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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last picture to post today is the Winter Aconite, that actually grew for me this time, I have never been successful before, but the little patch at the bottom of the garden is starting to look really special, so I really must try and get out there again as the bulbs are moving fast! I also have one yellow camelia open but there was a sharp frost today so that bloom will be spoilt! I will try again as ther are a good number of buds on it still! The yellow camelia is called "Jury" But for now the aconites.



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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

badgerwatcher wrote:
Hi Nina,
Just got back from working in Newbury, so too late to wish you good luck with your stall I do hope you have a good day. It is gloriously sunny here now, and has been all across the bit of the country I've seen today.
Thanks for the tip about cold tea, I'll do it with my witch hazel, as I'm slightly worried that the soil here won't suit it. I will look forward to your soil info.
I didn't know there were yellow camelias. I must go and look it up. It would be fun to grow the one that produces tea. Does anyone know if it can be grown in this country? Lovely to grow one's own tea and coffee. And lemons for the gin and tonic! Wink
I haven't got rhododendrons and azalias here, but would dearly love them, especially the big wild mauve rhododendron.
Lemons most definately can be grown, outside in summer but cool greenhouse in winter!

The wild Rhododendron is not advised, this has a very wandering habit, it travels miles underground, you may well find you planted it in Kent and it could well appear in the next county! They are trying to eradicate it in the New Forest as it has taken over! I can remember my dad taking us into the forest and picknicing with them surrounding us, but now they have removed huge swathes of it, but there are still huge pockets of the stuff around and about. If you watch the Rallye Sunseeker they drive through the Uddens Plantation where the wild rhody's edge the road, they have to hack it back each year as it smothers the road in no time, they have taken to using the hedge slashers each autumn, just to enable the traffic to pass.
One winter I had the dubious pleasure of entering the hedge when the road had been covered in snow and frozen, and the previous driver had buried his car in there, the tracks led me in the same place, so I had a difficult time getting out again at 04.00 am!

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: How to make the right kind of compost. Reply with quote

Acid compost [ Alkaline compost]
Tea bags [ Cabbage family waste]
Citrus peelings [ Root vegetable peelings]
Rhubarb Leaves / waste [ newspaper / paper non glossy]
Glossy paper [ weed seedlings]
Bracken /straw [ hay / silage]
Grass cuttings [ egg shells]
Compost accellerator [ Lime powder]
Rain water [ Tap water]
Oak leaves / acid plant leaves [ sycamore / soft tree leaves]

I do put cat litter in the bins as they are in wood pulp not fullers earth.
Cat litter is alright for composting as long as:- they have not just been given worming treatment, and there is plenty of soft matter to not leave large deposits, best to add horse or chicken manure to the bins when it is available at the same time.

To open the compost you must try and turn it at least monthly, and water when it is dry, as dry compost will not rot down. Fullers earth will serve to make the compost claggy as if you had clay soil. If you do want to compost the fullers earth type of litter then you will need to add five parts straw, hay, paper to one part litter, and be prepared to wait two years to use the compost.

My little rule of thumb is if the waste matter is acidic then it goes in the acid compost, if the waste is alkaline then it goes in the lime / alkaline bin. Lime is a very good activator for decomposition, but if you have acid then I use the accellerator that is organic.

Oak leaves are the slowest to decompose and can take several years to rot, but if added in small quantities to other waste it can get broken down in the mixture more readily.

Any further queries I will be happy to help, as I am certain I have forgotten something, and I have no doubt, one of you will start asking where should I put this or that?

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badgerwatcher



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Kent

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2007 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nina,
Crumbs, you've been busy posting!
I love winter aconite, having spotted it in a garden the other day and looking it up. I must get some.
Thanks for the compost info. I've copied it as there's too much to remember.
Sorry your stall didn't go too well, but bear in mind that people will see you and make a mental note to check you out next time, and then forget, etc., so don't be downhearted.
I'll get a lemon tree. Already got an olive tree for the dry martinis!
I don't suppose the wild rhododendrons would run wild here, being chalk soil, so might be able to get one good patch for them if I dig manure in maybe.
Periwinkles are in flower under the cyprus tree now, and crocuses, daffodils, polyanthus, grape hyacynths and hellebores. Don't you just love hellebores!!!!! Especially that dark one in your photo!

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That (dark one) is nearly knee high and the flowers drooping from the weight of the petals, is called Queen of the Night and looking better than ever right now, it should be showing for many weeks until it eventually fades into a very dark green bract type of seed pod. I did lift a seedling from under its foliage last autumn, but it isn't doing very much right now.

I have been having fun with the woodpecker drummers lately, I hear them rapping so I copy the sound by tapping on the gate post, using the same rythm, it is so funny when they come to investigate, they flit from tree to tree until they reach the nearest where they look at you with almost disgust, before flying away, but it never fails to attract their attentoion!

The stall did almost make the cost of the table last time, so this week I hope to do better, well it is nearer the Mothers Day target, and I have been busy making necklaces in Silver and Gold, so I hope they will pay for the cost at least this week. I use silver wire and Gold wire then link the beads together, some also have drops of articulated beads to make the effect of dripping colour. I made earrings to match, and table mats of pictures of flowers, printed on card, then laminated in A4, A5 and nine pictures to the A4 sheet for coasters. These have been admired, but posed no sales. Oh well tomorrow up at the crack of dawn, load the car and hope for the best! I did say I would give it a month, so until next Saturday I am flogging this dead horse!

If no joy comes by next saturday I will then concentrate on the garden, as I have loads of seedlings to pot up and sell on the front, and keep a few for my garden, which I can then cut and sell, last year the local School got 140 from my verge sales, which is creeping up, the first year I got fifty pounds, and it has taken four years, so now I am getting known I hope things will improve!

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badgerwatcher



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Kent

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Nina,
Glad you're ok.
I've just had a very busy week at work, so will reply at length later.
The encapsulated table mats sound a great idea. Have you thought of putting a picture with a word on it, for children's place mats?
We now live amid constantly rustling shrubbery, things retreat into the undergrowth on every path as we pass.
We have a fine toad, guarding the garage back stairs, like Cerberus guarding the gates to the underworld, only scarier. (His name's Ian!)
The badgers and foxes are busy, but no visible cubs yet!
Big burly green-flowered hellebores doing well. A bit triffid-like!
Flowers everywhere, and bird feeder levels going down at a huge rate.

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The daffodills are almost over, crazy really as the white ones in the front garden are out already, they don't normally flower until mid April! The Magnolia Stellata is just opening her flowers, I am glad that one waited this year as next doors pink one got ice burn't, I noticed the Autumn Dream Acer has decided to unfurl it leaves, I do hope it survives this chilly wind and what is supposed to be hitting us this week!
Has anyone else not got the snow they keep warning us about? I was getting concerned as the blackthorn is in heavy flower all around us, and that usually indicates a cold snap, known as the Blackthorn Winter! I think my garden is managing to keep itself in a micro climate in the back as it is fully sheltered all around with my plantings and using the neighbours walls to bounce the suns rays from, that helps to keep the top half of the garden much warmer even though it faces north!
I will try and get some more pictures taken, but the stall in the market is slowly picking up, still not in profit, but the takings are creeping up. The most popular thing is repairs to jewellery, but then notice is being taken to the things I have made and one lady was so intrigued at the colours of stones that she wanted me to make a bracelet to go with the necklace and earrings, so I made it while she waited!
Last week a gentleman asked if I did Photocopying as the shop that did do it has stopped and now there is no means of this being done for miles around, so I put up a notice that I will be there Saturdays only for that purpose, so give it a few weeks and that will be pretty popular.
There was a request to make a very special card for a friend whose wedding will be on the 7/7/7 and could I do a very special card for them, so I have been working on some decoupage, so it looks lovely, I hope it is just as the requestee wanted!
Better go, More to write on another post!

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badgerwatcher



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Kent

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No sign of the threatened second ice age here! Very Happy Laughing
On the way back to Kent from work in London yesterday, navy blue snow clouds and momentary blizzards followed us all the way, but in spite of threats of 'We know where you live!', they never caught up with us.
This morning slight traces of snow where being washed away by sullen cold rain when I got up, and now all is calm, although not exactly bright.

The garden is cool. James has been hacking his way through the undergrowth to find the geography of the garden. He's found ponds, cold frames, rhubarb beds, wire-fenced and roofed enclosures for growing soft fruits, flights of stairs and terraces, stone bird baths, and the top fence!!!!!! Now we stand a chance of working out what to do with all the land.
He also found the badger mothership, a HUGE excavation. I'm very excited! It is also in the orchard which we have not been able to reach before. We have decided just to clear brambles around there, and keep it as a small wood or orchard, and plant loads of woodland plants, bluebells, primroses, ferns and foxgloves, etc, and make a rustic seat or two and a hide, and add a few more trees, maybe fruit and nut trees.
Just as I was looking at the badger basecamp yesterday, in bright sunshine, (well actually I was throwing a peanut butter sandwich down it,) a blizzard hit! Sudden snow and wind, so I had to hurriedly climb down banks and flights of stone steps, through bramble thickets to get back into the main garden, and back indoors, by which time it was bright sunshine again! Do you think it was a sign? Maybe they're alien badgers!
We also think we have a spring, as there is a very wet area, that the previous owner has run lots of pipes from, leading down the garden in all directions, and it suddenly occurred to us that we've never seen it dry in that area, so that is very exciting.
I hope your venture continues to grow, Nina. Good luck with it. Applause

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:51 pm    Post subject: A Spring, wonderful! Reply with quote

That sounds absolutely delightful, Geraldine, perhaps you should get the water quality checked out as it could be a wonderful freshwater spring, (well I hope it isn't what we had on my dads farm) that was fed into a lake at the back of the house, but after he tried to put fish in it they all died, he had it tested only to find it was polluted with the salt from the concil salt tip at the top of the hill, what he could have put in was COD! The delight of the lake though was the arrival of the Kingfisher which appeared every Christmas and boxing day looking into the lake from the branches of the willow that had planted itself right by the lake! There is a thought for you to peruse! What it could be with channelling the water into a deep pool to put in the small fish and await the arrival of your very own Kingfisher!!! Cool I know how much you like them!

If the water is already being channelled around the garden, you may well find there are areas where bog plants have been grown, things like Astilbes, drumstick primroses, and Ligularia, long spikes of bright yellow flowers over a dark leaved fine cut foliage, very pretty, and the better it is fed the taller it grows, can be as high as 6 ft!, I wonder if you have a Gunnera? that is of the rhubarb family and also grows to huge wide areas, really amazing architectural plant, but definately need a very large garden!

I could be really Mr. Green with what you seem to have inherited, but on the other hand it could be a mountain of work to cope with, and as I am not so good any more, somewhat out of my league! I will be content to aid you in your discovery, and delight in your sharing it with us!

Now to my dear husband who has been off sick for weeks now, he is in a lot of pain, with swollen hands, unable to lift his left arm above his head, and shooting pains across his lower spine and down his left leg, I already know how that feels, but I enjoy telling him he has 26 years to go to catch up with me!!!! Twisted Evil I am being a right little Evil or Very Mad devil! LOL.

I got very jealous of him the other week as he saw 12 buzzards up in a thermal, looking out over the back to the right, just where I once saw 10, now that really made me cross! He really isn't half as keen as I am, but he had to beat me, didn't he! Shocked Oh well I had better post this before my connection goes again, still having BT trouble!

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badgerwatcher



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Kent

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you're ok, Nina, and hello everybody else. I hope you are all ok. I've been busy working, then had a really nasty infected shoulder, recovered now, back working too hard, no doubt! Anyway, I'll be back more soon, as Easter holidays approaches.
The 'spring' is quite high up the hill, Nina, and nothing nasty above it, so I'll investigate further when we're less busy.
We've discovered a huge rhubarb bed, on the same level as the spring.
Loads of stuff coming into flower now, delicate flowering currents, prunus type trees, berberis, japanese quince, mahonias, all beautiful.
Bluetits still looking speculatively at birdboxes, actually going inside them now, then coming out after a moment's lookround!

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:40 pm    Post subject: I am back now, thank goodness! Reply with quote

After an enforced absence courtesy of BT I have finally got my internet back after asking my ISP to quote this, Inform BT that if my internet is not back up and running by 4pm 27/4/07 then I will be informing your Chief Executive about the mistreatment of our customer then it will be sent on to Mr B Verwaayen, suddenly they get put through to a senior supervisor and I am connected first thing this morning, while I could not be about to see them filling their pants!
Now to write to my MP thanking him for the name to drop and create my re-connection! Amazing isn't it, I wrote to BT customer services, I have yet to hear from them, To Ofcom and I finally recieved a reply today from them, information passed on to my ISP and My MP for an update as I have had one reply from him written another letter and now will have to post him the latest information, but I am definately considering sueing BT for the trouble they have caused me and the extra costs of having to go to the shops as I was unable to shop online as I usually do!
Oh well so much to catch up on I hope to be back soon. I spent all day yesterday making jewellery while waitingfor BT, managed to make Three necklaces, two bracelets and 25 pairs of earrings. Not bad for one day! I hope they will sell tomorrow on the stall, as last week I managed to cover my costs for the first time.
The garden is racing me and winning as it is growing the weeds faster than I can pull them up! I have plenty of photos to post, just got to get going with the catch up game!

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badgerwatcher



Joined: 04 Jan 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Kent

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nina,
I've been away a long time too, as I've been very busy getting some overdue writing finished, but will be back soon. Glad you're ok.

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it has been a very long time this time, and another dreadful year!! Graham was finally retired as he was ill from what he thought was a ligament injury from the cages they push around, but then the specialist rang him to say that he was very concerned that his thyroid was not working properly, he advised him to visit the Dr urgently. Well he got the thyroid medication started then my mother was very ill again, admitted to hospital with delirium which they thought was some type of infection, let her home and she fell and broke her hip, then I started to feel very weak and lethargic and had bloodtests. Turned out my thyroid had done a wobbler but the next visit the blood test showed a severe drop in thyroxin so the medication was quadrupled in the month. finally that is now in balance, but will have next tests done just before Christmas. Mum came out of hospital after having hip replacement, went to rehab, gets home less than a week later she is back in with delirium, where she remained for another month, finally she is back home, thank goodness, looking better than she did on moving down from Wales, which is really great. The only trouble is that now I am getting my garden dug up by the waterboard laying first sewer pipes in our village, the pipeline is coming across the bottom half right through the raised vegetable bed, and our line will be connected right through the borders, and the hedge I grew to give a wind break, through the dogwood and tamerisk bed. I wish them joy of that as they will be going through the old car park! They are supposed to reinstate everything and make it appear they had never been there? I really don't think they know what they are letting themselves in for, and they are due to start by the end of the month!!! I hope to get to the meeting tomorrow evening, after college. I managed to pass my numeracy exam, well what I though was Level 2 but turned out to be Level 1, not as difficult, but I did something they never had before, I GOT 100% PASS!!! Now I am definately no mathematical genius, but I felt vindicated because I didn't take the harder exam which I most wanted (as I had already proved that I was above Level 1 with Learn Direct) so when I realised they were putting me in the lower exam I prayed that I would get the whole lot right, I swear my dad was with me as I took it,( he was a mathematical Genius) Most people called him Professori. I never knew anyone who could do mathematical answers using a sliderule, but he was brilliant. (They say daughters will always think their dad is the best, but many people I knew all said he was a genius, and I believe they were right)
I am hoping to say this is the end of my vanishing, but the jewellery making is coming on slowly, but I have been asked to do a demonstration for a day centre, on Thursday, and possibly Friday too. The local School are going to have a Christmas Fayre so I hope they want me to do that there for around 10% to go to their funds, but I will also have some money from the garden stall to take to them, so my friend Trish will look after my stall at the market for that day.
Next Sunday I hope to get my Mum out with Trish and Keith and we may get a bit of birding done, the first this year! Talking of birds, I was on my way to visit my mum in hospital one Friday and just as we were about to drive off a Treecreeper landed at the base of the Ash tree and wound its way around the trunk until it reached the crown of the tree and then flew across the road into the GSW's nesting tree! I was delighted, as it is the first one in my garden in 12 years now. I was thrilled!

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Corinna



Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4142

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found you! see Tricia's post re Rare Garden Visitor.

Well there have been ups and downs eh...good to have you back posting.

Where are you going to Bird next Sunday or is it wait and see the weather and whats about?

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Nina



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
Posts: 193
Location: Wimborne Dorset

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be The Hikers Cafe at Hengistbury Head with My Mum (who will not be able to walk very far) and Trish, Keith and my other half Graham. It depends on if I manage to get the wheels pumped up on the spare wheelchair, so we can travel further, or if not we will go to the Avon Beach Cafe for mum to see my sister or Mudeford Quay and the cafe by the "Run". I do know that with the scope set up we can watch the birds on the other side of the run as they are less likely to be disturbed if the weather is cold. Stops the little tykes driving them off when the weather is rather inclement, and we can park close to the edge to get a better view.
Now I will have to investigate that thread about the rarity.

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