Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Penstemon cuttings

Posted: 06/08/2017 at 15:13

I have just been taking penstemmon cuttings today, and have put them in small pots and covered them with a dome, such as I have done successfully in the past.  But I like the idea of just popping them in water to take root, so I am going to try that as well (with labels )

Flower Show

Posted: 04/08/2017 at 19:43

I spent a pleasant few hours at the Taunton Flower show today, and it is a lovely atmosphere with lots of lovely plants, too.  Funnily enough, I just felt duty-bound to add to my garden with a couple of plants that I'm sure I need.

Next year may be the last time that this event is held in the council-run park.  Apparently (and I know local councils are strapped for cash) the cost will rise exponentially, and the organisers won't be able to continue.

This may not be on the same level as Chelsea, but it is a pretty important date in the Somerset horticultural calendar.  I can only hope that someone, somewhere finds a solution!

Toby Buckland was there on a panel answering gardening questions today - what fun and how informative he is.

Tomato plant deformity 2016

Posted: 04/08/2017 at 19:36

I shall add my name to the Watchdog list, although I have not been affected by the terrible problems that others have suffered.  My problem was a couple of years ago with dreadful compost, and they did, at least, have the grace to acknowledge the issue, and I had a voucher as compensation.  But I didn't lose a whole year's worth of plants, which has been the unfortunate experience of others.

A united voice is more likely to be heard than individuals being fobbed off one by one! (Let's call it a class action!  )

Tomato plant deformity 2016

Posted: 03/08/2017 at 20:12

Back in June I suggested that gardening magazines might wish to take up the cause.  It would seem not and maybe the advertising revenue has something to do with that.

But the Watchdog programme (on hold for the summer hols) is just the sort of programme that would be prepared to take up the cause.  They are taking problems for future episodes, according to last nights episode, so I think it would be a good idea if some of the posters most affected contacted the programme makers to see if sufficient "noise" might bring about a change.

growing for wedding 2017

Posted: 27/07/2017 at 19:51

pmc - do let us know how you get on.  It sounds as if you have the space - but can't control the climate.  For what it's worth, I think blooms in pots rather than cut flowers would be best.  If you have to rely on buying them, there will be bunches of daffodils available - and these can be a good alternative.

btw I researched some from Suttons Seeds, and noted that they make a donation to Marie Curie for all the relevant bulbs sold, which is an added bonus imo.

Good luck!

growing for wedding 2017

Posted: 27/07/2017 at 16:42

I've just been looking at spring bulbs, and found one that may be more predictable:  a Cornish daffodil called Martinette - yellow, multi-headed, fragrant, February flowers. 

Hope this helps

growing for wedding 2017

Posted: 27/07/2017 at 16:33

There are many early-flowering daffodils available, and bulbs can be ordered well in advance.  There is one called Bridal Crown (multi-headed, white with lovely fragrance, larger than Cheerfulness) which seems appropriate. 

Exact flowering times are difficult to control, given the vagaries of the British weather, even here is the relatively mild South West.  But grown in pots, and nurtured at the appropriate time (extra warmth to bring them on, for example) would probably work.  But there may be a lot of work to get them all in flower at the right time. 

I'm not sure about tulips - most early classifications are for March flowers, but it may be that they can be forced to bloom earlier. 

Try searching on-line for Early Flowering daffodils and tulips, and see the varieties available.  Most bulbs will be available, I think, from September, so now is the time to plan.

Too close for comfort

Posted: 23/06/2017 at 20:11

The house martin nest was attacked by a sparrow hawk a few weeks ago - unsuccessfully, I'm pleased to say.

Today, I looked into the kitchen from the end of the garden, and there was a large bird, frantically trying to escape.  I went inside, expecting a pigeon/collar dove.  It was a sparrow hawk, that had obviously swooped for the house martins again or one of the birds on the feeder, and flown into the kitchen through the open door.

Now, they are very handsome birds indeed - but the wicked talons and sharp beak do not warrant too much human interference, so OH was called for (well, shouted for tbh) and between us we managed to open the kitchen window and encourage the bird to escape.  Job done.  Not.

OH returned upstairs, this time to call for my assistance.  A juvenile goldfinch was trapped in the office.  We can only assume that it flew through the kitchen door and escaped the sparrow hawk by flying upstairs.  At least it didn't have razor-sharp talons, and gradually, despite its distress, we managed to get it to fly out through and open window.

Now that's nature up close and personal. 

And after it was all over, OH suggested that it was remiss of me not to have grabbed the camera to take a photo!

sticky problem with house plant

Posted: 14/06/2017 at 22:54

The plant looks very much like a Schleffera.  I have one and it, too, became infested with scale insects.  I have just about got this under control using two methods:  firstly, when I noticed the infestation a few months ago, I drenched the pot with a Provado solution.  This is more often used to try to control vine weevils, but the pack says it is also effective for scale insects.

There was some success, although it didn't eradicate them, so my second way of getting rid of them has been to wipe every single leaf with surgical spirit (and washing it off + dead scales a day or so later). 

So far so good.  But I shall have to be vigilant.  Past experience has shown that these pests are persistent.

Peter Seabrook

Posted: 12/06/2017 at 22:34

He was a lovely presenter.  I have a knitting pattern from a magazine circa 1980 that was "Peter Seabrook's favourite sweater" (or words to that effect).  It's a timeless design that I have used on many occasions, but it makes me chuckle to look at the photo and description after all this time. 

Come to think of it - I think it was Family circle magazine, which was full of tips and remedies from cookery, knitting and gardening back in the day.  A bit old-fashioned today.  Peter Seabrook was as close as it got to a "celebrity".

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

On the Plus side

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Flower Show

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Too close for comfort

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1 to 15 of 17 threads