Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet


Posted: 18/10/2015 at 20:19

I always thought that Michaelmas was a quarter day - therefore 25th rather than 29th.  No matter - folklore certainly has it that the devil does unspeakable things to blackberries by the end of September!  Mind you, the weather has been so upside down this year that the berries are still superb, so make of that what you will. 

By the by I also saw that field poppies are currently in full bloom - unusual for the time of year (they are usually over by the end of August).  Some people are hoping they will still be in bloom by Armistice Day - although that is highly unlikely.  But it would be lovely if they were.

Giant Hebe

Posted: 16/10/2015 at 19:26

Father-in-law had a white hebe that made your pic look dwarf in comparison.  Trouble was, he didn't prune it at all, and wouldn't let anyone touch it.  It then became a monster, totally out of control, and overhung the steep path to the top of the garden.  But cuttings taken and regular pruning has kept it in check in my own garden.  So I think the advice about regular pruning is wise.  Here in Somerset I can prune at (almost) any time, since the climate is pretty benign.  Colder areas would need a more circumspect approach!

The last of the Bordeaux mixture

Posted: 13/10/2015 at 19:43

I shall put the disposal date in my diary  and dispose of the mixture as if I were in France!

The last of the Bordeaux mixture

Posted: 12/10/2015 at 19:41

I didn't realise that Bordeaux mixture would soon become "obsolete" for domestic use!  It is classified as "organic" and its alarming blue colour was, so I was led to believe, because the vine-growing region of Bordeaux needed a deterrent from casual grape "scrumping". 

It is extremely good in combating, amongst other things, blight on tomatoes.  I have used it  few times (probably no more than two or three times in a couple of decades) when my tomatoes were struck with the dreaded blight.  I still have some (Bordeaux not blight) in a container, and will retain it for future use if necessary!

Sounds to me a bit like Armillatox, which was promoted for dealing with vine weevils.  Since the company couldn't afford the excessive testing fees, it is now sold as a general-purpose garden disinfectant  But it is still very effective for the dreaded weevils.  (But I have never used it on edibles).


Overview of the summer season- How has your's been?

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 20:01

How odd!  I think you're only a few miles away from me, Philippa (I'm in Porlock) and I have had a rubbish season for parsley - the plants have barely managed a new leaf or two.  The tomatoes were fabulous (and I'm still ripening the last ones indoors).  French and runner beans were embarrassingly prolific, as were the redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries.  Still picking chillies, and sweet peppers were pretty good - except they got nobbled by a burrowing caterpillar! (Not wanting anything to go to waste, I cut our the nibbled bits and used the rest).


Olive Trees

Posted: 08/10/2015 at 19:56

Thank you for reminding me!!!  I have an olive in a large planter in the garden - somewhat hidden in the middle of an island bed (don't ask!)  We are finally on the move, so all my potted plants/cuttings are in a huddle on the patio - and I had forgotten all about the olive.  Tomorrow I shall retrieve it, check the shape and overall health, and give it a light prune in the spring. 

It was bought some years ago as a tiny plant at the Eden Project, and has done remarkably well since then.


Strictly is back!

Posted: 30/09/2015 at 19:34

I just love Strictly - and I take it for what it is:  an entertainment show for the first few weeks, and a dance competition when it all starts to get a bit more serious later on. 

I love the glitz and glamour.  I laugh with (but not at) the "dad dancers" and the lumpen routines.  I love the fact that people are prepared to get out of their comfort zone and "give it a go".

Usually the best dancers get through to the final.  Whether or not I like a celeb is neither here nor there - I love watching the progress that they all make (yes, even the Widdies of this world!) and enjoy the whole process.  January, always a dull month, is all the worse for the absence of Strictly.

Aah, well - I'm just a simple soul, easily pleased, perhaps. 

No flowers on gladioli

Posted: 25/09/2015 at 19:58

I bought a bumper bargain bundle of glads and acidantheras together with some oxalis and liatris from Poundland.  Three for the price of two, so I couldn't resist!

I planted them all in late June/early July.  Results thus far:  one clump of glads doing well (though they are all one colour -deep red) and only a couple of acidantheras are in flower.  Only one liatris is in flower, but the other plants look healthy.  The oxalis are spectacular - well worth the ground space!

It was a gamble, given how late it was in the season, but at least they haven't totally disappointed me.  (I wouldn't normally bother with glads, but these are giving a late and welcome burst of colour).

Strictly is back!

Posted: 07/09/2015 at 20:43

Good to see back here, Frank.  We value your insight when it comes to all things dancing.   (Now, sequins, glitter and razzmatazz is another matter ).

I thoroughly enjoyed it on Saturday night:  I was surprised at how unco-ordinated Carol was!  But I expect her popularity on the TV will carry her far.  Too early to make a judgement - but Peter Andre looks pretty good (at dancing,  I mean - dancing!!!)

Only three weeks to go before the competition proper gets going. 

Strictly is back!

Posted: 05/09/2015 at 16:16

Love Strictly - it's worth the end of summer to know that every Saturday I'll get my fix of sequins and showtime!  And a bit of dancing, no doubt. And "It takes Two" every weekday.

Carol Kirkwood looks good - can't wait to see how well she can dance.  But her bubbly personality will carry her a long way (I hope).

So that's autumn viewing sewn up until December, then.  Can't wait

SV aka Strictly's Biggest Fan

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

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14 threads returned