Latest posts by Topbird

Tree for a small garden

Posted: 20/07/2016 at 12:01

Crab apples (or Malus) are my go-to tree.

They are relatively small,  traditionally shaped, deciduous trees providing year round interest. Usually smothered in blossom over quite a long period in spring (the closed buds are attractive too), they provide shade in the summer and have brilliant bright fruits in the autumn and winter. The fruit can be harvested to make crab apple jelly or left for the birds over winter.

John Downie is a classic with lovely coloured fruits but is very susceptible to scab and loses it's fruit very early (mine never make it beyond Sept). I wouldn't recommend it if it's the only tree you are growing.

'Red Sentinel' has beautiful red fruit - I find they last through till about Jan / Feb and look stunning against a clear blue sky. 'Gorgeous' has larger red fruit but I don't  know how long it lasts. 

'Evereste' has more orangey fruit - these last right through until Feb when the blackbirds have a field day.

Last edited: 20 July 2016 12:03:18


Posted: 20/07/2016 at 11:48


Did a little light deadheading and watering first thing and moved the car. Car thermostat said 33C at 10am...

The wind has really picked up now which is not good for the garden when it's this hot and we've had no rain for a couple of weeks. The shrubs in my woodland border (under a mature ash & copper beach) are starting to look a little droopy so I may have to do some serious watering if they don't pick up when it cools down. Most of them have been in situ for about 4 years now so they should be starting to look after themselves. Would somebody like to tell them that please?

Not planning to do very much at all today - last really hot day so might as well use the excuse while I can 


Posted: 19/07/2016 at 22:16

Runny  Please come back soon - I love your postings - funny and irreverent - sometimes laugh out loud funny. 

Missing P'doc too. Hope he's ok.

Hope the rest of you are going nowhere anytime soon...

Last edited: 19 July 2016 22:20:01

What happened to the edit facility?

Posted: 19/07/2016 at 17:40

It's very strange but...

If I read the forum on an iMac there is no problem at all with using the edit button.

If I'm using an iPad I usually read it in landscape format. The edit button then just produces the black space mentioned by others which doesnt disappear.

If, however, I turn the iPad to view it in portrait mode the edit button works fine. 

Agree with Dove's comments about how to deal with things not working properly. Just say so politely either on here or by PM. There is no need for snidey comments about individual members of the GW forum team. I get the impression they are very much caught between a rock and a hard place with some of the changes which have been made and the problems which continue to affect the forum.

Garden Rescue - TV Programme

Posted: 19/07/2016 at 13:25

I am clearly in the minority here because, having watched 3 or 4 of the programmes I think it is not a bad 'daytime TV' programme. There seem to be some half decent, realistic budgets and no pretence of trying to do everything in a ridiculously limited time frame. 

I've found the Rich brothers designs to be clean and modern, Charlie's to be more traditional and I've liked both - always interesting to see 2 completely different designs for the same space.

I'm tending to like the Rich designs more - which is a bit of a surprise bearing in mind what my garden looks like...

I have to agree about the practicality of those turf seats though. My first thoughts - how to mow, snagging clothes on the vertical sticks, that soil is going to sink a lot, and that fence won't last 5 mins unless there is a space behind the back of the seat and the fence. Also very surprised they didnt find the cash to buy a couple of pots of stain to tidy up said fence.

Much prefer this programme to Love Your Garden and it's light years ahead of The Instant Gardener which I really don't get at all.

Cosmos problems

Posted: 19/07/2016 at 12:19

I sow cosmos late and pinch back several times to get bushy, later flowering plants. My garden needs some useful plants like cosmos from late July until early Sept so that's when I aim for the very best flowers. 

Mine have only just (Friday) been put in their flowering positions & one or two have no buds yet. They'll be fine. They have been outside in the nursery bed since May though.

With lots of deadheadng and some further judicious pruning they should be sturdy pants covered in flowers for months. Had flowers through till Nov last year


Posted: 19/07/2016 at 09:07


Phew! already - we only seem to do famine and feast in this country.

Had a lovely day celebrating with the in-laws on Sunday but it was hectic. Started preparation jobs on Saturday at 8am, finished them at 10pm. Sunday was a 400 mile round trip and while we were there we worked hard manning the bar,  washing up, making dinner etc. A1 closed coming back so gone midnight by the time we got home.

Phone went at 7.30am yesterday - grr- then a mad scurry round to get the camper van ready to come away for a night. We're at a site near Cambridge with lots of trees (shade) and a lovely shallow pool (refreshing but not cold). Nowt to do but lie in the recliner & drink tea and the occasional glass of something cold.

Pots, veg and new plantings got a drenching Saturday and yesterday morning so they will be ok until we get home tonight. Hope the cat's managing to stay cool too.

Enjoy the day everyone - SYL

Edit: Sorry Hosta & BL - just read back to your posts. Hope the day goes as well as these things can BL and hope the shift passes quickly Hosta.

Last edited: 19 July 2016 09:14:07

Bad year for raspberries

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 00:25

Looks like we are set fair for an excellent crop of raspberries. Variety is Polka which is an autumn fruiter but I've alreadyhad a dozen fruit and the canes are covered in young fruit and flower buds. The fruit I've picked have been full size and tasty.

Blackcurrant has also cropped very well. Planning to make blackcurrant & raspberry gin


Posted: 16/07/2016 at 18:05

Congratulations on the prizes GWRS. Good chish & fips in Cleethorpes I'm told

Steve - welcome home. We're doing an extended trip to the North Cape when OH retires in a couple of years time. Short way up - very long way back down. Can't wait to go and see some fjords. Did you do the Hurdy Gurdy cruise?

Fairy - Now what did I tell you before about picking up young men? Can't take some people anywhere Glad you had a good day!

Sorry Joyce but it is really quite warm and close here. About to go and do the watering. I may be some time....


Posted: 16/07/2016 at 14:31

Afternoon everyone! Hope Fairy is having a good walk 

That clip is beautiful Papi Jo - would love to be able to do something like that

Hate having workmen in making lots of mess BL - still, at least you were able to leave it behind

Have been to the SM and doctors, made some phone calls, mowed the lawn, done a pile of shredding and now I'm hot hot hot.  (That's a red-in-the-face smiley - not an embarrassed one!)

This afternoon I must do a lot of watering as I have new plantings in the ground. It is going to be very hot here and I don't think I'll have time to water them over the next few days.

Also have to prepare things for tomorrow. We are off to in-laws for their diamond wedding anniversary tea party tomorrow - day trip from Suffolk to N Yorkshire so lots of driving . Not only will we be helping with the party but I've offered to do dinner up there as well - so need to get everything ready to transport, griddle courgettes, poach salmon, pick herbs / veg etc. At some stage I should try to do 'something' with my hair....

Best have some lunch now and try to cool down. If in doubt what to do next - sit down & drink tea

PS. - If P'Doc is looking in - I hope you are feeling a little brighter. The news doesn't help but maybe the weather forecast can make things feel a little better

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