Latest posts by MACAVITYTHECAT

Van Meuwen

Posted: 02/12/2013 at 13:35

It's like an addiction. I know better but I just can't help myself.  I know Van Meuwen are T & M by another name. I know they have a bad rep. I know I will probably be moaning about them a month from now when I receive half-dead wizened stumps of plants but... I just placed an order with them for something irresistable. I swear I see a pretty plant picture and I'm all 'Shiny, Shiny, Gimmee Now..." like a crazed Magpie!

Maybe I need to put my debit card in a wallet with 'JUST SAY NO' written on it

Heating for sheds?

Posted: 02/12/2013 at 11:13

I'd love someone to prove me wrong here, as it would be a great solution for me too, but when I looked into it last year I came to the conclusion it would be immensely impractical.

You would need at least two leisure batteries, one in use, one on charge, and you would have to swap them at least every two days but if you timed it wrong and drained the battery completely you would kill it dead and that would be really expensive.  Even for two days worth of charge you are barely looking at move than a basic frost-killing setting on a 12v heater. I doubt you'd even notice it working unless you stood right over it.

I then tried a little butane gas cylinder camping heater but it was uneconomical and only created a warm area of about three foot diameter and I move around a lot more than that in my shed.

I ended up opting for an Aladdin paraffin heater for my shed because I have good ventilation and I buy paraffin for the GH heaters so it's no bother but if I didn't  mind lugging the cylinder back and forth for refil I would have opted for a calor-gas heater as being the most cost-effective and safest option.

Buying a Greenhouse new / used

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 23:20

last year I was lucky enough to get a nearly new custom built GH off someone who was moving house. The entire thing moved without a hitch except for the two triangular panes at either side of the eaves. Because they were relatively small panes and it was summer I left the panes empty, called it ventilation and told myself I had months to get replacement panes cut.  Of course, by winter I still hadn't done anything about replacing the glass and in a panic, knowing it was going to frost hard before I could get the glass cut, I went to a DIY store and bought a square plastic louvre wall vent, cut it into two triangles and, voila, ended up with some dirt cheap louvre venting. Which just goes to prove that procastinating can be a good thing...and even an expensive GH can be improved with a bit of cheap diy.  The louvre is a godsend really, even with four side vents the GH wouldn't get an airflow without the two 'accidental' end vents.

......the good guys

Posted: 01/12/2013 at 22:45

Coblands gets my vote too... fair priced, good quality and brilliant delivery. A honeysuckle I bought off them as a mere twig let in may this year has already rampaged over a large archway in a flood of flowers and fruits. 

Winter Pots

Posted: 29/11/2013 at 07:44

 A picture for you, art jack. Sorry it's a bit fuzzy but I had to take it when it was barely light as I was leaving the house this morning.


Posted: 28/11/2013 at 16:35

Personally I just love the way a fully blooming plant looks like a crowd of smiling faces... I always find myself smiling back at them and anything that makes you smile is cool in my book.


Posted: 28/11/2013 at 16:10

If you don't cut the flowerheads off they turn into a star-shaped husk full of seeds. I leave them until they have dried enough to turn dark, then scrape the seeds into an envelope.  If I'm being anal, I mark each envelope (acid-free) individually but this year I just did one big mixed bag and planted randomly.  The germination rate seems to be as good/bad as bought seeds. The fun bit is that even if you keep the seeds seperate they might not grow exactly the same as the parent plant but they are free and even if they are different, I've learned to embrace the difference!


Posted: 28/11/2013 at 15:14

I collected loads of seed heads this year from various types of pansies and violas, mixed them all up and sowed them in big seed trays then planted them out when they had reached about 4 inches of growth but not yet in flower.  It's been great because normally I'm pretty OCD'ish about my colour-schemes but this year I've deliberably let myself not know what colour or size I was planting out and the mix 'n match has created some lovely unique baskets and displays.  Sometimes being random is surprisingly good.

lavender bush in pot - winter

Posted: 28/11/2013 at 15:07

I have mine planted rather than in pots and have learned to my cost that English Lavender might have a little die-back but will otherwise be fully hardy but I treat French Lavender as bedding plants because they never make it past the heavy frosts. Maybe next year I'll plant them in pots, then extract and put in coldframes or the GH. Re the english lavender, it does better if you don't cut it back before winter.  Sometimes I harvest all my lavender and the plants always suffer more die-back than if I leave the dead heading until spring.

Glove for long fingers

Posted: 26/11/2013 at 21:31

Maybe you're right, Brumbull. I usually deal directly with the manufacturer and have checked their website and they are based in bucks not high maybe your number is for a shop that stocks their goodies... It's probably just as we'll for the sake of my purse that no shops near me stock them LOL

Their direct website, if it helps, is  

Discussions started by MACAVITYTHECAT


a bit of a whine?? 
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Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 08:40

What to do...

Unexpected donation of multudinous perennials 
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Last Post: 30/10/2013 at 16:53

Alien abduction?

pond problems 
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Last Post: 24/09/2013 at 12:52
3 threads returned