Latest posts by Topbird

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 19/05/2017 at 14:44

Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of people being allowed to spend their own money on whatever they choose to spend it on (I thought that was one of the benefits of living in a democracy) isn't it the case that this particular piece work of art sparks a reaction in people?

Whether it be the stuff of nightmares or just a bit spooky - to me it appears to be a powerful bit of work. Not something I'd want on my living room wall but it stirs something deep inside. Surely that is what good art does? - whether or not you like it.

It's a large sum of money to be sure and I can't see the value - but the person who bought it clearly has that money to spend. So long as (s)he didn't earn it through exploitation, sexploitation, supplying arms or chemical weapons , drugs or by any other illegal means I think it's entirely up to him / her how they spend / invest it.

I actually find it more disturbing that people with not a lot of money spend a fortune on a wedding day or buy extortionately priced designer label clothes and accessories. What about those who think nothing of shelling out £100 at the hairdressers or on a night out on the p**s when they are struggling to pay the rent and other day to day bills? (Yes - I do know people that do that).

Sorry - that's all made me quite cross. Rant over.

Resurrected Baker's Dozen

Posted: 19/05/2017 at 09:54

Morning all

Pansy - huge hugs for you. You must feel truly pummelled by all that news descending on you in one huge dump. Hope all the dollop on here helps take your mind off things a little.

M-U - puss cats - got to love 'em - such independent little characters.

Debs - enjoy your day out - hope the weather holds for the wedding. Where you going for lunch? - sounds like it could be rather nice - & I get the impression your OH might be 'in the business' so will know where to take you Lucky girl!

SM & hwk this morning and home via nearby nursery to pick up a couple of pelargoniums (mine didn't survive the winter in the shed this year). I do 2 chimney pots and one large flower pot both full of red pelargoniums and that's it for summer pots - hate watering pots, hate dead heading petunias and lobelia usually gets straggly and horrible after August - so I've given up and keep it dead simple. Used to do huge hayracks, baskets - the works. Looked fab - but I'm too much of a lazy mare these days

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 19/05/2017 at 09:20


Can anyone remember if I've already laced the front border with chicken manure & BFB pellets please?

"Is the human race stupid?" - Doc - I refer you to the person elected to run the USA and the electorate of said country.

Too much politics already - sorry.

Resurrected Baker's Dozen

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 20:05

Dove - I grow G. Rozanne and find all that blue gets a little relentless mid to late summer. 

I've just stuck some Indian Prince next to mine in the hope it will brighten things up Will also have alchemilla mollis in the mix - I love that yellowey / limey green of the flowers with orange & blue.

Resurrected Baker's Dozen

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 19:10

I wasn't a fan either Debs until I (happy accidentally) grew Calendula Indian Prince alongside some french lavender a couple of years ago. The dark purple and rich orange looked great together.

This year I have DA rose Roald Dahl which is supposed to be apricotey in colour with purple salvias underneath and 3 plants of geum Totally Tangerine (which is slightly more subtle than it sounds) and is looking really pretty against purple geraniums, lime green hostas and the dark leaves of some Cotinus.

Have also planted quite a few Calendula  amongst the nepeta which will also have the magenta of Geranium Ann Folkard running through it.

Also have some new epimediums and Cornus Midwinter Fire which have orange tints to the foliage / stems

Everything looks great at this time of year when the foliage is so lovely and fresh and springy. As I said - it will be interesting to see how the colours work later in the season. May all be a little brash - may be fantastic.

Joys of gardening

Last edited: 18 May 2017 19:13:28

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 18:32

Evening everyone - isn't all this rain absolutely wonderful?  Both my garden and I are absolutely loving it - day 3 of heavy but not damaging rain - no gusty winds and mainly outside of gardening hours - what's not to like? A few more days to do a really thorough job please.

Fairy - Lord Bute is one of my favourite pelargoniums You know that he doesn't like the rain very much don't you? (the flowers go mushy quite quickly). But a slightly sheltered spot and he'll be a very handsome addition to your display. 

Glad you had a good day with Jean BL.

We had a lovely day out on Tuesday. Went to Flatford Mill (John Constable, The Haywain etc). Absolutely glorious day - 28C - wall to wall sunshine and beautiful scenery / buildings etc. Loved their wildlife garden (I will build a bug hotel this year - some excellent ones there)and picked up some good ideas for more things to plant in my woodland border. Also spent half an hour watching a baby blue tit plucking up courage to leave the bird box. He had about 12 looks before deciding there were just too many people watching. 

On the way back we went past the gates of The Place For Plants in East Bergholt (first rate plant centre - if a tad expensive) so it would have been rude not to call in. Picked up a couple of tarragons and some seeds. Also had a good look at the clematis they had there. Think a couple of the patio ones might make good border plants.

Which clematis did you buy Fairy?

Hope you all have a good evening

Resurrected Baker's Dozen

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 18:03

Afternoon everyone

Not often I have the opportunity to say this but - I've been forced back inside by the rain 

Third day of gentle, but heavy rain, not accompanied by gusty winds and mainly through the night - all my Christmasses have come at once

I think by tomorrow morning we will probably have had over 2" of rain on the parched soil. The garden is absolutely loving it - soaking it all up like a big fat sponge - and the plants are growing at a rate of knots. Have even managed some planting in the woodland border. Normally a bit of a no dig area after February because it sets like concrete when dry and is full of tree and shrub roots. 

Lovely - can stand days more of the same to do a really thorough job.

I seem to have been Tangoed with some of my plantings this year - lots of shades of orange - a colour I have shied away from in the past. But there's also lots of purples, blues, very pale yellows, lime greens and dark foliage so the oranges are adding a real zing at the moment. Will be interesting to see if it all still works later in the season.

Would love love some Rhodies but the soil is quite alkaline and I don't really do pots. The pics on here are tempting me again though

Nice to see SGL again and I hope RB is doing ok. Happy birthday to puss cat M-U (or was that yesterday - I've forgotten).

I've also forgotten everything else I've just read so I'll just hope you all have a good evening.

Last edited: 18 May 2017 18:04:19

Plant ID please

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 12:31

Thank you both

Gold star Dove - it has got a groove along the upper face of the stem and a quick Google has confirmed it is Common Hogweed.

I think I'll leave it for now - I love cow parsley, ammi, most of the umbellifers. This is a woodland border which I intend to leave a bit on the wild side with native flowers and this particular bit of it is in the rain shadow of 2 very mature trees. It's a small 2m x 2m area where it's quite difficult  to establish anything except bulbs and ground cover like lamium - so anything which will bring some mid height is very welcome. 

I'll probably remove most of the seed heads (don't want it everywhere) but a little self seeding won't be a bad thing. Thanks for the heads up about skin irritation Lyn - I'll treat it with due respect

Plant ID please

Posted: 18/05/2017 at 11:36

Hello all you clever folks

Can anybody ID this plant which is growing through the leaves of hyacinth bulbs in my woodland border please?

There are currently 2 stems growing at 180 degrees to each other (only one in photo). Each stem is approx 14" long at the moment and the central rib has some dark reddish / brown colouration at the base and is a bit hairy. Each individual leaf is approx 4" long and 6"wide at the widest point.

I've also seen it growing along local footpaths.

If it is of ornamental or wildlife use (or won't become a nuisance) it can stay. If it needs to go I can dig it out now the ground has been softened by heavy rain.

Thank you.

Hello Forkers - May Edition

Posted: 16/05/2017 at 08:36


Good luck Clari & hope the ailments heal soon Dove, Wonky and Pat.

We had a bit of light rain yesterday but it just washed a bit of dust off the leaves - didn't touch the soil which is still bone dry.

Going to be mid 20's and humid this afternoon so need to do any heavy jobs this morning. OH wants to go out for lunch so best get a wriggle on.

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