Latest posts by Topbird

Visiting Woottens?

Posted: 28/07/2016 at 16:20



Posted: 28/07/2016 at 09:20


A little light pottering and a few things to plant out this morning followed by household chores this afternoon.

Good to see you P'Doc - you've been missed . One small step every day... You'll get there 

Tart sloe gin

Posted: 27/07/2016 at 15:36

I find that most sloe gin recipes call for too much sugar for my palate. I usually reduce by half to start with and add a bit more if necessary during the long months of maturation (good excuse for sampling - quality control and all that ).

If you did add sugar it might have been that the berries you picked were particularly tart - but adding extra sugar would help combat this (again - sample and adjust)

I'm assuming also that you did leave it to mature for several months? It can have quite a raw taste in the early weeks.


Posted: 27/07/2016 at 15:28

I read that last bit as  " ...could Verdun share a donut....?"

I think we all know the answer to that one don't we? 

Visiting Woottens?

Posted: 27/07/2016 at 15:23

Crumbs! This is very sad news 

Always visited Woottens whenever we went to Southwold and don't think I've ever left without buying plants. Lovely, knowledgable staff and excellent quality plants. Their Plantsman's Handbooks are a pleasure to read. Boo hoo

Don't know if this helps but here are a few nurseries in Suffolk

- some of them are not too far from Southwold. I can recommend the Place for Plants (but a bit of a drive and maybe not great at this time of year unless the gardens are open too). A friend has been to the ones at Dunwich and Darsham & enjoyed those (although she might have been talking about cake rather than plants!).

Enjoy Southwold - stroll along the pier, local ice cream, pint of Adnams and chish & fips - perfecto.


Posted: 27/07/2016 at 11:23


Hooray - we have a some light rain. Gave the woodland border a good soaking yesterday with the sprinkler so, hopefully, this rain will actually sink in and do some good rather than just bouncing off the compacted surface.

Welcome home Panda - big bite might be a horse fly. I was bitten on my leg 2 weeks ago and it's still a bit itchy, swollen and achey. Horrid things.

Looking forward to the pics Yvie - always a bit of a shock when you have big stuff removed from the garden.

Off to SM now - later on I might try to clear up some the hazel branches I lopped yesterday. Only if it's dry though - and I really don't mind if it rains all day every day for the next week (it won't...)


Last edited: 27 July 2016 11:23:42


Posted: 26/07/2016 at 11:39

Morning - come in for a breather - It's bloomin' hot for working out there again.

Trying to get some stuff out of the nursery border and into the proper borders - but it's all very dry. The intensity and likelihood of rain over the next couple of days keeps reducing which is not helping - getting a bit desperate for some now. At least the breeze has dropped so I was able to put some weedkileer on the drive which was nearly green with weeds in places. 

How does that work? - Desired plants going brown, droopy and crispy - weeds popping up green and fresh as you like??

More depressing news from France I see...

Hope the hump gets better soon PP. 

Happy birthday Joyce 

Wondering about these flower IDs

Posted: 25/07/2016 at 13:34

I don't think No 2 is echinacea. It looks a lot like the aster on Ladybird's label  

Doc leaves

Posted: 25/07/2016 at 13:30

Hi Rich

I agree with the advice to allow the docks to start growing again and, when there is quite a bit of foliage, spray with a glyphosphate based weedkiller. A decent garden centre should be able to help you pick the best product for the job. 

After spraying you will need to leave the weeds for a couple of weeks. Glyphosphate is a systemic product which is absorbed through the leaves and works it's way down to kill the root. This takes time - maybe as much as 4 weeks. If the weeds are old and well established with very long tap roots you may only weaken the plant with the first application. So spray and leave any regrowth as necessary.

Docks are a pain but there are far worse weeds to deal with. If any of them have seed heads on nip those off and burn - or otherwise permanently dispose of them (do not compost)


Posted: 25/07/2016 at 13:15
plant pauper says:

TB I'm pretty sure it was you who made me laugh when my alarms went off and you recommended vacuuming every couple of weeks. It looks like your 18 months are up!!! 


See original post

 PP - I have always been a great believer in the adage "Do as I say - not as I do"... My alarms get a regular vacuuming - whenever they go off  

For those in need of more good news... - OH has finished cutting the hedge - and he's done it per instructions not to take too much off the sides this time  - and he's nearly finished clearing up  Wot a star! All looks much tidier and we don't have lots of holes for people using the footpath to look through. 

Chicken Basque is his favourite dinner - so we're having it tonight as a reward with a very large beer. Will make him a good curry tomorrow if he's home.

Too hot in the office - so we all packed up early. Picked up 3 very large plastic pots on the way home & will half sink them in the ground with the bush tomatoes in. They'll nearly self water (if we get some rain) and can just be lifted out and put in the potting shed when the temps start to dip in a few weeks.

Also bought a new bar sprinkler. I have one which is a smaller version of the type farmers use which is great for large deep borders and big areas but I need a much smaller, gentler one for some raised beds. I don't mind watering them by hand in the spring and autumn - but they need a good hour's soaking at this time of year.

Had  a quick look round the GC while I was there. The plants are a disgrace - wouldn't spend 50p on most of them. I know it's been hot, dry and windy here but... Staff often just hanging around - they should all be on watering duties. Here endeth the 2nd lesson....

Last edited: 25 July 2016 13:17:06

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