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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

The book. By Mike Allen.

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 23:14

OK Orchid Lady. Mike is a man of his word.  Should the book ever get written and published.  You sweet lady will receive a first edition. Signed copy.

Now then.  My outline is for the book to be different of course to any other gardening book. I recently asked on the forum, if any members might decline to be mentioned.  I want this book to be a living thing, not some stuffy old relic from the past.  I have addmitted that I can be something of a renegade. Often diversing from the, 'Experts'.  I don't wish to give away too much here and now.  However in the lite of what I consider  a recent criticism. My profession training ony consisted of my groundsmans course. That was supplied via UCL at their grounds at Motspur Park.  Surrey.  There I learned the lot and gained my certs.  My gaining a first in horticulture. I was self taught.  My various Fellowships etc. Came at a price.  Hard constant study and learning, and to have letters after my name.  A gross annual subscription.  Now at the age of 75, I have been addmitted to the plant Pathologist organisation.  Once again pay out time. For the benefit of members who might have an assortment of ideas about me.  During my working days. The salary was crap.  For shopping, Val and I had around eighteen bob a week to keep house and body on.  Might I say.  Any commenters who believe we old uns had a better deal.  COBBLERS.  Had these present day opportunities been around, I would have by now been a Prof; Believe me. Throughout my life. I have worked 'B' hard.  I wish to continue learning and to impart knowledge to others.

Winter / Next Spring Bedding

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 22:49

Interesting point.  I so often liken gardeners to artist.  Although the design, creation of our eyes, must be the top of creation.  It has been and so often remains the idea that wehn we loook at something.  Our brain registers a definite focal point.  OK  a chap looks at a beautiful woman. {leave the thoughts out of it]  However what we really see is, a beautiful woman, standing in a fantastic garden.  I think that this illustrates how we might plan ahead. I can recall whilst planting out summer bedding, formal and display bedding.  What lay before my eyes was, the present and a kind of overlay of the future.  In perhaps more simpler terms.  You gaze around your garden and automatically your brain is saying.  Yes, I'll move that and I stick so and so in it's place.  Yes  that fence needs covering over.  So in practice we are planning ahead all the time.  When I was employed. Usually come christmas, I would sit down with a note pad and begin.  Suddenly all the year's thoughts and suggestions would come to mind.  Planning, purchasing, costing, staff arrangements.  A busy time, but an interesting period.  Might I ask friend.  Do you keep an upto date database of your garden?

Soil free fertilizers?

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 22:29

So!  If I am reading this correctly.  Some are perhaps having a go at me.

In whatever way you will.  If I have caused an upset.  I offer my profound apologies.  I wish Chris all the very best.

I agree totally with the followup comments regarding newcomers etc.  Believe me.  I'm an oldie and yes, I am still learning and researching.  Believe me, even on this forum.  I have learned a great deal.

Once again my sincere apologies.

Would it be best for me exit left and switch the lights off

Arum Lily

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 22:05

Arum Lily.  Zantedeschia  aethiopica.

Pot grown.  When growth starts to show, water moderately.  When in full leaf plenty of water.  May-August feed weekly.  After flowering gradually withold water.

Grown as a pond marginal plant.  Depth of water 6-12 inches.  Some winter protection might be required. Rot.  The corms are prone to rotting, if in hard heavy soil.  Pests usually free.  Diseases.  Can be attacked by cucumber mosaic, and tomato spot virus.

Irrigation in the greenhouse

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 21:32

I'm sure I have posted a thread on this subject.  In short.  My GH is built of cedarwood, so fixing bits and bobs are no problem.  Although I live upstairs, Ifitted a downpipe to an outside non return valve tap.  My hose is always connected, except in winter, when I release the couplings.  Inside the greenhouse twin taps, non return valves are fitted.One feeds the general hose, the other I can connect a battery operated timer valve to.  Then a length of half inch hose is conected to the timer.  Using pipe clips, the hose is attached to the glazing bars, up one side of the GH, across the end and back down the other side, where it is blanked off.  A number of small jets are inserted along the pipe.  Some jets are adjustable.  Then trial and error, the tap and timer have to be syncronized.  Val and I used to sometimes go away for two to three months.  Returning home all was well in the GH.  Ventilation is by way of auto vents.  Concerning mist sprayers, such as in mist propagation.  So much is available in plastic nowadays and cheap.


Hope this helps.


Posted: 27/06/2014 at 16:48

Thank you all.

I am sure that I will bounce back in time.

Please can we now close this thread.


Posted: 27/06/2014 at 00:47

Hi Pauline.  Thanks ever so, but, not wishing to sound crude or rude.  When I walk.  It is like someone poking a broom handle up by jcksie and the end hitting the base of my skull.  Crude but true.


Mike. xx

Members' Public Profiles

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 00:42

Puncdoc.  It's lioke I am looking into a mirror.  I am sure we would get on well together.  Sorry about the early retirement.  Stress!???

Soil free fertilizers?

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 00:30



So sory my friend but.  I am at a loss at understanding what exactly you are aiming for.  Forgive me, but in no way am I promoting my status.  See my profile.  Also I am in part a plant pathologist.   I am so sorry friend.  Perhaps your post/question might be elaborated upon.  OK I understand that a visit to the local garden center will provide you with many bags of compost for this and that.  Perhaps one needs to discern just what compost is?  Then back to the bagged items.  Most have various chemicals added.  So why the the problem.  I the UK there exist very stringent measures etc.  Pardon me for saying.  Might you have wandered into an area where you truly are an infant?  Truthfully, as far as I know.  There doesn't exist a compost that lacks additives. If you wish to use only the basics. Then believe me friend.  I have spent a long life-time researching this kind of area.  Might I ask you.  How good are you at biology, botany and general if not basic chemistry?.  Truthfully and without wishing to down in any way your question.  The only plausible answer is to be.  Research and put together a concoction of numorouse chemicals and apply. Might I respectfully add.  Totting up the individual cost of each ingrediant shal we settle for around eigty to one hundred pounds, with lots of unused chemicals left over. Now take the marketed products. Thankfully in this country.  MAFF etc take a strong hold.  For under twenty pounds you can get all you need.

Cheap alternative for basket / trough liners?

Posted: 27/06/2014 at 00:11

I did pay out for a quantity of papier mache' liners.  Last for just a season. B&Q do a coir type liner,  To be honest. I go for the cheapest.  Bin liners, green or black.  Zimples.

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