Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Grow Wild - Campaign to get UK people to grow more native wild flowers

Posted: 29/04/2014 at 22:48

May I offer a word or two of caution?  There was an interesting article on just this subject in the Weekend section of the Daily Telegraph last Saturday, written by Germaine Greer.

She is extremely knowledgeable and points out that many of the wild flower seeds require diverse habitats.  Throwing a mixed pack of seeds in one place is likely to cause disappointment, since cornflowers, corn cockles and corn marigolds, for example, require different conditions from hedge bedstraw or red campion.  The clue is in the name - and she urges caution, suggesting it would be more beneficial, perhaps, to persuade local authorities to be less cavalier with the clearance of roadside verges etc. if we really do want to encourage wild flowers.

I love to see them - but her article certainly got me thinking.

Sorry - I don't know how to do a link to the actual article, but hopefully it is still available on-line.





Lawn disaster

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 12:03

Thanks Welshonion - tempting though it is to offer no advice - it's a bit difficult when I'm asked and pushed for an answer and/or an opinion.  Whether or not the advice is followed is another matter

Incidentally, after the wet, long winter, there are patches of my own lawn looking a bit sorry for themselves.  But I shall try the pre-germination of seed before I re-seed where necessary.  And may follow Verdun's advice, too, regarding the temporary covering with fleece.

Lawn disaster

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 19:47

Hi Verdun - many thanks for your suggestions.  It is roughly what I would have recommended, so I will try to see if I can make some headway with neighbour.

A friend of mine suggested pre-germinating grass seed in damp, not wet, compost to deter birds etc,  I'll see if this also helps.

Lawn disaster

Posted: 19/03/2014 at 17:29

All ideas gratefully received!  My neighbour's front garden has a sumach tree and a conifer of some description, and a couple of years ago she "cleared" all the surrounding soil and had turf laid.

I said at the time that these two trees (together with a few random shrubs) would suck moisture out of the soil, and that unless the additional problem of rampant wild garlic was properly controlled ie killed with glysophate, there would be future problems.

I hate to say that I'm right - but I am! 

Around the conifer is a wide circle of dead ex-grass.

The sumach has sucked the life out of the soil.

The wild garlic is rampant.

So NOW I am asked for advice - and my temptation is to say "start again from scratch".  However, it is a rented property, and she is loath to embark on an expensive  solution that would involve a lot of hard work.

Is there an easy answer?  I don't think so.  The garden is south-facing, but is at the front of the property and partly shaded by a front wall. 

If I was going to lay a lawn, this is not where I would do it.  But . . .

Planting help needed

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 21:36

Hi Mike Allen - yes, it does seem perverse, doesn't it?  A barrel, properly treated etc. is designed to hold liquid - but once it's planted with compost etc. it is prone to rot!  But if treated with respect, it can last for many years - and is one of the best looking planters you can have imo. 

Planting help needed

Posted: 24/01/2014 at 20:27

Having had just such a barrel in the past (inherited with the house) I would suggest a tough polythene liner, suitably perforated at the bottom for drainage and then a base layer of crocks/pebbles etc.  Otherwise you'll find the wood will rot, and that lovely container will deteriorate before your eyes!  Also, standing it on raised "feet" will help to prevent the base from rotting with the winter rains etc.

Gardening programmes

Posted: 08/11/2013 at 19:34

Not just Geoff Hamilton (who was a superb broadcaster and inspirational gardener) - I was inspired by the Geoffrey Smith series ("Mr Smith's Vegetable Garden" and "Mr Smiths's Fruit Garden" - if I remember the titles correctly!)  These were shown originally on Sundays - roundabout 1pm, I think.  But the down-to-earth presentation was faultless.  And worth repeating imo.

(Mind you, my memory may be failing - these series were first broadcast in the late 70s or early 80s, so that rather gives my age away )


silly quotes

Posted: 06/11/2013 at 20:29

One man's meat is another man's poison (I think - dunno about castles)

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride (alwiays liked that one)

We had to learn proverbs and similes at primary school - and were tested on them each week!  This thread sure brings back some memories!!!


Posted: 06/11/2013 at 20:12

I was expecting a real perfume punch, Dove, but it was disappointing.  Mind you, it could be my age   The Nicotiana that I grew from seed and planted out this year in the garden were slow to grow, and low on perfume, too.  Perhaps I'm losing my sense of smell!  (Oh, well, it could be worse I suppose!!!)


Posted: 06/11/2013 at 20:05

Just a quick update:  the bulbs have been very healthy and have grown well.  The two more active ones are now in flower.  One bulb is in bud, and the other two are behaving as I would have expected ie leaf growth showing good signs of developing flowers for Christmas or thereabouts.

I have to say that the actual flowers are much smaller than I had anticipated and the perfume not as strong as I expected.  But at least I tried!

(hyacinths next year, methinks)

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1 to 15 of 17 threads