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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

The beauty of nature

Posted: 19/04/2014 at 21:30

Some call it nature.  I call it creation.  Firstly, we so often find that our friend's whatsit tends to flower a few days or a week before our's, mine.  Especially so with the changing climate.  This is nothing to worry about.  Not that in this instance anyone was worried.  It would suggest that all three gardens appear to have received about the smae amount and strength of sunlight.  Enjoy.  Probably looking at plants is our main source of wonderment.  From basic exammiation to more detailed scientic studies.  Plants always have mant surprises for the audience.  I can spend hours examining Euphrasia officinalis.  Eyebright.  Such an insignificant weed/wild flower.  Yet take a look inside the tiny flower, with the aid of a magnifying glass, even better, a microscope.  Please try it.  OOOooops! sorry.  I am running away with someone els' thread.

could someone ID this please

Posted: 19/04/2014 at 21:14

The red stems, plus the wiry type of growth resembles one of the wood sorrels.. Oxalis.  Some have a dip at the top of the leaves, like a lovers heart.  Some are lacking this.  Might be an avenue worth checking.

Unknown shrub

Posted: 19/04/2014 at 18:55

Try Cornus. 

Plant ID please

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 23:48

Try.  Cuckoopint.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 23:20

Yes.  Amanda insists that she takes me and brings me back.  In a similar vane. I do the same for her.  She, sadly is a very sick chic.  She has recently undergone extensive mouth surgery.  Thankfully the growths were not of the big C class. She is also disabled due medical negligence.  Since losing Val , my beloved wife. 14.2 1944 to 9.6.2010. Amanda has so often said.  Dad. Now we are so close.  Val and I always treated both our daughters equal.  Today for instance.  Amand, Josh and Chloee, we went to Broarstairs for a day out.  What a dump.  Mid you.  The sea was really wild and savage. In the end.  We all had a great day together.  My grand-daughter Chloee, she is the spitting image od Val.  She's only 14, but she is all woman. So the hugs etc. constantly remind me of Val. I  try to calm my fears etc.  Val was avictime of heart diseas.  Mitral vale disease. The day prior to her op.  We chatted and agreed. that our love was for eternity.  Both of us held to a strict belief.  We both realised that her op the next day, was a one way ticket.  Her last words to me were.  Well I wont kmow anything about it.  Take care Mike..


So folks.  What have I got to fear... Hey you lot of gardeners. Silly as it might sound.  Mike is puting on his best front. Tracey. who knows.  I might still become an author.  Much love to you all.

Human irrigation system

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 22:57

Hey! Mike is so full of gratitude etc.  When I think about it.  As far as I know. I have never met any of you..  WOW!   Simply from tiny acorns grow etc.  Truly folks.  This really is such a great website and forum.  As I have perhaps mentioned before.  Although I at one time had my sights set upon becoming a doctor.  My education was not good enough and family finances feel way short.  I am still interested in medicene etc., but mention, hospitals and doctors.   Mike is running for the exit.  Back to reality. Tomorrow is just a CT Scan, drink some iodine and let others view my innards. I wonder.  Could I charge viewing price???  Looking ahead, to the twelfth of next month.  Thankfully my youngest daughter Amanda. She has a Med. degree.  She explained a recently rec'd copy of a leter sent to my GP from the Urology consultant.  Seems that things are not so black and dismal as I may have thought.  Possibly the op on the 12th.  Might solve all the probs.  Possibly the total removal of the tumour might be done.  I will be so pleased.  Let's face it. Examminations of having things poked up one twiddly bits, it aint very nice.


However ny dear friends.  I have you faithful lot by my side.

Orchid Lady.  Hi Sweet. So you want me to write a book.  Thanks lass for the compliment of the rose expert. Actually folks.  I have a mate on a police forum.  He did 30yrs as a detective. Both he and I have been constantly badgered to write our memoire.  Believe it or not.  We both admit.  Competing chapter four, and we have said it all.  Nevertheless, where there's a will etc.  Dear Lady.  Rest assured.  Should this ever happen.  You will be the first to recieve a signed copy.  How's that?


Once again friends.  Thank you so much for your support.  Fondest regards.  Mike.


True lute

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 22:30

Perhaps a name most are not familiar with.  Case I forget.  Please Google the name.  I first came in contact with a true-lute, when I was doing my groundsman cothanks to London University.  It really is such a simple tool.  In fact any guy with a workshed and an arc welder could easily knock one up in an evening.  On my course all those years back.  We used a hand version and a tractor drawn one.  The latter of course being so much larger. For those googling it, you will see.  Basically it is a frame made from angle iron.  Then the center is made up of four or five cross members.  From either end, two pieces were welded and met in the center with a stubby tube for the handle/shaft to fit.  The action and use.  The flattened side of the angle iron was used as a basic rake.  Topsoil etc would be spread on the ground.  Then the tru-lute would be used simply as a rake.  The expannce of the frame allowed for greater and more effective levelling of the soil/compost.  Flipping the frame over. The finer edge of the metal work proved it's worth.  For anyone with lawn problems.  I recommend this tool.  Mind you.  I am shocked at the present day price.  Believe me.  As I say. I could cut and weld one in an evening.  Back to the traing course.  The tractor drawn version.  Much larger and much heavier.  This really made short work of repairing and re-surfacing cinder running tracks.

All right .... own up .... which ones of you do this?

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 22:07

Ah Scott.  I always say about church yards. So peaceful and quiet.


Phippa Smith.  Hi!

You mention our lovely feathered friend the Thrush.  So, so sad.  These beautiful bird seem to be in a minority, especially in South East London, where I reside.  In my garden, we used to have frequent visits from Thrushes.  My two daughts in their tiny tots days would ask me.  Dad.  What are thos e pretty birds with the spotted fronts.  How I wish that these tiny garden helpers were still around.  Far better than all your chemicals etc.

My mind drifts back to my work days, mid eighties.  I was employed by the MOD.  In this garden, a very large property.  I was enjoying one day, the peace, quiet and serenity of a fine summers day.  Despite the garden was overlooked by a gian tower block.  I heard  a tap tapping sound.  Glancing around the vast garden, as we do at time, see with our ears and listen with our eyes.  The I spotted it.  A beautiful Thrush.  Snail in beak, and he was bashing the living daylights out of this snail.  Constantly whacking it against some large edging stones..  Happy memories.

Magnolia from Cuttings

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 21:49

Goldcroft.   OOps a bit high to try layering.  Some of the lower branches could perhaps be weighted down in some way, and air layering could be used.  If you care to cut off some fresh new growth.  Then hardwood or semi ripe cuttings can be tried.

Let me run you through the process.  First and foremost.  You are embarking on a very long time task.

Seeds should be sown as soon as they are ripe. Sow around October time. Germination can take upto two years.  Then growing on even more years. Three to four years.  Cuttings.  Four inch half-ripe heel cuttings taken in July, inserted in sharp sand and place in a propagator at a temp of 70 deg F.  When rooted etc.  These can be plunged into a coldframe until large enough to plant out.  Arial cuttings.  This is a process not often used.  However it does work.  Big problem being.  Whatever course you take.  You are probably looking in the long term to around twenty plus years from start to finish, before seeing signs of your first flower.  Question to ask yourself.  Can I wait that long.  Is it worth the time and trouble.

can I prune my primroses

Posted: 18/04/2014 at 21:27

Two lines of thought from me.  Unless seeds are wanted.  Then go ahead and cut off dead flower stems.  If as it appears in your case.  Space is limited.  Something like tomato boxes { shallow boxes the shops etc receive their fruits in}  Lift the plants, and temporarily store in the boxes.  Keepng them watered etc.  In your own tgime.  You can divide the plants and replant into the garden or pot up.  This will give you more plants.  Incidentally.  Primulas can be propagated from leaf cuttings.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

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Now't so strange as Folk.

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How do trees come into your life?

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YOUR view of music over the years.

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Folk-lore. Any truth in it?

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Tree problems.

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