Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Taunton Flower Show

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 20:12

Weather here is predicted to be showery, gradually drying up, so it's in the lap of the gods as to what it's like at the show tomorrow!

It has been raining all afternoon - a steady, gentle rain that doesn't batter the plants down, but actually gets right into the soil, and, boy, do we need it!  (On the minus side, I've already been out there hunting for the slimies and crunchies that have emerged into the damp).

Taunton Flower Show

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 17:04

I agree about Toby Buckland - a nice chap who couldn't/wouldn't stand up to the production team of GW.

The Taunton Flower Show is really rather good.  I've been many times (but can't manage it this year, unfortunately) and found it friendly and informative on all the stands.  It's a bit like a local village flower and produce show on a large scale, with commercial plant and equipment stands, as well as some gardens to see.  They also have demonstrations and a show arena, so it's all rather jolly.

I hope you have a great time Winniecat.  They were saying on Points West TV that it is bigger and better than ever this year, so I hope it lives up to the hype.

Talkback: Moving house

Posted: 01/08/2014 at 16:59

We are still hoping to move - the housing market has been very slow in West Somerset!  In the meantime, I have split plants/taken cuttings and potted them all up.  Any potential purchaser is told that, if it's in  pot, it's moving with me.  No ambiguity, so no problem.  And by taking cuttings etc the main body of the garden will be left in tact - if the purchasers want it.  I dare say they'll wonder why on earth I had plant x next to plant y, and shift things around.  But that's the joy of gardening - putting your own stamp on it.  And I am taking some of my beloved memories with me (one of which started in my mother's garden over 50 years ago!).

spuds just fall apart when boiled

Posted: 31/07/2014 at 20:18

In my experience, some varieties are more prone to this than others.  Charlotte will turn to mush very easily;  the best solution is to steam them (unpeeled). 


Posted: 04/07/2014 at 23:22

bekkie:  I think it's "I have nothing to declare but my genius".  (Must check that one in the dictionary of quotations)


I like:  "Friends are flowers in the garden of life".  Says it all imo

Lost garden tools

Posted: 18/06/2014 at 21:57

I have a bag thing with lots of pockets round the side, which are ideal for slipping in seccies, dibbers etc.  Central part of the bag is fine for hand trowels, forks etc. I keep it with me at all times, and find that I rarely lose bits and pieces. 

But we have two sheds - small one by the house, larger one by the work section (wherein also lurk the compost bins).  The big loppers are always in the other shed.  Ditto the border fork.  Ditto the spades.  Ditto the hoe.  I get more exercise trudging from one end of the garden to the other than I do on my Keep Fit programme!

hardy geraniums

Posted: 18/06/2014 at 21:45

Usually cutting them back will, as previous posters have said, allow a second flush of flowers.  However, I have found that Johnson's Blue does not flower a second time.  Shame - it is a glorious addition to the border.  However, it, like other geraniums, will leaf up again, making decent mounds of lovely soft foliage, even if there are no further flowers.

The established Garden.

Posted: 05/06/2014 at 17:25

We all garden in our own individual style - and there is no "right" or "wrong".  However, the desert that is acres of decking/paving, the bare fences that are the full stop on the horizon - they destroy the joy of the garden imo.

My garden is vastly different from when we first moved here.  The beech hedge (never again!  What a nuisance and what hard work that was) is gone.  The fences have been softened by clematis, honeysuckle and a few self-sown contoneasters.

The rotting apple trees are no more, but the vegetable plot is productive; the rather odd bit of soil that surrounded a magnolia stellata has been extended to an ericaceous bed (an absolute picture of colour with rhodos, azaleas etc), the vast swathe of lawn has been visually broken up with an island bed, and the swimming pool is now a pond, with a waterfall and a lower pond feature - not designed as a wildlife pond as such, but full of frogs, toads, newts, dragonflies, fish and many unidentified water critturs. 

It pleases us - and suits our lifestyle.  And that's what a garden is all about - the space that reflects us, and suits us.

And as for the planting?  Well, a lot of it is full of memories:  mum's ice plant, aunt's Elephants' Ears (no - not hers - bergenia ), a couple of roses given as Silver Wedding presents, hardy geraniums from a dear friend, phlox from a cousin . . .  not Chelsea, but Mine!  And I wouldn't change it for the world!!!

That said, we hope to move to a smaller place (it's taking a while, the housing market being much slower in the West country that in the Home Counties) but my precious plants are divided and potted up to go with me;  a new challenge awaits!

too many plums?

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 23:29

Plum jam, plum chutney, plum pies for the freezer, plum wine (hic) - and lots for friend and neighbours, too.

too many plums?

Posted: 03/06/2014 at 22:55

Plum wood is surprisingly fragile, so a very heavy crop is liable to break the branches.  Yes, thin the crop out (shaking is OK- judicious selection is more time consuming).

Plum seems to go from one extreme to another.  We had a Marjorie Seedling mature tree at one time - on a poor year, we were hard-pushed to pick enough for a pie.  On a good year, we picked over a hundredweight

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

Why didn't I think of it before?

How to shade a greenhouse 
Replies: 31    Views: 1630
Last Post: 22/06/2016 at 01:08

They're edible: who knew?

Replies: 7    Views: 346
Last Post: 25/04/2016 at 10:08

Redcurrants grown as cordons

Has anyone done it? 
Replies: 4    Views: 480
Last Post: 05/01/2016 at 19:12

Pampas Grass

How to dispose of an inherited plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 650
Last Post: 16/11/2015 at 21:07


Replies: 8    Views: 759
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 22:38

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A new version 
Replies: 6    Views: 2975
Last Post: 13/05/2014 at 21:25

Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
Replies: 18    Views: 2101
Last Post: 05/04/2014 at 19:53


Paper White bulbs 
Replies: 8    Views: 926
Last Post: 07/11/2013 at 09:50

Fungus on peas

Peas are late this year - but are becoming covered in mould 
Replies: 8    Views: 933
Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
Replies: 12    Views: 1257
Last Post: 11/05/2012 at 09:30

The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
Replies: 45    Views: 16840
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 08:58

Community Orchard

Ideas and funding for a small community project 
Replies: 2    Views: 991
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
12 threads returned