Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Swallows, swifts and martins - have you seen them yet?

Posted: 30/04/2016 at 19:12

House martins have arrived today and are busy refurbishing the nests under the eaves.  From one of the bedroom windows we can watch their comings and goings from a matter of inches - wonderful!  I am so excited. 

We are in Mid-Devon - Tiverton.


Posted: 26/04/2016 at 20:47

"Can I get . . . . ?" as a question asked of a shop assistant.  So tempting to be given the reply "I don't know, can you?"

But whatever happened to "Please may I have . . . ?"  I asked a shop assistant (yes, they do still exist in proper shops) in this way and she almost fell off her seat with surprise, and held up the queue to thank me for my politeness.  To me, it is normal - but it seems lazy speech and lack of good manners are becoming more "normal" by the day.

They're edible: who knew?

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 22:25

Took a trip to the NT Knighthayes Court today (just outside Tiverton in Devon).  The kitchen garden is wonderful - well laid out and well labelled.  There is a section of ground given over to tubers and, as you would expect, potatoes of varying cultivars are labelled, row by row.  But there are two rows of dahlias, which, it is said, are edible.  I never knew that!  You learn something new every day!

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".

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

Flower Show

Vivary Park, Taunton - the oldest flower show in the country 
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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

Hayloft Plants come up trumps! 
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Why didn't I think of it before?

How to shade a greenhouse 
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They're edible: who knew?

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Redcurrants grown as cordons

Has anyone done it? 
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Pampas Grass

How to dispose of an inherited plant 
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All Things Bright and Beautiful

A new version 
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Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
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Paper White bulbs 
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Fungus on peas

Peas are late this year - but are becoming covered in mould 
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Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
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The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
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1 to 15 of 16 threads