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obelixx


Latest posts by obelixx

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:21

We talk a lot on here about encouraging beneficial wildlife in our gardens but not a lot about bats.  Did you know a tiny pipistrelle can consume 3,000 midges in one night?

We used to have a colony of about 30 when we moved here about 20 years ago but they are now down to just one or two even though we have turned former cow pasture into a garden with a pond and all sorts of plants designed to attract birds and insects so I've been googling about and found this info -

http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/bat_behaviour.html

Scroll on down and you'll find a list of lovely plants that will attract them and the by product will be food for swallows and swifts and house martins too as they will come to eat the insects these plants attract.   Double whammy.

Rose pruning and frost

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:05

I pruned mine last week but would have left it later if I could but I've had foot surgery again this week so needed to get it done before I got laid up for a few weeks.   After this winter there was more dead wood than usual and not a leaf on any but some good looking buds starting to swell so fingers crossed.  I didn't do the ones over on the more exposed east side as they risk getting knocked back by a late frost so will ahve to take their chances with a late prune.

You definitely have to go with weather conditions and not calendars.

For whom do we garden .............

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 12:01

It's a tough one isn't it?   I like to share the garden with as much wildlife as possible - slugs excepted - so plant things that provide food or shelter for birds and insects but also give me pleasure.

I gave up on yellow crocuses years ago and now prefer to plant the stripey purple ones which they seem to ignore but which also cheer me up.  For cheery spring yellows I have dwarf and normal daffs and primroses which they also leave alon.    I feed the birds all year round and find that means they repay me by picking of nearly all the aphids and caterillars on my roses and veggies.

A friend of mine gave up planting up pots near her front door because they were always pecked to death by peacocks and pheasant visiting from a suburban farm behind her.   My country phesants stick to the bird food thankfully.

solar power

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 10:58

Interesting indeed Goldilocks.  We have just started work to renovate our barn and have decided to go the energy saving route.  We are currently having the roof insulated from the outside as this is more efficient, apparently, than just slapping panels of insulation under the beams.   The sllates will then be put back and a full bank of PV panels fitted to generate up to 10,000 watts a year.  Then we get the holes bashed out for the new windows and the walls will be insulated from the outside to a thickness of 6'/15cms.  Underfloor insuation and heating follows with a heat exchange pump to drive that.

We won't have any energy bills in there apart from logs for a proper fire or log burner and we should have almost no electricity bills in the existing house part.  Just continuing oil for the existing central heating installed 20 years ago.   It's all going to cost more than we paid for the whol building 21 years ago but will be worth it.

Meanwhile, there are applications to surround our very windy village with over 80 monster wind turbines which are so cost ineffective, so intrusive on the environment and eye and so bad for migrating birds of which we have many, some rare, that I wonder just where politicians and finance ministers especially have their heads and hands.

Metal obelisk or willow wigwam for sweet peas?

Posted: 20/04/2013 at 10:45

I once did a day's willow weaving course and made an obelisk of which I was inordinately proud and which I used to support a new clematis.  It cost me €60 for the course and materials.   The obelisk died after one winter being sogged and blown to bits.

I also have metal obelisks in various sizes and they are solid, indestructible and will last for years.   They look good all year round, with or without plants and cost me between €20 for the small ones to €80 for the big ones.    You can leave them rusty as I did to start with or paint them, as I am starting to do now so they will fit beautifully in you very good looking garden.

Enjoy your fence painting.  It should look great.

What has happened???

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 20:34

Since I can't PM you I'll s ay this here.  Not so long ago after you first joined, you were bleating about being got at by one member and feeling you should leave the boards.  People rallied round, you stayed but with a change of name.  Now it seems you have no compub-ntion in rounding on others.

As in everything in life, things aren't always fair but you especially should live and let live and tolerate others.   As Dan said, politeness and consideration are needed for  aboard to run well.  I would add "Do as you would be done by".

The only bad guys we need to watch out for are and warn people about are the occasional trolls like Gridgardner aka Plainleaf aka Squre Foot Gardener and all sorts of other aliases.

What has happened???

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 18:49

It's all in your mind and you are one of those in need of softer treads.

Munstead, Hidcote or ................?

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 18:48

Here is the updated RHS hardiness ratings info -

http://www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/Plant-trials-and-awards/pdf/2012_RHS-Hardiness-Rating

Theyv'e been doing a rethink after tha hard winters of 2009 and 2010 and have come up with a system that includes the extremes of Britain's climates, some of which are similar to continental Europe.

Munstead, Hidcote or ................?

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 17:22

Hi Goldilocks, My Hidcotes and Edelweiss lavenders regularly come thorugh -20 to -25C but, as I said, they are in a very well drained spot and get whatever winter sun there is.    The Munstead has also been sheltered and well drained but heavier soil with more clay so if I do plant replacements, theer'll be some grit and compost going into the mix.   Lavenders are lovely plants to have and great for beneficial insects.

What has happened???

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 16:52

As a result of this recent spatt it seems to me that some perfectmy pleasant and knowledgeable people have left these boards which is a pity.   Everybody, new and old should be welcome here and able to fit in with each other.

I have been frequenting gardening message boards for years and have seen many such spats come and go, especially on the the old Beeb boards and each time there was a schism and people set off to spawn new boards it left the boards diminished - except on one occasion when they were eejits the rest of us were glad to see the back of but this isn't the case this time and it seems to me that two or three people are still trying to rule a roost on which they are only precarioulsy perched.   You will find as tie goes by and new people join that there will be no shortage of dominant ersonalities turning up.

Those who are left behind and who have had most to say in the recent upset should reflect and remember - it takes all sorts to make a garden and all sorts to make a community.  On here we come from many different backgrounds of education, experience, knowledge, intelligence, income, empathy and understanding.   There are bound to be occasional personality clashes as well as groups of kindred spirits that take to each other on chat threads and may, to some, feel exclusive or cliquey.  Life is like that and no-one should take it as a personal therat or insult.  Better to try and make friends instead.

We are anonymous on here and no-one can hear our tone of voice or see our face as we speak through these boards.  Some of us are robust and some of us are delicate flowers.  Remember that and tread softly in your metaphorical garden slippers.  Some of you really do need to get things in perspective and take off the big, clod-hopping hobnailed boots you've been tarmpling around in.

Now, can we please settle down to welcoming new gardeners and old, new knowledge and starter questions, new topics an dthe same olf chestnuts and remain pleasant and tolerant?

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10 threads returned