Latest posts by Topbird

Petrol Lawnmower

Posted: 26/03/2017 at 13:07

My Honda petrol usually starts easily - but first outing of the year it's usually a pig!

Usual suspects are - stale fuel, condensation in the fuel tank, gungy spark plug - but it sounds as if you've looked at all those. Is the fuel brand new from the garage (rather than what you've stored yourself over winter). If not I'd try that.

I would check the air filter in case it's blocked - but I bet it's not.

If all else fails I would leave it in the sun to warm up a bit. Don't know why but this works for mine If it has a choke on it try various settings and then leave it for half an hour and come back to it again. 

Just a last thought - is the fuel tank tap turned on? If you've had it serviced they usually turn it off for safety when transporting.

Failing that you could take it back to Tesco. If it's a year old it should still be under warranty (or only just out of it) - and they might swap it.

Resurrected Nine

Posted: 26/03/2017 at 10:05

Morning - more garden prep in the sunshine today

Haven't seen our bats yet - they live in our attic which is a bit of a pain as we have to have dust sheets over anything important but it's worth the inconvenience when we can sit and watch them dancing. No bats but lots of gnat clouds yesterday evening. Summer is coming....

I'm not a mum (except to my cat) - but I wouldn't mind a cup cake with elevenses - pretty please SGL

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 26/03/2017 at 09:56

Orkney is on my "To Do" list - so much fascinating archaeology up there - and finding new stuff all the time

Morning everyone - another sunny day - more garden prep this morning before the area I'm working goes into the shade. It was another cold night - glad I tucked my tomatoes up.

Hope Chicky enjoyed her day yesterday - that event looked very much my sort of thing and so many excellent speakers. Would definitely have gone if we lived closer.

Wonder if Fairy is up to her knees in snow yet? OH said there was a lot on the hills in the Lakes but it was very wet and slushy and really quite slippery. He turned back because it was hard work and not the safest surface to walk on in ordinary walking boots. Fairy's probably got her crampons and ice axe out

Hope everyone has a good day - whether it's Mothers Day stuff or (like me) just doing their own thing - whatever - enjoy

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 25/03/2017 at 18:45

More of the new border dug over and some old perennials lifted and divided to fill some spaces when I start planting it up.

Fairy - hope you enjoy your walk tomorrow.Those pictures from Glen Etive are awful. What sort of mentality makes people think it's ok to behave like that?

Those pasties look very good Dove - could fancy one for my tea but we're having pizza - yum.

It's been a glorious sunny day here but the wind has been very cool. Have just popped my tomato seedlings back into the propagator for a bit of extra protection tonight - temperature was down to 0.2C last night. That's not great for tomatoes.

Buying clematis sounds good - I need to finalise which ones I want this weekend. Also need to sort out a couple more shrubs but I'm having my usual block when it comes to visualising fully grown plants. It'll get sorted one way or another though.

Time to clean up and mix a G&T 

Don't forget to put your clocks back tonight

Can this rosemary be revived with a hard prune?

Posted: 25/03/2017 at 12:59

I'd prune as Bob says - but I might only reduce it by half. I've killed rosemary with bad or over enthusiastic pruning

Rosemary grows on poor thin soils but I think they need a bit of sustenance if they're in a pot. You could  repot it to replace the compost (make sure you incorporate plenty of grit or such like for drainage) or top dress it with new compost and slow release fertilizer pellets.

Resurrected Nine

Posted: 25/03/2017 at 12:47


Lovely day here - although that easterly wind has an edge to it. Will get outside for another couple of hours after lunch.

Kitty - I rarely have a bonfire but, when I do it's very late in the afternoon when everyone is packing up for the evening. Very thoughtless to do it in the middle of the first decent day for ages. Feel a bit the same about other people's BBQ's Pansy.

Not much to report here other than OH came home last night - so today he is unpacking and cleaning the camper van. Always good to see a bloke with a duster in his hand

This weekend I need to make a final decision on which clematis to go for - I need at least 3 - maybe 4 -but there are sooo many to choose from

SGL - I've 'spoken' to DD this morning - she's ok and sends her best wishes to everyone.

Last edited: 25 March 2017 12:51:30

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 19:09

G&T, chilli con carne, Gardeners World, Only Connect and last night's Pottery Throw Down - enjoying Friday night

More tidying and mulching done - back is aching a bit now but I'm showered and clean and the fire is lit so time to relax.

I could right fancy chicken and leek pie though....

Last edited: 24 March 2017 19:10:01

hardy geraniums

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 14:48

I like Geraneum Phaeum 'Margaret Wilson'.

It has smallish leaved grey / green / cream foliage and pale lilac flowers (late May).

The foliage helps to light up darker areas. so adds interest even when not in flower.

I also use a lot of G. Cantabrigiensis 'Biokovo' (see Nut's post)  as ground cover. A really tough little plant which seems to grow in most spots. Very pretty, delicate palest pink flower.

Last edited: 24 March 2017 14:50:24

Hello Forkers - March Thread

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 13:54

You're right Obx - I could have a go at making some but I'm not sure how good they would be

Maybe I could have a furtle around in the garage and see if we've got some old wood which I could use to make a small one as a trial first. If that looks ok I might invest in some wood and have a go. Geoff Hamilton always made it look easy didn't he?

Thanks for the link

The roses I bought included a new DA - Roald Dahl. Ticked a lot of boxes off my checklist but the thing that swung it was the description of 'Almost thornless'.

Try telling my poor thumb that... 

Snazzing up the front of a house

Posted: 24/03/2017 at 13:22

If the driveway is only just wide enough for a car to drive along it I don't see how you would be able to put in any beds, large tubs or troughs next to the house for planting into!

If you could persuade the owners to widen the drive into the grassed area by 1 to 1.5m that would give more room next to the house for the tubs suggested by LB. If you're getting a mini digger in to remove turf and top soil to make more driveway, you could also dig out a few planting holes next to the house to plant climbers etc

The other solution might be to make beds in the grass and plant some large shrubs so it breaks up the view of the house from a distance. But, without knowing the layout of the garden, I don't know whether that would be feasible or worth doing.

Last edited: 24 March 2017 13:25:43

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12 threads returned