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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Lemon Verbena

Posted: 27/05/2013 at 22:13

Mine survives each winter in the herb garden - but then I'm in the South West and we have particular micro-climate here in Porlock Vale.  That means I can keep things outdoors that would otherwise perish  (I have an indoor plant - succulent, known as the Money Plant - Crassula Ovata - that ought not to be kept outdoors, for example.  A random pot got left outside - and is doing rather well against all odds).

Lemon Verbena is not that hardy, and the suggestion for its being planted in a pot is a very good idea.  I suspect that in Cheshire it will need a bit more protection than I need for my plants!

New arrival

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 23:22

My agapanthus leaves are sort of fleshier and more rounded at the tips.  This, however, does rather look like Hemerocallis - Day Lily.  Is that a possibility?

Compost heaps and rats

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 23:18

"They" say that you are never further away from a rat than about 5 feet (or some such frightening statistic!)

We had rats in our compost.  We have 3 Daleks, and we realised the problem when I found bits of kitchen waste - potato peelings etc, - that had moved mysteriously from one bin to another.  We used bait to get rid of them, and when we took the Dalek off, the cone of compost had a virtual helter-skelter run round the outside from top to bottom.

We turned the compost and rebuilt the heap - but this time on chicken wire, which makes it impossible for the pesky critturs to gnaw through.  So far, so good . . . .

How late is this 'spring'?

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 19:10

Here in West Somerset it's a good 4 to 6 weeks behind!  My magnolia stellata was 6 weeks late in blooming, My lupins are now in bud, but photos from this time last year show them in full and glorious bloom.  Tulips were late, Germination of most seed was slow because of low light levels etc.

I expect things to even themselves out, though.  Interestingly, given the sleet and snow in some places, I recall 1975 when, in London, it snowed in June.  We then had a hot summer, a dry winter, and the very hot, very dry summer in '76.  I wonder if this is a bit of a pattern???


do you do a "Chelsea chop ? if so what plants !

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 17:20

Thanks for the reminder!  I'm so far behind this year, I'd forgotten about chopping the sedums.  Will do it tomorrow (fingers crossed)

Where we are. the Big Map.

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 23:23

I put myself on yesterday - west of Minehead in Somerset.  Today I seem to have moved to Wales!  Trying to work out how to edit it - and it's doing my head in!  Maybe tomorrow . . .

Where do you grow your Allium's?

Posted: 14/05/2013 at 17:14

May I ask a related question?  I have A. Christophii in my island bed.  It started out with just three, and over the years they have promiscuously seeded and last year I had 17 lovely blooms.  They are, however, a bit crowded (understatement!) and I want to take some with me when I move house.  What's the best time, do you think, for lifting and potting them up after they have flowered?  There are lots of buds pushing up at the moment, so I'm looking forward to another good display!

Vine Weevil

Posted: 30/04/2013 at 11:50

How nice to read the above two posts - veritable peace breaking out!  sometimes it does seem as if people want their view to supersede all others, and it can make a board a pretty uncomfortable place.  I thought hard before I posted, but I think overall there's a good balance of opinion.

Incidentally, (and also with prescient timing) we have visitors staying with us from Canada.  Where we grow vast acreages of oilseed rape, they grow canola.  The seed is treated in the same way ie with neonicotinoid before planting, and there is, apparently, no problem with large numbers of bees dying off.

As I said upthread - let's hope that the experts can really find an answer - soon!

Mini Greenhouse - door open or closed?

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 22:26

I use two mini plastic GHs as cold frames, and very useful they are, too.  I open the door during the day (unless we have a sudden burst of cold wind again) and close at night.  After about a couple of weeks, I'll leave the door open at night as well, and by then the plants should be OK to be planted in their final position.

Oh - and a quick hint that I have found helps:  when you roll and then tie the door open there is a bit of a strain on the plastic and the joints, and the door sort of sags around the tie.  I roll a short piece of garden can in the middle of the roll, and it keeps it firmer.  No sagging!

Vine Weevil

Posted: 29/04/2013 at 22:20

With perfect timing, I looked at a large tub of heucheras and primulas yesterday, and, deciding that they really didn't seem to be thriving, decided to dig them up and repot them individually.  The reason they weren't thriving was painfully obvious - hundreds of pesky VW grubs had chomped through the roots!  I salvalged a few bits that had what may prove to be viable roots still attached, and drenched the new pots with Provado.  I then turned the soil over in the tub and spread the grubs out on a tray, much to the delight of Mrs Blackbird, who clearly has a hungry brood to feed.  The residual tub of compost, doubtless still infected with some grubs etc.  was also given the drench.

As I type this, there is an item on the news about the decline in bees, and the possibility of the link with certain pesticides.  Now, when I took the action that I did yesterday, I hadn't realised that neonicitonoids and Provado were effectively one and the same.  I shall think long and hard before considering its use again should I see the need. 

For once I do find myself in agreement with the European proposal for a suspension of the use of these products while further research is carried out.  But experts don't seem to be able to agree, so I hope they really do crack on with the research and find the answer.


Discussions started by Shrinking Violet


Replies: 8    Views: 375
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 22:38

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A new version 
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Last Post: 13/05/2014 at 21:25

Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
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Last Post: 05/04/2014 at 19:53


Paper White bulbs 
Replies: 8    Views: 541
Last Post: 07/11/2013 at 09:50

Fungus on peas

Peas are late this year - but are becoming covered in mould 
Replies: 8    Views: 616
Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
Replies: 12    Views: 846
Last Post: 11/05/2012 at 09:30

The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
Replies: 45    Views: 8387
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 08:58

Community Orchard

Ideas and funding for a small community project 
Replies: 2    Views: 603
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
8 threads returned