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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 13/01/2015 at 15:29

Well done - always good to experiment! You might find that the chilli flavour develops over a few days so it might be worth waiting to see.

Failing that you could probably do (if you can face it) a quick reboil & add some more chilli - maybe even a little paprika or chipotle paste for the smokiness? 


Posted: 13/01/2015 at 14:15

It's an interesting idea Pansy.

I'm not sure how it would be different to chilli jam unless you were thinking of something less sweet? Perhaps actually adding chopped chilli to Seville orange marmalade would make an interesting, more bitter-yet-with-a-hint-of-fruit-and-sweetness alternative?

If you decide to try it in a small jar I would be interested to hear the verdict  

Monty Don Tour

Posted: 11/01/2015 at 17:39
Ashdale wrote (see)

Hi Topbird.  Yes, I certainly will let you know.  Without raising hopes too much, I have 2 tickets and there is a small chance OH won't attend with me.  Otherwise, I hope you are able to pick up a returned ticket from the Apex.  Good luck.

Thank you Ashdale - much appreciated. Much as I would love to go I do hope both you and your other half are able to make it!

Will keep my fingers crossed for both of us 

Associating hydrangea limelight,

Posted: 11/01/2015 at 17:34

It's  a lovely shrub Verdun - I'm going to buy another one this year & the area where I'll be planting it (full sun in the morning - shade in the afternoon) has variegated hostas, dark purple / blue geraniums and some Salvia nemorosa Caradonna in situ - which I'm hoping will work well. A shot of yellow sounds nice though....

Monty Don Tour

Posted: 11/01/2015 at 10:57
I live very near to Bury St Edmunds but the tickets for The Apex sold out very quickly - but I've got my name on the waiting list.
Ashdale - Hope this isn't too cheaky but, if you find can't go for any reason - might you send me a PM? Would love to go if a ticket became available - full asking price, of course.


Posted: 10/01/2015 at 13:28

Have to agree that Uncle Geoff was the best GW presenter by a country mile. His move to Barnsdale coincided with my starting to garden & he really did teach me so much. I loved his friendly, inclusive style - you always felt he would get his hands dirty sorting out a problem for you rather than giving you a lecture about what you'd done wrong!

I second repeating all his GW series - I can't believe that the information will have dated much - the techniques certainly won't. The style will be very different to many modern programmes - but that can only be a good thing.

If we can have 7 programmes a week devoted to a dance competition, however many nights a week for Match of the Day and all the other tripe out there - surely to goodness the BBC can tuck in 2 or 3 episodes a week of this programme - even if it's in the wee small hours & we all have to record it!

Maybe we should start a petition.... 


Posted: 10/01/2015 at 11:53
Verdun wrote (see)


because men are cleverererer there should be a male presenter of gw.  Just imagine it with a female presenter!   It would be all annuals and "that's pretty", flowers on boots and flower arranging. 

I would love to see a series of progs presented by Adrian Bloom on perennials and other expert growers and breeders of hellebores, heleniums, etc etc.

Verdun - naughty, naughty boy go stand in the corner - NOW ... 

Agree with you about specialist presenters though - but I don't think it will happen unfortunately - tv companies want big audiences....


Garden programme on Sky 1

Posted: 10/01/2015 at 11:37
Hostafan1 wrote (see)

I wonder what proportion of real allotmenteers have ever made ice lollies or bound bouquets.

My point exactly Hosta. I'm sure quite a few allotmenteers do these things - but if I was on a gardening programme I would want to be judged on gardening skills - not cookery & flower arranging.

Still quite enjoy the programme though - just nice to see people working their plots in summer clothes & complaining if it gets too hot - reminds me of better days ahead!!

BTW - have just found out that (as expected) the allotmenteers are only allowed access to their plots at weekends so they all get the same number of hours to work them. Presumably gardeners from the big house do extra watering / ventilation Mon - Fri???

Thread seems to have got away from the SKY programme - have yet to watch last night's but I suspect that will be one I only watch when desperate for a gardening fix.


Posted: 10/01/2015 at 10:29
Nut ....

I'm afraid I stopped watching when Toby & Alice were presenting - not my cup of tea at all - and only started again when Monty came back! I like his rather laid back chatty style & he reminds me that it's OK if things don't go to plan in the garden or I don't get my plant placement quite right.

Not a fan of Joe S or Rachel d T - but I do enjoy watching Chris Beardshaw & Carol Klein - they really know their stuff.

Garden programme on Sky 1

Posted: 10/01/2015 at 09:16
This series of Allotment Challenge does seem to be an improvement on the first one - the format & contestants just seem a bit better. But I still don't see what culinary and advanced flowering arranging skills have to do with gardening knowledge and the ability to grow 1st rate fruit & veg.

It's a bit like asking the Bake Off contestants to make a cake display case or pair of curtains while their dough is rising! (ok - I know some of them have done that sort of thing but that's not the talent being judged).
Does anyone know how the A C is organised? I assume the contestants don't all live within 5 miles of the site? Do they just visit at weeends or can they go when they want to? Who does all the watering / greenhouse ventilation etc etc when they're not there?
I won't sleep tonight for worrying about it

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