Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen


Posted: 06/08/2014 at 21:59
Like Dove. There is so much conflicting opinions over this plant. Over the years it has become very popular. Generally the plant will flower per stem. As puncdoc says, the fading flowerheads offer a special image. So to deadhead or not. If you deadhead. You may as well cut the stem down to almost ground level. That way, provide the season is still good, replacement shoots will rise up and fresh flowers. I agree with Lyn. I used to keep and breed british finches etc. I never saw them eating collected seed from this plant. In the open once again NO. For seed heads that seem to be nibbled, I would suggest mice. So Dove. It's back to you. To deadhead or not. Best wishes.

Plants that like shade

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 21:42
As our forum friends have already suggested. There are loads to choose form. Even then, there is the chance, as always with gardening. What works for one, fails for another. Might I recommend a book by Philps & Rix. It costs less than a fiver and really is a gem It's called. Plants for Shade. ISBN. 0-330-35548-1

What the experts get wrong

Posted: 06/08/2014 at 21:23
Have to admit. I don't grow veg anymore. It is good though, that new varieties are developed just as with flowers. Sadly in many cases the final item may look good but so often flavour and fragrance is sadly lost. So back to. You pays your money and you take a chance.

Talkback: Ragwort

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:46
Yes. A very toxic plant for horses in particular. In the New Forest volunteers will go out and patrol the highways etc. It is in fact a very attractive wild plant displaying it's yellow flowers. On the other hand. It can mean death to a pony of horse. Likewise also. Docks, this plant is also very toxic. Where I live. We have areas that have been given over to horse grazing. Forgive me for saying so, but the local stables are home to many ponies. Their owners ,mostly are on benefits. Concil tax and housing. Yet they have horses. Recently, well within the past ten years. A once allotment area was given over to horses,m by the local council.. Last time I viewed it, at least half the firld was covered in Docks. I have chatted to the horsy fraternity. No point.

Reliable website for ordering bulbs

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:28
This is a tricky one. Sadly in the British Isles, most of our native nurseries and growers, have been gobbled up bt the Dutch. Hence when you and I send off for a selection of bulbs and even plants. More likely than not, we are in fact trading with a Dutch firm. It is very much the old saying. You pays the price and you take a chance. IMHO. If you tend to specialise in certain plants. Take the time to visit a local nursery/garden center. There you can pick up and handle this and that. Then it's up to you. My friend I can't be more honest than that.

Would members be interested?

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:19
I recieve many memos etc from the various establishments. Most of a scientific nature. These usually includ new information on crops, earth sciences etc. I have today rec'd info of even more pestilenses affecting out trees. Might I ask the mebership. Would any of you be interested in me passing on to you, the general bits and bobs.

What is this bush with berries?

Posted: 04/08/2014 at 22:21
So sorry. In my post, I missed out. It is not listed as poisness. A classification usually denoting varying degrees of toxicity. To be brief. All plants, bulbs, corms etc have a certain degree of toxicity, Some bein more potent/deadly than others. For instance. Getting a sratch form a rose bush. To many. No probs. To others irritaed skin and swellings even a rise in temperature. Then for some taste buds. For smokers. Wow that ciggy tasted bad. Perhaps before lighting up, a plant had been handled. That's why the bad taste. Another classic. Springtime, a nice bunch of daffs in a vase with some early tulips. Next morning. Tulips are dead. Daffs contain a very toxic fluid. It can cause humans to suffer skin irritation etc. To other plants in a vase, it will kill them. My dear friend. Plants etc make up so much of our everyday life, bring us so much delight and pleasure, Beware, the kingdom of the plantworld is a minefield.

What is this bush with berries?

Posted: 03/08/2014 at 23:54
Yes I will go along with Hypericum. Edible? Although to my knowledge it is listed a poisoness etc. It is a ver valuable medicinal plant, having many properties. Much used in homeopathy. In brief. Some of it's qualities are. It affects rapidly the various sensory systems. In post operative use. It has greater power than morphine. It may look attractive etc and the berries might be tempting. To be honest. I'd leave it alone. Just a point. Even thogh many plants are not listed as txio. Nevertheless one can become very sick etc if in some way you ingest or digest any part of the plant. Stay clear.

A request or suggestion.

Posted: 30/07/2014 at 17:00
Thank you.

Dare I say.

Posted: 29/07/2014 at 23:47
So here goes. Until recently. I had provided this forum with my personal profile. Forgive me if I am wrong, but from certain posts etc, I gathered that some forum members thought of me a being a bit of a big head. Sory, but in a similar lite. Charlie Brown started out as a shelf stack for Sainsbury's. Now he is branch manager. Like me. I began my horticultural career with my dad in 1945. OK over time many things changed etc. I eventually managed to gain psots of head gardener and Deputy Parks Supreintendant. I gaine several qualifications etc. Then due to ill health I was thrown on the scrap heap. Along came the internet. Forums such as this one. The chance to meet and make friends with many who shared the same interest. Yes. In the past years. I have read many books by those we refer to as experts. Go back to the 1800's there has been so much written. I have adopted to many of the basics , but at the same time. I have moved on. Yes, I have gardened in the general way, but at the same time. I have developed a more scientific interest. That probably explains why at the age of 75 yrs. I find myself studying plant pathology. Yes it must seem strange to some. That when asking a general question about gardening. I suddenly pop up and give a really basic answer. For instance. My roses are suddenly covered in lots of brown black leaf spots. Yes. Black spot. So what do you do. In all honesty and that is the crux of my replies. Get rid of the affected leaves. Here is where me and the system part company. The general idea is. Go out and spend a fortune on this that and the other chemicle. Why? Your plant is infected. In reallity, myou should have been more prepared. To start spraying etc now, is too late. So why waste money. Pest and diseases are more complicated than most beleive. Thereare the viral and the fugal. The fungal might be likened to some of our common day aflictions. During hot spells, we might develop some heat bumps. These are common and the treatment is simple. The viral infections usually go deeper. With plants, usualy the leaves are the first indicators. You need to identify the problem. Just removing the leaves might not be enough. Has the virus entered the branch the stem and the main body of the plant. So, so often my comments might be. Pick the affect leaves off and burn. Get in there with the secs and cut out the damage wood. Simple. So perhaps in the future. If any member disagrees with me. Fair dos, say so and lets talk it through. Believe me. I only want to live out my time peacefuly.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

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Talk about daylight robbery!

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Concern over conifers.

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Good News for Mike

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Makes you Wonder!

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A Wee Bit Cooler

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Our Silent Fliers.

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Would members be interested?

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Last Post: 09/08/2014 at 07:14

Dare I say.

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Last Post: 04/08/2014 at 23:36

A request or suggestion.

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Last Post: 03/08/2014 at 20:40
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