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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 14:41

You're right, of course, Wintersong.  But climate classification, which itself is based on averages etc. has  us pegged to a temperate climate (as opposed to things like continental and Mediterranean climates) which in turn defines the general climate expectations, growing conditions etc.

But it does seem sometimes (all right - according to the journalists who like to make a crisis out of a drama ) that we have lots of random events! 

Talkback: Lemon verbena

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 14:33

Lemon Verbena makes a good substitute for lemon grass in oriental cooking.  And the leaves can also be used to flavour a blind-baked pastry shell (for lemon meringue pie) by lining the pastry case with leaves before covering with paper and baking beans.  (Remove the leaves before filling the pastry shell!)

Mine is showing a lot of new shoots, and I have two lovely plants, simply bought from a garden centre a couple of years ago.  But lemon balm - is a bit of a thug of a weed that crops up all over the place. 

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 13:36

Yes David K - I remember it only too well.  Having spent the summer commuting to central London on the Tube (and it was beyond horrendous) Denis Howell appeared - and so did the rain.  And guess when I had my holiday?  And then, a bit later, went to the Mediterranean, and guess what happened?  It rained! 

1976 - yup, that was memorable.  (So was 1975 btw - it snowed in June)

At least all this weather (I don't think we have a climate any more, just random acts of weather) gives us Brits something to talk about.

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 23:51

Well, I have been relatively lucky with Westland MP compost - but it is still pretty horrible stuff compared to what one could expect a few years ago.

I understand the arguments about peat being used, but in Ireland they burn peat to produce electricity - and gardeners account for, I believe, something like 4% of peat, so we are hardly the major culprits with this issue.

If I had lost seedlings like some of the posters here, I, too, would be furious.  But I just soooo wish I'd been in B & Q to see the compost on the floor.  Excellent!  It needs more gestures like this to get the point across.  And a "name" to spearhead a campaign would be good, too.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 23:36

Heavy showers all morning in Somerset, but it dried up for most of the afternoon.  But very chilly, and definitely not gardening weather.

Letter to the Telegraph today poses the question: "Is this the wettest drought since records began?"

Community Orchard

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 17:49

Thanks for the suggestion Laura - I'll check it out.  But I think I recall another councillor saying they had already checked and found we wouldn't qualify.  But it's worth my double checking at least.

Community Orchard

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 14:27

In my village, we already have a community orchard and it is very popular - not least because of the autumn apple day and the sale of locally pressed apple juice.

We have a small area next to a new relief road that is being built.  The County Council will fund a mixed planting of shrubs etc but it has been suggested that this would be better for the village as a whole if it were planted with a few more apple trees (one crab apple and four other varieties, all on medium rootstock).  The underplanting would be meadow plants - predominantly wild flowers, with long-season colour interest.  The whole would belong to the whole village, and would attract wildlife, especially bees and other pollinators.

Now, here's the challenge:  the County Council will pay for several hundred shrubs to be planted, and take responsibility for maintenance for three years;  if we want the orchard idea, they are happy to go along with it, will transfer the land to the parish, but won't fund any of it, apart from some topsoil and digging tree planting holes and back-filling with topsoil/compost.

Does anyone know of any funding that we could apply for that would be available for what is a small scheme (though it's a big deal for us)?

Any comments/help gratefully received.

btw we are in Somerset, so are blessed with a benign climate.

Blue Lake Pencil Beans

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 10:08

I have grown Blue Lake many times - and am going to have them again this year.  What I have found, however, is that the seed really doesn't keep well, whether it is saved from last year's plants or leftover seed in the packet.  I don't know why - but, a bit like parsnip seed, it is best to have fresh seed each year.

If you got these at a plant seed swap, they were probably old/surplus seed.  I think I would buy some fresh and start again.  They ought to germinate within a few days, so I think yours are duds, I regret to say.

For the record, I found that they are lovely and prolific French beans which have good taste and freeze well.

Bird feeders causing weeds?

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 23:38

Obelixx - what a brilliant idea.  I would never have thought of that, but will adopt it from now on.  I have loads of random seedlings under the bird feeder, and it is a nuisance.  But I put up with it when, on a day like today, I had 6 siskins, 4 goldfinches on the feeder at one time.  But I haven't seen as many blue or great tits this year

How do i plant Morning Glory

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 23:14

I have found that soaking the seeds overnight aids germination btw.  I have a lot of very healthy young plants in the GH - all free since I saved the seed from last year.  (Hope this helps).

I didn't know about consistent temp of 11 C+ Alina - thanks for that, I'll make sure I hold back on planting them out in a few weeks.

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
Replies: 18    Views: 946
Last Post: 05/04/2014 at 19:53


Paper White bulbs 
Replies: 8    Views: 397
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: 470
Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
Replies: 12    Views: 695
Last Post: 11/05/2012 at 09:30

The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
Replies: 24    Views: 4102
Last Post: 19/07/2013 at 10:43

Community Orchard

Ideas and funding for a small community project 
Replies: 2    Views: 436
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
6 threads returned