Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Strictly is back!

Posted: 09/10/2016 at 14:02

Good idea DR - these performances will be warming the cockles of my heart (!) for many a long year.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 09/10/2016 at 13:47

I just loved the whole programme.  Week 3?  It felt like a semi-final with some of the superb performances.


I tried to vote on-line but the site wouldn't let me, so I hope that it was a temporary glitch and won't have made a difference to the outcome - not that I'm implying that my votes would have made the difference, but that, if it was a universal problem, then it could have had an impact.


I thought that the Singin' in the Rain number was fantastic - a true homage to the original film.


I look forward to future Strictly programmes with the young Franks taking centre stage!  What a lovely result for them - and what a future they may have if they so choose. 

History

Posted: 06/10/2016 at 19:55

I think that history is vital on so many levels.  We all learnt at school about the Tudors and Stuarts, the Romans, the Victorians etc - but all from the perspective of the well-documented accounts.  Of far greater value are the accounts of every day lives - the minutiae of daily living and working, of life and death and of various practices of the times.


I have found the programmes on the TV by Ruth Goodman - the Victorian Farm and the like - to be truly fascinating, since it looks at just those "small" events - the food, farming methods, medical knowledge etc in a way that is overlooked in the history books of political history, treaties signed, wars conducted and the like.


How often have we wished that we had quizzed our parents, grandparents and other family members about the way they lived, their own memories etc?  So now we have the opportunity to pass on our memories, sometimes by village project or sometimes by personal family trees, and we are also enriched by the knowledge that is there at the touch of a few keys on the computer.


Even in the field of relatively recent gardening is history writ large.  The chemicals that were taken for granted (for every pest there was a spray!) are - well, history.  And we have learned the better ways of gardening with nature rather than against it, rather than trying to tame it to our wants and needs.


Todays fads will fade.  New imperatives will come to the fore.  We may well be indulging in Mediterranean styles of gardening by the end of the century.  Or not.  But the process of learning and developing are part and parcel of history.

Geranium cuttings

Posted: 23/09/2016 at 17:42

Interesting variations on over-wintering geraniums.  Many moons ago, my mother always overwintered hers by lifting the plants, wrapping them in newspaper and storing them in our cellar for the winter.  They were kept totally in the dark without any water.  Each spring, they were resurrected, pruned and re-planted, and produced lovely, healthy plants.


I have never done it this way - not least because I don't have a cellar under the house.  But I guess the constant cool temperature played a part in keeping the plants. I'm not sure that I'd be brave enough to try this, though.

Are these Sloes?

Posted: 21/09/2016 at 16:26

Oooh HC I like the sound of that.  But, given the dearth of sloes in my neck of the woods (and no truck to lob a branch or two into anyway) d'you reckon it would work with damsons?  I can get lots at the local pannier market.

Are these Sloes?

Posted: 21/09/2016 at 16:07

The "frosting before picking" idea has been dismissed in recent years by some authorities.  I always used to bank on it - and then found that, when I went back, all the fruit had been picked by others! 


Current thinking seems to be:  if the fruits are ripe, pick them and use them.  I've just made this year's batch (of damson gin:  I can't find any sloes locally since we moved here last November ).


Rather than go for the tedious business of pricking them with a darning needle, you can freeze them.  The skins may split on defrosting or you can just give them a bit of a bash with a rolling pin (fruits inside a poly bag!) and go from there.


Good luck.

Wildflower ID?

Posted: 17/09/2016 at 21:06

This is very hardy - apparently it grew in nooks and crannies in bomb sites after WW2 and earned the name "fireweed" as a result.


I think it is spectacular along the roadside when in full bloom - a real splash of colour.  But it is prolific, so I wouldn't want it in a garden setting!

Mixing cremation ashes with soil

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 19:28

As an aside:  when father-in-law was cremated we had his ashes returned in a large plastic urn.  (We scattered his ashes on his much-loved Quantocks btw).  Within a short space of time, our beloved cat was cremated;  her ashes were returned in a beautiful, carved, wooden casket.  I wonder about our (society's) priorities! 

Mixing cremation ashes with soil

Posted: 10/09/2016 at 17:41

There are two ways I can think of to help you:  first, you could sprinkle just a few of the ashes to mix with compost and plant a rose (I have done that, and the rose, "For Your Eyes Only" is lovely and has flourished) and keep the balance of the ashes for another pot/another garden.  Or second idea is that you could decant the ashes from the (probably) large urn in which they were given to you into a smaller, jar (something like a small ginger jar, for example) and bury the pot under the roots of your chosen plant.  Should the plant need to be re-potted in the future, the ashes could be retrieved and planted again.


Hope this helps. 

Let's make gardening easier

Posted: 09/09/2016 at 15:44

I felt like I had wandered into the Two Ronnies sketch -answered the previous question in the space allowed eg "which tools are most useful small tools or large tools."  No answer - but next question I expanded with "depends on the job in hand. "

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

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14 threads returned