Latest posts by stevew1975

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Fritillary (Snakes Head)!!!!

Posted: 25/05/2015 at 19:17

Hello Edd

are you able to e-mail me to help me through?

If I "return" after selecting my file without clicking "Upload" I get and can't bypass the error message and the same happens if I "Upload" and then "return". If I hover over the "select" my filename begins with C:\fakepath.

Maybe I'm being thick or maybe my Windows XP has a config issue. 

Narrow Garden Issue

Posted: 23/05/2015 at 08:24

You have probably now made a decision and got soreted out by now, but as this is a forum I thought I'd get my two-penneth in!

My own take on wildlife gardening is that whilst I generally choose plants of maximum value to wildlife I also sometimes choose ones because I like them - hope I don't get lynched for saying this (only kidding!)

I also have one of those columnar cherries and for the fortnight that it's in blossom the bees love it almost as much as I do. I hang a bird feeder from one of the branches (above the reach of cats and a cage -type on to prevent collared doves from spilling half of it and gorging on the remainder!)

To prolong human and wildlife benefit I have also trained wild honeysuckle up it (it doesn't grow vigorously and won't do any damage to a young tree) and also some sweet peas. Tying in the latter is a bit fiddly.

My own garden (both front and back) is pretty tiny but it's surprising what can be done to maximise limited space. Once I've figured out how to attach photos I might start a new thread with some of my own tricks.

I do agree though that native trees or cultivars of them might well serve you better. Some commonly used native hedging trees e.g. hawthorn stand up to pretty austere trimming and some native trees such as hazel can be coppiced - cut to almost ground level - every few years.And you could always train a honeysuckle up them too!

Fritillary (Snakes Head)!!!!

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 15:04

Thanks Edd... here goes

Fritillary (Snakes Head)!!!!

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 14:49


as I mentioned on another thread I am growing a number of wild flowers in pots/troughs. I fine it easier to match the soil needs and as mentioned elsewhere I find it easier to make sure that the soil isn't too rich.

My fritillaries have flowered for the second year in a pot. I used a pretty humus-rich compost/soil mix (added composted manure from a garden centre) but sat the bulbs on a bed of grit in case they rotted. I planted a small stipa tenuissima grass as companion planting but it's grown and I will need to replace it in case the frits struggle to get through next year. 

I  tried to upload a picture but can't due to some Radajax error or something, sorry!

Glad of the lily beetle warning - their larvae have to one of the most revolting garden creatures known to man.


wildflower companion planting

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 15:19

Many thanks - and sorry to be posting it late, been very busy!

sowing seeds into pots and containers

Posted: 17/05/2015 at 15:13

I find that most seeds do best sown in small (40 module set) cells and plant out when they have a well developed root system. Corncockle usually germinates reliably in open soil though.

Sorry to disagree, but I find that growing wildflowers in containers is sometimes better in some ways, especially if you just want small areas. I grew some black knapweed in open soil but the plants simply grew too tall and the flowers too small by proportion.

I half-fill tubs/pots with stones and, if I have any, bits of polystyrene for bulk, then fill the remainder with garden soil only, possibly with some grit added. This has proved ideal for knapweed and ox-eye daisies. This year I've planted  birds foot trefoil, yarrow and "rabbits tail" grass seedlings into a trough with a thick base layer of stones, then soil with plenty of grit added. I've topped it with blue slate chippings and an irregular shaped piece of broken roof slate.


wildflower companion planting

Posted: 12/04/2015 at 15:48


after unsuccessful attempts at growing wild flowers in my flower beds, last year I made the more successful move to pots with impoversished soil.

Although neither are native wildflowers I was pleased last year with lavender and poached egg plants in a pot of gritty compost.

Any suggestions for companion wild flower plants for birds foot trefoil? I have lots of yarrow seedlings - are they or possibly harebells likely to be ok in limey soil with the b-t-f?


Caterpillar ID please

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:38

Worth having or buying a good book on insects including caterpillars. I like the Collins "Complete guide".

Apart from the information, it's entertaining to browse through the names of some of the British moths. Some of my favourite names  are "The drinker" "The sprawler" "The suspected" and "the uncertain". My all-time favourite though is the "ruddy highflier" and whilst I realise that the name is a combined description of habit and coloration I always imagine someone asking an leptidopterist "what's that moth there?" and receiving the reply "I don't know, but it's a ruddy high flier!"

Sorry to spoil the serious tone of the thread!

On a more serious note I wish I'd looked up the beetles I found on my lilies last year. I thought they were harmless and even attractive until I found the leaves smothered in filthy larvae and then discovered that I had allowed the lily beetles to decimate my plants and infest the compost in the pots they were in!

Birdfeeder in flowerbed?

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 21:24

We have a birdfeeder hanging from a cherry tree over our flower border and use sunflower hearts.

We tried ordinary sunflower seeds - the problem wasn't so much one of germination as of seed/husk spilling (en masse - see below!) and growing a thick crusty and furry mould - no kidding, we thought at first there was a dead mammal on the ground! We were concerned about the spilled seed attracting mice or rats. Being on soil it wasn't easy to clear up the considerable spillages caused by collared doves. 

We were plagued by these (nothing against them apart from when they plundered our feeder!). Every time they landed (2 or 3 at a time!) on the plastic base/tray, seed scattered everywhere and they guzzled almost as much from the feeder as they spilled, sat on the telegraph pole till they'd emptied their crops and returned again soon after to repeat the spilling and guzzling. Eventually they snapped the plastic tray/base off.

We invested in a "cage" type anti-squirrel feeder to keep them out - the goldfinches, tits, chaffinches and sparrows have no problem, it's paid for itself in the seed that isn't wasted, and we have no problem cleaning up!.

HELP - honeybee nest

Posted: 02/06/2014 at 20:05

Many thanks Philippa. Had already tried a few searches then struck lucky after your posting.

A friendly beekeeper came along and to my surprise without any protection simply commenced shaking and scooping the bees into a purpose-built box/hive.

Less to my surprise however he then donned his full gear as apparently the bees were a little aggressive, he reckoned due to being hungry - so a good job we intervened, they may have stung passers by.

After about an hour all were safely gathered in, he has a new hive of bees and (so he reckoned) about 10,000 bees were rescued and have hopefully been taken somewhere where there is plenty of food.

We have tried to make our garden wildlife friendly but clearly failed to produce enough nectar plants for 10,000 bees.

Here is the link -  there is even a postcode field to complete and hey presto the nearest keeper's contact details appear on screen!

Thanks again, and sorry to have taken up valuable time & space - just panicked a bit!


1 to 10 of 22

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