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It's time for GARDENING again!

1568 Views 48 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  ALWIN
OK - admit it.

How many of you planted seeds too early because you wanted to get a head start on the local gardeners only to struggle to keep the sickly lanky things alive indoors because you didn't have enough places to keep them whilst you potted them on cos it was too cold and wet outside, and half of the panes in your greenhouse are broken, so now they're all dead and your having to start again LATE! ...........................................................................................................:mad: :mad:

OK - SO! Just me, then? :hehe:

I have to move my tiny (6ft x 8ft) greenhouse so I can get at yet another wall that needs to be rebuilt.:(

I have built my new base, in its new location, under the tuition of a friend. I decided to make it 2 breeze blocks high so i could build 2 b. block high walls running around the inside forming raised beds (easier on the back) for tomatoes, peppers, and perhaps a cucumber (I'm a cucumber first timer).8)

Great! After putting my 4in x 4in lengths of wood on top of the base so I can fix my greenhouse frame and gain even more height, I am now left with the steepest steps up to and down into the smallest greenhouse in christendom.:eek:

I can see for miles on the top step. and i am now going to have to go out and buy some more lengths of wood to clad the base cos b. blocks look dead ugly. This is proving the most expensive bit of DIY ever.

Fortunately I have some pea and broccoli plants that we grew on the course that are still alive, and i have ended up planting onions and very, very, very, late garlic (should have been done in autumn!!!:p :p ) on my kitchen windowsill, so I'll be able to stick them outside next week.

I have also made 2 wood stores (stores made of wood for storing wood) and heeeeey! they look like a normal person made them!!!:lol: :lol:

The birds are all busy creating a rumpus and squabbling, ripping bits off the trees for nesting. I have seen the owls that have nested somewhere near the garden and produced offspring every year that we have lived here (3 years).

Unfortunately the rook colony is also back directly above the children's trampoline (which is now covered in 'white' and large twigs they have dropped whilst nest building. i'm sure they hurl those twigs at one another.

What a NOISE
! It would be a site more quiet living within spitting distance of the M6.

The builders are due to start our house extension within the next couple of weeks, so prepare for Mrs Stresshead from Stressland on the Slopes of the Mountain Stress type posts .....

Perhaps I'll learn how to post photos this year????:)
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Hi Stephani

I'm tempted by the spray paint idea, but can't grow wild flowers there because i'm short of places with light in my garden. I have a lot of protected trees that create shade - except for the area the greenhouse is in, so every bit of space around it has to hold veg. The only other area with good light in summer holds fruit.

None the less - a nice idea!

My cat is in hunting mode too - alas, despite the large bell round her neck, which does prevent her from catching adult birds, she has already brought one starling chick in :sad:.

I'm pleased when she catches mice - that's her job, but I hate the way she brings the head and shoulders with the front legs still attached, into the sitting room for us to share with her. She always eats the best bit herself :sick:

Julsie - your neighbour is way ahead of me - my 'earlies' are still chitting in the cellar, and will stay that way if i don't get the greenhouse shifted cos they're supposed to be going in the old site.

You wait all winter to get started then somebody over winds the clock and the hands just race round until you are behind.

Could you reach the wool with a pair of scissors?
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HI Mary

I haven't done any sweet peas this year. I'll be fed up later. I have some tumbling tom tomatoes on the go (about 5inches now, that I was going to put in big baskets with scrabling sweet peas. I have not grown that variety before. Never mind - toms will bebetter in greenhouse here.

I amenvious of your passion flower. I had one inmy last gardenand it was my pride and joy.

Lily - good luck with your camellia. I try all sorts at all sorts of times of the year and the strangest things work out.


Yes - I do have hostas. I was not keen on them becasue of the slugs. I am an organic gardener and it just seemed such a nuisance trying to keep the slugs at bay. A neighbour kept giving me bits that she had divided from her own plants. I am very grateful now as they have padded out into nice plants. I have 4 different types i think. They are poking through the soil now - about 4 inch leaf spikes showing, just waiting to unfurl.


clematis are probably my favourite flowering climbers. i have hundreds of flower buds on my pink montana, which ios growing up against the part of the house to be extended, so I will have to cut it down (snivel!).

I love bleeding hearts. I think i have 3 types, but my favourite is a blue-green feathery leaved one with pale pink flowers. There is a great big monster of one down in the wild part of my garden that i never get round to splitting. Think it has white flowers, but it gets drowned by weeds and yellow loosestrife every year because i cannever find time to get downthere to tidy up.

I will heed your advice re the cumcumber. I am going to set up an irrigation system in the greenhouse becasue I am notoriuos for running out of steam and forgettting to water the greenhouse when it gets hot. Going to invest in one of those automatic openers for the ventillation window too.

Your hibiscus sound lovely. They are on my list of 'nice to haves'. I do not have a single customer with hibiscus, so i have not been able to pinch a cutting! I do get good sun in the little patch of garden at the front of my house, so could grow a couple there. It always looks scruffy because i use that area to bring on plants that like sun. Then i shove them in my shady garden and wait from them to start stretching and leaning as the strain to get enough light!

I have one viola that looks like a tall lime green leaved blue pansy. It came from scotland and it is really vigorous. I have purple and pink varieties of violet - given to me last year and already starting to flower and spread nicely.

I like things to tumble over the paths and look a bit neglected. It's the best way to disguise my wobbly paths and tumble down walls.

One day it will not look like a bomb site!

PS - A neighbour gave me some cucumbers last year and they were freshly picked, but tasted very vinegary. Why was this?

Take care all.
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Hi Julsie

I have tried beer traps, toasted crumbled egg shells, grit, copper tape, copper rings, tin foil, bran, a bucket of salt water to deposit them in after picking. And numerous other tricks too grisley to relate.

They all work to some extent. BUT too many methods actually kill them very, very badly.

During my course the emphasise has been on leaving wild life alone and encouraging a natural balance of creatures. Including not poisoning, squashing, hurling, drowning, dessicating, or impaling on garden foks or any other spikey instrument accidentally falling into my hand, slugs or snails.

It has been a culture shock. In my world if it moved slowly and was slimy you should kill it with extreme prejudice.

Anyway - turns out i have been a monster all my life. :eleph:

It seems i am supposed to put them in my compost heap to help the composting process. I am informed that they will not lay hundreds of millions of eggs for me to spread all over my veg plot, but die due to the heat of my well made hot composter. Sure. But my composter is neither well made, nor well tended, so it does not get hot.

So! What am i now doing with my slugs and snails? I actually collect them and put them in the council green waste wheelie bin. How mad is that? i keep my enoromus container of environmentally friendly slug pellets hidden and rarely use it now. It's very tough, this 'green' business.
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Julsie and Sandy

What you describe about the cucumbers makes a lot of sense. Funnily enough, pickled gherkins do look very male somehow :blush:

I get the male / female thing and will check out the labelling. Thank you very much.


That is a very generous and wonderful idea. I will check it is ok first. We could unwittingly spread foreign pests and diseases to one another (through the plants - not one another!) so I'll check first. I don't want to be the Typhoid Mary of the UK plant world!

Then I would be happy to PM & swap addresses whilst sending postage costs, etc. What a grand experiment it would be! Thank you very much for thinking of me.


I have only grown one pumpkin in my life and was horrified at the rate it bagan to romp over my entire garden (I had a very small garden at the time). I truly believed it thought my name was Seamore and it was going to eat me one day. So I gave up on all things 'squashy', but it is useful to know about the cross pollination thing. Though it does sound like a possible interesting experiment too! :wink:

I have never grown gourds either, and would love tips on how to do so. Remember, we have a short season in the North of England and most of my garden is in semi-shade. Lots and lots of water though! i'd love to dry and varnish some and hang them from my trees.


Every year I promise myself to do companion planting, and every year I fail to get round to it. I did do some marigolds last year to attract the blackfly away from my broad beans. Unfortunateyl I don't much care for their smell either. I think it worked though. And they did look cheerful. My beans were less infested than the year before, but I also pinched out the soft growing tips, which they like best.

Poppies are fabulous. The poppies you describe self seed happily in my garden every year. I never know if / where they will pop up. I love the frilly pink / mauve ones that look like peonies, but also the shiny deep red with purple / black centers. I save the seed heads and put them in a basket for visitors to help themselves to on garden festival day in the village.

I also have several oriental poppies, which I am a bit jealous with. I absolutely HATE it if somebody asks for a bit, but i have learned how to take root cuttings now, so once i am organised :heehee: I will get some on the go to give out. Well, I MIGHT share them. I like to think I would share them anyway. Will I share them? Absolutely not a cat in h--l's chance! I'm even a bit crotchety if somebody leaves with a seedhead from my orientals. Pathetic and mean really.

I will give just about anything except oriental poppies.

There is a lovely perennial poppy called Patty's Plum that is well worth a go if you see it. I bought some and GAVE (yes ... it really, really hurt) a couple of them to my mother-in-law.

Mine died.

Every year she tells me how beautifully well hers are doing.

Don't you just love mother-in-laws?
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You would give my tutor a coronary! Can you imagine how horrified he would be with the number of drugs we all take?!!!

Unrinating on our compost heaps might be a great idea, but it might be better if we asked some healthy friends to donate theirs. I'm sure we'd get lots of volunteers! :eek:

The number of drugs we would be sloshing all over our compost is frightening. I wonder though ... what effect do steroids have on vegetables ... could be an interesting experiment ...

I have never heard of the entries being testd for drugs at the local horticulture show.

Others might not want to eat them much - not sure it would do us too much harm really.


You are probably doing the same thing as me with your compost heap. I use the rubbish black plastic compost bins becasue they were free from the council. They do work for people who compost properly.

I just throw my vegetable and garden waste in as it is produced without any concern for alternately layering my green materials with more woody stuff or screwed up newspaper. That means there is not enough air in the mix, but adding a bit of horse muck with straw really helps.

The other thing I do is keep going. If the pile sinks i think 'great - more space' and keep adding so it is never going to be ready. I have no excuse because i do have 4. I keep promising myself i will build 3 great big wooden jobs so I can do it properly, but there is never any time spare in the world.
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Lily .... an aunty WHAT? :blink:

Is it a type of biological control like a nematode or something? :shrug: :explain:

I can't sleep tonight so at least you've given me something to google! :sick: :plaster:

I do try to attract birds and hedgehogs to get rid, but i think they prefer my precious worms!
Hita Raglet.

Sorry about time of year. Sounds like the best plan to me!

Julsie - sounds like a good idea ... still very, very dead though!

Oh my, Sharon

You really sound expectant. Embracing all creatures indeed. I remember feeling really, really sensitive about anything to do with babies in distress, and any type of cruelty or sad happenings when I was pregnant. Even to a fly. Are you feeling like that?

You certainly don't want to be going near gardening with a big bump - no stooping or straining for you.

I have seen about 6 births from start to finish, and had 3 babies myself. It is the most wonderful experience in the world. Nature is truly miraculous isn't it?

Al the best. Stay fit and healthy. All pregnant women are beautiful.

:love: :love: :love:

I bow to such exquisite control and determination! :bow:

Will you line the baby bottle jars up before you start so you can whip one under at a time in fast sucession, or is your bladder control so precise that you can stop and start at whim? I am fascinated.

I have my own vast supply (Sjogren's = dry mouth = drink buckets = veritable donkey waterfalls of urine). I don't think i need a supply.

I will, however, be happy to share your profits on the basis that this particular thread galvansied you ino your new entrepeneurial mode thereby instigating your millionairdom.

I see no problem with putting every warning label you can find on the jars so that you are covered in any unhappy accident or incident linked to your product.

Something like 'this product seems a good idea - it is not tried or tested - it may or may not work - it may or may not be dangerous - wear gloves - wear eye goggles - wear full body suit - no skin contact - do not inhale - do not consume ... and in small print ... 'DO NOT USE!"

I can wait. :cool:
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Karly (Nice handle at the bottom of your recent posts, by the way)

Eeerrrrr ........ errr... eeeerrrrr ... :shrug: :unsure: :shrug: :unsure:
That would be a cheque, please. Don't rush or anything. I am good at waiting.

:woohoo: :dancing:
I'm sure i'll be rich beyond my wildest dreams in no time.


Glad you stopped the twig tapping. In my opinion, which is based on a deep and extensive knowledge of no things beaky, the bottom you 'eyeballed' was that of the Greater spotted buttock twitcher.

I should warn you that to poke ones head out directly below these crotchety creatures 'en-twitch', so to speak, can cause terrible conjunctivitis. Indeed, it is a truly dangerous activity which often results in a type of crusty white exudate forming suddenly around the eyes, nose, or even worse - the mouth.

In the event of the mouth being affected, the afflicted can find themselves suddenly withdrawing from their ill-advised position, taking on quite demented looking contorted facial expressions whilst running, oblivious to their surroundings, towards ANY form of water. (Do not speak Karly - it is not a good form of water and no it will not work as a cure!!!) All this whilst retching and spluttering incoherent words like 'ick', 'ick', 'am' 'gong' 'be' 'ick'. :sick:

A very sad and debilitating condition.


It took me years to get over an episode of Doctor Who when i was a child. The episode had giant flourescent green slimy maggots in it. I was about 9 when i saw it. Anyway, I think i got over it when i was about 21.

Many thanks to my new irrational fear of slugs on steroids. Most appreciated. I haven't had any good nightmare material for years. :rotfl:
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:erm: :shrug:

MOI??? :innocent:

The very thought, Julise - I'm surprised at you!

Your hibiscus sounds stunning. I am going to look at them more closely from now on because i do not have any.


I too will be planting out a few veggies this weekend - despite saying i would not be doing any this year. I have some broccoli, tomatoes, peas, got my cucumbers and peppers now, and some new herbs. I have cheated a bit too, but it is easy to get behind. Good luck!

Karly :eek:hno:

I think you are possibly beginning to push it just a tad with the mouthwash idea. :shrug:

Whilst you have my uttmost respect :bow:, and I value the potential I believe you have in making me rich whilst I sit on my bottom, :highfive: I think a little market research might be in order. :calm:

Especially on the liklihood of real human beings putting this particular liquid in their mouths. :sick:

However, I applaud your foresight in tempting people with the addition of alternative flavours (essential I imagine) and colouring. :eat: However, I do wonder if brown is such a good idea? Also ... is coffee breath attractive ... ?

I would like to point out that whilst you continue to have my support, i draw the line at any personal testing of lupie p. products. :stop:

Regarding your last post, pleeeeeease don't worry if you supply runs low and you are unable to supply us. I'm sure we all want you to be successful (me in particular) Whilst your product is bound to be far superior to our own supplies, we might not be your most deserving target market. You must sell, sell, sell to those more needy. :innocent:
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Hi Karly

I did not know what gastroparesis was so I did a google. I sounds absolutely awful. I hope you can get some respite with the medication you mentioned, Karly.

Mothers Day! I had forgotten about that. I must put in in my diary under the pile of rubbish on my desk. I always forget to drop hints about getting particular garden plants for mothers day. Then I end up with chocolate, which is all very nice, but I have to share them with the criters that bought them.


No I don't like them all either, but I am trying. Must say I have never squished as spider though. I am one of those 'pick it up and put it outside' types. Unless they land ON me - then i tend to flick and smack and jump about a bit.

Yup! Karly is going to make me rich selling to people who grow 'ornamentals'. I should imagine mustard powder is quite uncomfortable for a slug / snail. Had not heard about that one. I will run it by my group and see what their objections are.

It has sprung here too! We have had some marvelous sunny days and everything is in bloom that ought to be. My dafs and narcissi have been replaced by my tulips and the bluebells are just about to follow on from them. The primulas have been flowering for weeks and weeks.

Builders say they are starting on house in 2 weeks - PANIIIIIIIC!


I spent today (between numerous cups of tea / coffee / looking at nothing in particular and sighing a lot) building the steps and low walls for my raised beds inside my new greenhouse base. Husband is going to move my greenhouse onto it tomorrow. Fingers crossed i have measured everything correctly or my name will be mud. Intend to build cold frames attached to each external long side of greenhouse from next week. Behind or what???

Oh, and I found some lettuce in my old semi collapsed cold frame ... the fairys have been! I hope who ever has given them to me lets me know soon cos i do not remember sowing any lettuce seeds. Got some beetroot and chard from college too. I have never eaten chard so it will be interesting to see what it is like. Don't even know if we are to eat it raw or cooked. Can anybody help? One plant is ruby coloured and the other yellow. Worth having just for the colour!

I want to buy an automatic ventilator for my greenhouse. Can anybody tell me how difficult / easy they are to fit, please? My greenhouse has an aluminium frame.

Also, what do I do after i have planted my 2 cucumbers in the greenhouse? What type of support do they require, and how long / big will the plants be likely to get? The seedlings were given to me, so i have no packet with printed distructions.

Starting to find dead baldy baby birds that have fallen from, or been ousted from nests. Poor little things. Cat still bringing in little mice. Neighbour's got a new squirrel trap (wish he woud leave them alone, really). Anyway, so far he has caught and released a hedgehog and a starling. I have not seen hide nor hair of a squirrel. The owls are still here, so here's hoping for babies again.

Wishing everybody a lovely summer - whether inside or out.

Take good care all.
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I'll have a think Becca.

Good luck - I hope everything thrives. What is portulaca?

BigSis - oooooops! I suppose I could fib and say I was planning next year's Mothers Day, but no - I had forgotten! I forget everything these days and repeat myself often.

I do my tomatoes in a similar way. That's really helpful. I'll plant them under the vent.

I love the smell of flowers. The best are roses, honeysuckle, and phlox in my garden, but I am looking forward to my chocolate vine this year. I bought it a couple of months ago at a bargain price because it looked dead, but bits seem to be recovering, so here's hoping...
Hello acard.

I'm sorry about your bp. I hope you feel well enough to potter a bit soon.
I love lilies - mine are coming up, and the scales I did in autumn have all sprouted so it's just a case of finding somewhere to plant them where i'm least likely to disturb them for the next 2 years!

Will look up portulaca so can see pictures. Chocolate vine is supposed to smell of vanilla. Is a twining climber with pretty leaves and pinkish / brownish flowers. It seems there used to be cheap chocolate that was flavoured with vanilla and that's why it is so named.

Got some chocolate mint though, and that really does smell of 'after eight' choc mints. I have in in the cracks of my paths so it can't get invade anywhere that matters. The idea being that if you tread on it, it will release the smell.

Struggling to find chocolate cosmos - they really do smell of chocolate too. Should track down seeds really.

Toms, cucumber, peppers now planted in raised beds in greenhouse with a couple of tumbling toms in hanging baskets. Onions, (very late garlick), peas, cut and come again lettuce, and shallots in final places. All covered with wire cages.

Redcurrant bushes absolutley full of flowers with blackcurrants hot on their heels. All chives are in bud. Raspeberry canes have flower buds too. Strawberries flowering and cloched. All I need to do now is beat the mice to them when they turn red.

Shrivelled chitting 'early' spuds still looking forlorn in cellar...

Cat brought a whole intact bird's nest into house yesterday (fed up), then today she brought an adult bird in, but I managed to get it out of her mouth. Gave it to a neighbour whilst I caught the cat and locked her indoors for a couple of hours. Neighbour left it on his patio and said it had gone an hour later. Hope it survived.

The weather has been absolutley glorious.
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