Latest posts by steephill

What unusual fruit and veg do you grow?

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 12:37

More of a weed than a deliberate planting choice but Gaultheria shallon produces small black blueberry-like fruit which makes an incredible jelly. I have never tasted anything quite so sweet. Apparently it was used by Native Americans as an appetite suppressant. I also have Gaultheria mucronata growing wild which produces edible pink berries. I haven't tried making jelly from them yet but will do this year just for the novelty. The birds seem to leave them until very late in the winter but I have sampled them earlier and they are quite edible.

There is a Chinese Flowering Quince in the garden which I think is Chaenomeles speciosa but might be a hybrid with Chaenomeles cathayensis as it has white flowers and larger fruit. Makes quince jelly, cheese and fruit leather just like a true quince. It has strong thorny stems and would make a great hedge.

Camera Talk

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 12:09

First try at posting photos on the new format forum so hope it works OK.

A local landmark for you, the lupin field next to the 12thC St Peter's Church, Terwick near Rogate in West Sussex. The field was given to the National Trust in 1939 by Mrs Jane Patterson Hodge (a Titanic survivor) in memory of her husband, Thomas.

What will deer leave alone, hopefully

Posted: 31/05/2016 at 10:43

Which species of deer? Muntjac will eat more things than roe, little sods scoffed my tulips and crocus this year which the roe deer had left alone.

Hayter 46 issue

Posted: 19/05/2016 at 13:12

It does take a bit of muscle to get mine going too but if it runs cleanly then there probably isn't anything wrong. Check that there isn't any long grass trapped between the blade and the deck, being careful to make sure the engine can't start by first disconnecting the spark plug.

You should be able to feel the compression stroke as you slowly pull the starter cord. If you go passed this point, let the cord return to the resting position then give it a good pull you may find it easier to get it turning over and running. If it is just coming up to compression it will be much harder - I have often had the starting cord pulled out of my hand when it balks at compression.

Average gardeners spending

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 11:57

Found this line in a recent Guardian article

 "The average British household spends £47 a year on garden plants, according to research from the ". I guess there aren't many average people here then .

Old Azaleas

Posted: 21/04/2016 at 13:31

Sounds like they are deciduous varieties. These will survive being hard pruned after flowering. If you don't want to be that brave then go for renovation pruning - hard prune one third of the old shoots each year until you have the size and shape you want.

Beechgrove has started

Posted: 01/04/2016 at 13:49

"Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Chris Beardshaw and the Beechgrove garden are all in one piece, looking radishing" 


HELLO FORKERS March 2016 edition

Posted: 22/03/2016 at 13:10

Was pleased to see a beautiful Spring morning when I got up but the news has darkened the world since. I have used Maelbeek metro station more times than I can count on my way to EU meetings and it is painful to imagine the devastation there and at the airport. Victims and their families have a very difficult time ahead and will need a lot of support.


Posted: 16/03/2016 at 17:00

Badgers are a protected species so you are not permitted to harm them in any way. All you can do is try to make your garden boundaries secure but as they can both dig and climb this won't be easy.

Slugs and coffee grounds - a fatal attraction?

Posted: 14/03/2016 at 22:56

It is caffeine that is poisonous to slugs so coffee grounds don't have much effect as a deterrent as all the caffeine should have been drunk leaving none in the grounds. Caffeine has not been approved for use as a pesticide so cannot be sold as such however nobody can stop you disposing of unwanted cups of coffee on your garden .

Discussions started by steephill

The cherry thief

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Breeding success 
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Average gardeners spending

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Helping with the deadheading

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Last year's carrots

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Bird feeder video

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Problem viewing on Android tablet

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Hardwood cuttings from apple

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Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
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Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

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Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

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Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

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Bean confession

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Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
15 threads returned