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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

Forget me nots or what?

Posted: 01/04/2014 at 21:33

Myosotis.  A member of the Boraginaceae family.   Myosotis comprise of around 50 species. Some are annuals, some are treated as biennials and even perennials.  Their growth and habits tend to vary so much.  The taller spiked variety is or is related to the water forget-me-not.  There is also a white flowered one, M.australis.  Clumps can be spit up easily.  probably the best and most attractive method in the garden/border.  Let them grow and form clumps.  They will readily self seed.

Ancient woodlands.

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 23:45

Our dear forum member requested that I furnish details of my relationship with the ancient woodlands of Oxleas Woods.

  Firstly.  Please Google.  Oxlese Woods.  Instantly you will be given a ring side seat.  Truly the woodland area has  history. Apart from the woodland itself.  The roads past it.  Shootershill. The road from Dover to London.  It is believed.  The hywayman Dick Turpin held to gunpoint many nobles on this road.  Lookking at todays geography.  This famous Roman built road.  A steady grdual climbe fro what is now Welling,m surmountintin to the top. The the downhill passage. passing the outskirts of Castlewood and then Eltham Common.  Aririving at was once Shooterhill Police Station.  This being the crossroads of Eltham Well Hall Rd. Acadamy Rd. and Shootershill Rd. I had for various reasons, perhaps held some personnal feelings for this woodland. Having been medically discharged from the police.  I applied to the then LCC. Parks Dept.  I was accepted and pased the medical. A1.  I served with them for some five years.  During this time. I passed first class my gardening. I aso gained a fiest in Groundsmanship.  I at times boast.  Oh, I went to Eton.     Long preganant pause.  Well! just for one day.  It was during my groundsman cource.  A Mr Bowles, was atv the time, hed grounds,man at Eton.  We students had tobe amazed at his wondreful sports fields.  Forgive me. Mike was not impressed. However.  Mike.  Went to Eton.  During my brief spell at Oxles etc.  Truthfully I was in my glory.  Each day was different.  Not boasting, but.  I always seemed to lead the way.  I was very much the practical man.  In those days, parks and gardens tended to defer vistitors.  Keep of the grass.  No entry etc,  To be honest.  Eveninthe height of the summer season.  Many parks and gardens lacked public support.  With the death of the GLC and all of it's wasteful spending. HM Gov. Put opver the care etc of these historical places to, the local borughs.     At that time. The unions played a big part.  Oxleas and Casltlewood, came under the power of Greenwich  council.  Greenwich council was at that time a tcket employment.  Your acceptance to the job, meant so much upon your union loyallty..  Mike wasn't in agreement to this arrangement.  So I left.  I wa sthankful that during my five years.  I had gained a firstvin gardening and groundsmanship.  I had attainred te status of Dep. Supt.  I wa sthen asked by he MOD to become head Gardener. I accepeted.  Even though the pay was small, Val an I maaged.  As strange as it might seem.  Most if not all of my horticultural knowledgeha sbeen gained by, personal individual study.  Aka .  Self taught.

What's the best thing to do with daffodils when the flower has died

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 22:11

Let them gracefully die back.  Leave them where they are.

Surfinia - cuttings or collect seeds?

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 22:09

Vegetive proporgation.

Black...good or yuck?

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 22:08

Verdun.  At last Mike has found a fellow beliver.  Let's quickly attempt to cover the glorious spectrum of plant diversity etc, of which, colour has to be a major player. From folk lore onwards.  Black always appears to have mourning, deathlike state about it.  For instance. IMHO there is no such thing as a Black flower.  OK.  For what is on offer.  Take the darkest, as one might call it, a black flower.  Now place tis alongside a pure white rose.  There you have it.  Black and white.  Stop and think.  Let your thought drift.  You look continually upon the black flower.  Poke your nose into it, some fragrance, but.  The colour, BLACK.  What i so interesting in black.  Now take a look at the white flower.  Wihin nano seconds.  Your mind comes alive with thought, visions of perhaps a favourite lady, white, purity etc.  The white also aloows for the deeper insight, to see feint markings etc.  Whereas, Black remains black.  I leave it upto you to decide.  I love roses.  No thank you.  To me.   A Black rose would suggest death, sorrow etc.  I prefer to enjoy the floral world, it brings me happiness and delight.

Screening bush/tree

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 21:53

Have you given a thought to Bamboo.  There are evergreen varietis, and most are rapid growers.

Sprig's Garden

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 21:51

Oh dear!  I am a bit of a gardener myself.  So perhaps I have kind of interest of sorts in plants and gardens.  Perhaps a little off record.  I am also a GOD fearining one, and I recall having read the 'Good Book' many times, that we are reminded not be envious.  I have to admit/confess.  As I stand here hands clasped in a prayful pose, and eyes raised heavenward.  So perhaps Mike has fallen short.  Truly I envy all you forum members that have such large gardens.  Yes, I really do envy you.  Believe me.  It is so good to read members posts relating to how they are developing large gardens.   Please keep posting.

More plant I-Ds Please

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 21:41

Jack.  Don't forget my offer.

Thompson & Morgan - issues!

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 21:35

Smiffy and all forum members.  A word to the wise.  In any case when you have ordered by post etc something.  Plants, clothes or whatever.  Upon opening the wrappers/ packaging, you instantly realise, you are not satisfied.  Contact the supplier.  Request a returns label and sent the lot straight back.  The moment you accept the item, it is too late.  In Smiffy's case.  The worst thing you could have done.  You lovingly applied a bit of TLC.  Legally you have given the supplier a free hand.  You have interfered.  Let's be honest.  Firms are out to make a profit.  You and I would do the same.  Whether knowingly or not.  The supplier actually sends out a load of crap. (I apologise for the wording)  You eithe accept or regect it.  A further tip, when dealing with disputes over plants.  Start off your letter/text etx of complaint.  Dear Sirs,  I have received ...etc etc.  Might I bring to your attention.  I have many years experience of horticulture under my belt, so please don't waste your time.  Attempting to pull the wool over my eyes.  I am an experienced gardener.  I know what I am doing.  I am returning the order herewith.  Kindly honour your guarantee and conditions of sale.

A List of Important Chemicals.

Posted: 31/03/2014 at 01:04


A List of Important Chemicals.




Here is a brief list of important chemicals, required by plants. Commercial labeling will usually list them by the abbreviations such as. (N) Nitrogen. (P) Phosphorus. (K) Potash.

There are of course various individual plant foods marketed. Such as. Rose feed. Rhododendron feed etc. Unless you are chemist. I’d plump for the pre-packed solutions.

(N) Nitrogen. This is an element that all living things requires.

(P) Phosphorus. An element that is required by plants. (Keeping these elements to plants) This element will aid the good growth of a plant. Should your plant suddenly develop dark green, or bluish green foliage, and sometimes a reddish impregnated markings. This is a sure sign of a deficiency of (P). (K) Potash. Potassium. This can produce similar foliage changes as (P) However the main purpose of (K) is to produce flowers/seeds etc. (Ca) Calcium. This is required for the binding together of the cell structure of the plant. It also plays a big part in the production of good strong roots. So should your plant start to wilt and look washed out, the lack of calcium might be the problem. However. Over watering or lack of, can fool even the expert at times. (Mg) Magnesium. This chemical plays an important part in plants etc. In simple terms. It acts like an organizer, as it were. Sorting out and putting in place the other chemicals. It is very important in the production of chlorophyl. This is what give the plants that green look. We all know about UV and photosynthesis. Well if there is a lack of Mg, then however much sunlight there is. The system might not work. So if your plant suddenly become anaemic looking, perhaps the Mg is low. (Fe) Iron. This is a bit more technical. As we know. In the human body. Iron is very important to our blood supply and content. Similar within plants. It is used in reactions in which rapid oxidation reductions occur. Plants with an iron deficiency will become chlorotic. (Mn) Manganese. This is required in small amounts. I t is involved in the light reactions of photosynthesis and binds to proteins. Signs of deficiency. Chlorosis and malformation. (B) Boron. An element found in boracic acid. It’s full value is not as yet, scientifically understood..

I do hope this will help others to further their knowledge.

Discussions started by Mike Allen

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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Fantastic site.

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Modern Technology

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More about using Coir

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Talk about daylight robbery!

Plant prices. 
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Have I overdone it?

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Growing with Coir

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List of members.

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Last Post: 01/09/2014 at 16:35

Concern over conifers.

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Last Post: 31/08/2014 at 22:08

Good News for Mike

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Last Post: 03/09/2014 at 18:22

Makes you Wonder!

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Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 10:03

A Wee Bit Cooler

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Last Post: 11/08/2014 at 22:10
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