Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Strictly is back!

Posted: 15/09/2017 at 18:57

I've never heard of him, either.  But didn't Peter West do it for a while?  And, of course, in latter years, the memorable Terry Wogan.

Strictly is back!

Posted: 12/09/2017 at 19:13

The Frank & Peggy Spencer formation team was a sight to behold!  My cousin was a member, so, when we watched the (old format) Strictly Come Dancing, we always felt duty-bound to support the South East, represented by their formations!

 It was generally good fun, although I hated the dresses in the ballroom dances - ". . . and here is Betty, who sewed on the 1,000 sequins herself, on the million yards of net"  Ugh - they were huge and ungainly.  At least the modern costumes, still glittery, of course, are less voluminous!

I know that I shall be frustrated by all the hype, the silly lighting, the unrecognisable music and swooping camera shots.  I know that there will be the contestants with two left feet, who face either the "fun" public vote or early doors - but it is still something to be enjoyed through the dark days of autumn!

And I have no idea who a lot of the celebrities are.  At the end of the day, it probably doesn't matter.  Last year's "Singin' in the Rain" number was my personal favourite.  I hope there is another stand-out performance this year, too.

On the Plus side

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 21:41

I've done that twice already this year Lyn.  The chives have come back each time, but I guess because of the damp grey weather we have endured for what passes as a summer, the problem recurs.  Oh, well - like all gardeners, I look ahead and assume that next year will be better!

On the Plus side

Posted: 27/08/2017 at 19:29

On the plus side - my climbing French Beans have exceeded expectations.  I am giving lots away, freezing lots and eating copious amounts.  On the minus side - the bees are getting in through the back door of the runner bean flowers, and thus not pollinating them.  But just as I thought that wouldn't be a problem - the sparrows (plus side again - several broods raised and well fed on our bird seed etc) have decided to eat the flowers!

And then there is the rust on the chives.  And the blight on all the outdoor tomatoes.  And the caterpillars (presumably) that are chomping on the foliage of the chillies and sweet peppers - and when they get bored with that diet, drill small holes into the peppers themselves!  And other critturs chomping on the leaves of the perlargoniums.  And the grey mould on the hardy geraniums.  And .  .  .  .   why the heck do I do it?  why do I try to garden against all the odds?  

I don't spray stuff as a general rule.  I don't worry about lacy leaves.  I know that butterflies and moths mean caterpillars.  But why me?  I feel as if I have been singled out by Mother Nature to deal with all sorts of trials and tribulations.  Hopefully, though, it isn't just me!  

Last edited: 27 August 2017 19:30:22

Overhanging clematis

Posted: 13/08/2017 at 20:33

Perhaps being charitable they didn't realise the full implications of their "pruning".  So a chat over a cup of tea would be a way to show them your frustrations and get them to realise that a bit of neighbourliness goes a long way.

It may not work, of course, but it's worth a try.  Otherwise you may end up inwardly seething and looking for problems, however minor in the future, that simply end up blighting your life.

Neighbours can be a blessing - or a curse!  Try not to let them become the latter if at all possible.

Easy planting for a new grave

Posted: 12/08/2017 at 16:34

Perhaps one of the smaller hebes - Heartbreaker or Magicolour is pretty all year round.  I have found them easy shrubs and I do like the variegated leaves.  Have a look at the many varieties and see if there is one that would be happy where it is to be planted (you don't say which part of the country, and the far north would be a more difficult region than in the southwest, for example.)

Bulbs for the spring - rockery daffs (like tete a tete) are pretty sturdy and they can be left in place and will increase over the years, too.

It is sad to have lost your mum - but how lovely that you and your dad can find a way of keeping her memory alive.  Personally, I much prefer growing plants than cut flowers on a grave (and plastic ones are even worse!).

Plum ID

Posted: 11/08/2017 at 14:43

That looks a bit like ripe Marjorie Seedling plums.  I used to have a very, very large tree when I lived in Hertfordshire.  (when I say large - we picked 1cwt in an afternoon - and that was just the plums we could reach).

If so, you are very lucky.  Fully ripe they are a super dessert plum.  Slightly firm they are wonderful for cooking in plum pies and crumbles.  Any others make nice jams and chutneys.  They make a rather thin wine, which is a difficult one, actually, because the skins can make the wine difficult to clear. 

They also freeze well.  I used to halve and stone them, layer them in polyboxes with a sprinkling of sugar over each layer. 

PS our neighbours helped us out with the largesse that we picked, thank goodness, or the freezer would have been full of nothing but plums t

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 19:42

Just because received wisdom says to do this or that, doesn't mean you have to follow blindly!  But often the advice is based on experience (not mine, but many others much more gifted than I am).

However, sometimes, breaking the "rules" brings results.  GW on Friday had Monty Don showing how he divided astrantias and potted them up - against all received wisdom - and had some lovely plants to put in place. 

Likewise, I had to move a cistsus purpurea, and the timing was wrong for cuttings;  I took lots to hedge my bets, as it were, and some were successful.

So - moral of the tale?  Always worth giving it a go.  But bear in mind that it may not work as planned.

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 17:18

Lyn. I don't think you can propagate phlox like that - it is easily done by division.  Wait until the autumn and then split the clumps of phlox that you want to multiply, and then replant where you wish.  Tried and trusted method, which works every time in my experience.  In any event, the act of splitting a clump of phlox (and many other perennials) re-invigorates them, especially when you can discard the old centre part of the plant and replant the newer, more vigorous bits from the outside (if you see what I mean!)

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:36

Like anyone else, I love a voyage of discovery, B3.  Trouble is, it can sometimes result in a mix of colour that just doesn't work (shocking pink and orange anyone?  Thought not!)  But I do identify with the day lily problem.  Trouble is, they only last a day (!) and I forget to nip out and label/colour code them, swearing I'll remember the burgundy one, the pink one, the cream one, the . . . . . . . well, you get the picture.  But they are a reliable and beautiful addition to a garden, much like the penstemmons that flower all summer long.

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

On the Plus side

Some good, some not so good! 
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Flower Show

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Too close for comfort

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If I had a brain I'd be dangerous!

Oh, the silly things that I should have thought about first . . . .  
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One of the good guys

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Weather Lore - and more

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1 to 15 of 17 threads