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Shrinking Violet


Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Unknown plant/shrub

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 19:44

Verbascum bombyciferum?  Vebascums are known as the Velvet Plant, because the leaves are so often soft and - well, velvety.  There are lots of different cultivars, but the spire of the flowers seems to fit in with the description from the chap who sold the plant to you.  Time will tell when it flowers, I suppose.

Oh - and if it is verbascum, they are susceptible to the Mullein Moth - caterpillars will chomp through the flowers at a rate of knots.  Not for the squeamish - but the easiest way of dealing with them is to be vigilent and pick them off.

Talkback: Vine weevil

Posted: 27/02/2013 at 22:17

I think leaf-cutter bees tend to chew the edges of leaves in a semi-circular way.  Vine weevils tend to have smaller, more squared sorts of notches on the edges.

In any event, spraying the leaves will have no impact on the dreaded VWs - the adults (active in warmer months) come out at night.  The damage to the leaves is unsightly, but has little impact on the overall health of the plant.  But - the grubs do the real damage, chomping at the roots of the plants.  They can be undetected until the plant collapses.  For that reason, the best advice is to apply a soil drench.

And if you've found the grubs in old compost, then I'm afraid as if you do have the problem again.  But - spread the compost out on a hard surface and let the birds clean it for you.  They relish the grubs - robins especially!

 

 

Pot bound house plant

Posted: 13/02/2013 at 14:00

It's many years since I did anything so drastic with my African Violet - and had forgotten about their temperament!  Good advice Alina.  I have found the leaves in a glass of water to produce roots more reliable for propogation btw.

Pot bound house plant

Posted: 12/02/2013 at 21:54

I have always found that spring is a perfect time to sort out houseplants.  Just as they need a bit more watering and feeding in spring, it is the time to re-pot as necessary. 

With three plants now a bit overcrowded in their pot, I would leave it for just a few more weeks, and then make sure that the compost is nice and damp.  Remove the complete rootball from the pot and gently tease out the roots.  (A bit of patience may be required here if they have grown into each other!).

Re-pot into separate pots, and place where each one will be happiest.  (South facing windows are generally too hot in summer, but reasonable levels of light and warmth will usually be OK).

My African violet does exceptionally well on a north-facing windowsill.  The other plants, I'm less sure of any specific requirements.

Unknown Beastie in the garden !!!

Posted: 10/02/2013 at 21:40

I agree with others - looks like the entrance to a rats' den.  I had just such a thing at the end of the garden near the "dalek" compost bins.  They had burrowed from the garden into the compost bin, creating a spiral run to the top where I added kitchen waste! 

I put down bait and dug the compost over.  Haven't seen Roland since - but no doubt he and his like are around . . . . . . somewhere!    

Safe species for a tall hedge in high density housing estate?

Posted: 26/01/2013 at 17:05

Having had a beech hedge which took years to get rid of you will gather I'm not a fan!  They shed their leaves all in one go in the spring, grow at a rate of knots (I once planted a delphinium "in front" of the hedge - by the time it bloomed, it was inside it!)and they suck the moisture from the soil.  They are the devil to keep under control, and the trimmings take some getting rid of! 

What about considering a trellis fence with climbers?  Clematis Montana grows very fast - but is very tolerant of hard pruning after flowering, in my experience.  It's beautiful in flower. 

btw in Somerset we, too , have found it less cold, thank goodness.  But there's still a lot of snow on the moor! Rain predicted for tomorrow - but I have daffodils in bloom already and crocus in bud.  Spring is on the way, I hope.

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 18:05

Geoff - you know only too well that your expertise is respected on this board.  I think that Leorna read more into your post than was intended. 

For personal reasons I have been in the background on this board for a while.  I hope that it doesn't end up resembling the worst of the old Beeb nonsense!

So - come on guys - we don't need to take offense where none was intended.  I tried to offer advice based on personal experience.  That's be beauty of these boards - we offer advice that we have found works for us, even if it's not exactly textbook!

 

Pax!  Peace!  Shalom?????

Oh, and Happy New Year!

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 17:44

Leorna - it depends on the variety (sorry not to have a simple answer!)  Rule of thumb that I use  is about two and a half times the size of the bulb for the depth of planting.  So - for the large daffs, that would probably be a lot deeper than the tulips.  But rockery daffs are smaller - so far less depth (if you see what I mean).

I think I would separate the daffs and tulips for now and see how things work.  Lift and store the bulbs for next year, and plant them a bit earlier, arranging the depth of planting according to the cultivar.  But - if you have unplanted bulbs now, it's a case of "nothing ventured, nothing gained".  In other words - doing nothing means the bulbs will wither and be no use next year.  Planting them now gives you at least a half-decent chance of getting some sort of a result!

 

 

Bad lawn

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 16:45

Do you have a local lawn maintenance company?  I was totally against going down this route - until a couple of years ago.  I found that the moss and weed were just such hard work that I would see if the local chaps could do anything.  Well - the lawn is now a lawn (as oppossed to a hopeful patch of grass) and the cost is cheaper than the cumulative costs of seed/weed/feed etc.  And a darned sight easier, physically, so for me it was a no brainer.  Maybe it would work for you?  (I know it wouldn't be right for everyone - but sometimes, it does pay to invest in a bit of expertise!)

Too late to plant Tulip/Daff bulbs?

Posted: 06/01/2013 at 16:40

Lead Farmer - let us all know how things turn out!  It's always interesting to learn from others' experiences.

For the record, my "saved" bulbs and corms have been planted into tubs in December.  There's a lot of healthy growth, and I am ever hopeful! 

I love the new shoots - they really are so promising.  Locally (in Minehead, Somerset) there are early-flowering daffs already in full bloom.  Now that's enough to brighten any dreary January day!!!

 

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8 threads returned