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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: 14/12/2014 at 21:21

I second the nomination of Wolf as a decent mid priced secateur. I have had mine for about 10 years now & have had no problems with them whatsoever. I find them easy to sharpen and just keep them clean and oiled. I don't think they have ever locked up on me - the spring fell out once but was easy enough to pop back in and it's been there ever since.  


Posted: 13/12/2014 at 14:53

Quite a busy week in the garden this week. Monday - walnut tree removed, apple trees pruned and ash tree cut back to give plenty of clearance round power and phone lines.  Wed & Thurs 60 metre length of beech hedge significantly reduced in height to about 6' (was about 3 - 4 m high in places) to make it easier to cut. Glad my only involvement with all tasks was supervision & tea lady (and Paymaster General !!)

Today - have been out spreading some of the resulting chippings on my woodland style paths - glorious sunshine - very uplifting to be out getting some exercise. Trying not to think too much about seasonal tasks today but will have to get my a**e in gear tomorrow!

Might indulge in a little mulled cider later on to get me in the mood 

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 12/12/2014 at 22:47
That is truly appalling Fidget...
If you can possibly manage it (& I do understand how difficult it can be) - please try to concentrate on good memories and positive thoughts around your father and try not to let these terrible experiences dominate & colour your memories of your last days with him.
It sounds as though this hospital has many questions to answer & issues to deal with but, for now, you need to look after yourself & those close to you.
Best wishes to you and yours.

How to prune 2 mature viburnums

Posted: 12/12/2014 at 18:14

Hi John

I have hard pruned several different varieties of viburnums - including a tinus which I hacked down from about 12' to 5' and a burkwoodii which I reduced by half. I have also hard pruned carlessii - but not quite as drastically.

I did them in late spring & without any particular expertise. I cut them close to the height I wanted & then applied the basic rules of removing crossing / old / diseased wood. I did try to leave a few branches that looked as though they might produce flowers the next year but you might have to sacrifice that for one year.

They looked a bit awful after I had done them but then responded really well and put on lots of new growth - which I have since kept properly pruned & shaped. As Dave says, a good feed, water and mulch after a major cut back will be beneficial.

Both carlesii and farreri are heavily scented shrubs - a delight to be near on a warm spring day - can't wait  

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 11/12/2014 at 08:24
I feel exactly the same Lynn. A few years ago I inherited photos & also my great grandfather's Victorian / Edwardian glass slides - which included a lot of family pictures from abt 1890 to 1910. They had been in the loft for years.
I embarked on the mammoth task of scanning all the old family photos plus the glass slides (had to buy a special scanner for the slides).
Once I had digital copies I was able to copy & store them in lots of different places including cloud storage and was also able to distribute the digital images around the family.
Since then I have spent time cleaning & restoring some of the damaged digital photos and also had a really nice collection of photos printed out and put into an album for a special present for my brother.
I would still hate to lose my original photos, albums and slides but I sleep much easier knowing that I will always be able to get a copy of everything if the worst should happen & it has been nice to share everything with interested members of the family

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 10/12/2014 at 18:26

Fidget - so sorry to hear your news.

Families....... not going there .....

Verdun - this magpie man probably doesn't know he's stealing - but it doesn't make it any less irritating to deal with.

Would it help to get your mum a spectacles chain and ask the staff to put them round her neck when she gets up and leave them there until she gets undressed at night? Might be fewer opportunities for them to go walk about and she would always have them with her when she needs them. Just an idea...

Overwintering pelargoniums-how often to water?

Posted: 08/12/2014 at 08:59

I've got mine in an unheated potting shed on the potting bench. The window faces due south so they get a lot of sun. I cut them very hard back in September and they are now nice compact plants but with quite a lot of leaves and some flowers. I intend to keep mine really quite dry. This weekend the temp in the shed fell to -2C but the plants are ok.

It's a new shed and it's all a bit of an experiment really. Last year the pelargoniums stayed out all winter in pots but in a very sheltered south facing position. I didn't water them at all - they just had whatever rain water reached the pots. The winter was very mild (only a few nights at or below freezing) and they all survived - I gave them a good feed & cut them really hard back in April - and they were the biggest, best flowering pelargoniums I've ever had.

I'm hoping to sort of replicate these conditions in the shed 

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 07/12/2014 at 09:51
Best wishes Matty - so glad the horrible 'not knowing' & 'wondering what will happen' phase is over and I'm sure you'll make the right decision tomorrow.

I know the next few weeks won't be much fun but it sounds as though your prognosis is excellent and you'll be out enjoying your garden again as normal next summer.

Good luck & hope all goes well for you x.

Catch up next year.

Posted: 07/12/2014 at 09:16
Seasons greetings to you too Zara & hope the move goes smoothly. It is always sad to leave a garden you've spent so much time, effort & money creating - but a house move is a great opportunity to leave any mistakes behind (don't we all have a few of those?) and start afresh with a new plot.

....and I can't think of a nicer place to move to - see you there when OH retires

Grass still growing

Posted: 05/12/2014 at 21:28
I was very naughty.... it was a nice day today so I cut my grass even though it was way too wet & there is a frost forecast for tonight. Breaking all the rules - but the whole garden looks soooo much better. I'll consider myself b*ll*cked!!

Discussions started by Topbird

Papaver somniferum seed

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

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Growing strawberries

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Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

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Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

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Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

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Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
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Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
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Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
9 threads returned