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Yesterday at 21:16
I only have two neighbours, one who gardens and one who doesn't. It's great - I get to swap plants with the gardener and the other one is always grateful for surplus veg because she has none of her own.
Yesterday at 17:04
If you have nettles growing you probably have too much nitrogen in the soil - as Pansyface says - it's too rich.
It's actually quite a difficult thing to do from scratch. Growing perennials as plug plants and planting them in amongst grass may be easier and you'll probably get a longer flowering time than if you just have native annuals.
Lovely corncockles PF
Yesterday at 16:56
Our soil here in Gloucestershire is alkaline, no heather's or rhododendrons or acid loving plants grow or flourish here!
Have you been to Westonbirt? Fabulous Rhodos . Rhododendrons are a lot less particular than their reputation suggests - given the right dappled shade conditions and plenty of leaf mould, they'll tolerate some lime.
Azaleas are fussier but they even have some of those. I assume they grow in almost pure leaf mould, built up in a deep layer over the couple of centuries that the arboretum has been there.
Yesterday at 09:44
Presumably lime lovers like brassicas do take up some lime so would be on the alkaline side and lime haters emphatically would not. The sap of most plants is mildly acidic and some plants - stinging nettles for example, quite strongly so. Whether taken as a whole the plant is acidic, I've no idea, but given the high water content and the fact that rainwater is acidic would suggest they may well be to some degree.
Digressing a bit, commercial bagged compost is usually on the alkaline side of neutral, I'm not sure why - possibly there is often some manure blended in, which tends to be somewhat alkaline, or maybe tap water is used in the processes somewhere, much of which has some lime content in the UK.
Alkalinity in soil derives principally from limestone. Acidity from rainwater. In areas like mine where there is no limestone and it rains a lot, the soil is quite strongly acidic. In areas like the Cotswolds with fairly shallow soils over a soft limestone and (comparatively) low rainfall, it's very alkaline. In much of the UK there is a balance so soils are within a point or two either side of neutral. These processes are not to do with the plants directly so as Pete says, there is an underlying character that is very hard to shift one way or the other.
But having said that, historically in gardens the regular addition of manure swings the pendulum slightly alkaline and then a year or two of rain pushes it back towards acidity, so long term cultivated soil is almost always close to neutral.
2 days ago at 19:31
We used rust-oleum, I think. It's much cheaper. I don't think it's quite as thick as the Annie Sloane one but it was fine for what we were doing - probably depends what colour you're going to and from and how 'shabby chic' you're going. Eggshell paints are good if you want a smoother (satin) finish. Most of the big brands do those and most also do a 'flat matt' which is essentially what the chalk paint gives you.
2 days ago at 16:56
Patience is a virtue
2 days ago at 16:55
I think (not that sure) im after a painted finish though, not lightening the wood, you think I need to remove the varnish? I was hoping to get away with a light hand sanding just to key it.
If the varnish is flakey it needs to come off but if it's clean, it'll depend on the varnish as to what you need to do to paint over it. A rub over with wire wool might be enough to key it. If it's a very hard acryllic varnish, ESP primer might work. Can you get to the back of it and try a few things out to see what works?
You can buy small paint rollers in most DIY shops that give a lovely, smooth flat finish - we've painted melamine cupboard doors with great success using ESP and chalk furniture paint
2 days ago at 16:27
Has the company gone under?See original post
bwah ha ha
2 days ago at 16:25
Yes - I've done a bit of this, most recently a pine sideboard/dresser that was stained almost black and an old oak cupboard (1950s?) that the varnish had gone black.
I have a small hand sander - one of these https://www.screwfix.com/p/makita-bo4555-1-palm-sander-110v/93933 . I got the furniture into the garage and sanded it down, then applied osmo oil to finish in each case. Easy peasy. Takes a bit of time but no skill (I have none).
If you can't get it outside, get a sander with a dust box on it to reduce the amount blowing round your house and always wear a dust mask because you've no idea what chemicals you'll be breathing in with old furniture. You can use the chemical removers as Obelixx describes - I've never found them to be all that effective on old wood stains that are soaked in. They do work well on more modern varnish, as does plain old acetone. It takes a few applications if the varnish is on thick. You could get a bit of nail polish remover and try a little corner to see how readily the varnish comes off.
Last edited: 19 January 2018 16:26:00
2 days ago at 11:16
Crab apples can be remarkably resilient. I'd probably go with philadelphus, as Ob suggests. Eleagnus is a good call - they can get very big when they are happy
2 days ago at 11:12
Well, I have known a fox to take a large ceramic bowl - one of those heavy stoneware dog water bowls, and carry it about quarter of a mile. They do carry things and hide them or take them back to a den. But I can't imagine how a fox could have got up to that. So one possibility maybe that someone or something took the feeder off the stand and then a fox has found it and taken it away. Actual teamwork seems unlikely but accidental collaboration is possible.
2 days ago at 09:53
Didn't see this before , It's hard to tell how far apart they are - it could be a deer - they tend to walk very straight with their back feet stepping in their front feet tracks, but are normally very small deeper prints rather than those which look like a larger spread paw rather than a hoof? Fox usually leave a print like a dog where you can see the separate paw pads.
I wonder if the tracks were made earlier during the snow fall and the prints then became a bit obscured by more snow falling in to them making it harder to be sure what made them
2 days ago at 09:35
Geraniums, geums and lupins all flower here during May, as do the perennial wallflowers. The heavy lifting for colour is generally done by euphorbias, with a splash of alliums, siberian iris, durch iris, aubretia, verbascum and early foxgloves and oriental poppies. The wild part of the garden is a mass of cow parsley at this point
I took these photos on the 24th and 29th May last year. Green is pre-dominant, but there is plenty of blossom in amongst. We're in the south of England but at fairly high altitude so we're usually several weeks behind the south east of the country - and probably a few weeks ahead of you. It was a mild spring here last year so I think the oriental poppies and bearded iris were probably quite advanced compared to 'normal'. The aubretia and siberian iris were really beginning to go over a bit by this point, so they may work for you for mid to late May
Last edited: 19 January 2018 09:39:04
2 days ago at 09:13
Well it's only right to give them a sporting chance, after all .
More seriously have you considered setting up a web cam to see if you can catch anyone taking a keen interest in it?
Last edited: 19 January 2018 09:14:21
3 days ago at 20:55
2 squirrels? Have any of your neighbours got a peanut butter fetish?
3 days ago at 19:43
My money's on a squirrel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMBAv0WkfqY
3 days ago at 09:46
The prostrate junipers are reasonably well behaved - blue carpet or blue star. And whipcord hebes are tough and provide a bit of foliage colour variety. The broader leaved hebes are pretty if there's shelter from cold winds - they need more looking after though.
Convolvulus cneorum gives a good colour contrast if your conditions are suitable (it can be fussy) likewise coronilla citrina. Both are easy when they are happy.
3 days ago at 09:37
Aerials make good bird perches but that's all ours is used for nowSee original post
Yeah, we can't get any terrestrial TV here as it turned out, so it's no loss to us. The house sparrows will miss it though
3 days ago at 09:25
It's probably roe deer by the height of the damage on the lilac. We used to see those a lot where we lived in Bristol - they were always in the garden, particularly fond of eating flowers. Muntjac are vicious little things - they frequently attack dogs and can do serious damage too with those sharp little horns.
Your best bet may be a combination of security light and physical barriers - there's info here on mesh sizes and height for fencing, depending what sort of deer are there. https://www.bds.org.uk/index.php/advice-education/deterring-deer
3 days ago at 09:08
I hate shopping, I'll let anybody deliver anything except vegSee original post
Yup, me too. I buy meat and veg in the village and do an SM shop once a fortnight (I would get that delivered if I could, but that's not possible here at the moment). Other than that, the only shop I visit regularly is the local Garden Nursery, where much browsing is done