Latest posts by Topbird

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 07/04/2017 at 09:18

Quick pop-in to say Hello to everyone

No real news other than depressed about Syria and Trump but enjoying the weather and the garden at the moment.

Painful hand again today so not too much computer stuff to allow it to rest. Hope you all enjoy your Friday.

PS - Clari - I found out yesterday that a compost bin is really just a giant rhubarb forcing jar. A clump discarded in there last October has grown lots of tender pale pink stalks. As I also dump used cat litter in there we won't be eating them

Last edited: 07 April 2017 09:19:27

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 06/04/2017 at 12:39

Those follow ons are very funny Dove

Last edited: 06 April 2017 12:41:13

Front garden

Posted: 06/04/2017 at 11:19

Congratulations on your house move and lovely new garden. There are a few Suffolkians and other East Anglian gardeners on the forum - occasionally we meet up for garden visits

That is quite a strange shape for a bed. Have you tried putting water in it? I just wonder if it is an interestingly shaped small pond?

Depending where you are in Suffolk - many of us have a lot of clay and some people round here (mid Suffolk) have made clay lined ponds (ie no butyl liner - just compacted clay) There is a natural pond just round the corner from us which is about 80 foot long and 6 foot deep.

At least - it should be a pond - at the moment it's an 80' x 6' dip in the ground - completely dried up because we've had very, very little rain for months.

At least if you partially fill it with water you'll get an idea whether it's free draining and suited to drought tolerant plants or slow draining and perhaps suitable for bog style planting (and anywhere in between of course).

Do you have neighbours who can advise what was there before?

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 06/04/2017 at 10:53

Joyce - The webcam link for Norwich peregrines is here

The local Hawk and Owl / wildlife group were all set up in the Cathedral Close yesterday with lots of proper (ie large, tripod mounted) binoculars trained on the peregrines. Encouraging anyone passing to stop and have a look.

As you can see, it's a beautiful day in Norwich today

Last edited: 06 April 2017 10:54:29

Resurrected Ten

Posted: 06/04/2017 at 08:25

Morning  - tea for me please Dove

After a lovely day in Norwich yesterday - friend visiting, plant swapping, cathedral mooching and successful walking-shoe shopping - today will be about shifting compost around. Will probably just do a bit of it. Don't need to aggravate my achey arm and back too much.

Planning first bike ride of the year for Sunday if the weather forecast comes good. Just a little leg stretcher for the first one - 10 miles circular trip with pub about 3 miles from the end. Will build up slowly to some longer trips.

Last edited: 06 April 2017 08:26:46

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 06/04/2017 at 08:10

Morning all

Had a great day in Norwich yesterday. Started with tea and biscuits with a friend. Sat on sunny terrace - lots of gardening chat plus general catch up & much putting the world to rights. Looked round her lovely gaden and left with a box of plants

Then a spot of lunch and a mooch round the cathedral and finally a little light shopping - bought some proper walking shoes as my old ones are falling to pieces. Have been looking for a pair I like and which will fit my weird shaped feet for agesAnd I persuaded them to give me 30% off 

Today I shall either be emptying the compost bin and then turning the other one. Or I'll be making a start on shifting the pile of compost in the drive. Both options involve spades, wheelbarrows and a protesting back and arm. 

Hello Forkers - April edition

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 17:57

Compost has arrived It's a bit ripe when you're stood next to it - but good stuff 

Will start shifting it on Thursday - having a day in Norwich tomorrow.

Really must get on with ordering some more shrubs for this border. Terrible at making decisions & finalising plans though - anyone would think I was a Libra - oh! - I am

Resurrected Ten

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 16:45


Lawn cut and edged - now waiting for a large delivery of loose compost to be dumped on the drive. It's to dig in to the new border. Not looking forward to barrowing it round to the back of the house but needs must. Heavy clay soil is really poor in places and some is very compacted - so it needs all the help it can get.

Wasted another hour watering this afternoon. Water butts are nearly empty and the hard rocks of solid clay are starting to form already. Think I'm going to have to put the sprinkler on the lawn if it doesn't rain soon. I don't usually water grass but this is new turf laid in October and I suspect it's still a little too fragile to risk just leaving it.

Expect water bill will be high this year

Loved growing veg last few years but the demands of watering raised beds every night and the attentions of the field voles made me decide that I wasn't cut out for full scale veg growing so we got rid of the raised beds last year. Now concentrate efforts on the things that give me the most value.

Love growing lots of herbs and salad leaves because they are expensive to buy and I use them by the armful. Always grow chard because it's such a good 'doer' and very versatile. Usually have 3 pots of toms which produce enough for us and I have a nice little soft fruit patch with raspberries and currants. 

I think I will have to find a spot in the flower borders to grow some mange tout or peas (love both shoots and pods) and maybe also a courgette plant.

scarify and mow or mow and scarify

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 11:25

Just another thought - I wouldn't put the next 2 lawn cuttings or the thatch that comes out after scarifying in the compost bin if it's had weedkiller type chemicals on it. 

Don't want any residues near precious plants!

scarify and mow or mow and scarify

Posted: 04/04/2017 at 11:05

I'm not a lawnsperson either so definitely not the best qualified to give you advice (others will know better).

My instinct, however, is telling me that you should at least allow the moss killer etc time to work before you scarify. I think I have read that you can actually make the moss problem worse by scarifying if the moss is still alive. (You just end up spreading it around to unaffected parts of the lawn).

Like Wonky - I'd cut the grass quite high, give the chemicals time to do their stuff and scarify when you think the moss is dead.

But I'm definitely no expert in this field ... Others might have another view.

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