Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Help! What can I do? My crocosmias have been traumatised!

Posted: 30/05/2014 at 19:11

I have always found them to be very robust.  I would sort of comb them through my fingers (if that makes sense) to lift the leaves a bit, and insert twiggy supports in between.  The leaves would then have a chance of being more upright, and the flowers would also have a bit of support. 

Hope that helps!

Any apples yet?

Posted: 28/05/2014 at 19:31

Sorry to say, Gareth, but if you don't have fruit setting now, there will be no "late harvest". 

Ah, well - that's the way it goes!  Glut one year, famine the next.  We gardeners just have to go with the flow.

Any apples yet?

Posted: 28/05/2014 at 18:54

Now you come to mention it - a very poor fruit set on my apple tree, too.  And I expected great things, given the absence of frost etc.  I can only assume that the insect pollinators had been adversely affected at the critical time.

Runner beans

Posted: 28/05/2014 at 14:39

Love that idea Lilyanne - I shall steal it next year!

David:  I'm with you on that one:  frozen runner beans are 'orrible!  French beans aren't too bad though.

What I do with mine is to cut them up quite small: runners, French and also diced courgettes (from the inevitable glut).  They are quickly blanched, open frozen and then bagged as a summer veg mix.  I also add some commercially frozen peas and maybe sweetcorn.  Sometimes a few broad beans, too.

In the middle of winter, it's a treat to have a few mixed veg.  They can also be chucked into a veg. soup.  Or defrosted and drained to be added to cheese and veg quiche or potato,cheese & veg pasties.  No waste!




Runner beans

Posted: 27/05/2014 at 19:06

I plant them two per cane - having sown the beans two to a pot in the GH.  They geminate quickly, I harden them off quickly, and then get them into the garden before they are too large (or intertwined) to handle.  Works for me.  Load of beans in the late summer, and neighbours have been known to disappear as I trot up the road with a "few" in my basket. 

Who pays for Things

Posted: 27/05/2014 at 19:01

SweetPea93:  WUM = Wind Up Merchant - usually best left to their own devices rather than responded to.

Bee in Bonnet or desire to create disharmony?  You be the judge!

Too early for beans?

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 21:38

Here in West Somerset where it is very mild, I planted my hardened off beans (Runners and Climbing French) last week.  Even so, with cold winds, I fleeced them for a couple of nights, and they seem to be doing very well, even though a couple of the leaves show signs of cold!  

Employment Law

Posted: 22/05/2014 at 19:51

ACAS are incredibly helpful in all sorts of queries about employment law.  Check them out at and follow the links.  You can phone them - and speak to a real person who will be very helpful.

Chelsea Flower Show

Posted: 21/05/2014 at 21:47

I have missed AT this year.  Monty has come good, as they say, in GW - he seems to be at ease in his own garden, and it shows.  But he is rather out of his comfort zone, it seems to me, as a presenter. 

It's a few years since I last went to Chelsea - and agree that the crowds are a problem.  You see more of the gardens on TV than you do on site.  But the atmosphere can't be as good in your living room as it is at the show!

I remember buying a few plants at the sell-off, and they were disappointing.  Better, I think, to note what you want, and buy at the nursery or order from a reputable supplier.  After all, the plants at Chelsea have been stressed to perform for a few particular days, and by the time you get them home, they are even more stressed!



Wasps nest

Posted: 18/05/2014 at 22:22

When I had a nest about the size of a grapefruit in my summerhouse, I stood and observed:  wasps are fascinating creatures, and they would fly back, walk around the edge of the nest, disappear inside, and then re-appear to add to the "papery" structure.  Having established that there were about a dozen wasps. I got my vacuum cleaner, and as each one returned to the nest, I vacuumed it up, and waited for the next one.  (You will gather that this was not a speedy exercise!!!)

After a while, when I thought that most, if not all, of the wasps had met their demise, I vacuumed the whole nest, to find two nursery wasps inside, and cells of larvae ready to pupate.  These were easy to dispose of.

Job done.  Each year I keep a close eye on the summer house, and at the first sign of nest building, I destroy it. 

Hope this helps  -  a bit of time and care sorted the potential problem without chemicals or expensive pest-controllers.

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet

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