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philippa smith2

Latest posts by philippa smith2


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:49

I have 3 Chickens in my garden.  They have a Shed approx. 8 feet x 4 feet and their enclosure measures approx. 36 feet x 25 feet.  The enclosure is well planted with Trees , Hedging , Shrubs, Perennials,  etc. ,with plenty of places for dust baths, etc.  Most evenings, I let them into the main garden for an hour  or so ( easily judged by the light level) so that they can have a good peck about on the lawn without destroying it.

As Chickens naturally scratch up the earth, the major damage they will do to plants is to expose the roots.  However, they are extremely useful for turning over your compost heap. 

Consider all the aspects before taking the plunge 

Fresh Greens ( bunched Spinach or Cabbage leaves for example ) tied to their perimeter fence every day is appreciated particularly if they don't have access to fresh vegetation in their enclosure. Trying  to make and keep a "lawn" for Chickens in a restricted area is MHO a waste of effort.......if they are constantly on there, they will just ruin it.

Many people seem to make the basic mistake of keeping Chickens when they really do not have the space to keep them properly.  They are no different to any other "pet" if you intend to keep them on an amateur basis. 


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:09


I'm never sure these days what the "divide" is and you are right, it varies geographically and politically.  I think I must have had in mind  that 80's thing when anyone venturing north of Watford thought they needed Passports and vaccinations.

I was born in Cheshire and used to consider myself Northern (vowels and all ) but then people from Liverpool told me that I was Southern or at best Middle....definitely not Northern.

Still, Wasps shouldn't have that particular hang up so need a few more examples yet


How has this happened?

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 17:48

Pauline........can't give the reason why but it is not all that unusual IME.  I've had it happen on several occasions

Glorous gardens from above

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 17:45

Tend not to watch many gardening progs these days but do recall with pleasure when Christine Walkden first appeared on our screens. 

Such a natural down to earth person......very knowledgeable and her enthusiasm is infectious. Glad to know that she will be back again soon 


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 17:27

Pansy..........yet another North/South divide then maybe ?  Be interesting to see if anyone from more southern parts has any observations for this year.

Oops....just realised that Ystevie is in Dudley so that knocks that theory on the head. North/South/Middle divide then ?  Getting complicated now


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 17:04

Pansy and Fairy........Hmmmm..........all I can say is I think you are being very selfish not sharing your Wasps with me 

In all seriousness tho, I know Fairy is in Scotland and Nutcutlet in E Anglia but where are you located Pansy ?  I'm in West Somerset.



Posted: 08/10/2014 at 16:49

Ystevie...........I can sympathise as I am allergic to them and swell up like a monstrous balloon.  However, despite numerous stings (same reaction with bees, etc ) I am still alive and I still rescue them from the greenhouse  whenever possible.

Nutcutlet.......I haven't come across any nests this time.  It just suddenly struck me that the wasps were missing this year.  Bit worrying but wait to see next year I suppose.


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 16:37

It has just occurred to me that we are already in October and there has been a definite lack of Wasps around this summer.

I have seen a couple of dozen maybe this year in the garden.  The fruit crop has been good again this year with plenty of fallen/rotting fruit on the ground but a singular lack of Wasps.

The very wet Autumn and Winter 2013/2014 ?  Has anyone else noticed this ?

Tree problems.

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 16:26

I think it a bit of a sweeping statement that the average gardener is only concerned with lawns and flowerbeds.  Granted, we are more removed away from nature these days particularly in the western production being a good example.

However, it is difficult to be a gardener (amateur or otherwise) without gradually becoming aware of the natural world around us.  Even the new gardeners who pose questions on this forum quite often know more than they realise. Formal education is vitally important but so many gardeners learn by simply soaking up information from parents, grandparents, other gardeners, reading thru the varied experiences posted on this forum and others like it, general Nature articles, etc., etc. Trial and error is a good teacher too

Those of us "of a certain age.....I think it's 27  ", are well aware of how the climate has altered and how different diseases are now affecting not only our native plant and animal life but those from further afield too.  We are collectively to blame for much of the problem......globalisation and the desire for something ever more exotic or different be it edibles or Mike says, speed and ease of importation and in many cases, lack of import controls.  Difficult tho in today's world to expect human nature to change overnight.

Just as a PS.......I noticed earlier on this year that a (reputed ) 500 year old Black Poplar in a neighbouring village had very sparse foliage and certainly looked pretty rough in comparison to the previous 3 years that I have known it.  It stands on the banks of a stream (part of the area which was very badly flooded last Autumn/Winter ) and today I saw quite an abundance of bracket fungus on the lower trunk.  Only driving past, I have no idea what the fungus is but the tree has certainly had a poor year so far. 


Weeds or flowers?

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 20:06

DD......the easiest thing to do if you are unsure but want to clear the area, put the plants/weeds in pots and see what they turn out to be.  You could be wasting your time but at least you won't be dumping stuff that may well, even if you consider it a "weed", fit in somewhere in your garden

Discussions started by philippa smith2


Wasps......lack of this year ? 
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How to politely educate someone ? 
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What do the various abbrevations mean and are we talking about the same thing ? 
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Rude but funny.

Another Quotes thread.......can't find the old one. 
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Recommended varieties

Best performers 
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Mangetout varieties

Any recommendations please ? 
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Sweet potato

Slips or Plugs ? 
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Plant names...not Latin or common but those named after people

Who is your plant named after ? 
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Lost garden tools

Not stolen..........just hiding !! 
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Glyphosate killer in various forms

Effect on surrounding planting ? 
Replies: 7    Views: 257
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Perennial evergreen Grass

What variety ? 
Replies: 17    Views: 359
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Sulphate of Potash feed 
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Nicandra physalodes (Shoofly or Apple of Peru)

Leaf variegation 
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Grass snake

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Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 19:26 and then

How things change 
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1 to 15 of 22 threads