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Topbird


Latest posts by Topbird

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 18:53

Yes Obelixx the cost of hives, protective gear, smokers, centrifuges etc can soon mount up. That is another positive about just providing a hive & not worrying about honey production - you just don't need a lot of that stuff. 

Monty didn't say whether or not he is hoping to harvest honey - will be interesting to watch his journey

Quality reasonably priced garden sheds

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:31

Good luck Didee8.

One word of friendly advice... If you think you want an 8 x 10 shed and you have room for it without it being an eyesore - that is what you should have. It's amazing how quickly they fill up and, if you have a smaller one, you will almost certainly regret it when you can't quite get the bike and the lawn mower and the whatever in - or you have to move everything to get stuff out. 

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 17:19

It's something I'm thinking about Jo47.

I would keep the bees mainly to provide them with a warm & safe home and, hopefully, to fill my garden with pollinators. I would not be looking to produce honey (I'm not that fond of the stuff) & would leave it for the bees to feed on over the winter. I would not be looking to disturb the hive / smoke the bees / remove queen bee cells / clip the queen bee's wings  - or do anything else to disturb their natural cycle. They would be allowed to grow their honeycombs in a natural way - downwards (I think). Monty mentioned a 'top bar hive' so I imagine that is intended to be a more natural hive.

I live out in the sticks and swarming (part of the natural bee cycle for producing new colonies) would not be a problem here (lots of trees etc around for them to make new homes in). Swarming is much more of a problem for urban bee keepers where they are highly likely to come into contact with people and their houses. There has been a bit of press coverage about that recently - not good for bees to be getting a bad press...

I've done a bit of research - loads more to do before I make decision. Quite a bit on the internet if you Google 'natural bee keeping' or similar.

Are you thinking about it too Jo? 

Quality reasonably priced garden sheds

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 13:42

Didee - I got mine from here  https://www.meritgardenproducts.co.uk - mainly because their head office is just up the road from here.

I wanted a larger (non-standard size) high quality potting shed. They custom built one for me with upgraded  wood (thicker, pressure treated), extra windows, safety glass, stable door and shingle style tiles for the roof - and it still cost less than comparable, standard products from other companies I looked at.

They also delivered and erected it for free which was a definite plus - most other companies charged for this service. I am very pleased with it 

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 10:04

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 07/06/2015 at 09:11
Tootles - Bingo!!!
Watched it last night - excellent programme - everything was of interest.Tried to analyse why it appealed so much & it all came down to relevance to my own gardening style and preferences.
Two excellent & aspirational gardens in the UK with lovely unassuming owners - hope they are having a good 'Open' weekend.
I planted outdoor tomatoes and courgettes on Thurs - good to get some timely tips and reminders. Good tips elsewhere as well.
I am seriously considering having a natural bee hive ( one to give the bees a home where they live and reproduce naturally & not managed for honey production) - so this article was very interesting for me.
Hope this is the start of better things to come

Last night's Gardeners World

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 21:26

I haven't seen it yet - you've got me all excited Tootles 

Plant suggestions for my front garden

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 12:25

You snuck in there Gardenmaiden  

Plant suggestions for my front garden

Posted: 05/06/2015 at 12:22

Hi Scgh

That looks like quite a difficult border to plant up - I imagine the soil is quite dry & maybe quite poor & I think you've done very well with the plants you've got there.

The broad leaved plant is a bergenia (AKA 'Elephant's Ears') - evergreen with spring flowers.

Re the planting: Unless you really don't like them I would leave the hydrangeas & ceanothus in situ. I'm not very fond of hebes as they can get straggly - so I would take those out. You might like to look at some of the euonymous and pittosporum shrubs. Lots of different forms & colours of both - but they are both evergreen and can be hard pruned into tidy shapes - I would keep them to abt 3' - 4' tall in that situation. 

You could also lightly prune the ceanothus if you don't like it's shape - but it really doesn't like being cut back hard - I would do it over several seasons. 

A mulch of something like slate chippings would 'tidy' the appearance of the soil & work with the colour of your hard standing.

Good luck

Plant ID please

Posted: 04/06/2015 at 20:37

Looks like a viola - nice little plants to have around the garden & they should self seed fairly easily.

They remind me of medieval lion carvings found in churches etc - they always have long tongues hanging out 

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