Latest posts by shirlsgw

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Talkback: Ragwort

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:35

Nutcutlet, my visits here are more recent and not too frequent so it would be easy for me to miss previous discussions. This one caught my attention tonight and as I had a photo thought I'd share it.. 

Hopefully your moth numbers will increase again in future years

Fishy 65, I was reading that when I looked up for info on this caterpillar. Nature is fascinating isn't it 

Talkback: Ragwort

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:22

Nutcutlet, I was fascinated and captivated but the numbers of these caterpillars. I really can't believe I have never noticed them before over the years we have visited this area.

Talkback: Ragwort

Posted: 05/08/2014 at 23:14

I was aware Ragwort was toxic to animals but didn't know it was the only food plant of the cinnabar moth. Photo captures of its caterpillars feeding on it and an ID search after brought me to this moth. The photo below is not the best due to wind movement this day but for anyone else reading this forum post it might be interesting to see.

My sighting of ragwort above was in sand dunes at a beach a short distance along from St Andrews in Scotland. In all my visits to this coastal strip I had never noticed the many feeding caterpillars on this plant. In fact I had never really taken a second look at the Ragwort.

Two weeks later we returned on another visit (this time armed with a video camera to capture the many feeding caterpillars for my blog) to find the same area of Ragwort striped of leaves and flowers with only main stems left! These caterpillars could be one of nature's way of controlling this plant pest - although in reality no match for the growth a spread of this plant.

Small tortoiseshells caught my eye this time and following one with my camera I found it feeding on a new patch of Ragwort and there I found the cinnabar moth caterpillars once again - even more of them!

I captured a great piece of video footage of the small tortoiseshell appearing to deliberately knock of one of the caterpillars off the Ragwort and feed where it was (must get it uploaded one night). I also spotted Ringlet butterflies feeding on ragort on this coastal location too. It's great what you discover when out with a camera  

Re-vamping Rockery advice needed!

Posted: 18/07/2014 at 00:12

Hi Bonnieweething,

Appreciate it can be tricky getting roots out of a rockery situation (have lifted the rocks completely many times over the years. Suggest a fine fork tools could help you get deep. My fav weeding tool is this one 

Don't know about the orange poppies but would stop them flowering and setting seed by pulling flower buds off then would try and lift all their roots too.

Would worry about using weed killers (for future plants you do want to grow) if you were treating the whole area. Perhaps one of the stick/pen type weed-killers would work the best (no experience of use there).

As for your clay soil (not something I have ever gardened in) but I'd say it is completely the opposite side of soil type that you need for rockery (& alpine) plants which thrive on free draining soil. I'd suggest you make up a 50:50 mix of grit and topsoil to replace the soil you have lifted

Potted Acer

Posted: 17/07/2014 at 23:47

HI Fairy54,

Guessing your Acer pot is sited in an open situation catching wind and sun and that is why your leaves look like they are dying. Don't worry, it should hold on to some leaves this year if you move it to a more sheltered and shaded position and next year it will be back as good as new 

orange evergreen plants help

Posted: 02/05/2014 at 23:45

My suggestion -  Geum 'Totally Tangerine' 

Moth and Butterfly plants

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 22:36

Golden hop (humulus lupulus aureus) - for Comma's I believe I read somewhere 

new bird box

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 22:31

Hi again, Daintiness - great to hear you would like to share your camera view with your friends 

I've never set up my nest box live but I know of others who have which may help you with this (see links below). I must stress I have no experience to go on for recommendations. 

To share nestbox'hedgehog footage with my blog visitors, I upload videos to YouTube and embed them in my blog for others to see. I use a programme to edit the footage but you could Windows movie maker to do this for free (see video of doing this

By uploading to YouTube you could choose to share your videos with friends only (I'm sure there is a setting for that). You don't need to make them public. You could then send links to your friends via email/mobile. (don't know if this is still active - its supposed to be free but don't know if it's reliable) (you could email Jason about him streaming a live cam for you. His site suggests he does but the link didn't work when I tried it just now - I don't know if it would cost you) (Kate could probably make a suggestion for you if you were to email her)

Sorry that's all I've got for you just now. If I come across any others in the next few weeks I'll come back here with a link

Best wishes for a successful brood of Blue tits - 11 chicks fledging would be a great result!


Posted: 25/04/2014 at 18:06

Hi again 

Hartleyhare, thanks for your kind comment. Over the weekend I'll look through my many photos to illustrate better what my feeding station looks like and what I did. I like the fact that it is hidden in my garden. I'll put a blog together showing as many images as I can. Delighted to hear you have hogs strong enough to be released but I fully understand your concern 0 I would feel the same.


Vic, delighted that there were links of interest to you. My blog takes up a lot of time, so sometimes bits don't get update as much as I would like. This thread has prompted me to sort the hedgehog tales soon. Sorry to hear about your RSPCA experience - that's not good at all. I've called the SSPCA a few times and they have been brilliant about the hedgehogs. The staff at the end of the phone have been as helpful as the ones who came out to my garden. Ah... some of this videos are old ones so maybe the format doesn't read well on your ipad. I had great fun picking music for the clips 


Posted: 25/04/2014 at 11:28

Hi everyone, delighted to hear you’ve all seen hedgehogs visiting your garden 

Pinkypoo and Victoria Sponge, after watching hogs in my garden over the last 7 yrs I agree with all Hartleyhare has said – some good info there especially on not putting out bread or milk. I agree with others saying they can visit regularly and then not appear for a spell.

I have blogged hedgehog visits with my observations, photos and video over the last few years. If anyone is interested in a lot more hedgehog chat there’s some at Although I can see now I have some major updating to do on links and info here. You’ll see details of my very first basic feeding station using an upturned box at .

My present feeding station is a hard plastic (no longer required) single floor, rabbit/guinea pig hutch integrated into a garden border (seen 5th photo down It has an IR cam and I enjoy watch hogs feed in there at night (some images here  

11 to 20 of 29

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