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Latest posts by Mandicore

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buying online - recommendations?

Posted: 30/03/2015 at 12:17

I got lucky in the end, got to a town a bit further than my usual "visiting range" if you know what I mean, and someone pointed me at Wilko. 60 bulbs, five kinds of plant, for £5. They look in reasonable condition though I haven't had a chance to put them in as it's been windy n wet ever since.

My only other option was eBay, which if you're selective and reasonably cautious is ok - but some of the plants advertised as hardy were NOT hardy when I googled their care, so I hadn't been able to decide. The more specialist retailers online had all run out of their cheap "bargain bags".

Thanks everyone for your advice!

buying online - recommendations?

Posted: 20/03/2015 at 20:58

"Sorry my suggestion wasn't for you Mandicore, but it might be useful for someone else reading "

- Oh yes, that's the point of forums! (Can't get the quote function functioning.)

@Golarne - I didn't know it was too late! I've never done the spring planting routine, always intended to go for hardy perennials everywhere, so I haven't got much idea which month is which. Oh no... I'm meaning bulbs that CAN be planted now, d'oh. I'm reading too quickly too!

I don't care, frankly, as long as they're mixed, colourful, easy-care once they're in, and not all daffodils (and not too many tall types as we get strong winds all year). If I'm lucky I'll find a mixed bag as I've seen in the past. I did get to a garden centre this week, though, and they only had the smaller bags of specific flowers, which work out £2-ish per bulb.

@ Welshonion: Peter Nyssen is the best match so far (for my needs)... I like the way they price per bulb, too. This could be the answer!

buying online - recommendations?

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 20:52

Thanks Golarne, but... as far as I can see they only do plug plants again. From the name you'd think bulbs!

I'm really not trying to be awkward. 

buying online - recommendations?

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 20:30

@ Fruitcake - good idea sometimes, but at the moment all the offers are plug plants. A plug takes a lot more planting than a bulb, and in quantity I wouldn't be able to get them in. I've wasted enough over the last few years to know better. Thanks though.

@ Rhod C, they do look good but yes, it's all daffodils by the look of it.

buying online - recommendations?

Posted: 19/03/2015 at 19:13

I'm in need of a barrelful of bulbs! My beds are empty-looking and I'd like to fill them with something that will come up year after year reliably, and be colourful. I'm forced online (see below) and can't choose between the various retailers or find the kind of "starter pack" that I'm looking for.

Background: I have difficulty keeping up with any gardening at all because my health comes and goes. (Need an easy-care garden really, but in the meantime I need to get this one in shape.) Last week an old friend came to stay and tidied up my front garden: swept the dead bits from the paving, and pulled out the dead brown bits which had kept everything else hidden. With planting my problem is usually making the holes(!) but my idea now is to mulch, including bulbs in every handful.

I have as many daffs, narcissi, crocus etc as I can stand; and snowdrops and celandine invade anyway, which I'm happy about. But I want to fill all the bare places which had weeds, and will have weeds again. When the weeds are native wildflowers the same as in the verges, that's fine, but mostly it's grass that takes over and hides everything else.

My question is: I have to buy online because I can never choose in garden centres, when I do occasionally make it to one. I thought I'd pick up a big bag or three of mixed bulbs but I haven't seen that kind of thing, only packs of maybe 3 of one kind, for £5. I need 100 or 200 though.

My budget is approximately... £0! and other than that, obviously I want somewhere that packs the bulbs safely and tends to send things that will grow well. Anyone got any favourite places?

Emptying a compost bin

Posted: 06/05/2014 at 17:17

Those signs are a GOOD idea.

And yes, I'll look at compost turners. This week I'm looking at the Green Deal which is enough shopping around for me for a few days! but now I know what I'm thinking of re the composting - thank you


Emptying a compost bin

Posted: 02/05/2014 at 14:37

@Artjak, all I meant was reaching in from the top of the bin as Clarington suggests. I'm not sure why they make the top that bit narrower than the bottom, so the lid is effectivley smaller - like a sugar bowl rather than soup bowl. (Now that conjures up a *horrible* dinnertime.)

    I think the stepladder would be an individual thing Mandicore depending on how tall you are to reach easily into the bin / where your strength is (for instance I have no strength the moment I lift my arms so would be better on a step instead of leaning into the bin to twist my wiggle stick).

Yep, that's what I meant. but it wasn't be clear to the non-achy!


    I started off with one compost bin. I've now got four and a wormery! Hoping for some useful compost this year to spread on the vegetable patch.

I'm impressed! I did once get enthusiastic for a wormery after reading a booklet. But I'm a fickle serial obsesser, and once committed you can't just take a week off when the whim departs - ormore accurately when another whim arrives. So instead, i wrote a poem about reading the booklet in a café.

By the way, is it possible to get at the html (or bbcode or whatever)? I just made a tangle of blockquote!


Emptying a compost bin

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 22:13

Hi Artjak, thanks for replying!

I don't know about a star, it's easier than using the wheely bin for all the extra peelings and loo rolls which would double its contents! (and it's only emptied fortnightly.) Easier at the putting-in stage anyway.

Well, I do have the two plastic bins. At least from memory there's one round the back somewhere! I can manage most things by catching the moment, it's a very fluctuating thing - and oddly, despite general lower capacity (therefore lower activity), my basic muscle strength is still almost as good as ever - when it's there at all.that is.

So on the whole, the big challenge is setting things up in the first place, and once they're set up I'm fine. So the long-term project is to get everything arranged for easy-care gardening and then I'll be rolling. Such as raised beds, which will be a dream come true - one day!

I have some mesh which I bought by mistake for something else (on eBay) ... as you do It's pretty fine but I don't know what counts as heavy duty. I'll fish it out tomorrow, I hope, and if I can't decide I'll do my best to describe. There may be enough to use 2 or 3 layers.

A compost turning device I also hadn't thought of - the bin would require a step ladder for that job. Nothing stopping that except a bit of hedge-pruning. Do you mean one of those things that look like pitchforks, or something more mechanical? I may have to settle for the wiggle technique (in this thread, lol) for a while.

Emptying a compost bin

Posted: 01/05/2014 at 16:40

Just noticed this thread and it reminded me I have a compost bin to do something with. It's one that the Council "gave away" for £10 some years ago and I was keen, as I'd never composted and a few years earlier hadn't even been interested in gardening.

Anyway we did that thing of putting stuff in, seeing from the top that it shrank down, and wondering where it was all going. It was only this spring that a pest control officer, talking about mice, pointed out that all the compost was going straight into the soil beneath. The council leaflet didn't mention standing it on anything! D'oh.

She recommended leaving it a bit to let the most recent contributions rot down (which is what the mice were attracted to of course), then tipping it up to empty, and putting some fine mesh underneath before starting again. Does fine mesh sound a good thing to use, to you experts?

My other problem is that my health is poor - improving slowly, but it's taken 8 years so far and I'm still on disability - plus I'm newly single, and the garden is the bit of household management I'm not fitting in so far. This bin is one of the ugly plastic kind, with a lid you lift to put stuff in, and a little sliding door at the bottom to take the compost out. I can only get down to it (just like lower shelves etc) on a Good Day (and I try to clean the kitchen on Good Days). It hadn't even occurred to me to empty the whole lot in one go, as you're all talking about.

If I tip it on its side (I have a tarpaulin), is it worth carrying on with this bin or using the opportunity to start something better designed? and if the latter, what design? but if the former, should it stand on mesh or something else?

Oh, and it's a bit too near the house for an open compost heap, I do want to be able to enclose it completely with lid or whatever. But there is space for two bins, or there can be anyway, and I do have a second identical bin somewhere - because the council delivered two. They can't count application forms or £10 cheques, evidently, but didn't want the extra one back.

Euphorbia pruning

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 18:18
fidgetbones wrote (see)

Sap on the skin is far worse if the skin is exposed to Sun. The sap photosensitises the skin.

I've learnt something today!

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Discussions started by Mandicore

buying online - recommendations?

Forced online but I don't know who to use 
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Last Post: 30/03/2015 at 12:17
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