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Posted: Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:31 pm
by alanc
Pleasant seeing the snowdrops out on the banks and gardens yesterday. Pity the ones in my garden have finally succumbed to Tillyitis and given up this year!

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:11 am
by Lilith
Snowdrops bloom o'er hill and vale,
Although the weather's chilly.
But not in Alan's garden -
They reckoned without Tilly!

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:34 am
by Ruth B
I may not have any snowdrops but the heather I put in around the cascade last year is flowering.

It is meant to, I deliberately got winter flowering heather, they flower between January and March, hopefully through the summer they will then give good ground cover and help keep the weeds down.

With a phobia of insects everything in my garden is done with the idea of how not to attract insects, there are plenty of guides on what to plant to attract them but virtually nothing on what to plant to dissuade them so it has been trial and error on my part.

I never had too much problem with cats and bulbs, a few got dug up but not many, squirrels on the other hand...

I once planted a container full of crocus bulbs, a couple of days later I was sat in the dining room by the back door and movement in the garden caught my eye. There on the planter, about 4' from my back door was a squirrel, carefully perched on the edge of the pot with a crocus bulb neatly held between it's paws. I went out and it ran off with it's prize, when i checked the pot where every bulb had been was a neat little hole. One or two did grow in random places in the garden that following spring that I certainly hadn't planted.

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 11:44 am
by Lilith
I've got some iris reticulata and a sprinkling of campanula ... that campanula's unbelievable, I swear it flowers year-round, and grows like a weed, but you wouldn't like it, Ruth, as it attracts all the bees.

There is a plant called the shoo fly plant which is supposed to repel insects. Nicandra physaloides. Grows easily, about 2' high, bushy with blue and white bell flowers that turn into very pretty ornamental seed heads that you can dry, and the seeds will give you another year's supply of shoo fly.

Edit - you can get it on Amazon for a couple of quid - ... hysaloides

Lol - that squirrel. Taking liberties! When I had an allotment we used to deter mice from nicking the peas and beans by soaking them in washing up liquid before planting. The peas I mean. Made things a bit messy, planting, but they came up thickly - perhaps that might be a squirrel deterrent too?

Why do gardeners plant bulbs?
So that the worms can see in the dark ...

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:36 pm
by alanc
I'd also subscribe to an insect repellent garden book.
Hum, maybe it was the squirrels and not Tilly who did the deed!

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:31 pm
by Ruth B
Thinking about it I wouldn't totally take Tilly off the suspect list.

I think it was the first Christmas after i got the juniors, they would have been just over one year old by then, and one of my family got me some crocus bulbs that were meant to be grown hydroponically in a glass jar for a present. The jar was wide necked and quite shallow, you had gravel to put in the bottom, and put water to the top of the gravel, then placed the bulbs on top to grow. I got it all set up on a windowsill. I then came home one day and noticed something odd on the floor, on inspection it was a crocus bulb, I retrieved it and carefully put it back in the jar. The next day two were on the floor, they too got put back in. I then caught Freyja in the act, carefully pulling the bulbs out of the jar so she could bat them all around the floor, when she got bored with one, she went and got another out. A full range of balls, mice, kick toys scattered around, but no, she preferred my crocus bulbs. Needless to say even after being placed where she couldn't get at them they never did flower.

As for the insect free garden, I intend to start planting aggressively again this year, now the pond is nicely settled in and I know which corner the water overflows from, it's time to get some more pitcher plants and Butterworts in. (If you ever do look at pitcher plants make sure you go for the normal Sarracenia varieties and avoid the Cobra Lily, that one is poisonous, its not a lily but it shares that characteristic)

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:09 pm
by Lilith
Hey Ruth, I was fishing about on the silly side of youtube and came across this -

Loads of plants that repel insects, and if all else fails, you can always use the BAYZIL in your spaghetti ... :lol:

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:10 pm
by Kay
I caught my Trigger some years ago biting the flower head of every tulip in three tubs, leaving a lovely display of bare stalks

he didn't want to eat them or play with them - he just wanted to destroy them because he could

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:57 am
by Ruth B
Thanks for the link, Lilith, I'm certainly willing to give some a go, although my track record with herbs has never been good for some reason, I also hate to think what will happen if I plant a load of catnip in the garden.

I'm glad i wasn't the only one that was cringing every time he mentioned 'bayzil'. I't's a problem I have with a lot of Youtube videos, I watched one recently, I can't even remember what it was about, but the pronunciation of 'Derr-bye-shire', still grates in the ears.

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:58 pm
by Lilith
That Trigger ... he would because he could ...
Once the buds were in the mud, they were dud ...
He had misunderstood ...
Thought the bare stalks looked good ...

Damn cats! (Only kidding!) But aren't they awkward little gits? My darling Emily chobbled silk flowers and scravaged my dried Nigella pods ... wish she was here to do it again ... :cry:

Lol Ruth I get mad when people insist on saying 'tomaydo!' And in my youth I had to work with a pompous Chief Librarian who insisted the basement be called the BAIZEMENT and said my name should be pronounced 'Lye-lith' :x ... what a twit. Luckily he usually addressed me as 'Miss Thing' ... even after I got married ... Us peasants and slaves didn't get married. Well, if we did, he didn't acknowledge it.

Herbs, now the best source of herbs I've found is Sainsbury's. Forget garden centres, these are supposed to be cooked with - but they are proper plants. 1.25 (current price) you can buy a pot of 'living' herb, not much taste at this time of year but use it for garnish and then pot it on and put it in a good sunny position (though mint tolerates a bit more shade and basil - sorry, bayzil, is a sensitive being, it likes a hot windowsill - NOT a baizement.) Much better value than a garden centre and I'm going to be harvesting last year's parsley, thyme, mint, chives, rosemary ... though I have a monster rosemary down the end of the garden ... just bought the little rosemary because I could ... :lol:

Re: Snowdrops

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:58 pm
by Ruth B
Just been out doing a bit of gardening, it's wonderfully sunny here today. Clearing a load of red weed (I believe it is technically know as Herb Robert, with my OH's liking of War of the Worlds, its always know as the Red Weed in our house) out of the gravel and among the the heather. The heather is spreading beautifully and covered in tiny pink and white flowers.

I ordered some pitcher plants and butterworts the other day, it always seems odd getting plants mail order, but they always come wonderfully well packed and on a 24 hour delivery service so don't seem to come to any harm. I put them in the shed to aclimatise and having been in there I'm starting to think it might be too warm for them. I might move one of the Venus Flytraps from the kitchen windowsill out there and see how that does. Give it another week or so and I'll get the pitchers and butterworts planted out where the pond overflows, it should stay nice and boggy there as long as we don't have too long a dry spell in the Summer. Maybe some of the herbs would do well in the shed, I'll have to see what Asda have in, I've never been keen on Basil, but Thyme, Rosemary, Mint and Oregano might be worth another try.

My gardening was of course carefully supervised, Tiggy spent the time sat on the garden table in the sun and Saturn stretched out the whole length of the garden bench, watching me work.