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Latest posts by Pipstrelle

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.

Pot growing Mahonia x media "charity"?

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 19:47

Hi obelixx,


That is a lovely plant but my garden is not very well sheltered and is a rather shady North- facing, so I doubt it would be happy with us. That's another reason for the Mahonia choice: good in shade and pretty tough. Thanks, though! I will remember that one if we ever move to a bigger place.


Honeysuckle problem.

Posted: 26/04/2013 at 19:26

I think that spring is a good time to move plants around, so that they are at the start of their active growth period and get the maximum amount of time to adjust and grow new roots etc. I am not sure I would attempt to move an established climber, though, especially as it sounds like such a good foil for other plants. I think there was something on last week's GQT about encouraging flowers.

Discussions started by Pipstrelle

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Advice on Weeping Willow, please

Replies: 12    Views: 1045
Last Post: 12/05/2013 at 13:21

Pot growing Mahonia x media "charity"?

Replies: 2    Views: 1690
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 19:47

Using vine eyes on pebbledash?

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Last Post: 15/04/2012 at 21:46
8 threads returned