Latest posts by Marinelilium

Stabilising a clay bank

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 17:15
Was the soil treated with weed killer PJL? The mound's "patchy grass" you described, suggests chemical residue may be inhibiting regular growth. Run-off from the farmer's field may also be an issue depending whether selective herbicides or fertilisers are used and have drained down and NPK levels are skewed.

BTW If cotoneaster dammeri or cotoneaster salcifloius repents are planted they will do away with the need for chicken wire or gabions. Landscaper's use these plants on cliff faces.

Stabilising a clay bank

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 13:59
Hello Desthemoaner. I garden on a slope so understand your concern about the soil ending up elsewhere! Mine is stabilised by Cotoneaster dammerii

An evergreen shrub only 25cms tall, but one plant covers 2 metres of bank (kerching ??), has white flowers and then red berries, wildlife LOVES it. Happy to grow on clay (which can shrink and crack in summer and becomes slime in winter) and practically maintenance free. Grabs soil well and Is so secure I plonk seasonal pots in between the woody stems if the mood takes me. HTH

Watery Shed

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 12:42
Has the rain washed soil up the sides of the 4x4 bases? If wet soil is contact with base boards it will wick up the panels. 10cms of soil movement and build up, after the rain we've had, wouldn't surprise me PJL. Tricky inspecting the bases are free of silt build up so maybe a pokey pokey with big stick job?


Posted: 10/01/2016 at 12:25
I soused all my metal tools and lawn mower with WD40 (anyone else love the smell of this?) at the end of October. Glad I did as this wet winter has the humidity gauge in my garage at 85%.

Nesting box

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 11:54
Birds go 'house hunting' year round - like we check out property websites. (Just seeing what's on the market). They may roost alone or in clutches during bad weather inside bird boxes and pouches though. They also pop in for snacks on spiders, earwigs etc.

Feb is when serious territory battles for nest sites kicks off. They have to fight for a patch and partner so if you hear or see squabbles then mating and nesting has begun.

attracting wildlife

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 10:43
Allotmenteers' hackles will rise at this but.... globe thistles, Echinops planted or in pots, will bring all the pollinators your crops need. The spiky barrier also acts as a shield against the cats that love to hunt near ponds.

The globe thistle has more diverse insect visitors day and night than any other plant in my garden and that includes lavender, honeysuckle, Mahonia and ivy.

(Ivy is another plant that makes hackles rise but is teeming with wildlife all year round).

Log burner

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 18:22
aww flumpy I do hope you can come to a happy solution over a cuppa.

If people only knew, or could see, just how much CO2 their condensing gas/elec/oil/boilers were puffing out or their refining produced they may be much happier to smell your carbon neutral wood smoke.

Not being able to see or smell the emissions from domestic boilers makes people think they are 'cleaner' but even well-maintained new boilers chug out some nasties!


Posted: 26/12/2015 at 17:35
BTW a good Spades article in GW magazine 'On Test', pages 64-65 in January 2016 issue, but only one pointed edge shovel and no square blade shovels tested. I am still waiting for a Lurgan shovel - as Santa forgot mine even though I have been a good girl : (

Vine weevils

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 16:45
ooh I dread Vine 'Evils' too. Hoping that placing my bird feeders in my vulnerable shrubs will help reduce weevil numbers when they emerge but the blighters are nocturnal so..... can I borrow your hedgehogs please?

Wildflower meadow not growing!

Posted: 29/06/2014 at 10:51
Will keep trying pics Dove. Just had a go at Advanced Editor but still no joy.

When we walked through the grass meadow behind my house last summer, clouds and pillars of butterflies and moths spiralled up then ???disappeared' back in amongst the stems. Wonderful! Grasses are pretty too when left to seed.

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