Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Buying a new shed...nightmare

Posted: 25/02/2016 at 14:12

I have recent experiences with Argos (sofabed) and Homebase (shed) and both show the poor service that we are meant to accept!

Argos: sofabed ordered and paid for October.  Delivered beginning of December - broken.  Date for replacement given - they failed to deliver.  New date set for end of January,  subsequently changed to mid February.  They failed to turn up (again).  The contract has been cancelled.  Letters sent to CEO (recorded delivery) elicited no response.  We await collection of defective item and refund + compensation.

Homebase: Shed: ordered beginning of January.  Delivered with a broken side panel. 

Three deliveries attempted to replace the broken panel - except they sent the wrong one each time.  Finally they delivered the right one.  And then tried to deliver another one the following day!

Persistence is required to get things satisfactorily sorted out (and believe me, I'm being very persistent with Argos).  But what an indictment of our "Customer Service".

If all else fails, the Small Claims Court beckons.  Trading Standards can exert pressure, but they deal with the criminal law rather than consumer law per se.

Verbena bonariensis

Posted: 21/02/2016 at 16:05


This is my Verbena Bonariensis last year, used as a loose screen to mask an unlovely fence. 

We have moved since then - but the seedlings that I potted up have survived, and I shall look forward to the flowers later this year.


New fence

Posted: 24/01/2016 at 21:16

Boundaries can cause such problems it seems.  A couple of fence panels blew down in the wind between neighbour and us.  We've only been here since November, but she is a widow, so we propped the panels up, and asked her to get new panels in place and we would meet her half way on the cost (which we have done).  It's her fence - but why should we stand on legalities when there is someone who doesn't need the financial hassle?

I like to think I'm a good neighbour - and I would do all that I could to help someone out.  But it seems there are lots of people for whom the word "neighbourliness" never entered their dictionary.  Their loss.  The world is a better place if you can get along with others.  And when you can't - well that suggestion of wire to mark the boundary and a fence that is truly your own seems the only logical way to go. 

Hope it all works out for you.

Begonia tubers

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 20:08

I wonder if you have planted them upside-down Rosie?  It seems counter-intuitive, but the depression in the tuber is actually the top of it, and the rounded side is the base.  They also don't like being planted too deeply, so worth trying again.  The tubers can be dried off and used each year, but they are a bit on the tender side, so planting them out in April may not help,  I would suggest planting them in the early spring either indoors or under glass in a greenhouse (which I have done successfully) and then, as they come into growth harden them off before placing them outside.

I haven't grown them for a few years tbh so maybe someone else has different experiences/ideas. 

3 new garden progs this week.......

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 17:50

Oh - is she the Sultry One with sidelong glances at the camera?  Coo - I didn't know there were famous people on this board!  I feel touched by greatness (and a desire to eat whatever yumminess is being cooked up  ).

3 new garden progs this week.......

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 17:42

Verdun - are you sure you don't mean cookery progs?  As soon as you blink, there's another one or three in the schedules.  How to Cook.  Do You Want to Cook.  Can you Cook?  Can you-look-sultry-at-the-camera and Cook?  Is there Life After Cooking? etc etc etc etc etc etc etc  

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 14:36

Verdun - I've done that successfully in the past.  Trouble is, these pots are (because of the move) multi-planted with spring bulbs.  So I've taken the obviously damaged bits away for destruction, picked out the grubs I could see and drenched the rest - but put the affected pots in quarantine until I can deal with them! 

Thank goodness I did plant some daffs, crocus and tulips in pots - this garden is a desert so far as spring bulbs are concerned!  (But all the more of a blank canvas for me to do with as I please).

Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 14:07

Hooray!  A "window" in the weather meant I could get outside and clear a few bits and pieces and measure out exactly where my new shed and greenhouse will go.  (It's a new-to-me garden, so lots of changes to be made).

And now I've done it!  I've only gone and ordered my greenhouse!  It's small-ish (5 x 6) which I a good thing, or I'd be tempted to do too much (we've down-sized both house and garden - and now down-sized the GH too).  I can't wait to get started.

All the plants that I brought in pots from my previous garden (cuttings, divisions etc) are doing fine - except for two heucheras.  And guess what has got them?  Only the wretched vine weevil!  Other pots seem ok - drenched with Provado as a precaution.

Roll on Spring!


Posted: 19/01/2016 at 19:16

This year they have "named" storms.  Next year (I have it on good authority ) every low that crosses the Atlantic will be named according to strength of predicted intensity eg Abigail1, Abigail 2.  Brian 1. Brian 2.  Brian 3.  Christobel 1.  Christobel 2 - well, you get the picture.  Gawd help us when they get to Zaccharia 10!  (Time to build an ark).

No good asking nicely...

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 20:31

Thankyou Pansy.  It was lovely but getting too large for me to cope with.  We have moved, downsized the house and the garden.  Looking at my old photos brings mixed feelings - it was lovely, and I put my heart and soul into it.  But - being realistic, as age creeps up on me, I know it would become a burden rather than a pleasure.

I was a guardian of that space for 17 years.  I just hope that the new owners love it as much as I did, and develop it (or keep it!)

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