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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Cutting wet lawns?

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 23:03
Not too sure regarding the response you have received from emails etc. In the past, I have not been on the best of terms with B&Q. Might I suggest, contacting the head office at Chandlers Ford. In the long run, they are more concerned regarding thier reputation. No doubt they will provide you with a new mower, and deliver it. Probably not wishing to even see the broken one. Otherwise perhaps a forum member can help you out. What is your location? Any follow-up can be arranged via PM thus keeping your address private.

Fianlly. Sincere best wishe for the happy event.


Can plants grow back their roots?

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 00:47
I have to agree with Dovefromabove and Philippa.
Especially in the area of the pot size. There is a big difference between a plant growing in the open ground and one confined to a pot. In short. In the open ground the natural elemnts are so active. In a pot. The outside world for the plant is very much reduced. So the basic remedy is. Yes, repot as required but, don't over pot. Why? The roots tend to grow and travel in a clockwise direction, and being restricted to the inner circumference of the pot/contaiiner, soon develop into a patern. That is why when repotting or even planting out from pots. It is wise to carefully tease apart the outermost roots. Strangly if you don't. You will find that later when once again potting on. Your original root system will be exactly the same as it was when you last repotted. Whereas, if you had teased away the roots. then, the fresh new ompost would now be inhabited by fresh new roots. In theory it's like danggling the carrot before the donkey.
In your case. Take time to allow the plant to get used to the new enviroment. Keep a check on the watering and feeding. Sadly so many prized plants are lost at this stage.

Kindest regards, and I hope this helps.

Hidden treasures.

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 00:27
So friends. It transpires that some, if not many of you, have actually spent many years in the gardening area. I garee with our host. Daniel. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience amongst the members of this forum. So friends. Might I invite you to crawl out of your shells and share that experience. Please don't just talk about cakes and sponges etc , but tell us more about how the past years have treated yhou, and how gardening has affected you and your life.

Modern Technology etc.

Posted: 02/11/2014 at 00:20
I wonder if any of my aged friends here will agree. All this technology. Computers, iPods and tablets. I always thought the latter was something you swallowed when unwell or some kind of stone object. Perhaps you are like me. For better or wose, I hope so. How annoying it is when our grand children say. Don't panic. Just click here and press CTR etc. Recently I have been experiencing probs with the puter. I am running XP Pro with all updates etc. I consider it the best ever program that Microsoft put out. Then it came to an end. My symptoms....Well more my computer's. Despite regular defrags and clean ups etc, and visits to the shop. Time and time again, the IE would cease up. NOT RESPONDING. Despite the fact that I would select..Dont Send as a report. Windows picked up on the problem. I started to get phone calls from a high pitched operator. I am calling you from Windows. This bugged me as does so many calls nowadays. My phone number is ex. directory. Anyway, this voice says. You have a very serious problem with your computer. I am at the time siting down to my lunch or evening dinner. Are you in front of your computer sir. NO. I don't switch the computer on until around 2100hrs. I do howevr feel sorry, as I might have offended the caller. However in my case. I am in respects disabled, so to dash around is out of the question. I did at one point ask that I be contacted later. I made sure I was sat there before the lord and master...the computer. No call came. The situation is getting worse. I have a reliable shop that I take the box of tricks to, but that all costs money. One big problem is. Emails etc. I wonder how many emails fail to get through. Then my saved information. I have my microscopes linked to the computer via digital imaging. This really is a PIA. I find that to do a system restore. The answer is. Windows can't restore. Perhaps the answer lies in the soil. Dig hole in garden. Plant computer and forget.

Winter Readings

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 23:56
In all honesty. I don't wish to offend anyone but. I find to answer our friend's question a bit difficult. Might I respectfully ask. Do you wish to be transported with the aid of someone else' eyes and thoughts, through a wonderland of plants, trees, gardens and the like, or are you looking for some perhaps more instructive reading.

Either way, might I suggest. Browsing the ads for books, and the internet. Then take a look at some of the readers comments. I have found this method so helpful and cost saving.

Best wishes.


Posted: 01/11/2014 at 00:57
Wow! Even to me. I have to be honest. Firstly, I have never really been interested in the genus orchidacea etc. Then I find that in reallity, the orchid family is the main if not, almost the main genus in the plant kingdom. Each week when shopping at Tesco or Sainsbury, there are becoming more and more pots of orchids, and to be honest, for such plants. The price is very reasonable. So might I venture to ask my fellow forum members. Please tell us your experiences of growing orchids. This oldie is eager to learn.

Now't so strange as Folk.

Posted: 01/11/2014 at 00:23
Life is so interesting. Yet at times it can become so frustrating. In the course of the average day, we find ourselves agree one minute and then the next, almost pulling each other's hair out. Never a dull moment. So what is Mike upto now. Well not much really. So I picked on a point close to home. Watching TV. Ugggh! Generally I like to keep up with the news, not that there is much good news nowadays. Then of course as part of my natural history interests, I usually enjoy most of the wildlife programs etc. As for the love of my life. Horticulture. You know. I very seldom watch any gardening programs. Perhaps much of this is down to the fact that, I have had to learn the hard way. So yes. Many of you also have travelled this path. However in my case. I have taken it a step further. Not just gardening outback , but supervising, etc. So let's pass from that. At one time. To visit a historical place. I was always more interested in the grounds and gardens. Now I find myself indulging in the buildings and contents. As many will have gathered. I am one for learning. So I continue to venture forth. At one time. I became sick and tired of hearing about Capability Brown. Why? To me he was just a guy who redesigned vast areas and planted trees etc. Now my tiny mass of grey matter is adding two and two together. Obviously Brown, living amongst the nobility of the day, in a certain way took on several professional attributes. Perhaps in some ways. He became a psycologist. Reading and understanding an individualls mind and concept.. Look for yourself. The Tv is useful at times. A grande House, vast areas of parkland, the the selective planting of trees etc. Now come down to our present day. For those who are still employed in gardening etc. Be honest. Time and again your client will ask you. What do you think will go well in that corner. What do you do. You begin to psycoanalige your client. You delve deep. Recounting conversations. Now then.. This lady just can't stand Ribes...flowering currant and so forth. So friends. Can we between us, and of course using present day practical experiences. Might we get away from the typical TV garden makeove, where the local GS makes a bomb. C'mon folks, spill the beans.

Leaf Mould

Posted: 31/10/2014 at 00:01
Wow. Thisw is a Good question. The matter of composting diseased leaves etc. From a scientific standpoint. For the average gardener. OK you find that your roses have blackspot or some other garden has various blights etc. In an attempt to keep this at a minimal. There are so many viruses and blites etc. More often than not. Someone askes the question. I have some roses and they have blackspot. Should I compost the foliage or burm?
Wel as we all know. Burning destroys all. or does it. Please forgive me but, here I find myself wondering into the realms of forensic science.. I wonder. Please bare with me. Now this is interesting. Take for instance a crfemation. The corpse is incinerarated. Only dust and ash is left. Yet forensic scientist can have a field day. So I wonder, and at the moment, Mike is no more educated than you. So I wonder.
So folks. Here we have the compost bin/heap. Now I wonder. Whe you or I chuck the muck on it. What really takes place.?

AHH Ha. Gottcha. I am prepared to go on. At your request.

Purple Carrots

Posted: 30/10/2014 at 23:44
I have to agree with Bob the gardener. Although I no longer grow veg, the thoughts, tastes etc still linger. The everyday carrot, freshly pulled and washed diced and cooked. Such flavour. True, the taste is so different from shop bought. So what is it. Is the taste, flavour substinace in the carrot itself or, has the growing medium something to do with it? For instance. Today we are confronted with the seed catalogues. Whereas at one time under various headings perhaps four or five varieties would be on offer. Now you are confronted with a whole host of varieties, colours, shapes flavours. So might I ask. Friends I ask this in all honesty. In your opinion. What do YOU consider to be the dominating factor. Scientific research into the genes etc, the variant co;ours of the rootstock or what?


Posted: 30/10/2014 at 23:30
Oh Deary me. I can see another locked or removed thread.

Digger my friend. What exactly are you driving at?
In part from what I think? I understand from your post is. That so many replies to perhaps serious questions, for some reaso tend to stray off, so to speak into day to day gossip.

My friend. Take time to check back through the posts. Yes even I once commented on this matter, but, hopefully not in the same lite as you.

Not boasting etc, but this is the way I view this forum. First and foremost. I consider it as being the best if not at least within the top three gardening forums. Let's be honest. Even I at tgimes have to refer to the books and data bases before replying to a question. So, and this is awkward to explain. Some of the questions folk ask can at time try our patience. However we do our best to answer in an honest and positive way. That is the moment we realise that. Hey, one day in the past. That might have been me asking that very same question. Then you comment on tghe familiarity of some forum members. Digger this goes on everywhere. I still suscribe to a police forum. Us old uns have built up a real strong bond. So we laugh and joke and at times tease newbies, so what.

Digger. Beleieve me. I have taken a lot of stick on this forum. Water under the bridge. To me the folk on here are good honest and loyal. So what's wrong with a bit of chit chat, and whose been baking etc. Digger. I am a longtime gardener/horticulturist plus scientist. Might I say. I am at last realising the fact. That there is more to life than being long faced and serious all the time. Please my friend. Lossen up and enjoy life.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

Once again. SORRY.

Replies: 35    Views: 1015
Last Post: Today at 00:37

Enough is enough.

Replies: 33    Views: 1035
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 18:09

Eucalyptus trees & Paropsisterna selmani

Replies: 0    Views: 84
Last Post: 26/11/2014 at 21:07

Orchid Lady

Replies: 1    Views: 206
Last Post: 26/11/2014 at 06:15

A Special day.

Replies: 3    Views: 294
Last Post: Yesterday at 01:42

Help Please.

Replies: 2    Views: 228
Last Post: 24/11/2014 at 06:31

To cut everything down, or leave.

Replies: 115    Views: 3623
Last Post: Today at 08:42

Something of an apology.

Replies: 17    Views: 729
Last Post: 25/11/2014 at 08:57

RHS Lily Group Bulb Auction.

Replies: 2    Views: 211
Last Post: 15/11/2014 at 22:59

Computer problems

Replies: 1    Views: 183
Last Post: 14/11/2014 at 22:45

Back to the Lecture Hall.

Replies: 3    Views: 248
Last Post: 07/11/2014 at 23:17


Replies: 1    Views: 270
Last Post: 04/11/2014 at 05:32


Replies: 0    Views: 189
Last Post: 03/11/2014 at 00:01

Hidden treasures.

Replies: 5    Views: 371
Last Post: 03/11/2014 at 11:41

Modern Technology etc.

Replies: 22    Views: 874
Last Post: Yesterday at 09:35
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