Latest posts by MACAVITYTHECAT

Buying the right tool

Posted: 23/09/2013 at 14:37

Like blueberry says, it's a personal thing. I love the Burgon & Ball tools because they feel really nice in my hands. They clean up well, don't splinter and don't seem to blunt. For pruning, though, my favorite tool ever is my secateurs from Jardin deFrance. They have this incredible ratchet action and even my tiny little wrist (I am an exceedingly petite woman) doesn't feel any strain regardless of how thick a branch I am cutting through.  They are pretty pricey but I'm getting to the stage (and age, probably) where I truly believe that 'buy cheap, buy twice' is a truism. 

Alien abduction?

Posted: 23/09/2013 at 11:27

Thanks for the kind words.  I know I will finish and ultimatelyenjoy the pond but suddenly all the enthusiasm has gone.  I was determined to get it finished well in time for winter but now I might leave it until spring.  Particularly since I need to set a lot of concrete and the weather isn't particularly reliable at the moment.

The new pond will be long and narrow but 4/5 foot deep at its deepest end, specifically to give the fish a safer place that would withstand a very cold winter and a very long necked heron!  The hole is already dug but I'm putting a retaining wall at the far end since it's on a slope - so to be 'flat' it needs to be raised up three feet at one end.  At this stage it's just a big hole one end and a big pile of dirt on the other.  Oddly just the perfect depth and width to permanently 'lose' my husband in as I told him this morning when he failed to be sufficiently sorrowful about the abductees

Alien abduction?

Posted: 23/09/2013 at 10:22

It's too depressing to contemplate.  If it's an animal it's annoying but 'natural'.  Much harder to accept the idea someone's done it deliberately.

The saddest part is that I am three weeks into building the fish a super new des-res. I was a bit worried about them getting through the winter in the small pond so had started construction of a much deeper, larger home.  Now I've completely lost heart about finishing (though I'm not sure what else I can do other than fill the hole back in) because when I think about Frank, Dave and the Bobs never getting to enjoy their new home I literally want to cry.  How pathetic is that?

Alien abduction?

Posted: 23/09/2013 at 09:05

My goldfish, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Frank and Dave have all disappeared overnight.  I'm assuming, tragically, that they have become somethings sushi dinner but what I can't work out is whodunnit or how...  At least 80% of the water surface is covered by floating plants (primarily to protect from a local Heron). The water level hasn't dropped, there's no sign of plant disturbance. If it was the fox what dunnit, I'd have expected a scattering of plants and a lot of water displaced (it's a raised pool).If it was human fish-nappers I'd have expected them to also empty the potting shed of goodies en-route.

So I'm concluding aliens did it

Finish the pond now or in the spring?

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 11:15

I bought one floating water hyacinth in July for my little mini pond (like you I am in the excavation process of the new des-res for my goldfish) and that single plant has grown to not only fill the little pond, but I have 6 new plants taken from it floating in a big tub  waiting for their new home to be finished (eventually). So one plant maybe 6" x 6" has become many plants covering maybe 3' x 2' in just over two months.  On that basis, I would think that a starter plant pack for a much smaller pond would be fully sufficient because they will spread out by themselves.

Pond Visitor

Posted: 20/09/2013 at 10:28

Hate to suggest it, but might be a cat   My girl cat is a senile 20 year old who no longer goes out but once, back in her glory days, she came home - soaking wet - proudly carrying a Koi that was almost as large as her.  I worked out it was at least £200 worth of fish and she must have brought it back from a long distance away because I was in such terror that the fish owner would lie in wait for her to take revenge that I was willing to pay compensation instead but although I tried numerous houses in the street, not one person had a pond with Koi.

Help and Advice

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 14:29

You may be in the same situation I was last year with absolutely no possibility of planting out at the time they arrived.  I had spent a small fortune on some trees that I believed I was just taking ownership of, not actual possession of, but due to a mutual misunderstanding they arrived at christmas and I either had to plant them somewhere else or let them stay in pots. They were too tall for the greenhouse and everywhere else in the garden was too exposed and I knew the rootballs would freeze solid in their pots.  So, I gave a lot of thought to swaddling them in rolls of bubblewrap, then changed my mind and temporariluy replanted them in potato grow bags. That way each tree had a huge mound of compost to keep it warm, the roots got a chance to spread out and when I was ready to plant I just dug huge growbag sized holes and plonked the whole lot in the ground.

It was probably a really bad, terrible thing to do but it worked and the trees not only survived last years horrible winter sitting in their growbags but have established beautifully in their new homes this year.

Flowering out of season

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 14:07

All of my roses are back in full bloom, my hollyhocks are growing like triffids and still wonderfully full of flowers, my spencer sweetpeas are flowering like crazy even though I stopped dead-heading them nearly a month ago and one of my clematis is in flower for the third time this year. Most strangely, though, like Addict I have a new crop of strawberries. Not wild strawberries, but bog-standard early cropping ones that had finished by end of July.  The fruits are on the small side but perfectly red and sweet. Would be even nicer if I hadn't taken all the nets off to let the runners spread out. Still, its such an unexpected bonus anyway that I don't mind sharing the bounty with the birdies.

autumn plants

Posted: 16/09/2013 at 10:46

Nepeta.  It's fully hardy in my experience and although, unchecked, it will take over a container it's wonderful for then dividing for all your summer baskets.

Poorly Hellebores?

Posted: 13/09/2013 at 11:28

I've struggled a lot with potting-on compost being either too dry or too water-retentive.  This year I ended up mixing my own 'recipe' and its worked a lot better for me with far better growth and stronger roots.  My 'recipe' is 40% sieved multi-purpose, 40% John Innes No 2, 10% Perlite and 10% Vermiculite.  I don't know why it works but it does. I previously was losing plants to mildew (particularly lavender and begonia) or, when I used the John Innes alone, was struggling with the soil drying out too quickly.  I've also been using narrower, taller pots to encourage longer roots.

Discussions started by MACAVITYTHECAT


a bit of a whine?? 
Replies: 17    Views: 1668
Last Post: 29/11/2013 at 08:40

What to do...

Unexpected donation of multudinous perennials 
Replies: 11    Views: 1178
Last Post: 30/10/2013 at 16:53

Alien abduction?

pond problems 
Replies: 14    Views: 1366
Last Post: 24/09/2013 at 12:52
3 threads returned