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Latest posts by obelixx

How much bird food do burds eat a day?

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 15:39

You can't cat proof it unless you have a resident dog which is out in the garden all day which is not really an option.

You can take steps to make sure the bird feeding areas are safe, as I have, and that there is shelter for birds when predators are about - not just cats.   You could also invest in a Water Scarecrow which is very effective for deterring cats but would need to be site the sensors and spray away from bird feeders in case they trigger it.

Fruit cages - DIY options?

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 15:01

Ametal netting cage they can't chew or slip through.  See boater's post on aviary wire.

Soft fruit suggestions please

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 13:45

Blueberries crop better if they can cross pollinate.   

If you only have summer or autumn raspberries, I'd suggest getting a few of the other to extend your season and go for a couple of blackcurrants.  They are so versatile for jams, crumbles, and spiced jellies and full of vitamins and flavour.

How much bird food do burds eat a day?

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 13:41

Saw a funny sight today.  The woodpeckers have a favourite peanut feeder which hangs on a nail on a wooden post so doesn't swing around in the wind.   It was nearly empty so, rather than go for a swinging feeder this bird flew to the ground to swipe peanuts from the mixed winter seed on the ground.   Looked bizarre as its feet don't seem adapted for the ground.

We have always had cats so we constructed a high bar supported on two vertical posts and I hang peanut and fat ball feeders from it as well as those blocks with insects or fruit in the mix.   Ground feeders get fed below on a large stone slab which is easy to hose down every now and then.  Apart from a few alpine strawberries there is no immediate ground cover for pussies to hide in and there is a twisted hazel close by into which the birds can flee when the sparrow hawk dives.    

I have other peanut feeders hung here and there near roses so the birds can hoover up the greenfly whilst they're queuing for peanuts.   Works for me.  No spraying and happy birds and roses.



Posted: 02/01/2016 at 02:00

Hope your friend is OK - and his dog - and that all fires are safely out.

Strange day today.  I normally surface in time to listen to the concert from Vienna while I potter round the kitchen and had planned to go on a long walk with OH, who retired yesterday, and the two dogs.   However we received a text from Possum who spent NY Eve there with friends to ask one of us to go to Thuin to fetch her home as the planned lift was leaving too early for her.

3 hour round trip so a good job we did not over indulge last night and a lovely sunny drive once the mist lifted.

OH ate all his Xmas pud in two goes.  Possum and I find it too rich and heavy so we had sticky toffee pudding on Xmas day.   However, I like the sound of Xmas pud ice cream so might buy him a bigger one next year and nick the leftovers.  I get him an organic one from the English shop but I make our Xmas cake.   It is still maturing and will make great snacks to have with coffee now that I have a full time under gardener.

Happy new year everyone and happy gardening.

Roses in pots?

Posted: 01/01/2016 at 14:25

I think it would be a dreadful shame to hack the wisteria and that pot is too small to be a permanent home for a rose.

That said, there are roses which are suitable for pots but not all of them.  I suggest you go on the David Austin website and send them a mail asking which ones are best suited to pots.  I've found them to be very helpful when i'e had questions about hardiness.

If you do get a bigger pot, make sure you put it on pot feet to help with drainage so the base never gets waterlogged and rots the roots, fill it with best John Innes no 3 compost and give it annual tops ups of specialist rose fertiliser in spring and a weekly feed of liquid tomato food in spring and early summer as well as the regular waterings.

Disappearing Anenomes

Posted: 01/01/2016 at 08:36

Buying cyclamen corms can be dodgy - questions of provenance and also care because many are still ripped from the wild rather than cultivated.   Best to do as Bob suggests and grow on your own babies or else buy them in flower as these are usually cultivated and clearly viable.  I buy mine for hanging baskets and window boxes and then plant them out and they are increasing well.

I soak all corms that I buy and also small bulbs such as fritillaria meleagris which dry out easily.   Dahlias too when I take them out of hibernation.

Garden shed for my LIttle balcony

Posted: 31/12/2015 at 16:05

I am having difficulty imagining how big a balcony must be to need a shed to store tools and equipment and how said shed is to be decorated to stop it being an eyesore as well as not blocking light into the windows that presumably sit between the windows and the balcony.


Wouldn't mind a trip to Canada though - as long as I can leave my garden behind PP.   The resident and visiting critters wouldn't be allowed in.

Disappearing Anenomes

Posted: 31/12/2015 at 11:39

I find these do better if soaked overnight in cold water to rehydrate them.  Then plant in a sunny spot or in a pot you can keep an eye on and protect from squirrels/slugs/snails as needed before transplanting to their final spot.

Which way up???

Posted: 30/12/2015 at 17:49

They'll need to rehydrate those roots by soaking them in a bucket of water for an hour or so before planting them the right way up.  They also need to put teh graft union an inch or so below soil level.

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