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Lunarz


Latest posts by Lunarz

Growing Sweet Peas

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 19:59

Thanks for the advice David - have you ever grown the dwarf variety Cupid?  I am hoping that the method will still be the same.  Unfortunately I don't have a greenhouse or coldframe so I will be planting into the ground in March.  Fingers crossed. 

Lupins destroyed by greenfly

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 19:47

Hi - I have got several lupins in my garden, which have had a terrible year presumably because of the lack of sun.  For the last 6 to 8 weeks, they have been absolutely smothered in green/whitefly - often two or three deep.  I have gone around many times wiping them all off with kitchen towel (and squashing a lot of them!), but the next day, there they all are again.  I have also sprayed with organic pesticide - I think that it is fish oils - which washes them all of, but again, there they are again the next day.  I bought a load of ladybirds, which all promptly flew away (home I guess ), and now my lupins are all dead looking, with grey/black foliage and very floppy.  Any greens bits are still smothered with greenfly.  Do you think that they will come back again next year, or have the flies sucked all of the nutrients out of them?  If they are doomed, I might take them out now and put new ones in next Spring.  Thanks as ever for all your helpful advice!

The mystery of the disappearing hedgehogs

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 19:29

Thanks everyone - it's a relief to hear that it's not too early to hibernate and we have definitely had some very cold nights here recently so perhaps that is it.  Definitely a good point that the family groups will have split up too.  They are definitely fat enough as well having visited my garden all Summer - what with all the mealworms, seeds, nuts and raisins, some of them were huge last time I saw them.  We also had lots and lots of males making the snorting noise trying to get the females to mate with them all Summer, so perhaps my garden was more like a pick-up joint for hedgehogs, and now the ladies don't want to breed anymore, the men don't both coming any more 

Bird seed falling in pond

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 19:25

Thanks everyone for the ideas.  The pond is very, very small - probably only 2 foot by 3 foot and 2 foot deep, and it is a plastic moulded one so no mud at the bottom (only about 3 inches of seed all over the pump and the bottom).  I tried various oxygenators for a couple of years, but the pond always ended up the same - water that was literally black and smelt absolutely terrible.  Nothing would drink from it and nothing would live in it.  Since I have got the pump, which has a very fine mesh filter to avoid sucking through wildlife, the little pond is swarming with life.  But, having left the seed for several months, it is getting that awful smell again.  As to the feeder sotongeoff - the feeder hanging has been a complete saga which has involved me, up a ladder, many times with lots of string and little bits of sticks and a pair of secateurs to make a spot for the feeder that fits in with the ivy, hawthorn, has a branch over-head to hang the hook on and (I am embarrassed to say) a little ladder type thing for the squirrels and mice to get to the tray underneath it.  So it really would be easier to move the pond   Yes, it has been pointed out to me that I might take this wildlife gardening a bit too far somtimes....

echinacea

Posted: 06/10/2012 at 19:16

Well said Dovefromabove! 

echinacea

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 22:03

Hollie-Hock, I agree with Christopher2 about cutting the flower heads off.  I did this with a couple of new echinaceas last year (even though it was very tempting to let the flowers grow), and they have performed amazingly this year - huge amounts of flowers.  Well worth it.

Bird seed falling in pond

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 22:01

Hi - I have a small wildlife pond which has a simple pump, pumping out water over a rock and back into the pond so that the water stays fresh.  Unfortunately I have made the big mistake of putting it quite close to a seed feeder and the seed falls into the pond - an incredible amount of seed as it turns out.  The only way of cleaning it out is to take the whole pond apart, disconnect the pump, take out all of the rocks and then spend a few hours with a fine net trying to scoop up the seeds   It will be such a shame to fill the pond in with soil or rocks, as the birds do drink from it.  I have a small garden, and there is nowhere else for the pond to go without a lot of disruption unfortunately.  Has anyone got any ideas?  I already have the seed tray attachment on the bottom the seed feeder, but this just seems to encourage pigeons, who are the main culprits for spilling the seed (wish they would sod off, but that's not going to happen any time soon!).  Any ideas very gratefully received!  Thanks.

shade

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 21:55

Hi - my response to the similar shade post copied here for you:  If you are looking for shrubs, then Skimmia are small shrubs (they grow to approx 2 - 3 foot) which love the shade and have the benefit of very late flowers and bright red berries (you only get berries if you have both a male and female plant to cross-pollinate, but all will flower happily) which provides interest late into the season.  A larger shrub (but slow growing so be prepared) is Sarcococca Confusa (also known as Christmas Box, although the leaves are a lot bigger than traditional box) which will grow in total shade and dry soil.  It flowers in the winters and has goreous-smelling white flowers.  Hope that helps.

shady plants

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 21:53

If you are looking for shrubs, then Skimmia are small shrubs (they grow to approx 2 - 3 foot) which love the shade and have the benefit of very late flowers and bright red berries (you only get berries if you have both a male and female plant to cross-pollinate, but all will flower happily) which provides interest late into the season.  A larger shrub (but slow growing so be prepared) is Sarcococca Confusa (also known as Christmas Box, although the leaves are a lot bigger than traditional box) which will grow in total shade and dry soil.  It flowers in the winters and has goreous-smelling white flowers.  Hope that helps.

The mystery of the disappearing hedgehogs

Posted: 05/10/2012 at 21:46

Hi - I put down bowls of dried mealworms and bowls of a nut/seed mix with the occasional raisin for the hedgehogs.  All Summer long they've been coming to my garden and bringing their young - it is not an exaggeration to say that there were often 5 or 6 in my little garden  at any time throughout the night.  Suddenly, a couple of nights ago, they have all stopped coming.  I have not even had one for the last two nights.  Is this normal behaviour?  It feels too early for them to be hibernating?  I am wondering if it is a natural phenomenon or whether something else might have caused it - for instance their route being blocked somewhere or (god forbid) someone putting down some poison somewhere?  Thanks 

Discussions started by Lunarz

Starlings not migrating

When will they sod off! 
Replies: 34    Views: 3278
Last Post: 13/03/2013 at 21:38

Hedgehogs near extinction

So sad... 
Replies: 24    Views: 1644
Last Post: 19/11/2012 at 20:44

Absolutely enormous slug

As big as my hand! 
Replies: 15    Views: 1046
Last Post: 25/10/2012 at 20:46

Lupins destroyed by greenfly

Will they survive? 
Replies: 19    Views: 5115
Last Post: 15/10/2012 at 16:07

Bird seed falling in pond

So much work cleaning it out! 
Replies: 14    Views: 836
Last Post: 15/10/2012 at 18:59

The mystery of the disappearing hedgehogs

Where have they gone? 
Replies: 19    Views: 1768
Last Post: 22/10/2014 at 08:44

Discouraging Starlings

Any bright ideas? 
Replies: 10    Views: 6499
Last Post: 17/08/2012 at 08:57

Very short echinacea

One normal size, one very short 
Replies: 4    Views: 1445
Last Post: 08/08/2012 at 23:14

Are astilbes poisonous to some insects?

Lots of dead insects on my astilbes 
Replies: 7    Views: 1030
Last Post: 08/08/2012 at 13:24

Are sterile plants any good for wildlife?

Foxglove Pink Illumination - any nectar 
Replies: 19    Views: 7286
Last Post: 22/08/2013 at 18:45

Is organic fertilizer OK?

Or does it still count as an undesirable NPK fertilizer? 
Replies: 3    Views: 851
Last Post: 19/07/2012 at 23:58

Feeding poor-soil loving plants in pots?

Should these plants ever be fed even if in pots? 
Replies: 3    Views: 722
Last Post: 16/07/2012 at 10:41

How long do Lupins live?

How short-lived are Lupins? 
Replies: 29    Views: 13079
Last Post: 20/07/2013 at 22:29

Where have all the birds gone?

Birds have deserted my garden 
Replies: 17    Views: 3558
Last Post: 21/06/2012 at 09:27

Is everyone else's plants very late this year?

Plants very late? 
Replies: 12    Views: 813
Last Post: 20/06/2012 at 10:04
1 to 15 of 19 threads