Latest posts by Topbird

gardens in west scotland/ cornwall /devon

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 22:39

Oops - just had a look - it's the Shower of Herring - not the Shoal. 

Menu has been updated - no more daggers of steak.

On a plus note - they do a flight of gin on a Wednesday night - excellent 

gardens in west scotland/ cornwall /devon

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 22:29

Been to the Shoal a couple of times Fairy - seem to remember they served steak like an oversized kebab on a sword-type giant skewer - forgotten what it was called. 

Love Melfort 


Posted: 14/07/2016 at 19:04

Thanks for your well wishes Liri - I'm feeling a bit better after an afternoon in the garden.

Was supposed to be planting a few things - managed 6 marigolds before I decided I needed to do some more tidying and cutting back. Is it just me or does the garden get terrifying at this time of year? - it seems to get horribly overgrown with things being squashed by other plants and the soil looking all dry and spent. A little overwhelming if I'm honest. 

Will try to do some planting tomorrow. Will feel a little calmer when it all looks a little tidier. I like blousey and informal - I don't like a tangled mess. Seems to be a fine line between the two...

Oh has offered to cook dinner - again - he is the best 


Posted: 14/07/2016 at 15:16

My neighbour's dogs live in a kennel - they do not live indoors. They are loved and well cared for but they nearly drive me demented if they start barking at night because a rabbit or hedgehog is passing by. 1am is a favourite time. Doesn't last more than a few seconds but just enough to wake me when I'm just dropping off to sleep.

Nice day here - feeling a bit better than yesterday but not 100%. Trying to plant up some annuals to fill the spaces left after cutting back spring stuff but not really in the mood. Hate it when gardening feels like a chore - but if I don't get some of this stuff in now it will be time to put it on the compost heap

Last edited: 14 July 2016 15:16:26

Brand new garden, heavy clay soil

Posted: 14/07/2016 at 15:03

I have great clumps of grey and yellow clay in my soil and it was a nightmare to work for the first couple of years - but it's gradually getting there.

The best thing you can do for clay soil is to keep working it and to incorporate lots and lots of organic matter - rough textured or 'long' compost is good for clay. Digging breaks down clumps and the organic matter enriches and improves the texture. If you put in the work now you will have beautiful rich, moisture retentive soil within a couple of years.

If you have empty borders at the moment it's a perfect opportunity to do lots of soil improvement before you plant. Buy spent mushroom compost / composted farmyard manure / soil improver etc in bulk and spread it really thickly (6") over the borders and start digging it in. I have bought in literally truckloads of the stuff. If your garden is smaller you can buy this sort of thing by the cubic metre delivered in dumpy bags.

Personally - although it won't do any harm at all - I wouldn't bother adding grit except perhaps when you're planting bulbs or plants that need better drainage.  I definitely wouldn't add sand (I have seen it suggested before) - that can make matters worse.

Finally I would second the suggestions to try to work with what you have. Enjoy being able to grow the clay lovers. 


Posted: 13/07/2016 at 22:09

Lovely hydrangeas Dewdrops - hope you start feeling a little better soon.

Nice harebell Fairy - they seeded everywhere in my last garden so I'm not sure I will introduce them here. Pretty though - so maybe 

DD - good to hear you sounding positive about your new home - things are falling into place slowly but surely 

Thanks for the reminder about GW Lesley - really enjoyed it tonight - all the articles were of interest  - green with envy for that beautiful garden in Somerset. Hosta might also enjoy the item about miniature hostas 

GWRS - tripe . My dad used to like it too - I can't bear the texture  

Last edited: 13 July 2016 22:10:24


Posted: 13/07/2016 at 20:20

Evening all

Just had a quick read back - wish I'd never mentioned ox heart - most offal is pretty offal  IMO - exceptions being very thin slices of pan fried calves liver and chicken liver pate but we don't often have those either. The thought of stuffing a heart 

Glad you're not going to be going round with a hole in your mouth Hosta 

Lesly - My foxgloves have nearly all been white this year as well - how strange.... I blame Boris 

Have done a cycle ride today - not very far - 26 miles. Managed to dodge a couple of heavy showers - thought the rain was not due till 6pm - they got that wrong again.

As I said it wasn't too far and although it was quite rolling landscape it wasn't too arduous but... I am now absolutely cream crackered. I can't get warm & I feel very achey & headachey. Feel a bit  too. Really hope I'm not coming down with something. We've a big family do in Yorkshire on Sunday & I'm supposed to be supplying dinner. 

Might have to give them 10 bob and send them down the chippy 

Positive visualisation for the doc

Posted: 12/07/2016 at 09:34

We miss you - come back soon 


Posted: 11/07/2016 at 20:53

Dock of The Bay - possibly my favourite song of all time. 

OH has been tasked with arranging a little trip to the states for me to sit eating fried clams and drinking ice cold beer at the end of a jetty with that song playing... One day he'll get around to it - not too much to ask for is it?

Picturing Runny in purple satin flares.. They would have been a match for my burgundy velvet loons. We would have looked dead cool together at the disco Runny - did you wear a cheesecloth smock top with them?

Edit: Hope all goes well at the dentist tomorrow Hosta

Last edited: 11 July 2016 20:54:28


Posted: 11/07/2016 at 17:41

Runny - . Many years ago I finally tracked down an elusive 'funny' smell in the kitchen. One of those that starts as an elusive little whiff that quickly goes. Gets gradually stronger over the following 2 weeks.... Eventually tracked down a lump of ox heart I'd stuck in the oven to defrost for the cat's dinner about 6 weeks before 

Didn't use the oven much in those days  

Not sure if I ever used that particular one again after that 

Nice pic Dewdrops 

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