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Mike Allen

Latest posts by Mike Allen

gardening and mental health

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 23:01

Truly such fine and encouraging comments.  Lets be honest. Down in the dumps, depression call it what you like.  Hands up anyone who hasn't ben down this path.  'fibber' We all become victims at some time or other.

I remember when I was a traffic cop, recenty married etc.  Stress entered my life.  My GP at the time was an oldie wartime type, a police surgeon.  He said to me once, and he really was the family doctor and friend.  Mike, he said.  All the pills under the sun will never cure your problem. You yourself hold the cure.  Take up fishing.  Even if you sit there all day and catch bugger all, you wil learn to relax, and to be patient, or, like your dad.  Get a plot and grow things.  These are two of the most natural ways of life.  I think he had something there.

For those who have tried these methods, and obviously wish to help others.  Kindness, tact, compassion and a deep love for fellow man has to be cultivated.  Believe me.  As in various cases of assisting mentally problemed persons.  Great patience is called for.  Very good thread IMO  thank you.

Privet Panic

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 22:18

Jim.  I agree with you.  Basically the old addage.  If in doubt.  Try it out.  This as I have said so many times, gardening is opento so vast an array of experimentations.  Go for it.


Posted: 18/03/2014 at 22:13

Yes. Give them some protection.  I take it that the tubers are lightly surrounded by peat or similar.   Keep the cmpost moist but not soaking.   The tubers have a reserve store of water and feed.  Keep an eye on the new shoots.  When a shoot has made two to three pairs of leaves.  You can slice these off.  Some folks cut to the tuber.  I prefer to cut,leaving a stump.  The cuttings can then be potted up, in some cases a little hormone rooting powder or gell is useful.

Mixing lilys bulbs

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 22:05


It's totally up to you.  After all said and done.  You grow lillies because you like them.  How you grow them is your choice.  For instance. Perhaps you simply wish to have a grand floral display.  Why not?  For me, being a bit of a specialist, I like to keep my varieties seperate.  When time is right. I place my pots, tubs etc amongst other garden plants.  Truly , imagine yourself as an artist.  You see the view, you transmit to canvas, what you see.  Visions of gardening are the same.  Enjoy.

Best buy books!

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:55

The best advice this old timer can give is. Get involved. Hands on.  As with learning another language, vist the country, live with the people.   If it's books that help you.  The I suggest keeping an eye on ebay, under gardening books.  Also take a look at some of the ads re: book clubs.  Many of the more expensive gardening books can be obtained free, be careful and coy.

Peter Beales

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:47

I have to admit.. There now.  Mike is not all windflower and pissiflora.  I had a browse through my library.  Honestly I never ealised the Iris family was so large.  Believe me folks, if you get time.  Take a looksie.

Plant ID's please

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:41

Sorry but the eyes are tired.  I was thinking.  Dicentra.  G. Phaeum.  Rosa...whatever,

who is sowing what this spring?

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 21:34

I seem to be the odd one out.  Being on my own now.  For me to grow loads of veg etc would be such a waste.  At the moment the supermarket prices are low, mind you.  Have you noticed, especially with the tatties (scotch for murphy's Irish for spuds)  You no sooner get them home and they are sprouting right left and center.  I had a few such one recently.  So filling the odd long tom, I popped them in.  Truly I have no idea what variety they were but, within a few weeks I pulled them.  Great spuds, reasonable size and good flavour.

Regarding seeds in genereal.  I have loads to sow.  Annuals, biennials perennials and greenhouse subjects.  Truthfully if onlt ten percent grow.  I have no idea as to where I will plant them.  All of a sudden my tiny garden is already full.

This Strange and Wonerful Weather System

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:15

Thank you all.  As I live upstairs.  Val used to keep an eye on me from the kitchen window.  So often she would say what a pretty garden we had.  Plus our tiny visitors alway seem to feel safe in here.  I wonder what she would say now, to the new design and her favourites, the roses.  I must sort some photo's out.

Favourite vegetable to grow?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 22:08

To be honest.  Mike has skipped most of the replies. Somehow I feel that this is a bit of a tricky question.  Let's depart from the singular to the multipla.  So you have a plot.  You wish to grow provide as much as possible of your daily needs.  So top of the list.  Spuds.  Take stock. of the UK's populace.  Even the Welsh use spuds in their soups.  Potato and leek soup.  My friends the Scotties.  Haggis and tatties, tatties and whatever.  Without doubt. The humble spud must be top orf the list.  Now take stock of your sunday roast, whetherornot you eat in or out.  The sunday roast.  Meat, spuds, boiled and roast, followed by peas, greens (cabbage)  perhaps onions.  I think these are the basics.  OK in the case of cabage.   The world is your oyster,  Basic cabbage, cauli, Brocklie etc.  Onions, shallotts, leeks.  Definitely, carrots and when in season parsnips.  For the latter.  Parsnips are best after a frost.  Then fo a more valid pot.  The old favourite swede,  Several other veggies might be added.  But as starters.  I stick to the above.

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