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Latest posts by Topbird

Quince Quandry

Posted: 09/10/2014 at 17:17

Sorry - have only just seen this thread.

Quince jelly makes an excellent alternative to cranberry sauce or redcurrant jelly & we always have it with roast pork. Delicious with all hot and cold meats (except perhaps beef) - whether on the side or spread in butties. Also good with strong cheddar style cheeses and pates.

I always stir some into any pork casserole style dishes I am making or when I want a little extra sweetness or zip in gravy. 

I don't peel or core mine for jelly (too much like hard work) - I just wash & chop them.

I do, however, peel and slice a few for the freezer as a couple of slices added to apple pie, crumble or sauce perfumes & lifts the whole dish.

Apparently quinces used to be placed in linen cupboards to scent the linen & a few left to soften in bowls makes a cheap form of pot pourri.

Lovely versatile fruit - just wish mine didn't have pear brown spot!

Homegrown Wedding Flowers

Posted: 09/10/2014 at 08:56
Sorry to hear that Amy - it's a b**g**r after all your work.

FIrst - go & look through the debris - if you're quick & there are little clumps of seedlings you should be able to repot them. You might have trouble ID ing what they are but just try to keep ones that all look the same together. Take this opportunity to essentially thin them out. Don't bother picking up individual seedlings unless they have developed roots & have compost clinging to them.

Second - It's not too late for another round of sowing & I would do this anyway as an insurance policy.

Good luck - hope the GH is ok!


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:11

Evening all - curry takeaway - mmmmm 

About to start making sweet & sour pork to use up the leftovers from Sunday roast - hopefully will taste nearly as nice as curry.

Cold and very wet here in sunny Suffolk. Hard to believe that 2 weeks ago I was about to resort to sprinklers on the borders because they were so dry! 

Thanks for the cold frame pics Chicky - I'm thinking of having a go. Are yours the ones with patented cane-prop ventilation system?? 


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 11:43

Alan - I used to live in sunny Yarmouth. Winters often cold but not usually hard frosts - however....

I can think of at least 2 periods in the last 30 years when we had snowdrifts up to 10' deep and villages cut off for several days. One night it was down to -17C!

If you have lots of precious things I would definitely consider insulating. If they're more mundane & don't want to make the effort the odds are you will be ok (could always consider moving a few more valuable things into the house if the forecast warrants it)

It's prob cheaper to buy bubble wrap online - failing that stationers / post office.

As others have said - go for the big bubbles. 

Worries & troubles that affect Forum friends.

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:46

Sorry to hear that Mr F - hope everything turns out to be OK - your friends here will be thinking of you & Mrs F.

Blue fingers definetly not Green

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:42

...Oh & the weeds in the paving ... they should die back within a few weeks. Don't be tempted to pull them as the weedkiller needs to work down to the roots (& you'll also take out any grouting). Once they've gone brown and withered it's usually easy to brush or scrape the top growth off - don't worry about the roots they should be dead if you've used a systemic weedkiller & will eventually rot away.

Blue fingers definetly not Green

Posted: 07/10/2014 at 17:34

Here goes Steve:

  1. Roses - you can cut some of the top growth down now to tidy them up for the winter but in the spring I would suggest you prune them properly and give them a really good feed. You may also need to spray against blackspot and / or repot them (we'd need a closer look to advise) or perhaps consider planting them in the soil. The only roses happy in small pots are small patio roses.
  2. The bedding plants in the raised bed - yes they need to come out now & can go on the compost heap - unless you have a greenhouse / shed / garage where you can over winter the pelargoniums (bedding geraniums) so you don't have to buy new plants next year (we can tell you how if interested)
  3. Mint can be a bit of a thug but it is lovely to have in the garden. I agree with WillDB that you might be better off spraying this with glyphosphate to remove it completely from the raised bed. BEFORE you do though - dig out a sizeable clump & pot it up. You can replant it in the soil if you have an area where it can do it's thing or re-incorporate it in a raised herb bed. In a raised bed I would recommend finding the biggest / deepest bucket / small barrel you can - cutting off the bottom & sinking it into the bed. Plant the mint within the container - the plastic sides should restrain lateral growth of the mint but the plant should have sufficient depth & access to water & feed.
  4. If you want to keep the rhubarb where it  is give it a good mulch and feed.

Phew! - Hope that all helps!! 


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 12:41

Dove - have sent you a PM about Cleve West.


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 12:15

BL - when do you think you might be in Suffolk? Perhaps we could make it a TWIGS outing as our intended visit to BC's in August had to be cancelled due to bad weather?

Compost Heap

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 11:48

That does sound like a good idea Hosta but do you ever get any problems with fungi growing in the shreddings? If so, have they caused you any problems?

I had a (very) large ash bough removed 2 winters ago and I got the tree surgeon to fill one of my compost bins with some of the shreddings (as a place to store them).

About 3 months later I was ready to use them to spread as a thick layer to form paths around my newly planted raspberry canes. There were orange & yellow fungi & spores in the shreddings and after I had spread them more fungus appeared (this time it was leathery seaweed-like stuff). Because none of it looked like the dreaded honey fungus growth (& the parent tree was very healthy) I was not too concerned about it all and the fungus disappeared after a few weeks & has not returned. Nothing seems to have been harmed - rather the opposite in fact - everything in that area is doing very well

I was surprised by how rotted some of the shreddings were after only 3 months & certainly within a year of laying my chipping paths / mulch they have been totally incorporated into the soil. On the whole I think that (if there are no concerns around fungal growth) then wood chippings could be a good thing to mix with grass cuttings. I also think, however, I would want to be sure that the tree the wood came from was not infected with anything particularly nasty.

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