John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding


Posted: 14/07/2014 at 11:39

Ah! Dove, you are supposed to swallow a spider to catch the fly ... etc. etc. just don't get as far as the horse!


Posted: 12/07/2014 at 16:40

Hi again L/K,

The plant I think you are referring to is a purple sage that I bought last year in a nursery in Holt, Nr Sherringham, Norfolk. The other plant that is between the 2 sets of Nasturtiums is a Michelin Star Gastropodium Restaurant aka Hosta! - has a silvery flower with a mauve tint.


Posted: 12/07/2014 at 15:44

Hi L/K, yes, it was a long trip: Bristol to Plymouth & back then after a night's rest we did Bristol - Bannockburn on Weds 2nd and I returned to Bristol on Thurs. 3rd. Round trip was over 1000 miles. My mum is 101 in October and is in a nursing home in Birmingham so I was able to call in and see her. Arrived at tea time & staff had set me a place at tea table but didn't tell her who the extra place was for. Her face was a picture when I walked in and she proudly announced to everyone "This is my Son, he's come to see me!" - which they all knew who I was 'cos we do go & see her regularly but they also knew I was on my way and she was the only one who didn't know! still, it was a nice surprise for her.

It wasn't a tiring journey for me as a). I love driving and b). my latest car is a Land Rover Freelander 2 automatic which I've only had 3 months and have clocked up over 6000 miles already!


Posted: 12/07/2014 at 15:30

Just emptied one of the potato barrels, nice half a bucketful of pots - Vales Emerald. While I was out there I took a quick pic of the Nasturtiums (below)



Posted: 12/07/2014 at 13:03

Hi again all, haven't been on the forum for a few weeks as I've been very busy with other things. OH has tried to keep up with the garden but at this time of year it seems to need both of us!

A couple of very good friends of nearly 50 years standing had a very serious motor accident in France a month ago and after an extended stay in a French hospital in Brittany were allowed to return to UK. I picked them up in Plymouth and drove them up to Bannockburn where they live and managed to get them home safely. I did give you a wave as I passed SE Glasgow on my way back Fairygirl just in case you wondered who it was!

The garden seems to have  sensed my absence and exploded with produce! Broad beans, Runner Beans, tomatoes, lettuces, dwarf beans, carrots, turnips, courgettes by the dozen, + I just picked 15 cucumbers this morning. (Cucumber sandwich anyone?)

We have booked tickets for Hatton Park flower show for RHS Members day (23rd) as we've never been to H.P. Show before so hope it will be a nice day.

Our lupins are all over now but the nasturtiums are putting on a really good show, apricots are turning a beautiful golden orange colour though still not ripe yet. Eileen has been busy making Blackcurrant Jam as the Blackcurrants have been very prolific this year and she decided we would use them in preference to the blackbird getting the lion's share for once.


Posted: 21/06/2014 at 09:15

Just been catching up with latest entries: am reminded of the days when the tooth fairy left sixpence under the pillow for children's teeth. Our son came home from infant school and said to his mum "I think it must have gone up mum 'cos Chris in my class got a pound for his tooth yesterday"

He called us yesterday from his home in Coventry to tell us he'd had to go to the dentist & have a molar extracted - wish I'd read this thread yesterday I could have pulled his leg a bit with a reminder (he's 44 now!)


Posted: 17/06/2014 at 16:43

FG,  Can't you wave that wand of yours and get a precipitation going over Glasgow?


Posted: 17/06/2014 at 16:39

Ah! don't be fooled Rebecca, its taken 47 years to get my garden where it is today with a lot of mistakes along the way. I'm not a tidy person by & large but OH (Eileen) is so she doesn't let me get away with leaving an untidy mess anywhere!

I used to have a lot of 'disasters' when I was running my own business because things that should have been watered weren't on hot days, spraying plants with liquid fertiliser that had previously been used for weed killer & not washed out properly!!!  etc etc. Eileen used to do all our accounts in the business, cook meals, and run the home, so I couldn't expect her to look after the garden as well. Retired now though (just over 3 years ago) and we both have time to work together in the garden + everything else we are involved in.


Posted: 17/06/2014 at 11:26

Have picked about a dozen cucumbers to date. Decided to give them a try this year and am growing Cucino which is harvested at about 3 inches long. 1st 4 I picked I took around to my daughter's for her, s.i.l. and 2 G.daughters. 11yr old G.dtr immediately ate one, then polished off her 13 yr old sister's. She wasn't the most popular bunny in the household

Have added a few pics taken this morning of the garden. Lupins are nearly over now but don't look too bad from a distance!


Back garden from patio

 Back garden from veg. patch

 Veg. patch raised beds

 Dr. Rupell Clematis is more prolific with flowers this year

 The herb bed made last year is becoming established now

Have been out pruning the wisteria on the pergola this morning too and tying in some of the new growth


Best multi purpose compost this year ?

Posted: 15/06/2014 at 22:51

I agree with Mike Allen, I have used a lot of Westlands composts this year and yes, they have been very good but I've only bought the Westlands because I couldn't find any JAB. Last week I visited a local nursery I have never been to in the 48 years we've lived here and they had plenty of JAB 100 litre bales in stock @ £6.00 each so I immediately bought 1 multipurpose and 1 bark chips to try.

I was able to see the composition of the MP because the nursery had a GH with about a dozen 100 litre bales laid on the GH floor, tops cut out and 4 tomato plants growing in each. The plants looked fantastically healthy and the compost looked very acceptable. I have potted on a few plants in the JAB MP already and they are doing fine.

Over all I have always favoured JAB MP when I can get it. Companies like JAB do a lot of research and have good quality control so I really wouldn't be put off by what the compost looks like because you can bet it will bring good results if used as the manufacturer suggests. As Mike suggests (depending on what I'm growing) I add a little composted manure to the mix - particularly with courgettes.

Incidentally, we picked 3 courgettes and 5 cucumbers today: yum!

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