philippa smith2

Latest posts by philippa smith2

Log pile

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 17:08

You probably aren't going to know until you start to dismantle it Rob.

If you are going to do it, I'd say now is a better time than in the Autumn.  You don't want to be disturbing Frogs, Toads, Newts, Slow worms etc.

Prepare the site for your new pile....make a comfy base using some of the decayed material and shake off any big or obvious creatures into that.  You will inevitably disturb some creatures but if your new pile is not too far distant from the original, they will gravitate towards their new home. 

Help Save The Hedgehogs

Posted: 03/07/2016 at 16:46

Hello Mark,

I'm glad I caught your above post re fruit and hedgehogs.

It's only recently ( the last couple of months ) that I have been putting out food for the 2 or 3 Hhogs which suddenly came into my garden.  I became aware that they were visiting when I kept seeing faeces around the bird feeder areas.

I made up my own recipe but followed recommendations.  I used chopped peanuts, sunflower hearts, dried mealworms AND sultanas.  Now horrified to see what you are saying about the use of fruit.  Not horrified with you I hasten to are obviously on the sticky end of things so to speak.

However, I've just checked in C J Wildlife's catalogue ( which was one of the "diets" I looked up before I started feeding.

I quote below what the offer as "Hedgehog Food..........

"Similar to a HHog's natural diet, this recipe has been trialed by the British Hhog Preservation Soc and includes kibbled pnuts., sunflower hearts, dried mealworms, oats, suet, sultanas and dried blackberries. As the food contains dried ingredients, be sure to put out fresh water as well "

The 2nd item  in the same catalogue is classed as a Hedgehog Delicacy ......too long to quote but does include raisins.

Strikes me as a case of crossed wires somewhere along the line and quite worrying if we ( the general public ) are doing wrong whilst trying to do right.

I correspond with someone in Jersey who has been involved with Hedgehog preservation for a number of years and will be asking her about this.

Sorry for the length of the post but I'll be pleased to know your response.

I'm knocking the sultanas on the head as from now.......I'll get thru them myself I suppose - eventually 

Pigeons vs Brassicas

Posted: 02/07/2016 at 17:44

Old CD's dangling on a string .......I tried that recently to stop the Heron from scoffing frogs out of the pond.

After the really strong winds the other day, the CD's disappeared.....presumably into the pond as they weren't in evidence elsewhere.  I'm wondering now whether I need to drop a CD player in there as well

Even tho we have several Wood Pigeons about both in the garden and the allotments, they don't give a problem with any brassicas.  Maybe they are just well behaved ?

collared doves

Posted: 02/07/2016 at 13:48

Still have plenty of Collared doves here (at least 3 breeding pairs).....they seem to reside happily enough with the Wood pigeons and all other residents.  Some days up to 10 plus doves can be counted in the vicinity.

Unfortunately, I haven't any large enough envelopes to squeeze a couple in for those of you who are short of them.  Actually, I'm simply too selfish to give them away.

kiwi vine

Posted: 01/07/2016 at 17:37

Strictly speaking Karen the plant you bought from the GC should have had a name and info about it.

There have been queries on here before as to whether self fertile varieties are available as many people were convinced they needed male and female plants to obtain fruit and weren't aware that self fertile varieties were available and freely on sale.

I think one of the oldest self fertile is "Jenny"......that produced good fruit for me but I perhaps had a slightly longer season in SW France.

If you don't have ( or know ) a named variety, you will have to suck it and see.  If nothing else, they make a good climber but perhaps you will be lucky.  Hope so

Uploading pics

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 18:26


That hedgehog certainly gets around doesn't it ?

I've been thinking of updating my camera but it still takes good pics and works well for me.  I don't have a mobile phone let alone a smart phone so I'll stick with what I have at the moment.

slow growing crocosmia

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 18:16

Crocosmia Lucifer are quite a different kettle of fish from the dreaded common jobs.

Lucifer is just coming into flower now and I think you need to physically transplant ( or plant new corms ) if you want to have more than your original clump.

Uploading pics

Posted: 29/06/2016 at 17:45

This is 2.04 mb taken on a Lumix Panasonic which I've had for at least 10 years.  It's the only method I have of taking pics and having checked, most of my images are less than 3 mb.

I only use a lap top and since updating to Windows 10, most images seem to post without any request for resizing or general farting about.  

Sometimes it needs a couple of tries but works in the end.

It would appear that on this new format, there are winners and losers......I still have to scroll endlessly (sometimes so much I could easily lose the will to live ) and the "Quote" things are horrendous but OTOH, I can post photos with little or no effort.

Oops- Pumpkins spread!

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 19:45

Pinch out the growing point beyond 2 or 3 fruits.  They will form more laterals but you do the same thing with them.  

It's not always easy to assess how many of your fruits will, etc. but you will learn as you go along.........that's how most of us do it anyway

Oops- Pumpkins spread!

Posted: 27/06/2016 at 18:45

Depends also which variety you are growing....the smaller fruits will take being trained upwards if you take into account your support.

The large ( and consequently heavier ) jobs are best left to trail on the ground.  You may find that you want to consider at what point you will "stop" either sort ?  We may be lucky and get a good long season but consider how many fruit will actually be likely to ripen sufficiently.  Best to have fewer but ripe than many and unripe

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1 to 15 of 77 threads