Yes, but I'm not taking on that b+++++ jungle', perhaps for very good reasons, such as being disabled. They've got little choice but to tidy it, not half-tidy it.

However, it's true that not all Councils are equally skilful about caring for the natural environment. But it's up to us to make our views known - it is our Council, after all. Bear in mind, though, that they are so strapped for cash (blame that on bankers, government, selfish people who don't want Councils to be funded yet still expect all the services - take your pick!) that they are having to choose what they do and leave the rest.

But there is a crisis coming - the maintenance of highways is now appalling, social care is being slashed, education is being cut back, and all to remove any local authority input or accountability, so soon you won't have a Council to complain about!



Hedge trimmer design and use

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 11:09

On your specific subject, for many older people the best hedge-trimmer is the one who turns up in a van and does it for you, especially if the hedge is of any size, and particularly if it's tall enough to need any sort of ladder. I see a lot of people standing on kitchen chairs waving hedgecutters around - and I offer up a silent prayer.

A lot of gardens don't need the hedges to be as tall as they are, and going back to basics would help in the decision-making process for many people.

Having said all that, the worst machines are the underpowered ones - they make the job twice as tiring, but with power and durability comes weight.

I'm a bit pushed for time now, but I'd be happy to add to this if you have specific questions arising from it.

Silver birch

Posted: 15/02/2014 at 10:53

Mother Nature's having a laugh!

Hedging and Horses

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 18:10

1. Have you approached the local District Council for advice as to whether the rubbish constitutes unlicenced tipping?

2. Is the barbed wire fence on the legal boundary and who is responsible for that boundary?

3. Do you have enough space in your garden to sacrifice a couple of metres on your side of the barbed wire and then plant your hedge out of the horses' reach? This may not seem fair to you, but you may spend years tussling with your neighbours. Make sure you leave access to get to the barbed wire to maintain it.


What to do with this boundary ?

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 17:59

I feel, as Welshonion implies, that there are thousands of more interesting plants than R. ponticum and snowberry, and I'd be hitting this lot as hard as possible with blade and brushkiller for two years and then gracing your garden with much better and more interesting things.

It looks a fairly big space, so go to some open gardens to get some ideas of plants that would suit that scale of planting.

Silver birch

Posted: 14/02/2014 at 17:46

This is a good time of year to brighten up the garden by cleaning the trunks and branches of silver birch. Just gently scrub them down with water, using a soft handbrush or a car sponge. It's surprising how much better they look without all that mould and muck. Mind the new buds, though.

Discussions started by Joe_the_Gardener


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Swifts in decline

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Useful tool

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Gardeners World Quiz

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Silver birch

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Hedging shears

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Last Post: 14/05/2012 at 20:05
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