Latest posts by steephill

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The Unusual Fruit Garden

Posted: 03/01/2018 at 11:48

Two more for you to try -  Gaultheria shallon and Gaultheria mucronata. Both can be invasive weeds so keep contained rather than let loose in the garden.

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 30/12/2017 at 18:49

Obe-wan is quietly pleased in the traditional British manner, thanks for the kind comments. 

We used to joke about the old Japanese soldier hiding in the shed at the bottom of the garden, refusing to surrender. When we bought the place the surveyor said we should keep out as it was in imminent danger of collapse. Took 20 years before it did so.

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 30/12/2017 at 12:03

She now has a new nickname - OBE-wan (to be said in a Glaswegian accent) .

Hello Forkers in December

Posted: 30/12/2017 at 11:37

Mix of excitement and shock here - my BH has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE!). She kept it secret until the list was published last night when we were in the pub. She got an urgent letter from the Cabinet Office about a month ago and she made up a story about it being a request for last minute details for someone she had nominated before retiring this year. That was plausible as civil servants are regularly pressured to come up with nominations of the great and good they deal with on a daily basis. I joked that the Cabinet Office were recalling her from retirement to work on Brexit!

Apple trees as xmas present advice please

Posted: 21/12/2017 at 16:52

Clydeside is a cooking apple which used to be common in the Clyde Valley orchards. Flowers during the first half of May, harvest late Sept early Oct. Looks like it is being planted in a growing number of Scottish heritage orchards. Brogdale may have more info on pollination etc. so try a search there.

Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 26/11/2017 at 16:05

Knole Park is a great spot for deer watching. Not so sure that the deer are always enthusiastic about this though.

How the browse line comes to be.

Very tame deer, will perform for food.

Think I'll stick to hand feeding though.

They can get a bit fierce during the rut.

Hello Forkers . November 2017

Posted: 26/11/2017 at 15:28

I love a dip in the Atlantic, especially when it looks like this (John Smith's Bay, Bermuda).

OK, I will admit it was a little bit warmer than paddling at Ayr beach or Loch Lomond when I was a wee wean .

Growing mushrooms on logs

Posted: 21/11/2017 at 23:03

I would wait till next Spring based on info from They say that oyster can take up to a year to fruit and shitake up to 2 years. Keeping the logs damp seems to be important so maybe your occasional watering needs to be more frequent. Seems like the only logs to avoid are yew and other conifers/softwoods because of resins and potential toxicity. Time from cutting logs to inoculation with spawn also seems to matter, 3 to 6 weeks after cutting is recommended. 

choice of apple trees (East Kent)

Posted: 14/11/2017 at 11:40

Talk to a fruit specialist rather than a general supplier. Ashridge Trees or Deacons nursery (Isle of Wight so might have similar soil conditions) for example. They will be able to supply a range of rootstocks, tree forms and ages which might save you a year or two before fruiting. You might also get better prices e.g. Deacons have sale on at the moment which would beat the price you have now.

Cat scarer extrordinaire

Posted: 06/11/2017 at 11:23

Presumably the highly qualified OP has checked with Ofcom that his device is legal.   Irresponsible idiot!

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