Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Help with fuchsias please

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 22:08

Berkley - I was trying to remember an article that I read some time ago (I think it was the gardening section of the Saturday Telegraph - Helen Yemm's column).  I didn't post about it because my memory is pretty hazy, but I think it's an insect larva that causes the damage to the shoots of the fuchsia.  I suppose a systemic insecticide might be effective, but the advice I recall was to cut out all affected shoots as soon as possible.  Having done it, I can attest to its success.

I think it is an insect specific to fuchsia, and that it is a recent problem -  but I'm happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.  I'm sure there are better informed posters out there with better memories than mine!

Help with fuchsias please

Posted: 23/08/2014 at 14:43

The same happened to my hardy fuchsia - the one at the front of the house (north-facing) but not the two at the rear (south-facing) which were originally cuttings from the first!

Alina is quite right - cut of all affected shoots and dispose of them (but not on the compost heap) and you will probably find that it will recover in due course.  Mine (at the front of the house) was pretty badly affected at the start of the season, but with prompt and drastic action, is now flowering profusely.

Hope that helps.

OK, who's got it?

Posted: 22/08/2014 at 22:31

I guess I'm lucky enough not to have had stuff go walkabout (hope I'm not tempting fate!)

But the funniest incident in the village was a few years ago..  Some of the "lads" came out of the pub in ummm a bit of a happy state!  Next morning, everyone in the high street found that their hanging baskets had all been swapped around!  No damage - just a bit of a laugh, really.   


Tomato truss broken

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 20:17

Now - come on Fishy!  The very least we expect is an update! So - in due course we expect answers:

Did the toms ripen?  Did you use the banana method   ?  Have you made chutney?   We will need to know . . . .

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 20/08/2014 at 17:05

Herewith Green Tomato Chutney:

3 lb green tomatoes

12 oz onions

6 oz raisins

12 oz cooking apples

2 tbsp. salt

12 oz white sugar

1 1/2 pts spiced vinegar

Wash toms and chop.  Peel onions, chop finely and place in saucepan with enough cold water to cover   Bring to boil, and cook until tender.  Drain well.  Peel core and chop apples finely.

Place prepared fruit & veg in a cooking pan with salt, sugar and vinegar.  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly.  cook, stirring occasionally until thickened.  Pour into hot clean jars and seal.

Alternatively: use part green and part red tomatoes (which I do) and follow this recipe:

6 lb mixture (at least half and half) red and green tomatoes

8 oz onions

1 pt spiced white malt vinegar

2 tsps. paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. salt

12 oz white sugar

Chop toms & onions finely.  Place in pan and cook until thick & pulpy.  Add half the vinegar, paprika, cayenne and salt.  Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until thickened.  Dissolve the sugar in the remaining vinegar, add to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Pour into hot clean jars and seal.


 Note:  I have adapted this to include finely chopped marrow.courgettes.  As long as you keep the basic (sort of ) weight of veg to other ingredients, it should work well  -  it's quite adaptable!

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 22:07

Fishy - yes Porlock has the steepest "A" road in the country, I believe, with a wicked hairpin bend as well!  Even the toll road - slightly less steep - is a bit of a challenge.  But the moors are wonderful, and at the moment are clad in deep purple heather.  The sweeping views across the moor and over the Bristol Channel are amazing.

I think I have a good recipe for green tomato chutney somewhere - I'll try to find it for you.  And Philippa, thanks - I look forward to a chilli sauce recipe tomorrow. 

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:54

Philippa - Porlock, West Somerset.  No frost predicted (Porlock Vale has its own micro-climate anyway) but temps down to about 3 or 4.  Just a bit too cool to risk it, I think.  The fleece will  help to keep the coolness at bay, I hope.

My GH chillies are doing very well - do you have a good recipe for chilli sauce that I can use?  I was going to freeze them, but a good sauce sounds just the job.

What is this strange plant growing on a gorse?!

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:50

I don't think I've ever heard of this before!  Quite spooky, and the clip from the bbc is fascinating.  And the first little flower that starts to open just looks as if it is a demonic smiley face!  (or that's just me being fanciful).

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 19:42

Fishy - we've all been there!  "Just" straightening/tidying something or another, and then finding we've presented ourselves with another problem!  Quite often, it can be overcome, so best of luck!

btw I grow my outdoor toms in troughs supported with canes that are connected with cross-pieces (if that makes sense).  I gives them strength, and they are pretty robust.  Mind you, with the air turning a lot, lot colder, even though the benign Somerset ought to be OK, I've taken the precaution of throwing a bit of fleece over them for tonight!  I'm picking pounds of the fruits, and would hate to see all my hard work undone by a bit of unseasonal weather!

Tomato truss broken

Posted: 19/08/2014 at 16:33

How frustrating!  Yes they will ripen.  Hang them in the kitchen, say, with plenty of air circulation and they'll ripen ok.  (This is what I do at the end of the season when the last ones are cut from the vine before the cold weather.)

Alternatively, put them with a ripe banana, and they will ripen more quickly. 

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