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Tootsietim


Latest posts by Tootsietim

Holm Oak posts rot resistance

Posted: 22/05/2013 at 22:47

I just looked on the wood database, a site for woodworkers, and that states that Holm Oak has good rot resistance and has been used for boat building. That being said, ground contact is usually a different matter and encourages decay, and, as alluded to above, the branches are likely to be predominantly sapwood which in Oaks is not very resistant to rot. It is the heartwood that will last in the ground and so I imagine that your timber, in ground contact, is going to rot sooner rather than later.

Plants should be grown, not ripped out of forrest's.

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 23:12

My admitedly brief search encompassed the New South Wales Government's Native Vegetation Act of 2003 and a number of Australian commercial horticultural suppliers.

For instance Grasstrees Australia, who were finalists in the Western Australia Environmental Awards for Small Business Leading by Example.

In response to the specific point of your original statement, which I misconstrued, regarding the removal of an originally wild plant from Australia and bringing it to London for a garden show, I should be very interested to see if we can find out what is going to happen to the plants involved. If it is to be wasted then I share your unease.

The designer, Phillip Johnson appears to be entirely rooted in sustainable gardening and so one would be worried if he were condoning the death of a grass tree for chelsea, but I don't think we can necessarily judge on the information that we have.

Perhaps Mr Titchmarsh could be contacted to see if he can determine the origin and destination of this plant.

Advice Needed!

Posted: 21/05/2013 at 00:08

My first thought would be to ask, do you actually meen a raised bed ?

I only ask because in the last few years it seems to have become accepted dogma that veg has to be grown in a raised bed. Even on allotments people are being encouraged to build raised beds when what is meant is a DEEP BED.

There is a good argument to be made for growing in DEEP BEDS. This is where the soil is dug deeply with plenty of organic matter incorporated and then not trod on, the idea being to allow roots to penetrate deeply and easily thus allowing closer spacing between crops and hence more produce. These beds are usually no wider than 4 foot so that they can be reached from either side without the need to walk on them. It is not essential, but they are often edged with wooden boards to keep them tidy and I think that this is where people get confused with RAISED BEDS which are planting beds usually high enough to allow access without too much bending or from a wheelchair, or for ornamental purposes.

If you wish to edge a deep bed, I would recommend contacting a local timber merchant (a proper one, not a DIY store ) and asking for the price of some 1inch by 6inch treated gravel boards. Most merchants can cut them to length for you so they can be whatever size you require rather than what the manufacturers make. They should also be able to supply some stakes (2 inch x 2inch) for the corners and to support long sides. This invariably works out much better value than the ready made ones and is quite sufficient for veg growing.

Hope this makes sense and helps.

Plants should be grown, not ripped out of forrest's.

Posted: 20/05/2013 at 23:26

A quick search of the internet also brings up many sites detailing the advances made in survival rates of these plants (80% plus ) the licensing and licence details of the Australian government bodies that regulate extraction of wild flora, the success in replanting some of these plants following development or road building or pipeline laying.

It would seem to me, that the Australians in general are taking the preservation of their indiginous flora at least as seriously as we do in the UK and possibly more so.

If plants that would otherwise have been destroyed by developement can be given a second chance then where is the problem? in much the same way that tree ferns from New Zealand were brought into cultivation when they were cleared from the forests.

I would ask people to read further on the subject before making some of the more sensationalist claims and emotive comments.  Words such as perverse, disgusting obscene and crime are unnecessary.

The Swifts are Back

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 20:34

The swifts finally arrived here in Norwich today in good numbers. We've had the odd one or two for a few days but today I had the very real pleasure of watching around forty or so screaming over our heads at work. As the sky turned dull and the clouds threatened rain, they flew lower and lower until they were skimming the rooftops.

Eventually my manager decided that I had spent long enough standing still staring into space and suggested tht I might like to carry on working.  Spoilsport. 

p.s.  If there is anything in reincarnation, and if you get a choice, then I am coming back as a swift.

Make do and mend

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 20:23

When I converted from night storage heathers to gas boiler, I had to remove the storage heaters. They were too heavy to lift so I opened them up to discover that they are lined with these brick like tiles, rather like an engineering brick, only flat and square.  The upshot is that they now form a rather atractive border edging and mowing strip in the garden.

Help me identify shoots please

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 20:15

That is a creeping buttercup, and you really do not want that in your veg plot, nor anywhere else for that matter.

Sambucus query

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 20:00

If these plants have come up as seedlings, then I suspect that they don't come true from seed, (having cross pollinated with a normal wild elder) and will therefore be more like the native elder. S nigra 'Black Lace' is usually propogated from cuttings.

If you bruise the leaves, elder has a very distinctive smell.

Help me identify shoots please

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 19:49

I always sow parsnips a pinch at a time. so I am in complete agreement with your daughter.  Frankly parsnips can be a bit reluctant to germinate, so I sow 4 or 5 seeds every 9 inches along the row.  Then, when they begin to grow, I pull out the weeker looking seedlings just leaving the best looking one.  I can't see the point in sowing all along the row, however thinly, when you only need a plant every 9 inches etc. Any seeds sown in the remaining 8 inches are always doomed.

This works for parsnips, turnips, beetroot, kholrabi etc.

Young Beach Hedge

Posted: 16/05/2013 at 19:35

I hate tree spirals but then I've never had to try and establish a hedge on rabbit infested land. Still they are preferable to those ghastly plastic tubes you see with great tufts of grass growing out of the top and a couple of rather forlorn oak leaves.

My main concern with spirals and tubes is that they can inhibit the lower trunk of the hedge plants from branching and this can result in a bare trunk  and hence a thin bare hedge bottom later on.

However if you have a rabbit problem they are probably essential to allow the plants to establish. The alternative is to fence off the whole area with netting and that can prove expensive.

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