Mummy Muddy Paws

Latest posts by Mummy Muddy Paws


Posted: 12/06/2012 at 22:15

Ladybirds?  You can get ladybird attractant, adult ladybirds and ladybird larvae on t'interweb, together with ladybird 'houses' so they can overwinter.  They're supposed to be good at getting rid of greenfly, whitefly, aphids and red spider mites.  I don't like using pesticides in my garden in case they damage the bee population.

Unidentifed Raptor

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 22:07

I was pottering in the garden on Sunday, and thought I may have been visited by a fox, as there were A LOT of grey feathers from something like a pidgeon or collared dove, judging by feather size & colour.  There was no mess & no bones either, making me think maybe a fox (I was a bit surprised as we have a rescue GSD cross).  I'd forgotten earlier in the week there was something big swooping around & not a sparrow to be seen.

Anyway, I was near the patio window doing some tidying earlier today, and I saw something very big and very fast turning on a sixpence as though it was after a smaller bird that was trying to take evasive action.  I only got a glimpse of it, does anyone know what it might be?  I'm not really a country girl so don't know what it could be.  I know there are owls in the village, the ones that make a screaming noise, not the ones that go woo-hoo (like they always have in horror films).  Could it have been an owl in daylight.

I'd be very interested to know what it could be.  Was 2-3 times the size of the doves we get round here.

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 21:54

Arrrrrgggghh!  I opened the flipping email from T&M, and I've ended up buying the same 'free' collection, just paying for the p&p.  We're meant to be on an economy drive at the mo, and I've bought those, plus some flower power & root booster from QVC, plus their novatec secateurs.  Knickers.  Will have to hide purchases from Hubby until he buys some bits of car we can't afford!

Crazy paving

Posted: 12/06/2012 at 21:43

Why don't you make a feature of it?  You could see if they do tester-sizes of masonry paint and paint each stone a different colour, and make a mosaic-type feature, this will not cost too much until you can afford to do something more permanent.  Failing that, rip it up, bribe anyone you know with a big trailer to go to a builder's merchant's and buy gravel by the hundredweight.  When we covered our front in limestone chippings, my husband did this (for various reasons we've got a massive ex-RAF missile trailer).  The chap knows the scoop on his mini-digger holds 250kg, so 2 of these is half a ton.  Well, the chap put two scoops in, looked at the pitiful amount in the trailer, (it didn't cover the floor), and put two more scoops in.  My husband had paid for half a ton, and ended up with a ton of the stuff!

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 17:30

Right, out of that lot the delphiniums are perennials, and the digitalis (or foxgloves to mere mortals like me) will self-seed.  The delphiniums and foxgloves are quite tall and will go nicely at the back of a border, the echinacea and penstemons in the middle, and lavenders at the front.  Not sure about the geum.

I get my hanging baskets (the easy-fll ones) from ebay, and shops like aldi and lidl are great for bargains - I got 6 fuchsia plants for £2 per pack from aldi, a fraction of the price of garden centres, you need to go in on the day to get the best bargains.  I also got a selection of planters from there at reasonable prices.  I love the T&M offers, sometimes I have to delete the email before I open it, though, it's just too tempting.  I did get a massive bargain, I ordered the 'lucky dip' lilly bulbs along with my strawberry runners, expecting to get half a dozen standard or day lillies, imagine my amazement when the postman turned up with a box of 15, yes, 15 tree lilly bulbs (my favourites!).  Never had any complaints (so far) about the quality of their plants, which is more than I can say for suttons and I won't buy anything else from parkers bulbs after I bought an offer from the mirror, the perennials were half-dead (some have revived with a bit of TLC), and the pack contained 2 free slugs.  Unacceptable!!

give and you will receive

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 16:34

Just registered & had a look around, this will suit GrannyJanny, as there are lots of seeds.  No plants in my area though

Have offered an air guitar for someone's finest Nothing!

Cooking Oil as a greenhouse heating fuel

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 14:20

My Husband makes biodiesel from used cooking fat.  We get the fat free from a local school my sister-in-law works in.  A basic biodiesel machine will cost around £500, plus there's the extra chemicals you need (and some of them are pretty nasty).  It does take time, but it's in half-hour chunks, you start one stage of the reaction and then leave the machine to get on with it.

My 'gas-guzzling' land rover runs on this stuff, it costs around 15p a litre to make, my car is over voting age so hasn't gone to landfill, and we're stopping LOTS of oil going to land fill too.  Yet my car is still targeted by hippy types that quite happily drive Priuses which run on COAL (well, the leccy has to come from somewhere), and the batteries are made of all sorts of bad stuff.  Sorry, went a bit off topic there, but it's a bit of a thing with us, we're a land rover mad family.

So it's possible to make biodiesel, but the outlay is a bit steep, and you need to know someone that already makes homebrew biodiesel, as it's a steep learning curve.  You also need an oldish car, as some of the things that are left in biodiesel (even after washing) can corrode the pipes an electronic fuel pumps don't like it.  If like me you've got an old, beloved car, it's fantastic!

You can already buy heaters that run on used engine oil, have you looked into these, as I suspect they would also run on veg oil, or if you've a local garage, they might be able to give you a supply, as it costs them a lot to dispose of it at the council.

Hope this helps!

give and you will receive

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 13:54

I've already posted something on the 'improve the site' board, not sure how to post a link to it, but if several of us ask, something might get done.  Fingers crossed, I've lots of geraniums & sweet peas and 3 lupins I want rid of (was part of an offer), and would love to swap for some annuals that are safe around kids - I'd particularly like some honeysuckle, but would consider anything that didn't need replacing each year.  I'm short of foxgloves, they normally self-seed, but for some reason they've not appeared this year.

unwanted ivy

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 11:00

My neighbour loves ivy, I hate the stuff (think he likes it cos it's easy to take care of).  It comes over my garden wall, and also attaches itself to the house.  I can't kill it (because it's planted on his side of the wall, and he'd go bananas if I did), so I've been cutting it back, it will take an age to get rid of all of it because it's through a diseased blackthorn I need to chop down.  To get rid of the stuff that was all over the back of my house, I used a wolf-garten patio scraper knife (not the wire brush type), with the big handle on I managed to get most of it off.  Took me a couple of hours, but now the back of my house is mostly clear.  You may find this a useful tool for getting rid if it from a smooth brick wall (or even a dry stone wall, with the shorter handle).  Not what the tool was originally intended, for, but I found it very effective, better than a wallpaper scraper, as it's sharper.  The hooked bit is also useful for pulling down any shoots you can't quite reach!  Hope you manage to rid yourself of the annoying stuff.

Sizzling Summer Plant Deal

Posted: 11/06/2012 at 10:11

Pash, what I normally do is dig the hole a bit deeper than you need to, pop some fertiliser or some compost mixed with slow-release fertiliser, then the sharp sand, then the bulb, then sand to cover the bulb, then top up with either topsoil or compost.  Most bulbs will benefit from being fed twice a week with a soluble fertiliser when you water your plants (QVC do a very good one).  This has the benefit of giving you more flowers and feeding the bulb so it gets bigger.  Always let the foliage from bulbs die back, as some of the nutrients from the leaves will go back into the bulb if you leave it alone.  There should be some instructions on the pack of bulbs you bought.  I take it the site is T&M, the plants I've recieved from them have always been top quality.  If you shop at Tesco, did you know you can swop clubcard vouchers for either specific products (I've had apple trees and lillies in the past), or for a T&M voucher to use on anything on their site.  It's even better value if you go through a cash-back site (such as topcashback), as you get a certain percentage of your spend back.  Always good to save the pennies!

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