London (change)

Tim Burr


Latest posts by Tim Burr

Pruning a silver birch

Posted: 19/03/2013 at 23:49
I pruned an Acer Palmatum (Crimson Sentry) in January thinking it was completely dormant. It dripped sap for days! Stopped now though.

Bird box v bird feeding

Posted: 14/03/2013 at 18:52
Small garden. Only 10 metres by 12 metres. I've got a feeding station for birds. I get quite a lot of visitors during the day - sparrows, starlings, tits, robins, blackbirds, pigeons and magpies (annoyingly!). I've been given a sparrow terrace bird box for my birthday, but I've been reading that when placing it, it should be well away from feeding stations because if its too close the visiting birds will stress out the occupants of the bird box. I was planning to put the sparrow terrace on the back of the house (faces exactly east and understand it is an ideal location), but it will be less than 10 metres away from the feeding station. Do I need consider moving the feeding station to another location (front garden, perhaps). I already have a blue tit box in the garden on the fence, but although I've seen lots of potential occupants fly in and out, nothing has taken up a short term tenancy yet. The side of the house face north and is in shade most of the day, but it can get quite breezy because its a bit of a wind tunnel with the next door house, so not sure it will be ideal for a bird box.

National DIY chains remove bug killer containing neonicotinoids from sale

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 17:40
Update. I have had responses from three Garden Centres about there stocking of insecticide products containing Neonicotinoids.

Squires (http://www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk/) said they would be looking to remove them from sale;

The Garden Centre Group (http://www.thegardencentregroup.co.uk/) sid not indicate if they would r would not continue to stock them but did indicate it educates its customers in their use, such as spraying when bees are least active. This doesn't resolve the issue because systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plant making the whole plant toxic including the pollen and nectar which bees and other pollinating (and beneficial) insects feed on. The plant is then toxic for up to six weeks from the initial spraying

Longacres (http://www.longacres.co.uk/) said that they will NOT be looking to remove them from sale;

This what Longacres said in response...

Longacres Official Statement on Bees & Neonicotinoids

"After reviewing the information from the EFSA, DEFRA, HTA, CPA and Soil Associations, we have come to the following conclusions.

1. The scientific evidence suggests that the global decline in bees is due to a mixture of factors including: parasites, fungal & viral diseases, degradation and loss of habitat.

2. Until further research currently being carried out DEFRA is completed there is no reason not to sell systemic insecticides based on neonicotinoids.

Furthermore, there is much that consumers can do to help bees.

Longacres recommends assigning planting areas in your garden to create a wild flower meadow (we sell ready mixed seed packs to help with this) and also add insect attracting plants. See our Bedding & Shrub areas for Heathers as a colourful addition to your borders.

Longacres also recommends placing nesting sites in your garden - to help you we sell a variety of insect houses in the pet and wild bird area.

Longacres recommends that all pesticides should be used only as directed on the pack. For best results spray early in the morning or in the early evening when bees are inactive and avoid spraying on open blooms.

For more information please contact the chemical department or visit www.cropprotection.org.uk and download their ???bee informed??? leaflet."

is re-cyling your green bin ,a good thing?

Posted: 23/02/2013 at 17:20
Education! Education! Education!

The more people realise that all these chemicals and sprays are not only killing and destroying our habitats and ecosystems but also have an impact on human health, the less people will buy them. Manufactures of these chemicals rely on people's ignorance. The more people know about the issue, the greater impact it will have on people looking for alternative methods.

I do wish Gardeners World on TV took a more pro-active focus on these BIG issues. Geoff Hamilton was also very clear on the benefits of going organic and everything he did revolved around an organic approach. Monty Don does mention organic methods rather sparingly.

In terms of green recycling schemes, perhaps we could all write to our local councils and ask them to only accept green waste from gardeners that use chemicals and pesticides that don't persist in the environment. At least I would be a start.

National DIY chains remove bug killer containing neonicotinoids from sale

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 14:11
Whoops - not sure where those ??? came from. Meant to be dashes...

One thing I did learn last year is that seed producers are coating bulbs and seeds with neonicotinoids in both domestic and commercial flower and crop supplies - the stuff is everywhere! And no doubt, we're all eating and drinking it!

National DIY chains remove bug killer containing neonicotinoids from sale

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 14:00
Also from the Soil Association website

Bee killers ??? the following products contain neonicotinoids

Product

Westland Plant Rescue Bug Killer
Provado Vine Weevil Killer
Bug Clear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer
Bug Clear Gun!
Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Spray
Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Ready to Use
Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Concentrate

National DIY chains remove bug killer containing neonicotinoids from sale

Posted: 01/02/2013 at 13:57
I have just found this text on the Soil Association website, which they say people are free to download and use when writing to retailers:


Letters to retailers

Having found products on their shelves containing neonicotinoids, in late May we wrote to the Chief Executives of B&Q, Wilkinson, Wickes and Wyevale to bring this to their attention, and ask them to consider withdrawing the products. If you wish to contact any retailer, some of the text below maybe useful. Once we receive replies we will also post them on this page.

Text of letter

Dear Sir/Madam

RE: The decline of the honeybee and household pesticides

You may be aware that in recent years there has been a large-scale global decline in the health and size of bee populations, especially honeybees. Indeed in the winter of 2008 it was widely reported that up to a third of the UK honey bee population perished.

There may be no single reason why bee populations are declining so dramatically and clearly more research is needed into this matter. However, one of the major causes is undoubtedly the spread of industrial scale farming ??? which has meant both a decrease in areas of wild flowers and other bee-friendly sites, and an also dramatic increase in the use of insecticides.

In particular, a new group of insecticides called neonicotinoids were first used in agriculture in the mid 1990s ??? exactly the time when colony collapse seems to have started. The evidence that these chemicals may have a link to colony collapse is powerful, which is why they have been withdrawn in several European countries (France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia). However, the UK government has not yet followed suit.

The Soil Association is obviously keen that something is done about the decline in bee numbers, which is why we have been asking for the Government to withdraw the use of neonicotinoids in agriculture ??? over 20,000 people have signed our petition supporting our call.

However, the use of neonicotinoid insecticides is not confined to agriculture ??? this class of insecticide is also found in domestic gardening products such as fly sprays and bug guns ???insecticides based on the active ingredients acetamiprid, imidacloprid, thiacloprid or thiamethoxam are all neonicotinoid class pesticides. Some of these are available for sale on the shelves of your own stores.

With this in mind we are respectfully asking you to consider withdrawing these chemicals from sale. We believe this action would allow you to use your market size and power to take a positive step to protecting the UK???s bee populations. We also believe your customers would react positively, given the concern in the public for the plight of the bees, and indeed this may present you with a positive marketing opportunity. And of course our bees would thank you too.

For our part we have written to your competitors who stock similar products, and publicised the issue of neonciotinoids in domestic products to our members in our membership magazine Living Earth and asking readers to avoid this type of product. We???d be more than happy to meet with you to discuss this further, or provide more information on this subject if necessary.

We do hope you will consider this request seriously, and that ultimately you will take action to withdraw the sale of neonicotinoids. We look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully

National DIY chains remove bug killer containing neonicotinoids from sale

Posted: 30/01/2013 at 23:59
Wickes, B&Q and Homebase have removed from sale bug killers containing neonicotinoids which are implicated in the decline of bee populations. Unfortunately, the National Farmers Union still holds out that there is nothing wrong with bug killers containing neonicotinoid and also sprays are still widely available in Gardens Centres up and down the country. Perhaps us gardeners can start writing to our local garden centres and ask if they will follow suit. A little bit of consumer pressure often does wonders!

kidling? is it worth getting GW subscription on ereader?

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 04:10
I subscribe to magazine and so get free download, which means I can read it on my ipad at the same time other half can read the paper magazine. Has saved us loads of arguments, "You finished with that yet?" After 12 months I give mt old mags to the local Alzheimer's Society who use them for their reminiscence groups.

Laurel plants

Posted: 17/01/2013 at 02:02
Be aware that laurel leaves contain cyanolipids that can release cyanide and benzaldehyde in some quantity when shredding leaves - the smell of cyanide can also be detected if simply hedge trimming - cyanide smells of sweet almonds! Probably little harm in the open air, but the risk is increased if you shred the plant, and then load the shredded leaves in to the car and drive off to the garden recycling tip with the windows shut. The Roman Emporer Nero used water steeped with Laurel leaves to poison the wells of enemies!

Discussions started by Tim Burr

Does Bamboo (Fargesia Robusta) Regrow its leaves

....silly question time! :-) 
Replies: 1    Views: 71
Last Post: Yesterday at 12:41

Monarda still in slumber

Not stirring from winter sleep 
Replies: 14    Views: 356
Last Post: Yesterday at 14:42

Downsizing a Bamboo

Overgrown its trough 
Replies: 6    Views: 177
Last Post: 24/04/2016 at 20:15

Glyphosate based weed killers (i.e. Roundup et al)

Are you still using it? 
Replies: 23    Views: 1229
Last Post: 19/05/2015 at 23:10

Planting Yucca in Ground

Plant these above, below or halfy halfy!! 
Replies: 6    Views: 430
Last Post: 12/05/2015 at 08:23

Photinia Red Robin trimming

Too early/too late to trim back 
Replies: 4    Views: 640
Last Post: 10/05/2015 at 12:09

Relocating an Acer platanoides 'Crimson Sentry'

Wrong tree in the wrong place 
Replies: 1    Views: 381
Last Post: 27/04/2015 at 00:08

Hard pruning a Mahonia

What to do with the cuttings 
Replies: 1    Views: 413
Last Post: 25/04/2015 at 23:22

Camelia not growing, but otherwise health and flowering

Replies: 4    Views: 374
Last Post: 10/05/2015 at 12:52

Conifer for narrow space and upright form

Recommendations please. 
Replies: 4    Views: 419
Last Post: 17/04/2015 at 23:45

Semiarundinaria Fastuosa - Narihira Bamboo (AGM)

Doesn't run, but does it need to be contained? 
Replies: 0    Views: 460
Last Post: 12/04/2015 at 16:32

Do slug eat thru' carrier bags

Replies: 29    Views: 1321
Last Post: 28/08/2014 at 12:45

Crocosmia Lucifer

Early flowering? 
Replies: 29    Views: 2533
Last Post: 06/07/2014 at 19:04

Bamboo in trough

Trimming it down to size 
Replies: 7    Views: 918
Last Post: 24/02/2014 at 19:15

mildew-on-aquilegia-leaves

Replies: 9    Views: 1415
Last Post: 04/08/2015 at 19:08
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