steephill


Latest posts by steephill

To win the war agains Ground Elder

Posted: 19/05/2017 at 13:31

Roundup gel takes a couple of weeks to work, not a couple of days. I would apply more than just a small patch though as ground elder is very fast growing so would treat emerging leaves every couple of days for at least a week to make sure enough is being absorbed to do its job.

WEIRD Creature!!

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 12:53

Humming bird hawk moth perhaps? http://butterfly-conservation.org/51-1087/humming-bird-hawk-moth.html

Can someone recommend a tree for a memorial?

Posted: 17/05/2017 at 15:58

Catalpa (Indian Bean Tree) one of the golden or purple varieties maybe or perhaps Eucalyptus gunnii Azura. 

Water Conservation

Posted: 15/05/2017 at 11:32

It is a bit industrial looking but an IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) holds a lot more water than most water butts for a much cheaper price - 1,000 litres for about £50. Given the size it is more realistically a solution for larger gardens where you can hide it away and feed it from a more conventional water butt either with a gravity syphon or a pump if levels are different.

Rhododendron Problems

Posted: 14/05/2017 at 11:57

Probably vine weevils - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=234 The adults eat the leaves but it is the grubs in the soil eating the roots which do the real damage.

Camera Talk - part 2

Posted: 13/05/2017 at 21:20

Fairygirl, the old back yard is looking good!


Had a much gentler stroll through a local common (Ebernoe Common) the other day to break in a new pair of boots. 


There is lots of clay around this area and there are some old brickworks around but few this well preserved. The original brick moulding shed is nearby and in pretty good condition.



There was also a lot of iron working going on and this is one of the furnace ponds which were used to drive water wheels powering hammers. The Common now feels like a forgotten corner of an ancient forest but was once a hotbed of industry.



The Common is now looked after by Sussex Wildlife Trust and is a great place for a walk. At the moment bluebells are still out in force as are Early Purple Orchids.




The Common is home to nightingales but while we were able to listen to their song they were impossible to see amongst the trees. It is also home to 13 species of bat so I must try an evening walk to see how many I can spot.

Blitzing a garden rant

Posted: 13/05/2017 at 20:57

Shocking behaviour, in the UK that would be a serious matter as it is illegal to disturb nesting birds.

Does anyone know what this is?

Posted: 11/05/2017 at 22:31

We have one of those, not quite that big but it is in a less than ideal position. It is about 6 feet high and 8 feet wide and is a solid wall of colour just now. It is at least 25 years old though and may even be 40+ years old so definitely one for the long term. The colour is wonderful and the bees love it, a quick peek earlier this week had at least 6 different types of bee on it. There is a honeysuckle azalea growing alongside and the contrast of its yellow flowers with the purple is, shall we say, vivid.

Can you identify this?

Posted: 10/05/2017 at 20:19

I don't think we have it here in the UK (yet!). I see that you are in the US where it is regarded as an invasive weed. It seems to be resistant to most weedkillers so wouldn't be very welcome I would guess.

Water problem

Posted: 05/05/2017 at 11:14

A water butt doesn't have to be next to the downpipe. All you need to do is run a hose from the diverter to wherever you put the water butt, water always finds its level. The important thing is to get the level right so that the diverter operates correctly when the butt is full. However you may need to get permission from the leaseholder or other owners first. 

Discussions started by steephill

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15 threads returned