Joyce Goldenlily

Latest posts by Joyce Goldenlily

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Something burrowing in my greenhouse

Posted: 13/03/2017 at 09:40

Looks like a rat hole. They are very clever and when something new is put near where they are running will avoid the new"thing" for a couple of weeks. I had to leave traps down for two or three weeks before catching anything.

My neighbours have ducks and chickens so I am always finding excavations in the dry stone walls and banks around my garden. Have given up trying to control them, I just hammer a large stone into the entrance, they are very persistent and industrious though, just dig a new hole somewhere else. The trouble is this does eventually lead to the collapse of the walls and banks as they create extensive tunnel systems. Cannot help but admire their determination

Trachelospermum jasminoides problem or not?

Posted: 13/03/2017 at 09:29

I am a big fan of TJ s. Have grown them in each garden I have had. One I have at present has  lovely brilliant  red leaves, most of which will drop to be replaced by new green growth. They are evergreen, but all evergreen plants naturally drop their leaves at some time of the year. I have a cream flowered one and a variegated one which seems very shy to flower  and slow to grow. Delicious scent.

Should I be worried?

Posted: 12/03/2017 at 10:08

Aubergines need to be started indoors and need plenty of heat when potted into their final pots. Last year I grew some from seed, gave my daughter half the seedlings. We both grew them on for a few weeks before moving into large final pots. I put mine outside  against a south facing house wall. My daughter grew hers in an unheated greenhouse. I had quite a few flowers but not a single fruit. My daughter's plants were loaded with an excellent crop of aubergines. I can only guess that mine did not enjoy the damp outdoor Cornish climate, needing a dry atmosphere although they need to be kept watered. I used to grow them outside, against a south facing fence where they cropped well, again, it was in the Thames Valley so a dry atmosphere seems to be a must.

Lawn: Patches of no grass

Posted: 08/03/2017 at 16:21

It sounds as if drainage is your problem. Using a fork, pushed into the dips  about half the depth of the fork tines and wriggled about will help. Space the digging at 5/6 ins apart and top dress with lawn sand to go into the holes. That is aerating, good for the whole of the lawn once a year.

It is possible a vixen may use your lawn as her scenting territory area as well. I had problems with a visiting vixen in one of my front gardens, she would wee on the same spot every time she travelled through, the dog fox used to spray on one particular shrub which eventually died.


Posted: 08/03/2017 at 16:09

Dogs and cats hate walking on chipped bark paths. It hurts between their pads  I use nylon netting spread over newly dug ground and seed beds.

In bad weather I have found cat calling cards left in the cold frame and in the top of a large container. during their wanderings.

I have my own cat, plus 2 next door as well as marauding farm cats and local domestic cats which pass through so I have to just bite the bullet.

Will this plan work to deal with clay soil and lawn?

Posted: 08/03/2017 at 15:31

If your roof water is running down into the garden and not into a soak away, that would cause waterlogging, especially after all of the wet weather which has been prevalent in the last few years. also, the development in the area, on farm land is another, you really do have a problem as your garden looks as if rubble has been used with gay abandonment. Under ground waterways and springs will find their own route as the extensive flooding throughout the country has shown recently. I am also wondering if the rubble from the outside toilet etc. has been buried to get rid of it.

I had no idea there was solidified shale under my garden until I had the conservatory built. They tried digging a soak away but had to bring in a mini digger to get through it.

Would it be worth looking for old maps to see where springs and streams used to be and look into having a soak away put into your garden somewhere.

Not many plants will enjoy growing with their roots in water

What is your weather like? (2)

Posted: 08/03/2017 at 09:55

The next weather belt has arrived, grey, dark, very windy and wet. Going to the shops for some retail therapy.

"Robin Snest."

Posted: 08/03/2017 at 09:49

You could try checking out your garden from indoors, you may find somewhere to prop a broom which your wife could watch from a chair indoors, possible using binoculars. I have an old privy halfway down my garden with ivy growing over it where I am going to put my broom, same place as th e defunct box.. I will sit in my conservatory to watch for activity when I am watching the nesting boxes on a fence.

Good luck

Will this plan work to deal with clay soil and lawn?

Posted: 08/03/2017 at 09:25

I am so pleased you resolved your stinky problem. How about dousing the whole area where it is smelly with a solution of water and Jeyes fluid. It may help and will not do any harm. It will smell like a public toilet for a bit but that must be better than the smell of a dead animal.

It sounds as if you are on a hiding to nothing if the previous house owners levelled the garden with rubble. This should mean rapid draining so why it should be so wet I cannot guess. My garden is very gritty and fast draining except that it is also very shallow, only a spade depth. My problem is a sheet of compacted shale which needs a pneumatic drill to break it up.  I have puddles all over the place in heavy rain so have resorted to making raised beds where I want to plant up. I cannot afford to bring in lorry loads of top soil so am using my own compost plus used compost from containers, a slow way to do it but cost effective.

Blackcurrant to eat off the bush?

Posted: 07/03/2017 at 16:07

I also love blackcurrants, but have not heard of a pick and eat variety. They are very astringent when eaten raw. My bushes are prolific so I have resorted to making blackcurrant cordial to use as a hot winter drink, also blackcurrant wine as well as jam of course. Topped with Cornish Clotted cream, icecream, cheesecake etc. etc. etc. My bushes lost their labels years ago when I moved here with pots of rooted cuttings. I am sure there were 3 varieties of the Ben types, they have all done well and although their cropping times are slightly staggered I cannot tell any difference in size of fruit or flavour.

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