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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 28/05/2012 at 13:43

I have had a reply from B & Q where they say that the matter has been referred to their buying team.  Apparently, they have welcomed my comments.  I await their full response. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Blue Lake Pencil Beans

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 20:02

A quick update on my climbing French beans:  very poor germination - 3 out of 24.  I've planted some more, and if they don't germinate either, I'll try planting directly into the soil.  But I'm wondering whether or not I had a poor batch of seeds in the first place, so have bought some more:  Cobra, which I have had in the past without problems.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 14:31

It was lovely this morning, with bright sunshine.  But it has gradually clouded over - thin and wispy at first, and now quite a significant cover.  The temperature has dropped and we may be in for some rain (and a thunderstorm or two, if the weather gurus are to be believed).

I now have no excuse about planting out my plants "because it's too hot", although a generous lunchtime roast (Exmoor lamb, with garlic and rosemary) and a glass of wine is sending me to sleep!  Perhaps tomorrow . . . . . . . . . .     

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 26/05/2012 at 19:56

Clear, lovely sunshine all day, although with a bit of a strong easterly breeze at times.  I still have lots to plant - but decided to enjoy the garden and sat out with a good library book (I know whodunnit but am now reading to find out how quickly the good guys can nab him!) and a refreshing glass or two.


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 20:13

Obelixx - lovely photos, thank you.  I have watched very little of Chelsea this year, having found it to be colourless and dominated by hard structures.  The honourable exception has been the Lauren Perrier Bi-Centenary Garden (at least I think that's what it was).  It had the pleached beach trees (and I normally loathe beech, having had a long and hard battle with a double-planted hedge from the previous owners) but lots of subtle planting. 

I garden for the plants.  The over-emphasis on hard landscaping detracts from the gardens that I suspect most of us hanker after.  I may, of course, be wrong, un-reconstructed and "of a certain age"

Neighbours dogs - my plant pots!

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 20:03

The product Kezza refers to is "Get off my Garden" and I, too, have found it very effective against cats.  (I have two of them, and the gel crystals preserve essential areas of the garden).

Other than that - have you spoken to the dog owners or are they (the dogs not the owners!) straying unsupervised?  If the owners aren't aware, then they may be appalled that their pets are causing such problems.


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 19:57

KO - that is huuuuge!  I can only relate to my own experiences - although these are on a much, much smaller scale.

Firstly, my in-laws had a large hedge of mixed planting, in which were several ceanothus.  They (the in-laws) worked on the principle that "low maintainence" is the same as "no maintainence" so, inevitably, the hedge as a whole and the ceanothus in particular, got out of hand.  I got stuck in with loppers and secateurs, cut back after flowering, gave them a good watering and a good feed, and they came back as good as (well, better than) new.

I did something similar when I moved into my current property.  In fact, it was in an awkward position, so I was quite prepared to lose it.  But a little bit of TLC and it's fine.

Neither of these was anything like the size that you have.  Unless there is a better opinion from someone more qualified, I would suggest that you make haste slowly.  Think about reducing the size by no more than one third for the next couple of years.  Don't try it atm because the heat will put it under stress.  But carefully cut back in the normal pruning mode (ie above a smaller branch or node) and cutting out any crossing branches.  Water copiously and give it a good feed.

I would think this might work, but I am not qualified, so there may be better advice out there.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 10:59

A bit murky again this morning, but very warm and the sun is beginning to break through.  Looks like OH will want a barbecue at the weekend <sigh> What is it about cooking outdoors that makes chaps think they are chefs?

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 19:43

OK Bookertoo - start an on-line petition and we'll sign up to see if it will do any good!  (I suspect that, unless the European Commissars have an input, not a lot will happen .  Cynical?  Moi?)

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 17:40

GC I know that you have already tried to sort this out directly with B & Q but all I am suggesting is that Trading Standards is not necessarily the right path to take.  (I am married to a retired TSO).  I have posed the question directly with B & Q and have still to receive an answer.  The weight of the RHS might bring about a response at least.  At the moment, I am deafened by their (B&Q's) silence.

I have no doubt that there is something radically wrong with a lot of multi purpose compost.  The desire to be peat-free has resulted in some pretty dreadful stuff being out there in the market place.  (And given the very small amount of peat that gardeners use, it is ironic that we seem to shoulder most of the blame, irrespective of the vast depletion of the resource for power generation, for example).

I have spoken with said OH who says that he had cause to look into problems some years ago.  Apparently, there was (is?) an industry standard for compost, and laboratories in Hertfordshire were much involved in being able to test etc etc.  (His memory is not what it was, bless, but I'll try to find out a bit more and let you know if there is anything to add).

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