Gardening

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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 17 Aug 2017, 05:57

You may remember that two years ago my Lilac bush was badly damaged by a gale and I had to cut it back to its stocking tops. It recovered well last year but not spectacularly, I wondered whether I had hit it too hard but I noticed last night that it was growing more strongly than ever, very bushy with lots of deep green foliage and thick new stems. This may not have been the best of summers for us but it has certainly favoured the trees and plants.

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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 04 Oct 2017, 18:57

I'm not sure that gardening is the right place for this but here goes. When we arrived at this house two months ago we not only inherited the PV panels but also something interesting in the garden. We knew there was a garden waste composting bin, one of those large Dalek-shaped plastic bins that local councils sell. When I opened it there was a terrible smell and it was full almost to the top, with a lot of uncomposted waste on the surface. There were rotting, mouldy vegetables (including a whole onion) and a large, solid mass of something white that looked like it might reach out and grab me. I poked around with a stick and saw that there were some small red worms, the kind that you use in a wormery. I turned over the surface, removed some compost through the bottom trap door and pulled out `the white thing' which turned out to be a giant lump of mould - I put that in the black wheelie bin before it escaped. Finally I added some fresh kitchen veg waste and left it.

A couple of days later I lifted the bin lid and found masses of the worms - but they were stuck under the edge of the lid as if trying to escape. It's not surprising really considering there was still a foul smell. But then I consulted Mr Google and learnt more about wormeries. I now know that the previous owner had bought composting worms (different from earth worms) but put them in this standard `hot composting' bin, the type you put grass clippings and weeds in, instead of using a proper wormery bin designed for the purpose. I also realised that the worms need plenty of air, which they weren't getting in the big lidded bin. A quick job with an electric drill around the top part of the bin sides soon solved that problem. We now have happy worms, with no smell, and they're not trying to get out. Lift a bit of the surface material and the top compost is heaving with them. They live close to the surface, processing the veg food, and producing lovely black compost which collects below them. Nature at work, marvellous! :smile:

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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 05 Oct 2017, 03:11

We used to have those red worms naturally in the muck heap at Hey Farm and anglers used to come for them, they reckoned they were best for bait. I think they called them Blood Worms and did they also call them Brandlings? I once read a book by a farmer who had abandoned cultivation, he used worms to do it for him.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 05 Oct 2017, 08:43

That's right, names like bloodworms and brandlings although there seems to be some confusion with names being wrongly attributed. There's lots about it on the Internet and it seems to be a thriving business (or a writhing business? :laugh5: ). You can even buy `worm treats' - pellets made of fine wood particles that break down quickly in the bin and help to balance out the richer diet of kitchen waste. Worms are like us, they need their dietary fibre. Perhaps I should give them some All Bran?

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Re: Gardening

Post by PanBiker » 05 Oct 2017, 09:03

Compost heap worms especially the ones with a high manure content are generally brandlings, the larger worms may have yellow bands. Blood worms are found in silt and aquatic environments and are much smaller as they are the larvae of the common midge. Earth worms from arable land and lob worms from the shoreline are the largest of our indigenous species. Out of my head from a lifetime of coarse fishing. :extrawink:
My dads compost heap had some fishing contest winners so were OK for me. My compost bin in the front garden has an army of small brandlings that do the grunt work in the bin which produces a fruity smelling compost as it gets a high content of fruit and vegetables along with the green and brown.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 06 Oct 2017, 03:19

Is there anything that OG is not a resource on?
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 04 Nov 2017, 07:51

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I think we can safely say that the growing season in Barlick is over......
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Re: Gardening

Post by Sue » 04 Nov 2017, 07:54

I think we can safely say that the growing season in Barlick is over......




And here. I was clearing the front garden the other day and the dead leaves just came away in my hand. Trees are nearly bare and hardly any flowers left. Roll on Spring!
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 04 Nov 2017, 08:23

Only five months to go Sue..... Courage mon brave!
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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 01 Dec 2017, 10:13

Photos showing the work to remove trees and the conifer hedge at our new house. The fences are being put up now and some old fencing removed. The neighbour in the bungalow across the road, a retired heavy goods vehicle mechanic, had some of the logs for his burner and is now receiving the old fence posts. He and his wife, in their 70s, have been to the gym already this morning but now I can see them in the front of their open garage happily sawing up logs and fence posts. Good exercise and good recycling. Wonderful!

Cherry tree logs and the hedge removed from the side...
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This is the hedge at the front being removed - look at the thickness of those trunks, the close spacing and the amount of brash! ...
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The boss grinding out the stumps....
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 02 Dec 2017, 04:54

That's proper gardening Tiz and long overdue from what I can see! A good job and right up my street.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2018, 04:06

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The recent dry weather meant that my mint stalks were dry enough to burn so yesterday I took advantage, pruned the Ladslove back and gathered the stalks up. No washing out so a quick clean fire has got rid of the trash. It feels like the start of the year..... A good call as it turned out, it's raining again!
Just the right time, the mint is beginning to stir and there are fat buds on the Lilac!
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 27 Mar 2018, 09:51

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One final blow this morning, I swept the paths round the mint bed and outside the front gate. I feel as though I have a straight edge now!
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 20 Apr 2018, 06:54

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Over the last five days the buds on the Lilac in the front garden have exploded!
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 22 May 2018, 05:15

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Barlick is as far behind as anywhere in the country but here we have a sign that perhaps the growing season is here...... Lots of blossom to come but it doesn't all burst out at the same time.....
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Re: Gardening

Post by plaques » 06 Jun 2018, 21:25

Not quite gardening more like lumberjacking. For years the strip of land between our border and next door's drive has been a no man's land dominated by overgrown rhododendrons. Actually I don't blame them because of the precipitous drop to their drive. Over the last few days this strip was cleared by professional tree hackers. This gave me the opportunity to exercise my own chainsaw and clear the now damaged conifers.
The before view looked like this.
P6060248.JPG
Afterwards we had a view over the hills and reservoir that we had never been able to see before.
P6060251.JPG
I know it a shame to chop trees down but once they have been damaged with rhododendron growth its best to put them out of their misery.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 07 Jun 2018, 02:46

You did right P, those trees weren't happy and the view is much better.
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Re: Gardening

Post by Tizer » 07 Jun 2018, 11:42

We love trees but we also believe in looking after them when they are our responsibility, which includes chopping them down when they've over-grown the site or become diseased or are causing damage or hindrance to others. I've just searched out someone to cut back some very large lilac trees for one of my neighbours. The man who did our hedges and trees (shown above) would be too expensive on a smaller job like the lilacs so I've suggested a man who did some modest-sized conifers at our last house. A down-to-earth ex-forestry commission chap who shouldn't charge too much. The neighbour is Asian and worries that sometimes she gets over-charged. She's already had a quote and sensibly wants a second one.

We're very lucky that where we now live has a great variety of mature trees and we've been identifying them and collecting leaves while on our daily walks. One tree puzzled us at first - we knew it must be a maple but it wasn't the common field maple. We tracked it down to Silver Maple which is one of the trees that gives such wonderful colour to the Appalachians in `the Fall', so we look forward to watching it in Autumn (although our UK Fall isn't as sharp as that in the US). In 10 minutes we can walk past Queen's College to see a number of gigantic Wellingtonia conifers (a relative of the Redwoods) which have been there since the mid 1800s and one of the biggest Cedar of Lebanon that I've ever seen. We're very fortunate! :smile:

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Re: Gardening

Post by Stanley » 08 Jun 2018, 03:16

I like big trees....... There are some big Wellingtonia at Eshton Park near Gargrave that were planted as specimens in the park. I saw some big Eucalyptus that are protected near Bunbury in WA. Impressive trees!
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