Rosemary Clarke

Latest posts by Rosemary Clarke

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Talkback: Goldcrest encounter

Posted: 11/01/2013 at 05:54

I ussually see Goldcrest every winter but not this year. Someone told me that 1,000s

[maybe millions] of birds perished flying the channel to UK in a major storm baqck in the autumn. They were landing on boats, trawlers, etc, resting and then taking off again.

I am in awe of small birds flying so far anyway, they would certainly not have a chance in really bad weather.

I have not seen the usual wrens either.

The Bird Count will be intresting this winter and not in a good way!

Talkback: Growing gunnera

Posted: 18/11/2012 at 10:43

Help me please? I purchased a much longed-for Gunnera back in the "summer". It is in a large pot lined with thick black polythene to keep it damp. From 3 leaves it now has 7 largish leaves. I am concerned this morning as there is thin ice on the birdbaths and it is under 10C in the potting shed.

I can fold the leaves over the crown but they are not dead [yet?].

I could get someone to lift it into a nearby shed but it is dark in there.

I can fold the leaves over straw, cover with thick bubble wrap?

It is by a pond and fairly sheltered. It has grown on well in 4 - 5 months so hope not to lose it if it gets really cold again.

Look forward to advice. Thanks.


Posted: 25/10/2012 at 19:58

I have 2 Acers planted in pots 6 - 7 years ago. Last year I planted 1 in the ground, semi shadey and as a backdrop for [new venture]  a wild flower bed. Its fine!. This acer and the 1 still in a pot are the same. This year is the first year they have not dropped their leaves during August/September. I assume this is due to the heavy rainfall. Both are proected from the wind and the rain but must have benefitted from the extra water??  

? If they are in a pot do they need th establish themselves? Does anyone else feed their Acer in spring?

Fuchsia cuttings

Posted: 25/10/2012 at 19:50

Well, I say the same! Fuschias do seem to be healthier than they were 2 - 3 years ago. They were always mottled with disease and did not thrive. I stopped buying them at garden centres and/or online.  THIS year however I have had wonderful fuschias, especially the giant flowered variety which are currently still flowering outside. I will bring them into my porch or the potting shed, where I use low heat overnight. Winter 2011/12 was the first year I used a parrafin heater. It paid for itself keeping cuttings growing on and geraniums from `damping-off`. I take cutting all year round and have fuschia cuttings in water to encourage root growth prior to planting in potting compost. I have cuttings of Verbena B and Lollipop, also with root growth. All my fuschia, pelagoniums etc stay in pots all years being potted into ever bigger pots. I feel the plant food stays in the plant rather than draining thro the surrounding soil. I say "whatever you fancy doing, make it work". Enjoy!

Lily beetle

Posted: 21/07/2012 at 13:02

Regarding penstemons, apparently they need good light and high potassium feed to make buds. Have moved to better area and fed tomato food for now, until I go out.

The weather is gorgeous today so have done wayy tooo much in the garden. Need to lie down now !!

Regarding geraniums - keep them, in pots somewhere dry. They may grow on well next spring. May as well keep them, nothing lost by that.

Lily beetle

Posted: 20/07/2012 at 09:29

....and ...regarding the penstemons....i bought an offer last year but they are not flowering. I have bought the offer this year, last month i think, not received yet.

Do they need to be pinched out to flower?

Some of the offers have to be purchased by post, I have noted before, that if you buy other plants [not on offer] the offers may/will be displayed. Have to spend £10 or more.

Lily beetle

Posted: 20/07/2012 at 09:22

I too squash the adult lily beetle. Not sure what the grubs look like but will www.lilybeetlegrub and find out! My old lilies are decimated again this year and will probably be discarded. I think other insects also eat the lily flowers and other plants. I sometimes spray with RoseClear and that seems to work. Will also view the RHS site.

My outside Pelargoniums have been beaten down with the heavy rain and wind so brought them inside to save them any more damage. My "geranimums" IE Cranesbill have been fine, not as much flower in 1 patch but o/w as normal. Mostly in sheltered areas of garden under trees.

 Anyone planted Wildflowers this year?? I have planted 2 beds with a variety of wildflowers and am sooo pleased with them. Grown well despite weather [or maybe due to the abundent rain] and most started flowering weeks ago. I have staked and supported with green plastic hoops which also detered the cats and foxes initially.

Not sure how to upload photo/s but may try.

Happy gardening!




Potted ponds in Thailand

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 20:24

I do have a pond approx 15`x6` x 3`+ at the deepest point. I too have birds bathing at the shallow, sloped end of the pond. Especially when birdbaths were frozen solid. I watched 1 blackbird for more than 10 minutes, with 2 others waiting their turn - there is room for several birds but blackbirds really do not like sharing! 

I will try the watercress and see if it may clear the plant intruder - its not algae which can be removed. This is small frilled plant. The only thing that kills it is icey weather. I can hose it away but it soon grows back and can get up to 1/2" thick on top of the pond. I t is a shame because I have lovely Koi who were friendly until the weed arrived. It must be dark for them too.

As to retired70eric.......are you trying to keep the concrete or plastic clean? Not really possible or natural. Leave the water to settle, to keep replacing with "clean" water just makes the natural balance impossible. Try a sachet of pond probiotic or similar? Good luck. I nhave had frogspawn a few years in the big pond. I remove this to a small pond as the Koi will eat it and then the tadpoles. I have newts in the smaller pond, they like the leaves at the bottom. They use a rough plank of wood to get out, as do any frogs that get in. 2 or 3 years ago I rescued frogspawn [as it would have frozen that very night] and raised 134 froglets [short version!] in a 4 x 3 fish tank. We learnt a lot about tadpoles and froglets over the 6 - 8 months. The diet varied as they morphed ending with live crickets and mealworms. It was quite something seeing a little froglet leap 6-9 inches at a cricket bigger than itself!! They were moved to a redundant aviary, fed for a few more weeks and then gradually escaped through the open door.

Talkback: Help wildlife survive winter

Posted: 14/01/2012 at 07:30
Always the cats get the blame for declining birdlife!
Some may catch the odd bird but most cats allowed inside during the day, will not "bother". They should be too well fed. YES it IS there instinct but there are other factors affecting our birds.
Bird tables and feeders need to be near hedges and/or other cover, also the water, hanging bird baths maybe.
I have a sheltered garden so have not yet had the birdbaths freeze. I also have a pond with the pump running all year round so birds can drink from the edge [keeping a watch for cats and foxes maybe] and some seem to balance on the water for a quick bath.
The starling use the hanging bird bath more than other birds, it can accommodate 4 starlings at same time - after the bickering and jostling there is not much water left for remaining starlings!! I have another big wooden bowl with water they use as well. As I top up the feeders and feed the foxes early evening I can refresh the baths so most starling will get their bath before going to bed!
The frogs and froglets have places under the stones around my pond and other upturned pots with leaves to burrow into. 2 years ago I rescued frogspawn that would have perished in the "freeze" the next day after being deposited. they were raised in a 4` fish tank managing to end uop with [short version - fed fish flakes, crickets etc, with 42 froglets from 100s of tadpoles. I/we learned a lot about tadpoles and froglets especially that they eat each other! These were transferred to a redundant aviary and fed crickets and mealworms and eventually found their way out in to the garden. So...we do have more frogs than we did. NOt sure I will do it again though.
11 to 19 of 19

Discussions started by Rosemary Clarke

Talkback: How to grow summer bedding from seed

When should the Cosmos seedling be pinched out? Mine are now quite "leggy" @ 3-4 inches but seem only to have 1 pair of leaves. 
Replies: 2    Views: 1067
Last Post: 15/03/2013 at 10:30
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