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Latest posts by obelixx

Hosta flowering - shall I or shan't I?

Posted: 19/05/2013 at 20:52

I always let my hostas flower.  I like the form, the subtle colours and the way they last and attract bees.  Some are also scented.   Never noticed extra slugs visiting them in flower and a healthy hosta is not going to be weakened by flowers which I always cut off when spent so they don't waste energy on seed.

If you're going away for a long holiday, you may as well cut them as you'll miss them and just come home to spent heads.    If it's only for a week or two then by all means leave them to enjoy when you get home.


Attract blue tits

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 17:53

You'll get the returning birds too if you feed them Gilly.   Like you we have hedges and then arable fields behind and pasture and woodland to teh side and front so lots of birds coming all year round to feed on food we put out and repaying the favour by scoffing pests.

Identification required please

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 17:50

1 looks like a peony to me too.  I think no 2 may be the common form of lysimachia with yellow flowers later on.  Can be invasive.   3 looks like euphorbia but I don't like them so don't grow them and can't say which one.  4 is a ringer for lysimachia Firecracker.  Lovely purple foliage but not good when the acid yellow flowers come out.

Attract blue tits

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 17:47

We've had GSWs visiting our feeders for a few years now.  One lot like the fat balls and the others like the peanuts.  We get them all year now and it's hilarious when they come with their young and teach them to use the feeders.   Lots of antics and acrobatics and some territorials too. 

Attract blue tits

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 15:43

Our tits like all our shrubs and small trees - sambucus, wiegelia, cornus, parrotia persica, prunus, crab apples, toothache tree, twisted hazel and willow, conifer hedge, hawthorn hedge, birch tree, physocarpus and many more.  If they're not looking for food they're perching, singing, playing, having conferences.  They also like the tall flower stems of thalictrum erin, the echinops, clematis, roses, fruit bushes......   

They need a variety of plantings to provide food and shelter and regular food supplies.  If you feed all year, they'll have healthy babies, more than on brood and future generations will earn to feed and play in your garden.   We've gone form having one pair to scores. 

Attract blue tits

Posted: 18/05/2013 at 13:58

Hanging feeders helps too.  I hang peanuts and fat ball in a place safe from pouncing cats and near some shrubs in case a sparrowhawk swoops.    I also hang peanut feeders near roses and clematis so they go and hoover up the aphids for their young.   I never need to spray with anything.  They pick caterpillars off the veggies too.


Posted: 17/05/2013 at 16:32

It's normal.  The new spring growth is red and eventually turns green as the season progesses.

bulbs, daffs, tulips, hyacinths, alliums

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 10:00

Tulips will flower year after year if planted deep enough - 9" - and in soil that isn't waterlogged in winter.   Mine out in teh big borders tend to get eaten by rodents in winter but I've had great success with the smaller botanical tulips in other, well drained beds.

Daffodils go on for years, especially if planted deep but may need to be lifted and separated every few years if they get crowded and stop flowering.  I've had some in for 12 years now and still flowering strongly each year.  paperwhites, grown for indoor displays, are not usually hardy enough to be grown outside.

Hyacinths also repeat flower although forced ones wn't do so well the first year aftre being put in the garden.

Alliums go on for years too.

I don't feed bulbs specifically but I do scatter a general feed on my borders in spring and I do dead head except snowdrops and crocuses and scillas and grape hyacinths and other tiny stuff.


Posted: 15/05/2013 at 16:27

Little Ann - I doubt it.  No commercial iterest fo rth epeople who produce the offending chemicals and too little interest - so far - for local and national governments to fund such research.   Maybe something for a school or university project...........


Posted: 15/05/2013 at 14:06

There may be no arable farming but many gardeners still use chemicals which contain nicotinoids and other nasties.

Studies at Newcastle university have shown that bees exposed to caffeine which is present in some citrus plants as well as the obvious coffee trees have a better memory for remembering their way to flowers.   There's a bit about it in the latest RHS magazine.

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10 threads returned