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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 09/01/2016 at 16:16

Aaaw - you lot just made me feel much better about my mucky old floor - must be because we're all gardeners and traipse mud in & out all the time that we can turn a blind eye to a bit of muck! When you all come over for tea I'll be much more relaxed knowing we have similar housekeeping standards. 

Wonky - love the sound of your cat cave - my boy would like one of those. When we first got him he was a timid, frightened little thing and I had to make him a hidey box. It was just a supermarket cardboard box with some bedding in but with all the sides taped up leaving just a tiny entrance hole.

As he got to know us he gradually ate his way out of the box by chewing away lumps of the cardboard. Eventually there was only the base left - but it was still his 'safe' place to go and sit when he was stressed or frightened. I don't know if he realised he was really just sitting on a square of cardboard on the floor but it helped him cope.

Got to love 'em - I thought he was out in the cold and rain - just came upstairs to find him curled up on the bed 

Fairy - thank you for the link to the walkers' forum you put on here for Hosta. Had a look at it and there was a link to 2 programmes on BBC Scotland (The Adventure Programme?) about driving / walking /cycling the less travelled roads through the highlands. We really enjoyed watching them and they've given us some good ideas for holidays. OH now even more determined to have a camper van though....

Well done Verdun on your dealings at GC - go on - don't keep us in suspenders over your plant purchases though.... 


Posted: 09/01/2016 at 14:19

Afternoon all - quiet on here isn't it?

Glad to hear the Hostas  are OK - hope the situation doesn't interfere with their sunbathing and snorkelling too much and the hotel doesn't run out of gin 

Nothin' much to report here. Sunny morning but raining hard now. Finally got around to washing the kitchen floor - was going to do it as part of my pre Christmas big clean up but ran out of either time or (more likely) enthusiasm.

Nobody noticed & it's only because I could see a track of muddy footprints from the cat flap to the cat bowl that I decided it had to be done. It's been swept frequently but a mid brown wood floor doesn't show up the dirt. How much of a slovenly housewife am I??? 

I'm very bored right now and am bracing myself to do my tax return - but for now I think a cuppa & a slice of Christmas cake is calling a bit louder - SYL 


Posted: 08/01/2016 at 23:49

Best wishes to Mr & Mr Hosta - hope we hear from you soon.

Hopefully they are both OK - but such dreadful things happening at the moment. Afraid we're a bit like Pat and happy to stay closer to home while so much bad stuff is going on.

Gardening courses (and garden visits)

Posted: 07/01/2016 at 17:10

Hi Anna

Another suggestion for you 

Go to - Activities - then - Touring & Cultural - then - Garden Tours

You'll see a list of holidays of varying length & cost featuring guided tours of gardens in both the UK & other countries.

HF holidays in the UK are usually based in country houses in nice parts of the country and their holidays are particularly suitable for the single holiday maker. If you are travelling with somebody who is less interested in gardening they usually have other holidays running in the same establishment at the same time offering a different activity (perhaps walking or photography).

This means you and your companion spend free time and meals together but do different activities during the day.

These are not educational courses as such - but they are a good way of visiting several gardens in a chosen locality with like minded people and a knowledgable guide.

Whatever you do - enjoy 



Posted: 06/01/2016 at 11:38

Morning all.

Decs down and dusting for me today as well. Will also be doing my own computer backups / software updates - so air may be blue in a few hours time  Obviously it's that time of year when we all start trying to put our lives into some semblance of order 

Not much on TV this week so we have been watching 2 episodes a night of S2 of The Affair. It's not great TV and nearly as confusing as a Scandi noir - but it draws you in so we'll keep going with it - 7 episodes to go.

To be honest though I have seen far more of Dominic West's btm than I ever needed or ever wanted to - and I can't get past his previous really excellent portrayal of the mass murderer Fred West in the mini series 'Appropriate Adult'. He looked disturbingly like West and I'm now finding it very hard to see him as a person somebody would find sufficiently attractive to give up their family and home for. Definitely not my Mr Darcy or Poldark ...


Posted: 05/01/2016 at 14:05

Afternoon all - cottage pie made, veg prepped, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple peeled and sliced and in bowls in the fridge for an easy healthy snack / dessert for when I feel tempted to have something sweet.

Not dieting but just trying to eat a bit healthier after the excesses of the festive season. I am also not doing 'dry January' (which masochist thought this dark, dreary, depressing month would be a good month to banish alcohol altogether?) but I am limiting my alcohol intake for the next few weeks. Might try to do a dry April or give it up for Lent when my spirits are somewhat lifted by the start of spring ..

Sorry to hear your holiday has got off to a bad start on several fronts Hosta - you'll be able to dine out on the tale for months though. Hope things pick up for you both. I have always found Russians to be charming / funny and rude / brusque in equal measure - often in the same person. Different traditions and upbringing I guess. Glad you are able to rise above their antiquated views and unnecessary comments 

I love Kizzy too - I'm really more of a moggy than a doggy person - but those eyes - who could resist? - she's just adorable 

My Perfumed Bristol Garden in 2016.

Posted: 04/01/2016 at 17:18

A very Happy New Year to you Marion - this sounds as though it is going to be another very interesting thread from you 

Had never heard of the SG club before today - I have a little Christmas money to spend so it's about to have a new member - thanks for the information 

Water Damaged Lawn

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 21:19

If it was my garden I would go along with Tetley's idea of a shingle centre and lots of shrubs / perennials in borders around that. Plants which do well in shade include ferns and hostas and there are plenty of evergreen shrubs for year round structure and colour.

The fact that you have a princess car in your garden, however, suggests you may have little ones to consider - in which case you might feel you need to have lawn there for a play area. Personally I don't like small lawns - I think they are a lot of work for little reward - but I don't have little ones to worry about.

Have a think about what you and your family need from the garden and then come back to see if we have some ideas to make life a bit easier for you in the future

Water Damaged Lawn

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 18:21

Hi James - how disheartening for you but (as Fairy said) you won't be alone with this problem.

First of all, I second the advice given above.

Second - I would also suggest that for now (if at all possible) you try to stay off the lawn area. If you can't do that - can you at least confine any traffic to a small area / path?

I see there is a gate on the back fence. Do you need to use that every day (to get to your car perhaps)?

If so, I would seriously consider putting in a path as part of your rejigging of the garden. It doesn't need to be expensive - some weed suppressant membrane with shingle on top and some edging to keep the shingle in place will do. That way you won't need to walk on the new lawn when it's wet or frozen in the future.

Hopefully everything will look a bit bonnier in a few weeks time 

Ash Tree Cut Down Technique

Posted: 03/01/2016 at 18:10

Not being funny but are the tree surgeons you've spoken to fully qualified arborculturalists?  Like Pansy - I wouldn't expect any tree surgeon to guarantee their work won't eventually affect your house - but you want to make sure the advice you're getting is from the best people out there.

I would also have a chat with your house insurers. They have an interest to get a job like this done properly and may be able to advise some good people to get in touch with - including specialist surveyors.


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