Latest posts by steephill

New Gardening TV Show

Posted: 08/01/2016 at 11:28

First step is know your audience or in other words who is it for? As BBC3 has been a "youth oriented" channel and is about to move to online only that would imply a different approach is needed than that used for the more mainstream audience for such shows on main channels.

Everybody has to start somewhere so there may be some mileage in a "Delia - How to Boil an Egg" approach. Simple things like how to choose and use the right tool for the job can make a real difference to getting people hooked on gardening. None of us is born knowing how to do this. Start with the basics like spade and fork - there is a wide choice available but if you don't know how to use them correctly it is easy to pick the wrong tool and make life much harder for yourself and probably give up. That can easily be a running segment in any series as there is a vast array of hardware out there. Maybe try a Mythbusters approach on things like bulb planters (mostly useless).

Perhaps the target audience is the post BBC3 audience - those mythical first time buyers with a small blank patch behind the house. That has been tackled many times before, most recently by Chris Beardshaw in the Beechgrove series.

While that was good I did wonder about the costs involved which are likely to be a major factor for people starting out. For example a lovely stone retaining wall might be the most effective solution to a sloping back garden but £k's for landscape engineering is not something first time buyers have lying around. A favourite topic round here is pallet engineering for garden use - cheap solutions in the Geoff Hamilton style.

Camera Corner

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 17:10

Not sure I could manage the Arrochar Alps now but I can still manage the Hindhead Alps . I think of this area as a bit like the Trossachs but without the water (Frensham Ponds are a bit small!).

Camera Corner

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 16:02

Lovely to see the Arrochar Alps in all their splendour. Here's some old shots of the Cobbler from back when I was a lad - early eighties I think. In the 70's we used to bunk off school in Dumbarton and hitch up to Arrochar for a day in the mountains stopping for a beer or two in Arrochar after the climb before hitching home again.

Above the Buttermilk Burn

 Above the Narnain Boulder on the way up

 Looking up to the North Peak - there are some rock climbers near the top.

Close up of the rock climbers.

Log burner

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 19:57

Most log burners are exempt from smoke control regulations provided they burn the appropriate fuel e.g. wood logs. You can find a list of all exempt log burners here (links to other parts of the UK also included). 


Hazel nut tree

Posted: 20/12/2015 at 12:08

Ashridge Nurseries has several options - common hazel, purple and filberts.


Posted: 11/12/2015 at 14:02

Loch Lomond has frozen a few times since the '20s - some great photos here

I remember the complete freeze in 1963 when we walked out onto the ice. Some local lads drove a Mini over the ice to Inchmurrin so I expect the wallabies were able to escape quite easily. Especially if they remembered to bring their skates.




Posted: 11/12/2015 at 12:39

Re: Loch Lomond wildlife  Back in the '70s there used to be a bear park near Balloch on the banks of Loch Lomond whose inhabitants regularly escaped ( a large tree overhung the fence!) and went for a wander in the village. I was walking past a local restaurant when I saw what I thought was their big Newfoundland dog in the back garden. Then I thought "that dog is getting very big" before having a Holy S***! moment. Thankfully they were fairly gentle creatures and no-one ever got hurt that I can recall.

The wallabies are even older though having been introduced back in the '20s. The local police were fed up with motorists calling up to say "you'll think I've been drinking but I haven't and I just saw a wallaby!".


Posted: 08/12/2015 at 12:07

I discovered that enzyme based stain removers like Vanish etc. do a brilliant job with greasy ovens left too long .  I soak the removable panels, shelves and the inner glass door for a few hours and the baked on gunk comes off like they pretend it does in adverts for squirty cleaners.

Why can't I buy leaf mold from garden centers?

Posted: 31/10/2015 at 22:05

Simple economics I think. It would be very expensive to collect the quantity required for a commercial operation. Add on the time it takes to rot down and you would have to price it like gold leaf to make money.

Sick Vine

Posted: 28/10/2015 at 12:55

I would have a look for vine weevils. Try an exploratory dig around the root zone to see if there are any grubs. The adults above ground can be hard to spot but a close inspection might reveal some. If it is the dreaded vine weevil then nematode treatment next year and possibly following years too will be needed.

Discussions started by steephill

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