Latest posts by Marinelilium

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Shrubs and bushes for birds

Posted: 06/06/2017 at 12:31

Well, as I put on a tin helmet, I think walls and fences covered in ivy and Hydrangea x petiolaris 
are wildlife havens. They can accommodate several neighbouring nests for different species at different nesting heights, provide night roosts all year round, offer nectar early in the season and shelter countless invertebrates. Butterflies, moths and spiders particularly.

(English Heritage & The National Trust funded research showed that unless the mortar is already degraded the ivy prevents fluctuations from baking sun to rapid drops in night temperatures, wind and rain erosion and air pollutiion. Ivy is even shown to be a protecting factor in towns and cities where car exhaust emissions are high).


ID of tree

Posted: 14/05/2017 at 08:39

Hello yarrow2; it looks like a leggy Pittisporum. There are so many varieties in this group but the dark leaves should narrow your search  down as half of the species are silver or variegated leaf types. HTH


Powdery mildew

Posted: 11/05/2017 at 19:12

Powdery mildew is not easy to deal with and causes farmers real grief. If you notice this on edible crops try a solution of 10% milk and water and spray the foliage. I use this on raspberries and grape vines and it knocks back the fungus in three days. 

It works - but scientists are still researching  WHY it works. It also deters aphids but does not treat an established aphid attack. It may be protein acids of sour milk make it hard for fungus and aphids to get a hold. Strange but true!


Yorkstone ok in the pond?

Posted: 11/05/2017 at 18:47

Oh mangers would be just perfect for these raiders. Blackbird flies off looking like she's grown a handlebar moustache. Greenfinches, blue tits and long tailed tits are a bit more discreet about the amount they stuff in their beaks but they make lots more visits.

I will have to use stones to protect liner from UV. Coir seemed like a good idea to help creatures get out of the pond so might use it with gravel on the edges. Live and learn!


Yorkstone ok in the pond?

Posted: 11/05/2017 at 18:28

Just a heads up Pete8 about the coir mat to cover pond liner; at least four species of bird made off like bandits with the coir leaving exposed liner. Next door's cat brought this nest down - that a female blackbird worked so hard to make. She is now making another nest and  recycling this one.  I even put spare coir in the shrubs for the nesters but they preferred the pond edging?!?

I suppose it worked for the wildlife - if not for the pond : /



Posted: 22/03/2017 at 09:38

Nematodes get the slugs and they get you in the back pocket but worth every penny! if you add up the cost of destruction to plants it soon gets to £50.

I found that even after one season's worth of sachets the slug numbers were really knocked back - and years later they are still more manageable. (The nematodes go back into the soil when the slug dies and they wait for emerging slug). My snails are hunted by my team, Buffy my resident toad and the thrushes.

Take heart rosemummy you INVESTED fifty quid!


What to plant in this area

Posted: 16/03/2017 at 19:07

Yep, originally from New Zealand and S Africa but now naturalised on every continent except Antarctica.

Calla lily family come in dwarf forms too and a myriad of colours but all love damp,squadgey areas. I wonder what Charles found for the shade and flood zone.


What to plant in this area

Posted: 16/03/2017 at 16:40

Did you get started Charles_41?  I just love a project!

If you want to preserve the river bank edge from erosion slip you could drive some short pointed logs in, about a foot or two out into river, then back fill behind the upright logs with rolls of coir, rolled turf or barley straw. This 'buffer zone' can be planted with hardy marginals like Iris or Zantedeschia that actually prefer wet feet and tree shade. 

It makes an amphibian haven too. I know the Environment Agency uses this method to restore eroded banks and provide habitat. My two plant suggestions are non-invasive and are considered native.


Yorkstone ok in the pond?

Posted: 14/03/2017 at 09:10

Trying coir matting as the edging cover on my new wildlife pond - so little claws can clamber in and out of the water. Also hoping any tannins have leached out by soaking it first. It soaks up water and wicks it into the u-shaped butyl overlap that is the bog garden edge. I have  sprinkled seeds and soil mix into the exposed coir then added rocks and a gravel beach.

Log pile at one end and a York Stone paver, as a bird bath shelf, at the other. if York stone leaches out anything nasty I would be keen to know too.



Posted: 20/02/2017 at 23:30

oh, that looks like a comfy snoozing patch. My dog was a lurcher, you can see him -lurking mid photo in the Libertias. The bare patch of soil is the cool earth he snoozed on under a Salix Caprea x Kilmarnock he used it like a beach umbrella. It is the exact spot we buried his old friend, our cat, with whom he used to snuggle on cold nights. Made me wonder if he knew she was under the tree, as there are other shady spots in the garden he could have chosen.

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