Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

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!

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).

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

On the Plus side

Some good, some not so good! 
Replies: 2    Views: 297
Last Post: 27/08/2017 at 21:41

Flower Show

Vivary Park, Taunton - the oldest flower show in the country 
Replies: 0    Views: 185
Last Post: 04/08/2017 at 19:43

Too close for comfort

Replies: 4    Views: 475
Last Post: 23/06/2017 at 22:28

If I had a brain I'd be dangerous!

Oh, the silly things that I should have thought about first . . . .  
Replies: 26    Views: 1410
Last Post: 10/04/2017 at 19:39

One of the good guys

Hayloft Plants come up trumps! 
Replies: 3    Views: 406
Last Post: 22/03/2017 at 20:34

Why didn't I think of it before?

How to shade a greenhouse 
Replies: 31    Views: 3039
Last Post: 22/06/2016 at 01:08

They're edible: who knew?

Replies: 16    Views: 1108
Last Post: 07/07/2017 at 19:46

Redcurrants grown as cordons

Has anyone done it? 
Replies: 4    Views: 1161
Last Post: 05/01/2016 at 19:12

Pampas Grass

How to dispose of an inherited plant 
Replies: 6    Views: 1139
Last Post: 16/11/2015 at 21:07


Replies: 8    Views: 1088
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 22:38

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A new version 
Replies: 6    Views: 5568
Last Post: 13/05/2014 at 21:25

Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
Replies: 18    Views: 2718
Last Post: 05/04/2014 at 19:53


Paper White bulbs 
Replies: 8    Views: 1310
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: 1259
Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
Replies: 12    Views: 1720
Last Post: 11/05/2012 at 09:30
1 to 15 of 17 threads