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Shrinking Violet

Latest posts by Shrinking Violet

Save our bees

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 20:36

If anyone missed Countryfile this evening, there was a whole section given to the problems facing bee populations etc.  (You can probably catch it on iPlayer).

What I found surprising was the fact that the seeds of Oil Seed Rape were coated with systemic insecticide, which mean that pollinators were taking up the toxin when they did the job they were supposed to do ie pollinate the flowers to set seed.

What a crazy system!  Will follow the link and add my name to the petition btw.

Help Identifying self seeded plant

Posted: 06/05/2012 at 19:29

Clematis - the wild Old Man's Beard sort that you see in the hedgerows, I think.  (I have it in my front garden, and it's a bit of a thug tbh).

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 11:52

Crumbs!  That is a lot of compost - your garden must be huge - or perhaps you have an allotment?  But it has given me a thought:  too late perhaps for this year, but maybe the local Allotment Society might take a large delivery - I can but ask!

The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 05/05/2012 at 11:49

Hi Shazza - as it happens, I am a Parish Councillor, and I did raise this as an issue.  Corvids (rooks & crows etc) are partly protected, unless a case can be made to restrain their numbers,  But when a resident tried to do this, there was a huge outcry from all the bunny-huggers, and nothing came of it.

Personally, I think the numbers are getting out of control.  I wouldn't eliminate them, but I would favour culling them to reduce them;  it would seem that voices like mine are drowned out by others.

So - I am off to the local shops to look at the cage protection systems, which may have some effect - hopefully before the little birds are intimidated away for ever.

OH has also resurrected a heron scarer (makes a barking sound when a large object crosses its path) so maybe we'll crack this one!

Thanks for your input.

The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 20:58

I had thought of these feeder-guards more for squirrel deterrence - but had overlooked the idea that they could also deter the *!^"*: rooks!  Off to GC tomorrow to rook-proof my bird feeders.

Many thanks for advice.

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 20:43

Sue Beesley aka Trillium I think?  So you post with serious provenance, having won Gardener of the Year (green with envy!)

I take your comments seriously, but have to report that locally (one GC six miles away and a couple of nurseries within an hour's drive - just) I have to go with what's available.  But I think I'll have a word with the owner who knows just how much patronage she gets from me!  (OH has no idea of my annual spend ) and see if things can't be improved for next year.

The wrong kind of birds

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 19:32

There is a large rookery at this end of the village.  The noise of them nesting I can (just about) cope with, but they raid the bird feeders.  They cannot perch on the seed feeders, but they try, flap wildly and do their best to break them.  Or at least to tip seed onto the ground.

I daren't put anything out for the ground feeding birds, since a swarm of rooks/crows (a veritable "murder" of the wretched things) will swoop down and take everything.

They deter the smaller birds, and with the yearly growth of the ever-increasing rookery, the numbers of smaller songbirds have diminished.

Any advice?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 14:52

Such a perfect name that I managed somehow to quote you twice, wintersong.  Sorry.  (technology, eh???)

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 14:51
Wintersong wrote (see)

Beeb weatherman just said it was same weather conditions as Christmas day

Feels like it, woolly socks for me today since my feet were freezing in me wellies. Very grey day, threatening to rain, ground soaking wet in Kent.

Wintersong wrote (see)

Beeb weatherman just said it was same weather conditions as Christmas day

Feels like it, woolly socks for me today since my feet were freezing in me wellies. Very grey day, threatening to rain, ground soaking wet in Kent.

Then I think your name is perfect for the conditions!

Cold, grey and damp here.  Possible frost for parts of Somerset at the weekend - though our microclimate should mean we miss it (fingerscrossedsmiley).

B&Q M.Purpose Compost Issues.

Posted: 04/05/2012 at 14:48
Marie Robson wrote (see)

I agree with all the posts and this is a very serious issue. I've tried various local "peat free" composts from a variety of nurseries and garden centres and none of them have performed well. I experienced nearly all of the above problems; seedlings not growing, roots rotting, nasty green slime etc. forming after 2-3 days of sowing seeds/potting up, one batch of compost dried to the consistency of a concrete brick after just 2 days! And it had been well watered!!!

If you're growing fruit and vegetables this is also a health issue - although by the sounds of it no one has had much luck getting their plants to the stage where they can actually harvest the crops.

I reckon this needs to be investigated much further, and it'll take more than tipped out compost on the floors of the DIY sheds, although that's a good start!

Here's an article from the States, and I have this feeling that something similar is going on over here with our compost:

Hello Gardener's World, anybody listening to our cries for help here?

One very frustrated gardener.

I've just read your link, and I think it's interesting, although it covers the problems associated with clopyramid (sp) which has been a problem over here, but more associated with horse manure than with compost per se. I think the problem that horses were eating grass that had been treated, and, since it (the chemical) was not broken down by the horses' digestion, it remained active for some 12 months+.  The problems with compost are more to do with the reduction of peat content and the inclusion of poorly-composted rubbish which is causing so many problems.

Discussions started by Shrinking Violet


Replies: 8    Views: 335
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 22:38

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A new version 
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Lawn disaster

Neighbour's "lawn" infested with wild garlic! 
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Last Post: 05/04/2014 at 19:53


Paper White bulbs 
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Last Post: 07/11/2013 at 09:50

Fungus on peas

Peas are late this year - but are becoming covered in mould 
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Last Post: 27/08/2012 at 23:05

Weather Lore - and more

Seasonal sayings and country weather predictions 
Replies: 12    Views: 812
Last Post: 11/05/2012 at 09:30

The wrong kind of birds

Our bird feeder attracts lots of birds but . . . . .  
Replies: 45    Views: 7838
Last Post: 03/06/2014 at 08:58

Community Orchard

Ideas and funding for a small community project 
Replies: 2    Views: 546
Last Post: 17/04/2012 at 17:49
8 threads returned