Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

No good asking nicely...

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 19:22

 Can you see the netfloats

No good asking nicely...

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 19:07

Tetley - I think that you either didn't have enough of the floats, or hadn't clipped them together securely since, once in place, they can't be caught by the wind, they can't skid off in the way you describe, and perhaps you hadn't had enough to cover the whole of the pond.  A few round the edges will be worse than useless - the whole of the pond covered will mean that the netfloats are secure and the heron are deterred.  Well, that's what happened for us.  And our pond was pretty large, and our fish (not Koi but 12"+) were pretty well protected.

No good asking nicely...

Posted: 14/01/2016 at 15:53

When I had a large garden pond, the only deterrent that really, really worked was the use of Netfloats (you can find them on Google).  From a distance they are all but invisible.  Close up you are more aware of them, but gradually plants grow through them and minimise any visible intrusion.

They consist of a series of interlinking plastic grids which prevent the heron from getting at the fish.  If they (the heron) try to step into the pond, the grid prevents them.  If they try to stab at the fish, the grid prevents that, too.

After a while, the birds learn that there are easier ways of getting lunch, an b*gger off. Well - until the fledglings/young adults come a-calling.  And I don't suggest that it's a cheap option if you have a large pond.  But I can honestly say that it worked! 

In the summer, when the heron had stopped breeding and food was more plentiful elsewhere, we had virtually no problem from their visits - and that despite being geographically located mid-way between two heronries.

Something to mull over

Posted: 10/01/2016 at 22:51

When I first started work in 1968 with a large insurance company, there were two pay scales: one for men and one for women.  I, at the age of 18 was paid less than a young man aged 16 who had fewer academic qualifications than I had.  It was the norm.

Women were second class citizens within living memory - and it is right that we should reflect on this.  But it does not excuse or justify tolerance of cultures that have not accepted the progress that has been made.  And the difference in pay-scales is not remotely comparable to the discrimination that brings about the abhorrent actions in Cologne and other parts of Germany on New Year's Eve.  IMHO

Garden footwear

Posted: 06/01/2016 at 16:09

They look fantastic for winter, soggy, cold gardening tasks.  And a very good price while they are on offer, too.  What's not to like?


Garden footwear

Posted: 06/01/2016 at 15:33

Carol - you may be better off thinking about some tough walking boots.  Remember Geoff Hamilton?  He was always in his garden wearing lace-up strong boots, rather like my own walking boots (leather, local shop circa £50).  They are strong, good tread on the soles to prevent slipping, and dry out well.  Mud, once dried, can be brushed off, and a bit of old-fashioned dubbin will keep the leather supple and waterproof.

I have clogs by the back door for popping in and out, but not for serious gardening!


Redcurrants grown as cordons

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 18:57

Many thanks for links and advice - I'll follow that through.  I know about the difference in pruning red/blackcurrants, In the past, I have stood in the fruit garden, book propped up, checking that I'm doing it right!  I'll double check for cordon fruit, but it really does look viable, for redcurrants at least.  (And what would Christmas be without Cumberland sauce with the ham, and preferably with home-made redcurrant jelly, rather than the sickly bought products?) 

I spoke with the neighbour whose fence it is against which I would train the fruit bushes, and she was enthusiastic.  Better to check in advance than have subsequent problems, methinks.

Redcurrants grown as cordons

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 16:55

I first saw this form of cultivation at RHS Rosemoor, and was impressed with the results.  Having moved to a much smaller garden than I previously had, I am keen to have some soft fruit, but with little space, the cordon idea seems the way to go.

Has anyone done it?  Are there any pitfalls?  And could you do it with blackcurrants as well?

Please read. Very large site being cleared. Concerned about wildlife!

Posted: 05/01/2016 at 16:51

Paul it sounds as if you are in Enfield/Hertfordshire, since you refer to Capel Manor.  They are an excellent source of information  and would have good knowledge of the local area - always a help!

It sounds as if you have a massive job on your hands.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained - so how about publicity to recruit volunteers?  Anyone with a spare fork or spade would probably be only to willing to help.

Please read. Very large site being cleared. Concerned about wildlife!

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 23:53

There will be lots of creatures there, and you could do with some professional advice before clearing - some animals are protected.  I know when a small building site was prepared near where I used to live they had to re-locate all the slow-worms first.  Apparently they laid corrugated sheets down, and each morning, there would be slow-worms curled up in the relative warmth.  Easy to catch them - but you have to know where to take them once you've caught them!  First port of call would, I think, be your local council for help and advice?

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