London (change)


Latest posts by Topbird

Hampton Court tickets

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 18:03

That's bad luck Peanuts. Is there a helpline number you can ring to see if you can swap your ticket for another day?

Will probably be an admin charge - but if you are desperate to go.... 


Average gardeners spending

Posted: 25/04/2016 at 18:00

Yup - must be a lot of households out there who only spend between £1 and £10 a year on plants....

I spent more than 'the average' on a single tree last year because it was the exact species / variety / size I wanted 

Cottage garden borders

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 18:37

How disheartening for you Sue.

I wondered if it might be that your soil gets waterlogged in winter so the plants rot away - but it sounds as though you have nice soil so maybe not.

My next thought is that perhaps it is still a little early to give up on everything. The delphiniums in my sunniest border are only just peeping through the soil & it's the same with lots of the geraniums and astrantias. I can't even tell where most of my hostas are. I'm in relatively mild East Anglia so if you're in a colder part of the country it might just be that things have not woken up yet.

My final thought is that perhaps you are putting plants in when they are still a bit too small and not able to withstand the winter. I pot plants on until they fill a1 litre pot before I plant them in the borders. I only plant perennials in spring - never autumn because they sulk and rot in my cold wet clay soil over the winter.

Plants such as aquilegia and some of the geraniums maintain a 'presence' through the winter so you can keep an eye on them.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 17:31

Is it tomorrow when you're doing the triathlon Panda? - or is that next weekend?

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 24/04/2016 at 16:16

Well done Panda - you deserve an extra helping of bamboo shoots tonight 

Talkback: Five of the best trees for small gardens

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 13:29

I also like amelanchiers - good interest in spring and autumn - can be grown as either a large shrub or tree.

My favourite small trees are the crab apples - lots of pretty blossom in the spring and fruits developing through the summer. If you pick the right one you will have beautiful, jewel like fruits through the winter. The bright red fruits of Red Sentinel remain on the tree until Jan / Feb in my garden (and then the birds have them) and look stunning against a clear blue sky. If you are so inclined you can harvest the fruits for jelly.

HELLO FORKERS April 2016 Edition

Posted: 23/04/2016 at 11:15

Morning Everyone 

Nice and sunny at the moment if a tad chilly. Think I'll get out and cut the grass while I can. Sleet / snow showers forecast for first thing tomorrow - no wonder I'm keeping my toms and other tenders in the house for now 

Hope you have a good walk Fairy and hope all those with gardening deadlines get to spend a little time out there this weekend.

Get well wishes to all of those feeling poorly or have poorly OH's and hugs for anyone going through difficult times.

Grow Your Own Curries

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 18:13
Michael Burford wrote (see)

Topbird - It sounds like your more of a thai curry fan than Indian?



Well Michael - you've got me thinking now . If I had to choose my Desert Island / Last Supper curry it would be really hard to choose between Thai and Indian. 

Love the freshness and citrus zing of so many Thai dishes but also find some of them a little sweet. I think, on the whole, I prefer Indian curries - warm, earthy, comforting flavours.

Am not a fan of any of the ready made sauces. Some of the pastes are an ok starting point if you're in a hurry but generally better to make your own and tailor them to personal taste.

I did Indian Cookery at night school many years ago learning authentic Indian dishes (not sure which region though) and cooking techniques. OH thought it was the best ever way for me to spend 10 weeks - he really enjoyed marking my efforts out of 10 


Grow Your Own Curries

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 13:20

What an interesting thread. I also make curries from first principles and had never thought of sowing the seeds from my packets. Think I will give it a go 

I  grow lots of coriander every year and harvest all parts - leaf, root and seed. I believe it is also fairly easy to grow ginger and lemon grass from supermarket bought tubers and stems.

Unreliable tradespeople

Posted: 22/04/2016 at 12:12

I HATE it when tradesmen don't keep appointments!

I'm not stupid, I know that other jobs overrun, I know that vans break down, suppliers don't always supply etc etc. But I also know that I have a phone, they have a phone and it only takes 2 mins to let me know they'll be late. Communication is all...

We have been very fortunate since moving to our village. We now use a builder, plumber, electrician, landscaper and decorator who all live either in the village or within 2 miles. They all know each other so they liaise between themselves on jobs requiring more than one trade. They are all really nice, reliable, honest, helpful, clean working guys. Not the cheapest in the business  but also not the most expensive. 

Only problem is - every one else knows they're good too - so there is always a long wait to get work done. Worth it though..

Discussions started by Topbird

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

Replies: 8    Views: 589
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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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Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

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Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

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Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 1223
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 940
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 3761
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 746
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 3255
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
11 threads returned