Latest posts by steephill

Bench renovation

Posted: 19/07/2017 at 17:04

Plants make oxalic acid to protect themselves from predators, famously in rhubarb leaves but also in edible plants like spinach and swiss chard. Even a cup of tea has around 50mg of oxalic acid in it! So nature can cope with it but of course it is the dose that makes the poison.

If you have a hard surface in the garden you could do the job on that as I suspect that most rocks will help neutralise the acid, especially limestone. Just use plenty of water to wash it away and you should be OK.

Base for a low gabion wall

Posted: 17/07/2017 at 23:41

You should be OK with just a soil base as your gabions are quite small. Anything higher than 1 metre would need a compacted hardcore base. If in doubt ask your gabion supplier what they would recommend, they will have lots more experience than anyone else.


Posted: 15/07/2017 at 14:03

If you just want to keep it tidier then trim off the growth two nodes beyond the last bunch of grapes on each stem. You could also trim off any leaves which are shading the grape bunches to get maximum ripening.

Bramley seedling bugs

Posted: 15/07/2017 at 13:58

Dog urine isn't helping certainly so try to stop that until the tree is well established. Poor fruiting is usually a result of poor pollination. Your Bramley is a triploid and needs two other pollinators and won't act as a pollinator for your other tree. If there are other apple trees in gardens around you then you should be OK provided they are in the correct pollination group. A crab apple tree is a very useful all-round pollinator if you don't have any other trees around. 

Mysterious fruit tree

Posted: 14/07/2017 at 20:40

Mirabelle plum perhaps? Very tasty and makes great jam.

Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 14/07/2017 at 20:36

Had a lovely week in Devon recently, rented a big house with a 3.5 acre garden.  Lots of exotic plants which I didn't recognise which I don't think we could grow in our own garden. Here are some evening shots of the views we had.

Sunset looking West over the pool.

Sunset looking East over the garden

Moonrise over the Channel. Moonlight is the main source of light in this shot, the full moon was very bright.

Steela - cherry tree?

Posted: 28/06/2017 at 15:19

Cherry plum also known as Myrobalan plum. Makes great jam.

standard first great western rose

Posted: 27/06/2017 at 16:00

gives a few choices.

I did think that maybe just visit your local station given the name .

Last edited: 27 June 2017 16:01:04

The cherry thief

Posted: 24/06/2017 at 22:44

Ever wondered where all the cherries go? Blackbirds having a field day on the wild cherry tree today.

This mature roe deer stag turned up this afternoon and has been coming into the garden for at least the last couple of years. I recognise him from his torn ear.

Drip irrigation system

Posted: 24/06/2017 at 22:11

Hozelock and Gardena are the most common systems you will find in garden centres. I have had poor experiences with the automatic water timers from both these manufacturers with none ever lasting more than 2 years before dying. I have just picked up a new timer from Screwfix which has the advantage of being much cheaper than the other two so at least if it doesn't last any longer I will have spent less.

It takes a bit of experimentation to fine tune whichever system you pick so factor that in and the time it will take before you leave it on auto.

Discussions started by steephill

The cherry thief

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