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Latest posts by Topbird

Bulk buying compost

Posted: 02/05/2015 at 09:46
Hi Patsy
Try Googling "bulk compost kent" - that brings up a list of companies who will bulk deliver multiples of smaller bags of compost / FYM and also larger dumpy (cubic metre) bags.
The cheapest way to buy this sort of material is loose by the truckload. I have had several deliveries of a mix half mushroom compost and half top soil - but you need to have an area where it can be dumped & strong muscles to barrow it round the garden

One for the ladies. ......

Posted: 30/04/2015 at 13:05
Steve the Gardening Vet wrote (see)

What scares me most is the people who drive with loose dogs in the car or as they might be better known, potentially fatal projectiles in the event of an accident...

Yes, Steve - you have to think that nobody - dog or human is going to come off well in that situation. Quite a few cats seen travelling unsecured on rear parcel shelves around here too 


Posted: 29/04/2015 at 23:11
Wonky - sorry but I hadn't picked up that Flatface wasn't actually your cat (note to self - must read back before posting!). That does make things such as taking him to the vets a little more complicated.
Keep bathing his eye & giving him TLC - hopefully it will heal with your ministrations. If his owners don't take responsibilty for him & he seems to be suffering it might be a case for the RSPCA - but hopefully it will sort itself out.
You obviously have a big heart to care about him so much!

Chelsea Chop

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 20:08

She does work in the US but also trained in the UK. She mentions climate zones (normal in american gardening literature) but that is really the only difference to a UK book. Helen Yemm has often recommended the book in her gardening column several times which is how I came to know about it.

I used for it good advice on how to best treat plants I already had rather than for plant selection. I liked the fact that she gave specific information as to whether or not a plant would recover well / benefit from a short back and sides in the middle of a growing season and which plants could be chelsea chopped. 

I would recommend you have a look at the book in a shop or library first to decide if it's for you. If you've been gardening for years & already know the best way to treat your perennials you might find it has little to teach you. I just liked the fact that it gave a slightly different twist in a very readable format. 


Posted: 29/04/2015 at 17:51

Hi Wonky - sorry to hear about your poor cat. 

Please don't use any disinfectants or antiseptics intended for human use on a cat without checking with a vet first. Some of them contain phenols which I believe can be poisonous to cats. A phone call to your vet should allow you to check for free if there are any that are ok to use but I think they will recommend sticking with warm salt water.

The other problem with cat scratches around the eye is if the eyeball has been scratched it can become ulcerated which is very painful. Vets use a dye to check the surface of the eye for scratches. If he seems in the least bit distressed, the area is hot or swollen or the eye starts to close I would take him asap. The PDSA (one of my favourite charities!) will look after him for a contribution rather than a full vet's fee if you are a bit short at the moment. 

I'm not a vet but I do have a cat who gets into a few scrapes... Hope he's ok 

Chelsea Chop

Posted: 29/04/2015 at 17:31

Can thoroughly recommend the book "The Well Tended Perennial Garden" by Tracy Disabato. She goes into quite a bit of detail about which plants respond well to full and partial 'Chelsea chopping' as well as all the other basics such as dead heading / dead leafing / supporting / planning.

The last past of the book is an alphabetical index of more (fairly) common perennials with information as to whether or not a specific plant will respond to well to the chop & whether or not it is worth dead heading the plant flower by flower (as opposed to just shearing at the end of flowering) - the sort of stuff often not covered in other garden books.

My library stocks it - but I found it sufficiently useful to buy my own copy 


"The Blues"

Posted: 28/04/2015 at 13:40

I love brunnera at this time of year. As pretty as forget-me-nots but longer lasting and much better behaved (ie don't seed everywhere). The foliage of varieties such as Jack Frost and Looking Glass also give interest for many months of the year.

Also love cornflowers and nigella. Last year I grew a really deep-inky-blue nigella - beautiful - hope it has self seeded.

Tatty patio

Posted: 27/04/2015 at 19:01

I would also use Pathclear - effective & residual to prevent germination of the weed seeds left in the cracks.

I would also consider regrouting the patio after treatment. It's not expensive (sand & cement mix) & cheaper than keep buying weedkiller. However, it is a bit tedious and time consuming if you do it properly and tamp the mix firmly into the cracks - but if it's only a small patio it won't take too long & is worth doing.

japanese knotweed

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 18:25

I believe some councils will also help with dealing with this weed - might be worth checking. 

Please help me identify this plant

Posted: 21/04/2015 at 10:39

Really like that planting combo ....

Discussions started by Topbird

Ideas of Nurseries and Garden Centres to Visit on my hols in the South East

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Which Currant Bushes Would You Recommend

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Papaver somniferum seed

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Dividing Perennials

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Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

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Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
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Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
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Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned