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Latest posts by Topbird


Posted: Yesterday at 17:22

I've been to Rosslyn Chapel Lily - church architecture / late medieval stuff is my thing so I found it absolutely fascinating - I think they may have had to ask me to leave at closing time  - so much to see.

Love the hamster Flumpy - can't bear mice and rats but like hamsters & guinea pigs - must be those horrible scaly tails - urrgh!

Have spent a lovely afternoon repotting my new plants, sweeping the shed out, tidying the composting & nursery area and generally pottering about. Time flew by and I only came in 'cos I couldn't see what I was doing anymore (is it me or did it get dark earlier today?). Very wild out there - mild but very windy.

Time for a cup of tea before shower and dinner prep. Might catch up with  "Call the Midwife"  tonight - saving Shetland for when OH comes home tomorrow. Exciting life... 

East Anglian Snowdrop Walk

Posted: Yesterday at 11:01

Maggie - 

Suz - that's a shame.

So folks, are we definitely aiming for the 18th? Has anybody heard from Panda? Do we know if she can do this date?

I'm still free for all the other dates we've discussed (& others - no life - how sad ) but it would be nice to be able to put a firm date in the diary. 

East Anglian Snowdrop Walk

Posted: Yesterday at 09:36
It's me that lives near you Maggie - not Nut


Posted: Yesterday at 09:11

21 very healthy plants arrived yesterday. All need potting up so, after a little hwk, I shall be mainly in the potting shed ( the real one - not this one). First proper stint of the year - woo hoo

Will probably take a bucket of tea with me - do you think Pat will notice if I snaffle a couple of those biscuits? Have to keep my strength up....

East Anglian Snowdrop Walk

Posted: Yesterday at 08:59
G. nodosum much more to my taste Nut

but thanks anyway...


Posted: 05/02/2016 at 16:46

 Well done Wonky - mine's a large G & T if we're celebrating. 

Don't go making that knee worse before your op Hosta (stern faced, waggy finger smiley needed)

Fruit Cage

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 16:33

Raspberry & blackcurrant gin is also an excellent restorative Andy - cures all sorts of problems.

 My fruit area probably totals about 6m x 7m & I have considered a walk in fruit cage. But, as you say, they are expensive and my neighbour's cage was damaged & distorted a couple of years ago after he failed to remove the netting before we had heavy snow and high winds. For now I will muddle along with temporary cages erected just for the few weeks I need them.

Thanks for your comments about the straw Verdun - maybe I just got a bad lot - might give it another go with a different supplier.

Fruit Cage

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 12:38

Can I pick your brains (again ) Verdun?

What type of straw should you use and where do you source it? Have you had a problem with cereal seed germination?

The one time I tried to use it I got a bale from a local country / equestrian wholesaler. I think it was barley straw and I think it was sold as suitable for rabbit / small animal bedding. Looked lovely & did a good job for the first couple of weeks - then I saw the green shoots where seed (obviously mixed up in the straw) had germinated. Within days the whole patch was starting to resemble a lawn! Made loads of work over several weeks weeding it.

I must have bought the wrong product but I don't know what the right one would be.... 

Fruit Cage

Posted: 05/02/2016 at 11:46

Hi Andy

I grow autumn fruiting raspberries & can confirm they need less cosseting than summer ones. I don't bother netting them and my supports consist of simple pole surrounds and (tough) twine or wire threaded round and through the patch of canes.

The main problem I have with autumn raspberries is the root runners which have to be ruthlessly pulled up and cut back every spring. They can be quite rampant if they like the conditions & I'm a little concerned you might end up with raspberries growing through your strawberries if they are only a couple of metres away.

I have to net strawbs against blackbirds - but I use a temporary low mini cage & just lift the netting off as I need to pick them. This cage is constructed round the plants just before the fruits ripen & removed when they've finished. 

I've allowed 1.5m between my currant bushes and construct temporary individual cages around them as the fruits ripen. (At least that's the plan - they were new last season)

I'm also not a fan of landscape membrane as a weed suppressant on cultivated areas unless there are extenuating circumstances (per Busy Lizzie's case).

I prefer to prepare the soil in the whole area really, really well before planting & then use a thick (4") mulch of bark chippings around the currants and raspberries (my strawbs are in a separate bed). This does a good job of suppressing weed germination, makes the paths drier to walk on when harvesting, gradually breaks down to provide some slightly acid humus to the soil and also looks quite nice. It is easily scraped to one side when you need to dig out those runners or if you want to add extra compost / feed to the base of your plants.

I wouldn't use bark around the strawberries, however, as it could shelter slugs which will eat the fruit. I don't like straw either after I had one batch which contained loads of seeds & I grew a barley (whatever) field in my strawberry patch. Temporary cardboard collars sounds a good way to go.

Netting strawbs doesn't stop the voles who tunnel up from below to pinch the fruit  - no solution (except my cat) found to this problem (yet)....


Posted: 05/02/2016 at 09:59
Clari - if I was you I'd give your boss an ultimatum. Pay today by fast bank transfer or in cash - no more work until you have the money. But you have to stick to it and mean it...

Sorry to hear Doc & Flowers are feeling so rough. There seems to be a really nasty heavy cold / nearly flu / bad cough doing the rounds this year & I'm pretty sure it's what OH & I had last summer. Seemed to last for ever. OH picks up all sorts of bugs from people coming back from far flung places & sharing their germs on planes.

Mighty atom is a lovely snowdrop Dove - was that one of your b'day ones from last year?

I'm playing the waiting game today - my order of 21 plants was despatched yesterday so might arrive today. Schoolgirl error to order on a Wed - if they don't turn up today there's a strong chance they'll be sat in a sorting room over the weekend.

Have a good Friday

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Is this Pea Weevil?

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Getting rid of daffodils

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Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned