Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Downton vs Eastenders

Posted: 25/12/2015 at 23:55

Crumbs!  I feel as if I should touch me forelock and curtsey (or something like that).  Actually, I have enjoyed Downton, and loved the prog tonight.  I have been given the box set as a present, and the accompanying book.  I don't feel patronised or downtrodden (see the near-play-on-words there? ).  The drama, the costumes etc have all been pretty good, even if a bit sanitised.  But it is entertainment pure and simple.  If I want to think a bit more about the class system and its implications, then I suspect that one J. Corbyn Esq will give me a masterclass. 

Each to their own.  One man's meat is another man's poison - and I have loved the escapism of Downton.

Can't stand that song/Singer

Posted: 03/12/2015 at 21:43

Petula Clark: Downtown sets my nerves on edge.  Likewise anything by Ella Fitzgerald (or jazz in general, come to think of it).  And don't get me started on all versions (and there are far too many imo) of Hello Dolly. 





Posted: 29/11/2015 at 20:10

Joe - many thanks for that info.  I hadn't given it a thought, never having had to deal with Pampas previously.  I will make certain that if there is a hedgehog in there he/she will be promptly re-housed - already thinking of the possible sites for chezHedge! (And in any event I shall investigate before they arrive on site to do the deed!)


Posted: 25/11/2015 at 15:52

Thanks Edd.  Since a garden is only "borrowed" for a time, it is now the new occupants of my garden who are benefiting from the demise of the beech hedge!  It was a large garden, that took quite a bit of maintenance, and, with an eye to future years, we decided to downsize,

So - my new garden is much smaller.  It brings its own problems, of course - not least the huuuuge pampas grass against a fence (gardening chap coming next week to get rid of it), a couple of conifers - one of which looks suspiciously like leylandii  and some odd stumps of long-gone trees.  Same gardening chap will attend to these, too, so then I shall take stock and make a new garden (sans beech). 

Oh and I have brought cuttings, potted split plants and the like from my "old" garden, so I won't feel too bereft.


Posted: 24/11/2015 at 20:03

When I moved to Somerset I inherited a beech hedge, planted in a staggered double row.  It took years to get rid of it.  The dense planting encouraged aphid infestation, as well as fungal problems, since there was a lack of air circulation.

It grows fast, and if you like that sort of thing it will certainly reward you with a stock-proof hedge.  But it will suck the ground dry for about 3ft, either side and will cause many problems when you try to plant "in front" of it - by the time you expect your plants to be in full bloom with a hedge backdrop, you may very well find your choice specimens growing inside the new, rapid beech growth.

The retained copper leaves are not to everyone's taste throughout the winter, and the shedding of leaves in the spring, together with the sticky coverings for the new leaves can cause problems.

If you are aware of the implications of the planting and look forward to it - enjoy!  I found it a sore trial, to be honest.

Pampas Grass

Posted: 16/11/2015 at 19:34

Thank you for your wise advice - I think it's the muscle-bound heavyweight that will do the job!

Re the bags of manure etc Verdun - we are on the edge of Tiverton, next to a farm.  I reckon a few kind words in the right direction will help us enormously! 


I have a friend who will be bring over all my potted/split/saved plants from my own garden on Wednesday (lovely neighbour has been looking after them for a couple of weeks).  I have asked for (and received) about £200 worth of garden vouchers for new plants.  I am as excited as a kid at Christmas about the myriad possibilities - once the dreaded pampas/conifers are consigned to history,

Watch this space









Pampas Grass

Posted: 16/11/2015 at 17:01

We have finally moved (after about three years!)

The garden is very small - which will be fine in years to come, as my large, Somerset garden was becoming too much for my fast-ageing bones.

We have here  a large pampas grass.  It is next to the fence.  It is far too large for a small garden (and I don't like it anyway).  But how on earth do I get rid of it?  Is there an easy way?  I am currently inclined to find a local gardening heavyweight who can do the deed for me.  And at the same time dig out a couple of long-past-their-best conifers of unknown provenance.

All advice gratefully received!  Thanks in advance . . .



Posted: 20/10/2015 at 19:21

Well. I'll go to the foot of our stairs!  I was convinced (in what passes for my mind) that all quarter days were on the 25th:  March, June, September and December!

Humble pie now being consumed - 29th it is!  Of September!  And I won't forget that in a hurry.

Mind you, I doubt that the  gives a fig about the exact date LOL 


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!

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