Latest posts by whitevanwoman

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Talkback: Gardening jobs for snowy weather

Posted: 09/02/2012 at 18:07
apart from ensuring there was clean unfrozen water and topping up the seed & nut feeders, we decided to enjoy the pretty views and let the birds get on with stuffing themselves. To our delight, about 10 Redwings descended on our (bird donated ) hollu bush and proceeded to eat as many berries as possible. Having gotten the easy ones they spent a lot of the following day trying very hard to get at the others. They didn't quite succeed but the berries have been reduced by about 90% and we have had a wonderful view of at least 10 Redwings, which although we have seen them in local fields, have never visited our garden before. More snow please!!

Talkback: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2012

Posted: 04/02/2012 at 22:25
I missed the watch because I spent so much time sorting out my VAT and annual Self Assesment which had to be filed by 31/01. Since there are so many people now filing S.A.'s(think it is somewhere between 3 and 5 million people) perhaps this survey could be moved to the following weekend.

If it had, I could have included the 10 at least Redwings which invaded our garden to strip our self seeded Holly of most of the berries. There are still some left and they will be back tomorrow to finish the job.

Ericaceous soil

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 01:13

I agree with stephanie. It is important to test your soil to establish if it is suitable for acid loving plants. You can buy a pH testing kit for a few pounds from garden centres. If the results are over ph6 then you will struggle to keep acid loving plants healthy and need to resort to container growing. Be aware however that it might be poor drainage rather than the wrong pH. If that is the case a lot of well rotted manure and we are talking tonnes here if it is a reasonable sized area, rather than the odd barrowload, will be required. You could also add grit to the soil to help improve drainage. Try the pH test first though as it is a lot cheaper and involves a lot less initial work.

New House, Old Lawn

Posted: 20/01/2012 at 00:52

I suggest a small investment in a book called "the Lawn Expert" it is part of the Dr Hessayon series, readily available and around the £7.99 mark last time I looked. No you won't become an expert groundsperson, but it will tell you all you need to know with pictures, diagrams and text which is not too technical.

good luck

Where do I get peppermint?

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 22:05

Hi, Loved your carrot heart. If you want to grow it organically try www.jekkasherbfarm.com Jamie Oliver calls her 'the Queen of Herbs'

Pruning (or worse) a Myrtle Communis

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 20:58

My experience of this plant is that it is not a fast grower but is expected to reach up to 3 metres. Thinking of the height of your plant it may very well be the original. Probably time to ask the experts.Try contacting www.jekkasherbfarm.com for their opinion. This is the business of one Jekka McVicar, the' Queen of Herbs' according to Jamie Oliver. Jekka has run for many years an organic herb business outside Bristol. She has won more Chelsea golds for her herbs than anyone else I can think of.

You could also try the Royal Horticultural Society www.rhs.org.uk but you might have to be a member for individual advice.

There is also the National Herb Society which is situated outside of Banbury in Oxon. Sorry don't have the website details to hand.

If all else fails, try contacting your local Horticultural association, better still join it and make new gardening friends. 

foliage near food

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 20:41

Edible herbs such as Rosemary and Bay immediately spring to mind also the tricolour Sage would be rather pretty. Winter Savory, Hyssop, Thyme and maybe Parsley are also all available in January.

white fly

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 20:35

Bunny Guinness back last October on Gardeners' Question Time recommended Neem Oil. It is an organic control for flea mite on plants and pets (she apparently uses it to wash her dog) but also works on whitefly. There are loads of stockists on search engines.

Hope this works for you

Your gardenersworld.com wishlist

Posted: 19/01/2012 at 19:43

A lot more people are using herbs in their everyday cooking, so how about a section devoted to herbs and maybe featuring the herb of the month. I grow some old fashioned ones like Lovage, English Mace and Winter Savoury, which you certainly don't see often in the supermarkets. These are all suitable for adding interesting flavours to foods, but I doubt amny people have heard of them, let alone know what to do with them


Posted: 19/01/2012 at 19:26

Join your local horticultural association and you will get tried and tested advice from people with similar soil to yours. Charges are usually about £5 per year , which won't break anybody's bank.

Somewhat more expensive, but very worthwhile is becoming a member of the Royal Horticultural Society this is about £40+ per year for an individual member. They had a huge campaign in 2011 about "growing your own" friut and veg that is. Apart from free entry into the 4 gardens (unfortunately all located in England) you will have the advice of world renowned experts which can be given by e-mail.

Hope this helps.

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