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Latest posts by Topbird

Fishing for sympathy!

Posted: 24/01/2016 at 09:35
Happy Birthday for yesterday Steve - hope you're feeling better soon. Wonder if they'll gift wrap the offending item as a belated birthday present to take home?


Posted: 24/01/2016 at 09:30
Morning all - drizzly day here but quite mild.

Can anybody explain why when it was snow on the ground & sub zero temps, I was walking around in a blouse turning down the thermostat. But yesterday when it was warmer I was bundled up in layers hugging the radiator - & still couldn't get warm? Dodgy internal thermostat I reckon

All that talk of sewing made me get on with shortening some curtains that have been held up with pins since last March - will finish those off today.

Also just seen the ad on here for the free weekend on Find My Past so will spend a few hours on there to decide whether or not I want a paid subscription with them. (Cancelled Ancestry subscription in a fit of pique a few days ago & feeling a bit lost without that reference at my finger tips).

Hope you catch up with some sleep Hosta - sounds like more of an endurance challenge than a holiday this one - and hope Mr & Mrs P'doc are having a nicer time if they're looking in .

Have a good Sunday everyone

Planting in a very formal courtyard bed

Posted: 23/01/2016 at 23:40
My initial thought was also for lavender partly because it would give a nice burst of colour & scent for a few weeks but also because it will tolerate dry conditions. I imagine that bed would be fairly dry especially in summer.

A similar effect might be achieved with a good rich purple salvia such nemerosa 'Caradonna' - which also has attractively coloured stems. It tolerates a wide range of conditions in my garden and survives the winter well even in my heavy clay soil. The bees love it.

Our local council have planted up roundabouts with perennials and one has been planted formally using lots of this salvia. They have punctuated the rich purple with bright yellow day lillies and phormiums and have used the hardy geranium biokovo for spring colour. The roundabout is divided into 4 identical beds separated by areas of gravel. Looks very classy.

Lovely courtyard BTW!


Posted: 23/01/2016 at 21:02
True Scotphiles here Fairy so we're watching - partly because Shetland is very near the top of the list of places to go when we have a little more time to get there - and partly because it's a pretty good story too.
Seem to remember we had to keep rwinding in the 1st series because the sound was all to pot & we couldnt hear what was being said (old duffers!). They seem to have addressed that issue this series so much more enjoyable to watch
Cat has just jumped on lap & is staring me down - obviously wants a cuddle - see yous all later


Posted: 23/01/2016 at 15:20

Love the smell of hyacinths Panda 

Yvie - Sissinghurst is a great garden - you will enjoy it - but try to get there early before the big coach parties arrive especially at weekends - it can get so busy they start doing timed entries. Arriving for when the gates open is good. 

How much you see of the real glories of planting at Sissinghurst will depend so much on what sort of spring we have. I went in mid May one cooler year and it was a definite lull - spring bedding & bulbs were over and summer stuff was not yet out. Quite a few empty borders or borders full of bulbs dying back.

Another year it was very early June after a very mild spring and the roses were in their full magnificent first flush - fabulous. Have also been late June & July - glorious but very very busy. 

If you're looking for other gardens in the area, the Yellow Book is online these days so you might find something there that coincides with your dates. Enjoy 

Didn't mean to make you envious Dove! - have been trying to decide how to resolve several problems in the garden for ages and have been saving the pennies to get it done properly for the last couple of years. Will be lovely to not have slippery paths and muddy grass directly outside the french windows (joys of a north facing garden!) and to not have to negotiate the trip hazard that is the paths to both front and back door.

OH has just been called in to work for a couple of days and now won't be home for dinner for 4 nights . I like to plan my menus out for about 5 days at a time but, over the years, have learnt to buy stuff that I can freeze in some form or another when things don't work out.

Quite a lot of fresh veggies in the fridge at the moment though - so I will be eating very healthily for the next couple of nights 



Posted: 23/01/2016 at 12:01

Morning (just!) 

Lovely sunny day here but not over warm and very wet underfoot.

Have just spent a most entertaining hour discussing plans with the chap who has done a lot of my landscaping - and he's now booked to come and do the last really large landscaping project for the garden.

We shall build a large patio (which will replace the slippery paths along the back of the house), make a lovely big border, create a small stand of birch trees with long grass / wild flowers / bulbs underneath, level & re-lay the remaining paths etc round the house (like a roller coaster at the moment) and strip / replace all the remaining turf in our back garden to sort out the levels once and for all.

It's a big job and he'll be doing it in the summer so I guess my garden won't be looking great in July - but lots of fun to be had afterwards!

Glad you're feeling a little better DD - you've had a really rough time lately - make sure you get yourself better before undertaking new ventures / getting back to work.

Dinner sounds lovely BL - any chance of a spare seat? I've got a Janome sewing machine as well. My old Jones machine was really playing up (had never been great) so I took it to the shop to see if it could be repaired. They offered me £100 trade in against a new machine. Bit of a no brainer really. Have been really pleased with it - mainly used for basic alterations but I have made quite a few pairs of curtains / cushion covers as well.

The only thing I ever used /wore that I made in sewing class at school was a needle case (made aged 6 for my mum - I still use it) and a tennis dress. Don't think I ever got more than a C+ for my efforts....



Posted: 19/01/2016 at 18:48

Best wishes to you DD - hope you start to feel better soon 

Variegated Holly Disease (Help please!)

Posted: 19/01/2016 at 17:15

I had this problem on a young holly bush ('J C Van Tol'). Tried to save it over a couple of seasons - careful pruning, sprayed with fungicide but last spring it was essentially a multi stemmed twig.

Dug it out and replaced with euonymous Duc D'Anjou - looks much better than a sickly plant.

Would still like a holly for some berries though - will try a better spot in the garden

Hope somebody can suggest a solution but I think you might need to accept the bad news on this 


Posted: 19/01/2016 at 15:48

I wouldn't say Harry is spoiled (much!!!  ) but how is it I always end up squeezed into the last 12'' of sofa while he's stretched out lengthways to show me 

  1. How white his belly is
  2. How tall he is fully extended

PS 'Secret' addiction to admit to - My name is Topbird and I sniff my cat's belly - love burying my head in my cat's belly - all warm and furry 

Spontaneous Combustion

Posted: 19/01/2016 at 15:41

I sometimes use ESP as a primer before painting woodwork (sanding irritates my chest) - similar warnings to take care with those rags as well.

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Getting rid of daffodils

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11 threads returned