Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

California lilac

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 18:08

It's always worth trying to prune a plant.  I had a ceanothus that had become far too large for its position.  I cut it virtually to the ground, promising myself that I would dig out the stump later.  I didn't have the heart to dispose of it when it sprouted lots and lots of new growth.  Thereafter, a light prune after flowering each year made a superb, compact plant.


Posted: 23/04/2016 at 18:04

I go out for the day and come back to find pages of chuckles!  Great thread.

Pet hates (among many others) "alright".  Two words, or so my English teacher insisted when I wrote it on my slate - all right.  Mind you, I'd rather read it and be mildly irritated than hear "awrite" and be really annoyed.

Pronunciation:  battries.  Where is the middle "e"?  Comftable.  Where is the middle "or"?  Guaranteed to raise the blood pressure a couple of notches.



Posted: 22/04/2016 at 22:07

Steve - I wish my mother was with us today - she would love your correction - brilliant. 


Posted: 22/04/2016 at 21:33

I'm glad that's been explained by another - though it does bring a smile to my face, especially since my son gave me a mug with that and LOL printed on it.  Somehow it didn't seem too offensive after that!

And the glottal stop!  After my very first day at infants' school (before they were called Primary Schools) I sat at the tea table and, having instantly copied the bad habits of the North London dialect, asked my mother for "a bi' a bread 'n' bu'er".  The Instant put-down was:  "A bit goes in the horse's mouth.  It is a piece of bread and butter.  You may ask again."  I did ask again.  And I didn't make the same mistake again (at home, at least.  the school playground was another matter . . . . )


Posted: 22/04/2016 at 19:51

Runnybeak - I am PMSL!  And that's another "hate" - these wretched abbreviations and text-speak  that you either don't know what they mean or wish you hadn't found out.  But, it must be admitted, they are occasionally apposite.  (See what I did there - use a long word to make it sound a bit more clever that I needed to.  So . . . .  grammatical show-offs can join the queue of annoying people etc.)

Garden plants for households with children and pets

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 22:37

I understand the concern expressed about the possible harm that can come from eating some plants, or the fruits (deadly nightshade for example) or the seeds (laburnum springs to mind since the pods look, to a child, just like peas).

However, planting only edible things in the garden may sound alike a good idea - but all that teaches the child is that all those lovely, ripe red berries - raspberries, strawberries etc are nice to eat.  What it doesn't do is teach them to differentiate between the edible, the unpleasant and the toxic.  After all, when they visit a friend's garden, the parenting and planting may be somewhat different. 

I taught my son only to eat what he knew was OK - ie what he had been taught was safe, and never to eat anything else before checking.  Like others' advice, I reckon this philosophy would serve anyone well


Posted: 20/04/2016 at 20:52

Oh this thread has made me chuckle!  There are so many verbal tics that drive me mad - the overuse of the word "like" is an obvious one.  There's the nonsense of future intention "going forward" (politicians are the worst offenders I think).  Then there's the constant mispronunciation of "dissect" - even on medical programmes.  Diss (double consonant) rhymes with miss.  You bisect (by-sect) an angle and dissect a body. 

For all those of a nervous English "like wot it is spoke and written" disposition, I thoroughly recommend the book "Eats Shoots and Leaves".

Summer Fete

Posted: 18/04/2016 at 18:51

Having done this in the past, I offer the following advice:  the people who attend a summer fete are not there to buy plants intentionally - their purchases are likely to be impulse buys.  A few discerning members of the public may value some lovely hardy perennials, but the majority of those of a buying disposition will want colourful quick-fixes.  I found that ready-planted hanging baskets or small pots went well, as did trays of half-hardy annuals.  Anything else was pretty hard to shift.

Some veg can be popular: tomatoes (named varieties only!) lettuce and quick result plants.  Long-term-investment veg eg brassicas are less likely to find a home.

And by the way - set up a plant crèche - even the impulse buyer doesn't want to carry plants around - so you'll need a shady spot and lots of carrier bags for your customers.

Hope it goes well for you - it can be profitable if you don't get too ambitious.

Have you got yours yet?

Posted: 12/04/2016 at 22:17

Verdun - awww shuks!!!   But I do hope that the discussions here continue.  Nothing personal - I don't agree with the tone of some posts.  That's life!  I am not about to throw a hissy fit if someone disagrees with me - in fact, I welcome the challenge.  The day we are closed in mind to alternatives is the day the six-foot space in the ground with daisies on top awaits us. 

Have you got yours yet?

Posted: 12/04/2016 at 20:29

May I just add that I am enjoying this thread.  Yes, some people get a bit over-excited and sometimes opinions seem to be inflammatory.  But overall, I like to be challenged - I like to read what other people are thinking.  I like to re-assess my own feelings, and if I have to rely on leaflets (don't get me started on that one!) or politicians' opinions (and please don't get me started on that one, either) then I have no real feeling for what other people are thinking.  I know what I hear in the market (and it is rarely edifying to politicians, I can tell you) but that is not a cross-section of opinion.

So please, folks - lets continue to get heated, to discuss and argue about the most important vote in most people's lives.  We need to have our own ideas tested by other opinions.  Talking among like-minded individuals is like listening to your own voice echoing in the Whispering Gallery.

For the record:  I did vote in the last referendum.  I remember it very, very well.  I was out "on the stump" in the local market, encouraging the public to vote "yes".  I was harangued by many (Trades Unions and prominent local Labour Party activists were, I regret to say, the worst - though, to their credit, I didn't get any rotten fruit from the market stalls thrown in my direction LOL).  But I had a conviction, and was prepared to stand up and be counted.

The certainty of youth has left me.  I am open-minded.  I like to consider all opinions, and I think this forum is as good as it gets.


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