Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 22:14

Patricia - that's a lot of money to spend on trying to keep your garden cat-free.  I think the Olbas oil is similar to the muscle stuff - but dearer.  It may be that the teabag solution would work for you.  I believe that the odour lingers and deters cats long after our own sense of smell detects it.  So it could be that it would be of some help for you.  Here's hoping!  (Well, we're all hoping for a proper summer this year, and you'll be hoping to be able to get out there and enjoy it!)

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 22/04/2013 at 12:25

Tim Burr:    (As I typed it, I just realised how clever your board name is!)

Criss:  No probs.  Thanks for sorting it.

btw a way to deter the critturs is to soak used, dried teabags with muscle spray - the deep heat sort of thing.  Buried just below the surface, they (the cats) are repelled by the smell, which lasts a couple of weeks, and doesn't get washed away by rain etc.

The actual poo will break down eventually, but because cats are meat-eaters, the stuff is more toxic and less beneficial than, say, horse manure.

Cat Poo in the compost !

Posted: 21/04/2013 at 23:21

Hello!  I don't post often - but have been around since the demise of the old Beeb board.  It seems that there are now two of us (Shrinking Violets, that is).  A bit confusing?

Vistors had a party yesterday

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:20

I have a pair of Blackcaps who are regular visitors.  I was quite excited by their appearance - until I observed just how aggressive they can be, to the detriment of other little birds!  I suppose it's all part of "nature's rich tapestry" - but my human self rather wishes that they would all get along and live in harmony

Talkback: Frogs and toads in the garden

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:14

Frog has started croaking in the pond - no sign of him until yesterday.  I am in the "warm" southwest, but it has evidently been too cold even here for froggy to do his thing until now!  Hopeful for lots of spawn in the near future.

Blanket weed!

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 17:07

Blanket weed is the very devil to get rid of!  You can never eradicate it, in my experience, but the best thing is to try to keep on top of it.

First - use a stick to twirl it around (like trying to get candyfloss on a stick!) and dispose of the weed.  Then ensure that the pond is as clear of it as possible - and for this, yes, barleystraw bales are pretty good.  Also use watercress!  If you can get hold of proper watercress bundles (remember the bunches sold on market stalls?) chuck them in, and leave for a couple of weeks.  Dunno why or how it works - but it does!  Keeps the dreaded blanketweed at bay, and can easily be removed.  But even this is not a cure-all you still need to be vigilant, and the stick twirling may still be necessary.

Wild Garlic

Posted: 14/04/2013 at 16:55

If the flowers are yellow, then it's not the same.  However  . . . .

The trendy thing is to use "wild garlic" in some recipes.  A bit like the numerous Michelin stars awarded to the Danish restaurant (I think called "Noma").  Just be aware, that "on-trend" is not the same as viable.  Wild garlic is a weed in the domestic environment, best treated with glyphosate.  Trying to dig it out will result in the bulbils spreading like wildfire. 

Oh, and the much-famed Danish restaurant has had many problems of "tummy upsets" recently - so perhaps (!) foraging for wild stuff, especially if you don't know what you're doing, is not such a good idea!

Vistors had a party yesterday

Posted: 10/04/2013 at 23:01

The redpoll has returned with Mrs Redpoll, and the other little birds are still eating at such a rate that I have to keep filling up the feeders each day.  But they are a delight to watch - I just wish sthe marauding jackdaws and rooks would stay away!

I dug over the veg patch today and was chased by three robins who wanted me to work faster to unearth more worms etc!!!  I thought they were very terratorial, and wouldn't tolerate others in "their"patch, but it seems I was wrong.  It was lovely to be out in the fresh air, though, and the sound of all the birdsong was a real sign of spring at last. 

Vistors had a party yesterday

Posted: 24/03/2013 at 12:50

The birds are eating me out of house and home in this cold weather.  We have had no snow, but the wind is bitter.  As I type there are about 7 goldfinches, 2 siskins, 2 chaffinches with bluetits, great tits and coal tits rushing back and forth to stoke up, and couple of blackbirds and thrushes on the ground.  Last week we had a Redpoll visit the garden - and I see in today's paper that it is thought they will become as common as goldfinches, since they, too, love the nyger seed.

Oh - they've all flown off.  Could have something to do with a prowling cat!   

Dead? Take it back!

Posted: 21/03/2013 at 19:09

I tried it with a local nursery.  I bought over £100-worth of rhododendrons and azaleas 10 years ago.  Most flourished - one did not.  I went back (about 12 months after the purchase - but with photos of the established rhodo/azalea bed that I had created) and the manager blamed me.  Said I didn't know how to look after the plants.

I walked out in high dudgeon, and haven't been back since.  My tale has been oft repeated locally, so they did themselves no favours.

Just to prove the point, I dug up the failed plant, and in the same planting hole I put a rescue plant (another rohododendron) from a local garden centre.  It has thrived, and has caught up with all the others that had been planted.  I'm looking forward to its blooming again this spring (if we ever have one, that is!).  The buds on it are looking promising at least.

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