Latest posts by steephill

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 - 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. 

Daily wildlife moments

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 17:11

Some recent activity from the garden.

Dunnock preening after a bath.

This pair looked odd, like they had just stopped for a chat.

Wandering past the rhodos.

Looking very scruffy as the winter coat wears off.

Always looking for food

Admiring the fritillaries?


Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:28

Do you mean Mahonia? These have very tough leaves which have few pests so I would be surprised that anything is eating them. The deer which visit our garden (roe and muntjac) will try most things but they have never attacked the Mahonia. If you could post a photo or two it would help the experts here make a diagnosis.

Lemon tree

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:16

I hadn't come across anything about a citrus specialist locally before so had a quick search. I think you mean the Citrus Centre in nearby Pulborough rather than Petworth. West Sussex is getting to be very exotic these days - citrus groves and world class sparkling wine!

My own attempts at citrus growing amounts to one small lemon tree from pips taken from a Sorrento lemon. Even if you don't get fruit the leaves are very useful in cooking, try a couple of leaves in a roast chicken.

Discussions started by steephill

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15 threads returned