Latest posts by MACAVITYTHECAT


Posted: 15/11/2013 at 11:25

I finally got to use my converted tesco vouchers yesterday with T & M but it took two emails to Tesco and a complaint on my behalf from Tescos to T & M before, finally, a terribly nice and helpful lady from T & M sorted it out.  It's just a shame she wasn't the lady who dealt with my numerous emails and phonecalls before I resorted to contacting Tescos instead.  I doubt I'll ever deal with them again.  Even the seeds I purchased this year from them had an unnusually low germination rate- including the T & M ones I got free with magazines.  The Mr Fothergill seeds were definitely more successful so I'm now tempted to purchase plugs from them direct too... but, on the whole, the entire online purchasing experience has proven very hit and miss.  There's no disputing the fact that self-grown seedlings and garden-centre purchased plugs have been the stars of my garden this year and anything bought online has had maybe a 1 in 3 success rate.  For instance I had three chinese lanterns from T & M and only one grew, yet the one that has grown is almost terrifyingly prolific. I'm glad now I only have one as it's lovely but virtually weed-like in its self-reproduction so it's hard to tell how T & M even managed to send me two duff ones

The only firm I feel I have to recommend is Roger Parson's Sweet Peas.  Wow.  A 98% sucessful germination and the most spectacular flowers ever.  I caused a real storm in a teacup at my local gardening club by winning with my sweetpeas despite it being my first year of showing... it was all handbags at dawn and my secret weapon had to be the source of the seeds because I definitely can't give any other reason for them being so successful. I  dug out the last of this years sweetpeas last weekend and they were still in bloom even though I had stopped tending them after the summer completely.  And the seedlings for next year are already poking their little heads out of their pots in the greenhouse and it looks like 100% germinationsuccess this time...

Online Ordering

Posted: 12/11/2013 at 16:32

Don't want to be a downer but I converted £15 of Tesco vouchers three weeks ago but despite numerous attempts I can't get the T & M website to process my order.  I have phoned T & M, written to them, emailed them and still can't get anyone to help me.  So rather than being quids in with £45 of plant stuff I am effectively £15 of tesco vouchers poorer.  T & M have to have the worst customer services department in the world.  I have even resorted to sending screen captures proving I'm not entering the vouchers incorrectly but, so far, nothing except generic replies of how to use the internet correctly.  When I lost my temper, pointed out I was an IT manager and was perfectly capable of using a website, thank you very much, my generic replies dried up to deathly silence.  One little ray of hope though, after giving up on T & M, I wrote to Tescos instead and copied my email to T & M and, surprise, surprise, today got an email from them requesting further info and offering to help, so who knows...

How does one recover from having a garden wrecked by cowboy gardners?

Posted: 11/11/2013 at 15:56

There is a scheme called Garden Partners, AgeUk approved, whereby younger people without gardens look after the gardens of older people in exchange for a bit of growing space. It might be something worth looking at, depending on the size of your garden. There's another similar scheme called Incredible Edible.

What to do...

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 16:40

Thanks, Verdun.  Unfortunately I haven't the foggiest idea what most of them are as I was given them in the dark.I had a quick peek this morning before I left for work as it was getting light and definitely could tell there are blue, purple and white asters and a large gyp but I won't really be able to take a good look before Saturday. Then I might be posting pictures and begging for help with identification. All I know for sure at the moment is that at least half of them are taller than me and although my husband responded to that observation with 'so not very tall then' they obviously are quite substantial plants so it would be a shame to accidentally kill them off.

What to do...

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 14:28

I'm loving the gardening overall, Fairygirl, and not much defeats me but the stoney, solidly clay soil of our garden is proving a back-breaker.  I'm physically limited  because I'm so darn small that I can't get any weight behind tools to dig in deep. I said as much to my husband, who is a big bear of a man, hoping that despite his loathing of anything garden-related he would at least offer to do a bit of digging over for me or even suggest getting someone in to help. His response, instead, was to buy me a fork-hoe which he presented to me with such a proud flourish that I didn't have the heart to complain.  Oh well. I will eventually get it all done.

What to do...

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 13:30

You're right, Obelixx, and I admit that it's more that I don't want to plant out these new plants yet than truly that I don't want to clear the annuals yet.  I cleared out all the tomatoes last weekend so have a lot of deep, empty pots at the moment and space in the cold greenhouse so it would be easier to just pot up for now.

That's a really good idea you've given me about handling the bed. I found some nice compost a couple of months ago and because compost has been so bad on the whole this year I went mad and literally bought a ton of it. I'll pile everything I haven't used onto the bed after clearing it and dig it in, here and there, as I have the time and energy. Eventually I'll get some decent soil there.  Clay is really hard work but it's fertile and my roses love it so overall I'm not complaining. My back frequently does, though,

bareroot trees and roses.where to get them from online.

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 12:49

Not completely bare-root but I know a great online site for good cheap trees in little pots, I bought 9 trees from earlier this year (3 for 2 and free delivery) and I was disappointed when they came as they seemed more dead than hibernating.  However, I planted them out and have to say they have established brilliantly. For instance, the 'dead' Japonica I bought in March has half covered a highand wide rose arbour in just 6 months and is still beautifully in bloom. The quality is far superior to any local garden centres... unless maybe the difference is that Coblands grow them hard and hardy whereas my local GC's seem to force and molly-coddle plants so they don't thrive in 'real' conditions.

What to do...

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 11:57

Thanks, Nutcutlet.  I was hoping that would be the answer but wasn't sure whether my impulse not to plant out yet was driven by procrastination.  Although I would hate to lose the plants, the thought of clearing the beds and then digging two dozen deep holes this side of spring was not particularly welvome. 

What to do...

Posted: 30/10/2013 at 11:00

Last night I was given a car full of perennials by an elderly relative who has decided he's 'retiring' from gardening and has celebrated the fact by digging up everything, roots and all. Mainly Asters but a good variety of others too. In truth there's only a couple of dozen but they are mature bush-sized plants, still most in bloom, and currently are sitting in big sacks on the patio.

The question is, do I plant them out now - which I'd prefer not to do because I'd have to  clear out all the late annuals that are still flowering well to get to the back of the borders - and let them settle in before the soil gets too cold or would I get away with planting them into big pots until next year? Indeed, give that my soil is heavy clay and they've had a shock, would a few months in some nice fresh compost to grow new roots be a good thing?  I'm only used to dealing with small, young plants that are pretty forgiving not more mature plants and would hate to kill them off with a bad decision.

Extending Grass Area in garden

Posted: 28/10/2013 at 15:29

Can't see any problem just filling it in.  I had a weird ditch about 20 foot long and 3 foot deep near one of my hedges and all I did was throw in soil and upside down turf as I dug out other beds. When it was finally 'filled' I flattened it and threw seed over the top and now it's perfectly blended in with the original lawn. Still, as Blairs said, at this time of year you might need to use lawn rolls rather than seed.

Discussions started by MACAVITYTHECAT


a bit of a whine?? 
Replies: 17    Views: 1612
Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 08:40

What to do...

Unexpected donation of multudinous perennials 
Replies: 11    Views: 1150
Last Post: 30/10/2013 at 16:53

Alien abduction?

pond problems 
Replies: 14    Views: 1312
Last Post: 24/09/2013 at 12:52
3 threads returned