Latest posts by Pipstrelle

Encouraging young gardeners

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 22:25

My boys (nearly 4 and 2) love helping in the garden and when I ask if they want to help sow seeds etc they race each other to be first. My eldest recognises foxgloves (among other plants) and when I asked him what else he knows about foxgloves he replied that if he touches them he needs to wash his hands right away because they are poisonous. One of their favourite places is Ryton Organic Gardens and my eldest is very excited about going to Malvern tomorrow.  I guess they need to learn enthusiasm for gardening, and be given the chance to get  positively involved. Kids are full of enthusiasm for life at this age, and everything is new and interesting, with no prejudices etc. My son's preschool/school is also growing veg etc with the support of Garden Organic.

So many times (as was my husband's experience) parents allot small spaces for kids to grow things but give them the worst spot where they are doomed to failure. My husband was given a spot in deep shade and poor soil, which he might have been able to do something with, but not without guidance. He was disheartened from the beginning. But we're working on it now 

Advice on Weeping Willow, please

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 22:14

Yes, I have no intention of letting it near drains etc and would only plant in a container! I don't know if it would be suitable. We have a small garden so could never plant it out, but I would like it as a container plant. I agree that willow is extremely useful. I do like it very much in the right place  

Thanks. So is the verdict that containerised should be ok?!

Advice on Weeping Willow, please

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 19:23

I just picked up a broken twiggy section of the large weeping willow in the village as I walked past. I am toying with the idea of growing/rooting it in a container (on concrete patio to prevent vigorous roots) as a pruned specimen, as I know that willows respond so well to this. I know that they need a lot of moisture, too. So, should I attempt this or is that too foolhardy?!

Preventing frogs freezing to death in wdlife ponds

Posted: 10/05/2013 at 19:19

I have just been listening to a previous edition of Gardener's Question Time all about this. The problem with thick ice forming is that noxious gases are trapped and the frogs die because of that. The best way to prevent this is to float a tennis ball or football/beach ball depending on the size of the pond to prevent the ice from completely closing over, and to check it daily. Apparently cracking the ice after it has frozen can cause deadly vibrations to overwintering frogs, so the ice should be kept clear from the outset, where possible, and never use salt, boiling water or chemicals to clear it (apparently some have resorted to these ideas). Also, be sure to include lots of oxygenating plants such as hornwort, to help keep oxygen levels up and provide cover. When snow falls on top of ice, clear the snow off, to allow these oxygenators to carry on photosynthesising. Also, you could line even the bath and that would help to insulate. It is apparently not so much the depth of water, but the lack of air circulation that causes most deaths.

Small Wildlife pond

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 21:14

Erica that looks lovely and we nearly bought that one! We went for a slightly different shape in the same range. They are definitely preformed ponds as we saw the same ones on several web sites dedicated to ponds. I'm not reading the other comments that got a bit heated 

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 21:04

Hi obelixx, if you can put up more than one bat box and place them at different orientations (see BCT web site) then that will increase the likelihood of them using your garden as a roost site.

Encouraging bats in our gardens

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 21:02

Thanks, nutcutlet. Yours made me smile  . The ongoing colder weather does delay their waking from hibernation and in theory the longer the hibernation, the more energy is used and the greater the risk of them not waking up at all, or not being in as good condition when they do. I think the biggest risk is them waking a little too early and there not being enough insect prey around. Waking uses up a burst of energy. I've heard the odd pip over the last few nights but I know that our pre survey training session isn't happening as early as planned because the bats were not around when the session was being organised.

Toad spawn

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 20:54

I think  that pond lifeventually finds its own way where it wants to be, but can help by doing basic maintenance. Stranded spawn sounds like toad or newt to me. Lucky you! Our pond is onl a few months old and the plants have only just gone in so I am not overly hopeful for too much activity in ours yet. It's not even fully finished in terms of edging etc.

does anyone know what it is??

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 20:02

Great compost accelerator/plant feed though! And the bees love comfrey.


Trees suitable for a private road

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 19:49

How about crab apple? Long season of interest and wildlife friendly, too.

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9 threads returned