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Latest posts by Topbird

Plant ID - red acer like leaves with spiky red 'flowers'

Posted: 10/08/2015 at 15:33

I think it might be a Castor Oil plant Bill & Ben (weeeeeed !  )

Try a Google - if it is, I think it is easily grown from seed - although I've never tried them myself. You might want to check out any warnings about toxicity if that is a concern to you.


Posted: 10/08/2015 at 10:39

RB - giggly word for me too 


Posted: 10/08/2015 at 10:17

Gold star Dove - it was Langley Abbey. I went to Brasteds restaurant in Norwich many, many years ago - excellent food then - excellent food now. Evening cheeseboard was voted the best we have ever seen / eaten - must have been over 30 different cheeses to choose from

OH was roped in to to take a few photographs with the 'official' wedding camera - because the official photographer was a relation and couldn't be in any of the pics he took 

No pics of the actual event SGL  - but there's a nice website to give you a little flavour...



Posted: 10/08/2015 at 09:37

So you did SGL - and you were right - it was lovely actually 



Posted: 10/08/2015 at 09:10
(Yawny) morning all.
Hmmm - you lot were very interested in my knickers yesterday...
Knickers had a very nice time actually & didn't need rubbing - bride & groom were a lovely couple & there were some interesting people to chat to including a fellow gardener so all went off better than expected.
The worst bit was getting ready - under the hairdryer, putting on make up & squeezing into tights and magic knickers as the temps nudged 30C wasnt much fun. But the venue was an abbey ruin by the river in Norfolk (beautiful) & was nice & cool inside.
Got to bed at 2.30am - 'nuff said...
You lot have all been busy. Hope your friend is OK DD, & I have that buddleia too Chicky - smothered in cabbage whites all weekend - some poor person probably growing brassicas nearby.
Quiet trip to SM today then prob have a nap this pm - need to catch up on sleep


Posted: 09/08/2015 at 12:13

DOVE - I have 2 very similar recliners (His & Hers). They are indeed very comfortable - they can indeed allow one to fall asleep on a warm summer's day in the dappled shade of a large tree ....   That is a very good price 

Tomatoes stopped and defoliated. I could believe the yellow ones are starting to change colour and there are quite a lot of them. Gardeners Delight still hard, green small golf balls.

Thanks for the good wishes for today - need to start getting ready now - will look out for borders and flower beds to study... 


Posted: 09/08/2015 at 11:28

Morning all - scorcher of a day here. Glad I watered the veg and woodland border last night - the forecast 'heavy' rain for Tues pm seems to have disappeared - so am trying to 'catch' borders and plants before they get too distressed. My salad veg are looking very poor at the moment though. Had some lovely plants earlier in the season but we seem to have had such extremes of temperature and rainfall this summer - high day time temps - lowish night time and weeks of no rain then a torrential downpour. Keeps us on our toes though. Glad I'm not a farmer.

Today I have to go to a wedding. Have never met either bride or groom  They are both work colleagues of OH - but they are not great pals & don't socialise together so I don't really understand why we've been invited.

Not really looking forward to dressing up (it is going to be hot & I have to wear my magic knickers ) & spending a few hours standing around in the heat making small talk with people I've never met before & am unlikely to meet again. Guess that makes me a grumpy old b**ger but I'd much rather be sitting in my garden listening to the radio. Still, I shall smile sweetly & make an effort - tomorrow is another day.

For now I'm off out to stop the outdoor tomatoes and remove some leaves in the hope it will help them ripen before October....

At least it's well watered

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 10:42

Good point Dove  

We have a caravan. When you have to collect and dispose of your own water over the course of 1 or 2 week holiday it makes you very conscious of only using just enough water for washing up & showering - and never leaving taps running unnecessarily. Those habits quickly transfer to the home environment. We do not waste water. 

We know more than a few people who think nothing of having 2 or 3 showers a day, or wearing a shirt for a couple of hours and then putting it in the basket for washing so the washing machine is on once or twice a day every day. I think this is a waste of water and energy - but then again they probably think we smell a bit 

At least it's well watered

Posted: 09/08/2015 at 09:51
I live in Suffolk & clearly remember the geography teacher telling us that if we had just a couple of inches less rain per annum many parts of E Anglia would be officially classed as desert.
A neighbour is a farmer in his 80's & refers to the soil in our village as 'hungry, thirsty soil' - ie you can improve & improve but it still wants more. The mature trees all around don't help matters.
If I didn't water I would not have garden at all. I try to water responsibly - occasional long soaks in the evening - concentrating on areas which are flagging & the veg. I also use lots of composts and mulches & use water butts.
I know that water is a precious resource & don't take it for granted but keen gardeners in the east and south east corner will usually need to irrigate some of their garden from time to time.
Those in the north and west probably never have to water. I wish I didnt - I resent the time & money it takes ( yes we are on a meter).

Rabbit hole ?

Posted: 08/08/2015 at 18:01

Really don't want to worry you Lily P but that doesn't look like an animal hole to me because there is no loose earth / scrapings outside. Having said that I have voles and moles which burrow up from underneath and leave neat little holes on the surface of the soil with no external scrapings. Those holes are, however, much shallower and smaller than yours. 

It could be to do with your old tree. We have sunken areas of lawn where trees have been removed and the remains of the stump has rotted away - but these are wide shallow depressions - nothing like you have there.

Are you on limestone? If so, I would (carefully!) prod around the edges of the hole to see if the ground is stable. If any of it starts to give way I think you need an engineer there sharpish to see if there is any risk of a much larger hole opening up.

If you're not on limestone and / or the surrounding ground is stable I would do what you've done and monitor closely for further movement.

Really hope it's ok. What happened to the beech tree? It might be relevant if there is the chance of unstable ground there.

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