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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 14:27



What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 09/05/2012 at 11:21

The sun shone yesterday
I hoped for more today
But it's raining. 


The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 08/05/2012 at 14:22

Lunarz - I, too, try to encourage wildlife into the garden: bug boxes for the winter, nesting boxes (sadly unused this year) for the small birds, ivy retained for insects and small birds (wrens especially like the habitat) and careful selection of plants to provide as much nectar/pollen as possible (single-flowered rather than double-flowered for example). 

The corvids are very useful - they clear the roads of the inevitable roadkill, and in sensible numbers are simply part of the balanced ecology.  Likewise raptors that prey on small mammals -  even the sparrow-hawk which, I am assured by the RSPB, is a good indicator of plentiful small birds.  Inicidentally, I haven't seen one of those for some time - so fewer small birds have had an effect there, too.

I don't get great numbers of starlings, though I know they can be bullies at the bird table.  Just a case of balance really.

btw I have had few rather cross rooks today 'cos they are finding it more difficult to get at the bird feeders.  round 1 to me and the little birds

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 21:18

Well - it doesn't say much for the quality of the compost, does it?  Pic 2 is a nettle, for sure.  I think you must have the record for nurturing one of those!  Pic 1 could be another weed, but the reddish tinge to the leaves could (just could) be Amaranthus (Love Lies Bleeding).  As an experiment, you could keep it in a pot - probably potting it on rather than keeping it in a 3" pot - and see what happens.  I certainly wouldn't plant it out - who knows what you might be introducing to the garden.

As for pic 3 - it looks the most promising, and probably is a chincherinchee, though I've never grown them, so would bow to anyone else's experience.  But it looks like the first leaves from a bulb, so I would be quite hopeful.

Weather Lore - and more

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 21:06

David - here March came in like a lamb - and went out like one, too!  No idea what that means in weather lore (unless it's "and will be followed by lots of rain, wind, hail and thunder yet there still be a drought" )

Lorea:  thank goodness you translated:  suppose it's a bit like "Ne'er cast a clout till May be out" - though this can mean either the month or the flower.

And figrat - I can't see the ash or the oak through the veils of rain.  Wonder what that means?  There is another rhyme which seems to contradict yours:  "If the ash before the oak, We shall have a summer of dust and smoke".   Hmmm. 

Fascinating stuff. 

The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 16:25

Fair point Joe - but my description was quite mild in comparison with what some of the villagers say in somewhat more earthy language!

Those most affected by the rookery have tried to have a measure of control - and have failed because of the loud voices of those unaffected.  It is very easy to have a "nature must take its course" opinion when one's life is not personally compromised - but I am irritated by the rooks;  there are many whose life has been made a misery by the rookery, the noise and the mess.  They dread nesting time each spring. 

I do understand both sides of the argument, but there are many to whom I agree I referred somewhat disparagingly, who fail to see any point other than their own.  That was the point I made.  Clumsily.

Weather Lore - and more

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 15:21

As we are variously suffering random weather events at the moment, I thought it might be interesting to look at country sayings month by month regarding the weather.  In addition, there are other supposed "indicators" of good or bad weather. 

Hope it will be of interest - especially if we have regional variations!

So: to start it off, for May:

"A wet May brings a good load of hay" ie plenty of sunshine in June.  (Good - that means we should have something resembling a summer, then )


"A cold May and a windy,
Makes a fat barn and a findy*"

*findy = good weight

Let's hope we don't have too much hot weather (doesnt seem likely, does it?) because:  "A hot May makes a fat churchyard"

Must be lots of other folklore out there .   .   .  

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 07/05/2012 at 12:15

It poured with rain first thing
Which made the thrushes sing
"Wet. Wet. Wet."
Sun is now shining
Soon be gardening
Never fret!

(best I can do with today's weather!  Weeds grow no matter what.  <sigh>)

Talkback: Rabbits and myxomatosis

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 21:12

It is a dreadful disease, and a shame on the human race for inventing it and introducing it.  I didn't realise that it was much in evidence now - obviously I was wrong.

What I have noticed, though, is that with a return to a healthier population of rabbits in this neck of the woods, there are more buzzards than had been seen for many years.  Clearly, the food chain has been re-established, to some degree, at least.

btw I recall a book by Russell Braddon called "The Year of the Angry Rabbit".  He was an Australian author, who wrote this fictional work based on the problems of rabbits and of myxomatosis.  I don't know if it's still in print or available - but worth reading if you do come across it.  (It effectively highlights the unforeseen consequences of meddling with nature).


Posted: 06/05/2012 at 21:01

I use coloured plastic straws cut into shortish lengths.  Yes - really!

For example, in the GH when growing more than one variety/colour of the same plant, one label +pink straw = Tomato, Gardener's Delight.  All pots with pink straws are therefore effectively labelled at very little cost.  One label +blue straw = Tomato, Marmande.  All pots with blue straws are quickly identified and don't get confused with other tomato plants.

Works with all sorts of plants (white and pink lavatera, for example) where the seedlings are easily confused.

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet


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A new version 
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Fungus on peas

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Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

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

The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
Replies: 45    Views: 9344
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 08:58

Community Orchard

Ideas and funding for a small community project 
Replies: 2    Views: 670
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
8 threads returned