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Latest posts by Wintersong

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 19/04/2012 at 12:02

South-East inland: grey skies, showers with brighter patches, chilly winds.

think of the blackbirds Monty !

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 21:42

Last year I had drama with a bee's nest in my ground that got half dug up by foxes and then overtaken by a Cuckoo bee, I found the queen crawling away with her wings bitten off and the resulting nest died out a few weeks later since Cuckoo bees don't continue the nest. (I would upload a picture of her, but file is too big)

I also witnessed a bird of prey land in my middle garden and fly off like a shot at the sight of me, leaving only a few sparrow feathers behind from his latest meal!

This year I am proud to announce a nesting pair of Blackbirds in my ivy, right over my kitchen window! Already, I have observed the female bird doing all the nest building, although the male stood guard and even brought her the gift of a worm today.

I must say, one of the delights of being a gardener is the adventure with wildlife!

Why Miss Bateman?

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 13:48

I planted Miss Bateman and Dr Ruppel on a metal arch two years back and every spring out pop the flowers buds, but poor Miss Bateman suffers earwig damage! A third of her show so far this year. Do you think she has the sweetest flowers?  This duo are planted in very close proximity to a trellis fence occupied by Josephine, but the grand dame remains unspoilt. Of course, I count my blessings, it could be far worse, but poor Miss Bateman  

I'm thinking of moving her to another location, upturned flower pots filled with straw have failed to catch a single culprit and it has happened predictably for two years running. None of my other Clematis in any part of the garden suffer a single spoilt bud.

Any advice, tips or similar anecdotes?

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 18/04/2012 at 13:35

South-East UK inland is rainy grey and very blustery. Went out to do jobs because I don't mind rain but the wind was too cold.

Making Compost

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 22:09

I have homemade ones that look like Beehives but don't have the bottom drawer. It has bevelled sides that stack as high as you like and is furnished with a lid. Access is gained through the top, and I can dismantle the layers if necessary. It has made turning very hard work in the past, especially since I never seem to have an empty bin to pass it back and forth which is why I sheered the contents this time round. I figure I'll keep sheering every time I stir to make easy work. It's already a lot easier to rotate the fork, if a little tight.

Just wanted an idea of once a day or once a week to stir it.


Posted: 17/04/2012 at 21:55

@Sunny1, I just heard from delicious Alys Fowler on Edible Gardens, Juicy Fruits, Episode 4, that she gives strawberries a shelf life of 5 yrs.

Making Compost

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 21:30

Yes, a great strategy if you have space! Sadly I don't, but I might have muscles by the end of summer

I believe councils and parks shred the material to speed up the process but what sort of gap should I leave between turnings? I've seen those twirling bins that are supposed to be turned daily but have no idea about a beehive style.

I want compost as fast as possible! Sorry, I'm being greedy but my garden demands nourishment and it will also produce a stupid amount of waste through the summer and whilst the patient thing to do is invest in more bins, it's just not an option presently.

Do you consider gardening to be like art?

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 11:28

@Gary Hobson, indeed, and when we use hard surfaces to compliment or contrast within soft planting, I think we are not only being artistic but attempting to mimic nature in the formation of miniature (idealised) landscapes and whether you prefer the Zen garden or the tropical paradise. The art is not in the existence of such a scene, (that is copied from nature and you could appreciate from any static photo) but man's crafting of it into a personal form. Man becomes nature in his little corner of the world, existing equally in destruction as creation, constantly evolving and improving just like nature and art must involve crafting in order to exist in the first place, or else it is just the beauty of nature, but not art. Now I need to go and lay down, haha. 

Do you consider gardening to be like art?

Posted: 17/04/2012 at 09:30

Well, thinking about that quote again, I think you have to include Architecture and maybe go so far as haute couture clothing, so perhaps its not the best quote? But art most certainly is a way of thinking, a frame of mind, a sensory marriage. Its what makes us humans feel better in an otherwise abrasive world and if that means wearing wellies and being knee deep in a pile of muck on a rainy/windy day with the prospect of enjoying what is to come in the summer months, then you can keep your fancy fashions and sculpted buildings and super fast cars.

My version of heaven, is an endless field waiting to be created into a garden, without pests and diseases. See you on the other side! Of the field..gosh!

New veg grower and advice needed pls

Posted: 16/04/2012 at 21:38

I'm sure you have done your research, just consider mulching around plants where possible to retain water in the hottest months as south facing will always dry out any bare soil. I have found from experience that things always begin with a false sense of security as its early in the year for too many pests and diseases, the weather is still quite wet with warm patches, our seedlings and baby plants have mostly been wrapped in cotton wool and production at this time of year tends to be bulkier foods and not lush tender things all sparkly and inviting to wildlife. The bane of my french beans is black fly, my brassicas always get mullered by caterpillars or pigeons, the birds shred my beetroot leaves to pieces and I won't even talk about slugs and snails. Above all, vigilance will be your best friend, as much time as you can spend around your crops will reap what you sow, as they say. Good luck!

Discussions started by Wintersong

Before and After

Replies: 31    Views: 1187
Last Post: 01/06/2013 at 12:23

June in Your Garden!

Replies: 242    Views: 11848
Last Post: 03/07/2012 at 18:45


Replies: 36    Views: 1804
Last Post: 31/05/2012 at 21:22

Chelsea Chop

Replies: 5    Views: 1214
Last Post: 20/05/2012 at 19:01

What's it like in your garden?

Replies: 6    Views: 533
Last Post: 05/05/2012 at 23:16

Ooh ooh so excited!

New border 
Replies: 11    Views: 618
Last Post: 25/04/2012 at 20:35

Talkback: Informal planting

Andy said "Basically, it’s like a collage of pictures stuck on a bit of paper, except I do it in Powerpoint on a computer." It's an incredi... 
Replies: 2    Views: 373
Last Post: 23/04/2012 at 18:24

Why Miss Bateman?

Replies: 18    Views: 1586
Last Post: 17/05/2012 at 19:08

Phormium newbie

Replies: 2    Views: 984
Last Post: 15/04/2012 at 09:45
9 threads returned