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Latest posts by steephill

Slow worms and roe deer

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 22:18

An odd mix for a subject title but bear with me. 

I found my first (live) slow worm in the garden today. I found one dead in the snow a month ago which was a surprise, must have tried to get going too soon and got caught out in our long hard spring. I need to start stripping off long grass soon on various banks but I am always wary of finding slow worms in there. I am delighted to find them again of course but it means slow progress for me as the strimmer gets parked and hand work begins. Hopefully sightings of grass snakes will not be far behind.

I also found a present from a roe deer buck. Not the usual compost enhancer from the back end but an antler found in a loose wood pile. The stag must have been using the branches to rattle off its antlers at the end of Winter. The antler looks just like these on a buck we had in the garden a few years ago:-


Air pots

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 11:37

Or just let the pots dry out to let the air in . I like the fact that the air pots are constant diameter, makes more efficient use of floor space in the greenhouse. I have never really understood why pots taper down just as the roots are doing the exact opposite!

Air pots

Posted: 19/04/2013 at 10:43

Any experience here with air pots? I saw some on Beechgrove the other week where they were used to grow giant veg. I was thinking about trying tomatoes in them.

As they aren't exactly cheap I wondered about their longevity.

sanity in need of restoring

Posted: 17/04/2013 at 12:02

It is amazing the stuff that gets dumped in gardens. I found two sailing dinghies and trailers buried under rhodos and conifers and the remains of a caravan which had been burnt down about 6 inches under the surface. Trying to dig a plot found chain link fencing buried about a foot down as well as miles of wire. Another patch yielded enough stone to build a wall round my greenhouse. There are also several piles of bricks and tiles hidden in the undergrowth. The previous owner was in the building trade you won't be surprised to hear!


Posted: 17/04/2013 at 11:52

Shotgun? Pigeons are a real pest at the moment with buds. Your tree is small enough to net but it would be ugly. You could try hanging CDs from it like some demented Xmas decorations.

allium purple sensation and irises taking over my small garden

Posted: 17/04/2013 at 11:49

Lucky you! Many of us would love to have that problem. Not letting them set seed will reduce the problem in future and it should be easy to pull up seedlings but how about potting some up and giving to friends etc.? Your irises sound like they are doing just fine too. You could lift and divide them in a year or so, search the site for a "how to" on that.

Strawberry plants dying

Posted: 16/04/2013 at 18:00
Check the compost for vine weevils, they are a major pest which eats the roots. Your plants will suddenly wilt and die once the root destruction becomes terminal.

crinodendron recovery

Posted: 16/04/2013 at 13:17

I have two specimens growing in my garden, both about 12ft high but they are at least 25 years old. I have acid soil which they like and it is also reasonably moist. I think moisture might be the key thing for your potted specimen - don't let it dry out.

Bees love the flowers which are jewel like - solid, firm almost artificial looking flowers which the bees wriggle into for the nectar.

20ft screen/conifer ideas please

Posted: 09/04/2013 at 22:43
Bear in mind that the law has changed regarding hedge height. Anything over 2 metres could now be challenged. Something shorter but closer might be more effective.

Location, Location, Location.

Posted: 08/04/2013 at 12:31

Lots of interesting information there but did you mean to give away your email address? I presume that the link you gave has your login details which you might not want to share with the world.

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