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Latest posts by Topbird

Whats are these yellow beauties?

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 10:37


Whats are these yellow beauties?

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 10:36

The first plant looks like Kerria (tough as old boots) and the second looks like Mahonia (fragrant & tough as old boots).

Have a look around the base of the Kerria - chances are you will find a rooted offset which you can detach from the plant and pot on. 

Not sure about timing of vegetative propagating of Mahonia - do a Google search to find out. The yellow flowers will be replaced by purple bunches of fruit and you can sow the seeds contained in those.


Anyone done any gardening today?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 23:47
Today I broke the lawnmower .....

Tree ID please

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 19:40

Definitely one of the amelanchiers - lovely trees and shrubs - good autumn colour as well as pretty spring foliage and blossom. 

Fruit trees - plum and apple

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 17:15
Verdun wrote (see)

Don't like ant powder around edible crops Topbird.  


You are probably right Verdun  - won't do that again.

Can anyone add to this list?

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 17:11

My hand weeding fork has a bright girly-pink handle and my secateurs are orange and yellow. My garden knife is bright red. The idea is that the handles stand out in the border so I never lose them.

Guess what? - Doesn't work!

Some days it seems I spend nearly as long looking for things I had 'just a minute ago' as I do actually working. I too have gardening caddy which keeps things all neat and  tidy in the shed but is just there to trip over when I'm working.

I am going to invent a mini tag to attach to garden tools that emits a little tune (whatever!) when activated from a key ring fob to help me find stuff. I am going to take it on Dragon's Den and become a millionaire ......

Fruit trees - plum and apple

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 16:55

Hi Panda. We inherited a maturish Victoria plum tree which didn't fruit at all the first couple of years we were here (same with the mature Egremont Russet apple).

Two years ago we did major landscaping & the planting included 4 crab apple trees. Last year we had loads of blossom = loads of pollinators = super, bumper crop of really nice apples and bumper (well ok - 11 - ) crop of plums.

I have concluded that the poor cropping of plums is due to lack of pollination (Victoria is supposed to be self fertile) but I'm hoping it will get better year on year as we increase the pollinator friendly planting. Meantime I might try the old paintbrush trick myself...

Re aphids on the apple tree - encouraging birds is a good idea. I also get a bucket of soapy water and stiff brush and scrub off any of those patches of cotton wool the woolly aphids hide in. Doesn't get rid of them but helps to control them. I have been known to sprinkle ant powder round the base of my tree before now - didn't last long but made me feel better.

What have I got

Posted: 20/04/2015 at 12:31

Sorry Benjamin I'm not sure what it is either but I just wanted to say that your description & photos should be the template for how everybody should ask for a plant ID - good clear pictures & every aspect of the plant leaf, flower and habit covered. I'm sure somebody will be able to ID it for you before long..

Nutcutlet is usually pretty good at these things 

ask a silly question....

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 11:18

I'm so right sided it's laughable - can do hardly anything with my left hand, use my right foot for digging, kicking off on my bike, kicking balls etc etc. When I had physio a few years ago I was advised to try to use my left side a bit more as the muscles on the RH side of my back were so overdeveloped. 

My mother in law is naturally left handed but was forced to use her right hand at school - consequently she is fairly ambidextrous. My OH is right handed but does quite a few things left handed (genes?) including using a knife in his left hand. He can easily swap to using his left hand when doing DIY etc if it makes access easier

Buried treasure

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 11:01

In my first garden (victorian country cottage) I uncovered the original rubbish heap (pre council refuse collection). Lots of broken pottery, a few coins, some lovely, intact, local earthenware ginger beer bottles and some unusual glass bottles.

In my previous garden (converted farm buildings) I found lots of bits from the old farm horses (horse shoes, one horse brass, bits of harness etc).

In my current garden (20 year old build on site of a 1930's bungalow) I have found several breeze blocks, large lumps of mortar, a concrete lintel at least 4' long (still there - couldn't dig it out) and a large buried roll of roofing felt and lots and lots of broken brick 

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