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Latest posts by LilAmbar

Have you sown any seeds yet this year?

Posted: 07/02/2014 at 08:53

Chilli peppers are in. No signs of life yet but the seeds are a little (lot) past their optimum. Wait and see I guess. Plenty of time to re do them. My windowsills will soon look like a greenhouse. Maybe that will gee on my  h2b to clear some of our jungle for a greenhouse. 

Fellow hayfever sufferers

Posted: 29/01/2014 at 13:56

Antihistamine tablets can help hayfever suffers - taken regularly (everyday) during the summer can eliminate symptoms for the majority of sufferers.

Most seasonal hayfever sufferers are allergic to tree and/or grass pollen.  Flower pollen isn't a frequent problem.  You could pay a doctor to identify your specific allergens but (s)he wouldn't be able to test for every type of flower. 

DIY allergy testing by sticking your nose in a tulip or rolling around in grass isn't going to be a particularly reliable way of knowing if you are allergic to either.  The best way to tell if you you would be able to work in a florists is by going and spending some time in one.  This will expose you to the usual level of pollen in a florists as they use flowers in bloom all year round - the type may vary a little though.  This would not only answer your question but give you a better insite into the job.

Lil (Hayfever sufferer and 'Chemist')



Posted: 13/01/2014 at 12:53

Definitely on my 'to have a go at list' but I think I need to invest in a greenhouse first.  Would love to know how you get on artjak.

Talkback: Making a Christmas wreath

Posted: 07/12/2013 at 09:43

So how early can you make a wreath and it last through to the New Year?  Itching to have a go.

Ivy, holly and cyclamen - everywhere!!!

Posted: 02/12/2013 at 11:54

I feel your pain ... more holly and ivy than I know what to do with.  I could make a nice tidy profit by selling it as Christmas decorations if only I had the time to! 

I've just spent another weekend pulling both out from underneath our laurels (which are also at some point for 'pulling' out. 

Buried treasure

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 11:35

17 tennis balls, 5 bouncy rubber balls, 1 small knife, and four kilograms of broken glass

Flowers in small pots!

Posted: 21/11/2013 at 12:40

How did you get on with this Whatalottie?  I hope all went to plan and you all had a wonderful time at the wedding.

Seed swap

Posted: 20/10/2013 at 11:02

Hi Potty Gardener,

I'd be interested in Kale-nero ditoscana, Fennel-di Firenze, Nigella-Persian Jewles, Nasturtium-dwarf mixed.

I haven't got anything to swap back (I've not long moved and been living in a flat without for 18 months).  Would you like a stamped SAE?


Legionnaires desease in compost

Posted: 04/10/2013 at 17:04

L.longbeachae does not appear to grow in water and because we know that the cases reported from Scotland we caused by this specific legionella it wouldn't have been from the water butt.  L.pneumophilia can be found in water butts but isn't too much of a problem in the UK most of the year because it needs warmer temperatures to multiply up to dangerous levels.  One place that we know this legionella is a problem is in vehicle washer bottles (warmed up nicely by the engine).  A good reason to add screen wash to the one in your car .

There is always more learn about bacteria, they are evolving faster than we can keep up with. 

Legionnaires desease in compost

Posted: 04/10/2013 at 11:37

My day job is based around treating and preventing infections.  I thought you might like some things clarifying - please tell me to butt out if you want.

There are a few types of Legionella.  The one you may have heard about previously is mainly found in water and causes infection.  The flu like illness (Pontiac Fever) is it's mild form of infection but in some patients; where a more severe infection occurs  and results in pneumonia, this is called Legionnaire's disease, can be severe and in unfortunatley in some cases fatal.  

Legionella longbeachae is bacteria that is receiving press attention.  We don't have a lot of experience with it in the UK (or worldwide).  This is probably not because it hasn't ever caused infections here but because we haven't been specifically looking for it.  We know it can cause severe pneumonia and it is likely it has a milder form of illness with flu-like symptoms. Technically, we probably shouldn't be referring to infections caused by it as legionnaires' disease or pontic fever but I expect that we will adopt these terms anyway as the resulting infections are similar and probably indistinguishable without laboratory test.  We are finding L.longbeachae in compost but this is unlikely to be the main environmental resevoir of the bacteria - basically we don't know where this bacteria usually grows.  We don't know for definite how it is transmitted to humans but in the case of the bacteria on compost it is most likely that ingestion of the bacteria (from compost on our hands) or inhalation of the dust from dry compost is the way we are exposed to it.  Simple measures such as wetting down compost before use and washing hands might reduce our risk of being infected by it.

I completely agree with Farmageddun that there needs to be some perspective here - I will still be using peat-free compost if I need to and I see what happens when you get infections on a day to day basis.

Fairygirl ... bird flu is still out there.  It's causing biggest problems for humans in China at the moment (new strain, not the one that got all the press attention before the 'swine flu' pandemic but that one is still out there too).  There were a few headlines about this but the press have seem to have got bored of reporting on it. 

Discussions started by LilAmbar

Flowers but no potatoes

Any ideas why? 
Replies: 4    Views: 234
Last Post: 15/06/2014 at 13:34

Should my toad lily be showing signs of life?

Impatient gardender 
Replies: 4    Views: 235
Last Post: 26/04/2014 at 10:35

What am I?

Help identify this plant/weed. 
Replies: 7    Views: 428
Last Post: 18/03/2014 at 17:14

Multi-stemmed copper beech

What to do with it? 
Replies: 2    Views: 479
Last Post: 29/09/2013 at 21:56

Iris - to lift and move or allow seed pod to ripen?

Underneath a magnolia tree 
Replies: 8    Views: 437
Last Post: 09/09/2013 at 14:12

Veg planting chart

Replies: 3    Views: 909
Last Post: 15/04/2013 at 18:43
6 threads returned