Latest posts by yarrow2

Talkback: How to collect and sow foxglove seed

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 13:45

 No idea what this one is but would like to try and do something to reproduce, no matter the eventual colour.  Presumably these seed pods are too green for removing or collecting just now?  Not sure whether to leave the stem as it is for a while longer or chop it now and keep the pods or just chop this stem off and hope for side shoots.  I can't remember which type this is, think it was classed as a small or miniature or something.  It's only about 5 ft.

Things you do that annoy yourself...

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 13:33

Pat E:  You asked 'How did you get the wheelchair of you?".  I think I only managed it because I could hear people laughing.  To try and look unconcerned and preserve some dignity in such situations - you momentarily seem to find the strength of Hercules!  So I managed to shove it off with both arms at the same time as doing a frog-like franticswiming motion with my legs which got me free.  I very casually got up as if nothing had happened and strode into the house with great purpose.  However, my legs were very sore and I sat on the side of the bath for some time while it filled, a bit shaky.  Bit black and blue for a few days - but it was a lesson learned.   We had it adjusted after that so that it could only be operated on the low speed setting.

Hi Nanny Beach.  It would be impractical to have tanks as it is such a small garden and is also meant to be shared with neighbours - who currently have no interest and very kindly let me have it to myself which is a real treat.  A water butt would suffice really but again it's a case of a 100 year old building (flats) where this small garden was not designed to accommodate any practical gardening paraphernalia.  The flats are built almost in a circle shape and each block has a tiny garden which leads out to a very large 'communal green' area which everyone contributes for professional grass cutters to come and tidy up a few times a year.  A little amusingly,the old deeds for these flats contain the demand that the block gardens are used only for 'flowers and laundry' so if you picture what that would mean in 1908 terms you can guess what the horticultural tastes were at the time.  Today's short-term and mostly younger renters tend not to be interested in the small gardens and prefer to use the large communal grass area to sunbathe, play with their young children or have the occasional one time use bbq sets out of a sunny evening.  I keep the small garden clear so it's easy for anyone needing access to go through it to the sunnier larger green area.  So far I'm lucky that neighbours let me potter away in the little garden and do what I like with it.  So I return the favour by keeping it as clear as possible.  However, the dream of course is to move one day - but health services for my OH are our priority consideration in staying where we are.  And we are content with how things are.  The little garden is a huge bonus from a home carer perspective.  It's wonderful.  These old flat designs are very common in Scotland - perhaps more so than elsewhere in the UK.

A Red Hot Mystery!!

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 12:08

Iresine herbstii?

Nothing to do with gardening

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 00:46

"Cameron considers ewe-turn on E-ewe ref-er-endum".

Impatiens - outdoors

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 00:28

Thanks Verdun.  

Things you do that annoy yourself...

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 00:25

Hello Pat.  I only really started gardening 4 or 5 years ago and in the middle of town in a conservation area and with communal flat considerations, some things are certainly a headache.  BUT - as I've found being a carer for family, you find a way to get around things - not always the smartest and neatest way perhaps, but you become a part-time inventor of myriad gadgets to accomplish things. (But I'm ageing rapidly with the effort I can tell you)!

In the back of my mind though - I tell myself that better to have what you have and make what you can of it. Although...I do have a picture in my head of being in a house one day in an area of the country where the summers are warmer and longer and where I can have water butts and a tank or two and as many taps as I can get all over the place - in a much larger garden!  But having a garden alone is such a contentment and extremely therapeutic for a full-time carer where most of life of necessity revolves around the home.

Are you in a position Pat where you can create something to make the tanks less of an eyesore - or would that not be practical?  Sounds like it would be a great deal of hard work too.  Gardening is a wonderful activity in whatever circumstances.  Regards Pat.


Some materials for my stumperie

Posted: 16/07/2015 at 00:12

The creature aspect is going to be fascinating for you...to see what comes and goes and what makes a home or industry there - and how it all ages and how new visitors use it.  Look forward to more photos.

Things you do that annoy yourself...

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 23:48

I have a 'hose problem'!  Our house has very old taps which are a shape for which in the last 5 years I haven't been able to find online or offline any connector which works for longer than ten minutes before it blasts off from the tap and soaks the bathroom.  We can't have an outdoor tap, old building, conservation area...blah blah...can't attach anything outside the building.

Each spring I come up with some DIY solution and the latest has been to use one of those old rubber bits which fit onto a tap for the old type of hair washing sprays.  However, when you turn the tap on full, the thing comes flying off.  I have to keep it on the tap using a combination of insulating tape (to hold the rubber hairspray thing connected into the hose) and garden wire to wind tightly around the tap.  I then have to stand on the loo seat to feed the hose out of the bathroom window which has a ten foot drop set of stone steps immediately underneath.  Before I turn the tap on, I have to dash outside, pull the hose up the steps through the iron fence to the level of the garden and hunky dory - I can hose the garden.

Every single time I turn the tap on full, I dash out there, start hosing - and I ALWAYS forget that the connector at the garden end which adjusts the type of spray doesn't work properly.  I end up practically unearthing plants with the blast from it, then the end comes off, then it regulates itself for a while and then blasts all over the place again...

...and for some reason, which defies logic, I don't drag myself along to the DIY centre and just buy something a new spray section for the garden end - or just get my tap changed!  Every winter, I tell myself that in the spring I will do it - then spring comes and I go through the same silly farce again.  Gave myself a nice black eye once fiddling with it - and I STILL 'make it do' through to autumn each year.

Bonkers - but it entertains any onlookers judging from the male sniggering somewhere beyond the fence!

However, my classic entertainment piece was some years ago when I decided to test my OH's new electric wheelchair down the new ramp into the garden.  I decided to do it 7am when there would be no-one about - just in case the new chair didn't work and I had to manually try and push the humungously heavy thing back up the ramp into the house.  I had made a new flower bed about three yards from the foot of the ramp.  The chair being new, I was unprepared for the speed settings.  I sat in it to recce the situation as if I was my OH.  Took off at full speed down the ramp straight into the flower bed when the chair tipped on its side and took me with it.  So there I was, lolling around under 17 stone of metalwork and wheels in my new flower bed.  And...as bad luck would have it - neighbours were up looking down from surrounding windows laughing their heads off - as in fact was I.  Partly with relief hysteria that I wasn't sorely trapped - and partly because it was just hysterically funny to be there at 7am in such a ridiculous place.  What I thought most interesting was, whilst the audience was much amused - there were no chivalrous onlookers rushing to my aid to get the blasted thing out of the flower bed, clean it up - and reassure  the OH that 'it travels well'!!  When relating the tale to family a few days later - I soon realised that the priority concern seemed to be 'oh Lord!  I hope the neighbours didn't see you' - as opposed to 'Did you hurt yourself?'.  Funny!  Had to re-do the flower bed - but it was worth it!





Some materials for my stumperie

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 23:28

Fantastic stumps Tetley!  I would love a garden large enough to have a stumpery and come up with some wild ideas.  You will have to keep us posted on progress with this.  What fun!

I watched a tv programme, I think 3 years ago, about a chap creating a stumpery or adding to it for HRH Charles.  It was a big project but fascinating.  There must be some videos for ideas and techniques on youtube which might give you a kickstart - but I expect you have some ideas germinating. 

Can't wait to see how things go for you.

Plant identification please

Posted: 15/07/2015 at 23:19

Glad you likely have your identification Biology Geek.

Thanks Hippophae for the azalea/rhod connection.  I have a shockingly bright red small azalea in a tiny pavement front garden - a couple of foot high, very young.  Sadly, whilst it blooms beautifully in the spring - I made a whim choice when buying it and the colour in hard.  However, I will be keeping it there as for some reason the larger back garden soil seems to have changed over the past couple of years and has become more alkaline and it wouldn't do well there.  My pieris 'Forest Flame' were wonderful but are obviously beginning to dislike the soil now.  Not sure why the PH has changed.  With the weather variations and other garden 'mysteries' - I'm finding I'm moving a lot of plants the last couple of years - just when I thought the garden would be settled at last!  As if!

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