Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What peas are the best

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:20

Hurst Greenshaft are reliable, I have found.  I tie the odd one here and there to the pea netting, and the others cling with their tendrils and shoot upwards. 

I didn't have any infestation problems this year, but past experience has been that it is the later pickings that are susceptible, and regular harvesting seems to minimise the problem.

tree disease Laburnum

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:13

I wondered if it could be honey fungus?  Have you checked the soil for tell-tale "bootlace" fungus, or under the bark for evidence?  I've never seen it other than in books, so I could be way off the mark, (but maybe this helps to eliminate it if nothing else).

Good idea to check fruit cages regularly for birds

Posted: 13/08/2014 at 16:11

Yes - I gave up with a fruit cage for that very reason - though I might reconsider green netting if future (good tip).

Surprisingly, the redcurrants (which were loaded this year) were ignored by the birds and I had a full crop (jelly made, lots of berries in the freezer for future use).  But the blackcurrants were attacked regularly, and I had less than a couple of pounds from two bushes!  Obviously the birds have discerning tastes.  Come to think of it, they predominantly left the raspberries alone as well.  Perhaps it is a matter of colour of the fruit .

Help !!!

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 20:01

I bought some seeds from Poundland (well, at that price, it's worth having a go!) and the packet says "Balsam Camellia".  Rather an odd name, and nothing I can find in my RHS books.

But, just like your pictures, Rebecca, it's quite a spectacular plant, and is doing very well.  The packet says it will flower from June to October - so it will be nice if there is still some colour on it in the early autumn.  I shall certainly grow it again.

Something burrowing in my greenhouse

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 14:59

Depends on how close one is to parts of the NW David - I was told that there are still, after all these years, parts of Cumbria where the sheep are affected by the Chernobyl fall-out!  Don't know if it's true - it could (knowing the person who imparted that to me) just be a big wind-up.  But . . .

Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 12/08/2014 at 14:53

Oh all right, Dove, if you insist!  I'll make some icecream at the weekend and give it a go.  Depending on resultsh I'll passh on the outcome!!!

Also like the idea of cherries in kirsch.  Never tried that before, but there's always a first time.

Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 11/08/2014 at 22:20

Which reminds me that I have the damsons (that had been steeped in the gin last year) in the freezer.  I read somewhere that they were good with icecream.  Full of good intentions, I meant to try it, but forgot!  Anyone else done that?  Or shall I defrost them, and be a guinea pig (all in the sense of pure altruism, of course )


Posted: 09/08/2014 at 23:39

I also think it's a case of fasciation.  I had a foxglove the other year that was quite spectacular in its flattened form.  I hoped it was something rather special, and had visions of a new strain of Digitalis Violetus being all the rage.  No such luck!

Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 22:50


Alcofrolic fruits for Christmas

Posted: 09/08/2014 at 22:49

Sorry - should have said 8oz sugar!


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