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Latest posts by Marinelilium

Water Butts STINK!

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 11:29

Hehehe! What happens on the allotment....stays on the allotment Alan.

Water Butts STINK!

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 11:01

Rotten eggs whiff is hydrogen sulphide gas so decaying organic matter is in the butt. Just in case it is from bird poop, dead snails etc I would clean out the butt as Dove suggests.

Then try cutting a pair of old tights into two leg sections; fill one leg with charcoal lumps (Nora Batty memories) and suspend that in the water then use the other leg section to stretch over the inlet hose to catch gutter debris. This should help keep the next fill sweeter. oh yes a garden peg on the nose to empty the butt then to secure the twist in the tight tops


Talkback: Dunnocks

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 09:56
Ooh dear, how can I put this delicately? Dunnocks have rather peculiar mating habits! They indulge in polyandry (two boys one girl) or sometimes even the opposite! This means territorial brouhahas flare up. A reflection is enough to provoke a response. In addition (blushes) the female up-tails to 'present' to the male, who pecks at her until she is red and swollen, before mating. So persistent pecking at glass, or walloping into glass, are down to the birds' rather odd love life arrangements! Hey....but who are we to make judgements?

Surface Water

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 13:58

Kweegly could have the perfect garden for an astilbe collection too. OK, I am actually a teeny bit jealous of your possibilities now - the grass is definitely greener on your side

Surface Water

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 13:29

Thanx  Fairygirl. If I had water available all summer, as Kweegly probably does, I would indulge myself with Zantedeschia aethiopica in rills.....gorgeous!


Surface Water

Posted: 09/03/2014 at 13:01

Hello Kweegly, you may find that gravel rills, dug through the areas you have marked in red, will run the water to the lowest point where you could have a dewpond. The rills could be decorative channels in a pattern of your design and instead of gravel filler maybe a decorative aggregate. Saw a lovely spiral one once. Sometimes it is best to work with the topography and water table than to fight so you could make the drainage a feature. 


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 18:19

Several friends have commented that their Buddleias haven't bloomed well this year. I was expecting great things this year for the Big Butterfly Count from mine but it has produced a miserable show to date. They like dry zones so maybe last summer and our cold wet spring were just too soggy for plants planted where the roots were saturated?


Posted: 17/08/2013 at 17:50


My grapes are planted outside on two south facing walls. This one is behind the garage so gets reflected warmth from two walls and a gravel path . On a summer evening the warmth is there longer - even on a damp overcast day like today. if you wash the leaves with a 25-30% milk solution you can help prevent mildew forming. Seaweed feed in May for foliage and chicken pellets in February at the roots. Good Luck!

Talkback: Deterring pigeons

Posted: 16/07/2013 at 21:06
My commiserations Adam. Not only did incontinent pigeons build their useless nest ( eggs invariably rolled off) above our patio, they'd eat the emerging broccoli, they would also flutter up in front of me causing palpitations. Their 'love life' is also a bit much!

A lonely, and rather plaintive, male owl has set up home nearby and the pigeons have scrammed. I suggest an owl recording or an ornamental one, occasionally moved hither and thither perhaps?

Talkback: Growing pears

Posted: 23/06/2013 at 12:22

Thanks for advice SwissSue. I respect your restraint too,  as I know I would be driven to keep poking and gouging at that 90% proof pear. (Like the monkey with a stick at the ant nest) ,,...

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