Latest posts by yarrow2

Dierama pulcherimum (Angels Fishing Rods)

Posted: 30/04/2017 at 02:35

Thanks hogweed.  Yes I know.  I had just envisioned them in two particular spots which would have been so lovely.  But hey ho - this is the life as we know it and love it.

Teabag technology

Posted: 30/04/2017 at 02:24

I always cut the 'tea bags' off before I plant - but on saying that, as I've been dividing and transplanting some things this last couple of weeks, I did discover some plants I had bought a few years ago, which never thrived, all still have the 'tea bag' - so I've cut them off to see if the plants might improve.  They must take a long time to degrade.  I was surprised at still finding so many and especially as some had initially been bought in pots as reasonable sized plants and I when I'd planted them, I couldn't even see they had been grown in the 'tea bag'.

Last edited: 30 April 2017 02:25:37

Before & after

Posted: 30/04/2017 at 02:21

That's absolutely lovely.  Well done.


Posted: 30/04/2017 at 02:19

I have a couple peeking through about an inch.  There were 5 lovely purples planted in a group two years ago.  First year - flowered beautifully.  Last year - massive leaves - no flowers.  Looks like they are coming up again this year but might as well dig them out if they won't flower.  The leaves looked so bloomin' healthy and strong as well.

If the leaves come up really well - but they didn't flower at all last year - should I maybe feed them now or should I just pull them out?

I have no idea about gladiola - but maybe I should just dig them out and use the space for something else.

Problem with my magnolia

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 19:15

Dove - the number of times I've done soil tests on different bits of the garden using tap water and not thought at all about what is in the tap water which would affect the test.  No wonder I've made so many bad decisions about what to place where with different readings all over the garden and lost plants.

My light bulb is obviously needing seriously switched on sometimes!

Nest boxes

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 19:09

Wow!  It's great to see these pictures and read about what's happening in your boxes.

Bird ID

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 19:00

Hi Zenjeff - thanks for the response about the pond beach end.  I need to create something which looks like only a beach end - maybe with a container of some kind dug down in and a nice collection of various sized stones to surround it.  But I suppose if I do it with only a container to refresh water every day, I'll have to make it so that I can easily lift the container out and not disturb whatever I surround it with.  Have to get thinking cap on - and order some of those type of mixed sized lovely rounded stones.

Thanks for mentioning the goldfinch 'shot'.  I was however about 20 feet away hand-holding the camera with a reasonable (but not great) zoom lens on - and - ha ha - this shot was the only one in focus as it was difficult from so far away, heavy lens, shaky hands - and tiny bird on bamboo swaying in the wind.  So having to be honest - it was one nearly focussed shot out of a burst of about 20!  (I'm practising with a DSLR that I've had for a year and am still finding it a bit hit or miss).

Dierama pulcherimum (Angels Fishing Rods)

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 18:29

Might end up with two posts here by mistake.  I had already typed this one, it disappeared - and I THINK I'm re-typing the same info.

Update to my '2' plants in the big pot.  Decided to put one in the garden.  Cautiously removed it with soil ball, held it mid-way down the stem and dipped it a few times in the water bucket to clear off the soil.  As I lifted it out it split into three sections - as per photo.  Face fell at this as when I bought both plants, I chose these ones as they looked as if they had enough shoots/leaves to signify a maturity which would mean they were likely to flower over the next 2-3 years at least.  But this one came apart with no human intervention other than a dip in water.  Perhaps I'm unreasonable to be a bit disappointed it's broken up with no pressure, they were quite expensive as single plants - OR maybe they are just like this and come apart so easily?   

Didn't know what to do about these three sections, so have planted them a couple of inches apart in a sort of circle.  I put 3 inches of horticultural grit in the base of the hole and mixed fish,blood and bone with the in-fill soil and watered.  But to be honest, I'm not hoping for anything now for years - if these three cormy bits survive.  (The pot both plants were in had horticultural grit mixed in for over-wintering supposedly to stop too much wet over winter and rotting - maybe it wasn't enough).

The second 'plant' - I just moved to the centre of the pot with it's soil ball so didn't see if it too would likely have split into bits.  Again, just put grit in bottom of hole in pot, fish blood and bone, watered and firmed in.

Not feeling very hopeful about these as I'm imagining that they are not the easiest to get established having read the posts above and am thinking I'll have to wait years and years now in hope of anything near flowering.  But, not the end of the world of course but had I anticipated this fuss (self-inflicted I admit), I might have felt I'd spent the money more wisely. 

Last edited: 29 April 2017 18:35:44

Dierama pulcherimum (Angels Fishing Rods)

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 11:50

Thanks for responding WillDB.  I'm sure I've seen them in pots before - but that was before I got the gardening bug a few years ago and never had the interest to take a closer look at such things.

I have two of these 32" width by 29" depth cream resin pots - they were used before for new roses up to two years before I planted them in the garden.  I'm wondering if one plant in each of these pots would be sensibly big enough with some good drainage grit and a mixture of multi-p and John Innes 2 or 3.

I think I'll give it a try - especially since the weather is so up and down these days, I'd quite like to move them around if we're not going to get sustained decent weather for a while yet.  Mind you, they don't seem to have sustained any damage being out in that pot all winter at the 'experiment' end of the garden which is part-exposed and part-sheltered.

The spots I thought would be good for them in the garden, would still have impact when the flowers are dangling on those lovely wand-like stalks - but in my beds you could only view them from one side, i.e. the front.  I'd thought if they could be sustained in pots - the pots can be moved with the weather and also where you could walk right around them.

I've been asking for advice here, but it sounds as if I'm just trying to convince myself of the pot idea - and get enough encouragement to make me just go and do it!!!!  Gardening eh!  This is what it does to you!

Thanks again WillDB.

Last edited: 29 April 2017 11:54:53

Bird ID

Posted: 29/04/2017 at 11:37

Our goldfinches are harrassed by a couple of families of starlings at the moment who have constantly hungry young in the eves of a neighbours roof.  The starling adults all seem to help each other feeding all the young and swoop down several times a day grabbing all of the mealworms in amongst the sunflower hearts.  Their commitment to this task is astonishing - but our little goldfinches keep being chased away from both the hanging feeders and anything on the ground for the ground feeding birds.  After a couple of weeks of this, the goldfinches are getting smarter at picking times when the starlings are distracted or have gone off somewhere else.

When it's been warm enough to break from gardening and sit on a bench for a while, it is amazing how when it has gone quiet and you think all the birds have gone - I will look up and find that the goldfinches have silently just appeared without my realising.  I love these birds.

Zenjeff - I'm interested in whether that's the end of a pond in your photograph or if it's a feature you have created separately to provide a great drinking and bath area for the birds.  I would like to build something small like that in my grass exactly for the small birds to make use of but I don't want to go to the trouble of having to install a pump to keep water fresh etc.  Maybe something where the water could last a day and slowly drain away on the same day - and just be refilled with fresh every day.  The big birds dominate my bird bath and the little ones never get near.  I also have a 'Fairy in a Clamshell' (I know!  Don't laugh too hard) resin solar fountain thing but it's quite deep.  The magpies love a good splash in there but I can't get anything stable enough to sit within the shape to give a landing place in the water for little birds.  The only thing which worked in this depth was by accident - I had little modules of plants and I used to just float the modules on the top of the clamshell pondy bit to soak them - the little birds used to land on them and sit on them floating around the clamshell for ages on hot summer days.

At the moment I have a large black bucket half full of water with a couple of scented geraniums in, soaking the roots.   I keep forgetting to take them out and a little dunnock comes every day and dives in there and splashes around.  Great fun to watch.

Last edited: 29 April 2017 11:42:35

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