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Topbird


Latest posts by Topbird

Papaver somniferum seed

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 12:58

Thank you Chrissie - as you say it is all part of the fun to see what comes up differently each year. 

There do seem to be some named varieties out there though so I wonder how they propagate those? GOOGLE may indeed be my friend here.

Papaver somniferum seed

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 10:35

Apologies for posting this twice but wasn't sure if it should go in 'problems' or 'plants'!

This year I have had several Papaver Somniferum plants pop up in my garden which I have allowed to flower. They are all about 3-4' high and most are fairly standard single flowers. A couple, however, are beautiful pom pom heads - one a lovely dusky pink/plum and the other a softest pink (looks like an old fashioned rose from a distance). 

Does anybody know whether it is worth while collecting the seed from these 2 plants to sow for next year? Will they be true to the parent plant? The bees have been busy buzzing between them so if they are easily cross pollinated this is likely to have happened.

If cross pollination is a problem, would it be possible to prevent cross pollination of a couple of the unopened flower buds (perhaps by tiring some insect mesh loosely around them) in the hope of producing 'true' seed?

 

Papaver somniferum seed

Posted: 20/06/2014 at 10:31

Hi

This year I have had several Papaver Somniferum plants pop up in my garden which I have allowed to flower. They are all about 3-4' high and most are fairly standard single flowers. A couple, however, are beautiful pom pom heads - one a lovely dusky pink/plum and the other a softest pink (looks like an old fashioned rose from a distance). 

Does anybody know whether it is worth while collecting the seed from these 2 plants to sow for next year? Will they be true to the parent plant? The bees have been busy buzzing between them so if they are easily cross pollinated this is likely to have happened.

If cross pollination is a problem, would it be possible to prevent cross pollination of a couple of the unopened flower buds (perhaps by tiring some insect mesh loosely around them) in the hope of producing 'true' seed?

 

Crab apple trouble - help please!!

Posted: 10/06/2014 at 22:13

Look forward to seeing the pics & hope we can help when we can see the problem.

 

 

Crab apple trouble - help please!!

Posted: 10/06/2014 at 08:45

Have a look at this link - does it bear any resemblance to what you have? If so - you probably have fruit scab - a common fungal problem (some crab apples are very prone) - not terminal & you can treat with fungicidal spray if you are so inclined (lots of advice online - see RHS website). I have it on a quince & a John Downie  crab apple. I haven't gone down the spray route yet - it was bad last year but I did all the 'good hygiene' stuff & things don't look so bad this year so will wait & see.

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/problems/fruit-and-nuts/apple-and-pear-scab/372.html

House martins

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 13:53

Wait till the babies emerge - you'll really enjoy hearing them chattering away while they wait to be fed.

Lovely.

Walking on flower beds

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 13:47

How do you guys walk on flower beds?....

.... Very carefully!! Tried working off planks in the spring - did more damage with them to emerging plants than my feet & (not inconsiderable) weight would do to the soil. Right now there is so little space between my plants that there's only odd bits of space for my size 5's! 

I just accept that I need to push through if I'm going to keep on top of dead heading & weeding but try not to walk around too much. I then fork it all over as I retreat backwards to the lawn.

Always mange to tread on a treasure though.....

Nightmare Lawn / Mole problems / Total Beginner

Posted: 06/06/2014 at 13:34

Hi Flaz & welcome to the world of gardening.

If you have a real problem with moles you will have an uphill task trying to get rid of them - especially if your neighbours have paved gardens making yours the nicest space to visit! Lots of threads on this site about trying to get rid of them but they are something many of us have to learn to live with (speak from experience!). You could try contacting a pest control company - depends how you feel about such things - but even they have only limited success with moles & they often come back if the area is attractive to them.

A good lawn does look lovely but it sounds as though it could be hard work to prepare it & might be even more attractive to the moles when you've finished (better lawn = more worms = more mole food!) A small lawn can also be relatively time consuming to maintain.

Wondered if you have considered other alternatives which might look equally as good in a small space and be less attractive to moles. A gravel garden for instance could allow you to plant to soften it but still provide areas for seating/ sunbathing / BBQ etc and you wouldn't need to mow and edge it every week (and the moles would be less noticeable if they still visit).

Depends how you want to use the garden really and how big the overall area is (is it just the lawn or are there borders etc already established?)

Good luck & enjoy your new space whatever you choose to do with it

Can you use wood logs as stepping stones

Posted: 30/04/2014 at 23:26

I believe it's perfectly possible to use the discs as you describe but PF is quite right to point out that they could become very slippery - especially if they're shaded or damp.

I seem to remember 'somebody' advising stapling chicken wire over the discs to make a non slip surface. I would also be a bit concerned as to how safe they would be to walk on if they started to rot after a couple of seasons - could be just as dangerous as a slippery surface I would think. For that reason I would make them thicker and treat them with some sort of preservative prior to laying (the sand or gravel idea would probably help too).

Good luck - I'm sure they'll look lovely and add a rustic touch to your garden.

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Posted: 16/03/2014 at 11:01

Thanks NC - I appreciate your concerns about using chemicals but can reassure you I garden very organically most of the time. This is a very small area of my garden but the box represents a very recent investment of several hundreds of pounds plus tens of hours in terms of preparation and planting - so I want to do whatever I can to protect it for at least the first couple of years.

If it's doing well after that I'll revert to purely organic methods 

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