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Thread: Show us your garden

  1. #251
    Master Chinnock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    - hard graft but good graft
    Couldn’t agree more. 👍

  2. #252
    Grand Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    Ok paint was next and now done (with exception of the whitewash which I’ll do next weekend). Garage looking a lot better now moved onto a few tons of gravel for path and driveway not 100% sure I’d call it garden work but

  3. #253
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    Show us your garden

    From this when I bought the house in August...

    https://i.imgur.com/ZJjkvQE.jpg

    To this now

    https://i.imgur.com/S3OEiZn.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/iVHt7RO.jpg
    Last edited by Gullers; 28th November 2020 at 22:09.

  4. #254
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    I hadn't spotted the little white house on the first pic! What a transformation.

  5. #255
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    Spot the White House indeed.

  6. #256
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    Ha ha thanks both!

    It’s a WW2 bomb bunker...
    I was going to have it removed but it’s more hassle than it’s worth, double brick and concrete roof!

    It’s now a play house for my girls, at least there safe eh

  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gullers View Post
    That really looks great - bet they love it too !!

    Guys I have a question - I want to have a barrel collecting rainwater from the garage guttering. I have spare concrete blocks and have dry built it in place to get an idea of how it would look and work. I’m happy with it but it feels sturdy / so my question is do I really have to mortar it in place ?intention being to whitewash the blocks at same time as whitewashing the roughcast. Pros and cons please?

  8. #258
    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    That really looks great - bet they love it too !!

    Guys I have a question - I want to have a barrel collecting rainwater from the garage guttering. I have spare concrete blocks and have dry built it in place to get an idea of how it would look and work. I’m happy with it but it feels sturdy / so my question is do I really have to mortar it in place ?intention being to whitewash the blocks at same time as whitewashing the roughcast. Pros and cons please?
    I would say at that low height and interlocking block coursing you have done then you would be fine as it is.


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  9. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gullers View Post
    Is that Palmers Green behind your back fence?

  10. #260
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    I had a similar barrel many years ago. A few tips founded on experience.

    The high position is very good. That way, you can put a bucket under the tap. And with a hose attached, you can walk into the garden with the hose in hand and with the aid of gravity, you can water plants near the roots. Perhaps you should alter the position of the barrel making sure that a bucket fits under the tap. (bucket on the paving, not on the gravel)

    I would not paint the stones in any colour. Over time, algae will 'take over' and that makes the stone green. Doesn't look nice. Black/gray 'as is' is the best option, I suppose.

    Using mortar? Well, the barrel holds close to 200 liters = 200 kg. A paving slab on top of the stones will spread the weight evenly, provided all is leveled out and that will help as well.You can use Gorilla Glue (not the marihuana...) construction adhesive between the blocks as well.

    Finally: attach a down-pipe to lead the water into the barrel without making it an outdoor shower.
    Last edited by thieuster; 30th November 2020 at 13:46.

  11. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    I had a similar barrel many years ago. A few tips founded on experience.

    The high position is very good. That way, you can put a bucket under the tap. And with a hose attached, you can walk into the garden with the hose in hand and with the aid of gravity, you can water plants near the roots.

    I would not paint the stones in any colour. Over time, algae will 'take over' and that makes the stone green. Doesn't look nice. Black/gray 'as is' is the best option, I suppose.

    Using mortar? Well, the barrel holds close to 200 liters = 200 kg. A paving slab on top of the stones will spread the weight evenly, provided all is leveled out and that will help as well.You can use Gorilla Glue (not the marihuana...) construction adhesive between the blocks as well.

    Finally: attach a down-pipe to lead the water into the barrel without making it a outdoor shower.
    You can see the downpipe hiding behind the Barrel - I have ordered a connecting piece and then it will feed directly into the barrel top. Good advice all round thanks

  12. #262
    Master Gullers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estoril-5 View Post
    Is that Palmers Green behind your back fence?
    It’s Damson Park in Solihull, we’re really lucky and back into park with a gated entry. One of the main reasons I bought the house. That and the proximity to Solihull centre and the school catchment.

  13. #263
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Show us your garden

    Today the first day of working in my new garden. The gate... It wasn’t high on my list, but when moving in last Friday we noticed that people with dogs use our forest as part of their daily dog-walk routine. When asked why, they replied with: “Well, the gate is open, isn’t it!”(...)

    Saturday, my son and I tried to close the gate. No way that we were able to close it! Old, rotten/decayed wood and tons of brambles and ivy. I put up a 'forbidden access' sign to make -at least- clear that they're not welcome without us knowing it.

    Today I’ve cut away all the shrubs. Under all those branches: two gate posts. And yes, all is as rickety as it looks. I still can't move the wooden gates. Simply because they're too far gone. One hinge simply gave up: the part that's attached wood crumbled when I tried to move the gate!

    Tomorrow the cavalry: a former pupil of mine has his own carpentry business. Let’s see if he can come up with a nice solution (oak perhaps).





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    Last edited by thieuster; 30th November 2020 at 19:36.

  14. #264
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    Time to start thinking about getting the garden ready for summer. I’d like to grow some ‘wild flowers’ to help out the friendly bees; ideally perennials but happy to mix some annuals in. Any recommendations for online sellers of ‘wild flower’ seeds / plants? Any other tips?

    (I know nothing about gardening apart from how to mow the lawn, and how to drink beer whilst doing so!)

  15. #265
    Great question Kirk, I would like advice on this too. I have an area of about 50 square metres, south facing, that I would like to make more wildlife friendly but still good to look at.

  16. #266
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Kirk's question is a valid one for me as well. After reading his question, I started a search for flowers that can grow on my land. Mostly forest, with grass lawn patches on pretty poor soils: sand.

    Did you know that we, here in The Netherlands, don't have rocks in the ground. Some light gravel in certain areas when there was a river bed in ancient times. But no real big stones, rocks or boulders. All we have is sand and clay (river clay which is brown and sea clay which is blue) and a mixture of sand and clay. I live on sand. Which is good and bad. Good because rain will not cause floods; bad because trees, sandy soil and dry summers don't mix well. Every storm, a couple of trees go down.

    Menno

  17. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk280 View Post
    Time to start thinking about getting the garden ready for summer. I’d like to grow some ‘wild flowers’ to help out the friendly bees; ideally perennials but happy to mix some annuals in. Any recommendations for online sellers of ‘wild flower’ seeds / plants? Any other tips?(I know nothing about gardening apart from how to mow the lawn, and how to drink beer whilst doing so!)
    Little bump for this....think of the bees!

  18. #268
    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk280 View Post
    Little bump for this....think of the bees!
    I sowed some seeds from https://www.wildflowerlawnsandmeadows.com/ last Autumn.

    Not much appeared yet (as expected) but they seem to know their stuff and informative website.

  19. #269
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    Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk280 View Post
    Little bump for this....think of the bees!
    Assuming you mean honey bees, this may help:
    https://www.bbka.org.uk/gardening-for-bees

    Bees generally feed when the temperatures are above 13C and it is not too windy or raining, so they will often need food early on in the season when only tree pollen is available, so don't think only about flowers if you have enough space for early-pollinating trees too.
    Flowers generally provide plentiful food during the warm summer months and ivy towards the end of the season.

    If you can, try to provide successional food sources, as that will ensure the bees have food throughout the season and make sure they stick around! Variety is the spice of life and the linked website should help to provide some ideas for bee-friendly plants.

    HTH.

  20. #270
    One of the best plants for bees is ivy if you've got room. Not really keen on the plant but seen it covered with bees in late Autumn when not much else about.

  21. #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    One of the best plants for bees is ivy if you've got room. Not really keen on the plant but seen it covered with bees in late Autumn when not much else about.
    Ivy honey can sometimes set so hard in the hive that the bees are unable to access it when the weather turns cold over winter, which seems rather odd as the bees go absolutely nuts for it at the end of the season. More of a problem for bee keepers who have taken off the spring/summer foraged honey, leaving only the autumn foraged honey in the hive.

  22. #272
    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    Ivy honey can sometimes set so hard in the hive that the bees are unable to access it when the weather turns cold over winter, which seems rather odd as the bees go absolutely nuts for it at the end of the season. More of a problem for bee keepers who have taken off the spring/summer foraged honey, leaving only the autumn foraged honey in the hive.
    Interesting, didn't know this - strange though that the bees don't know what works for them!

  23. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Interesting, didn't know this - strange though that the bees don't know what works for them!
    They probably do, but don't expect the bee keeper to raid their spring and summer stocks
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  24. #274
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    Beekeepers typically replace the spring/summer foraged honey they remove with a sugar syrup, which the bees then take down into the hives to get them through the winter. It is essentially a swop of sugar for honey.

    The problem comes when this sugar syrup is being taken into the hives at the same time/just before the ivy is also being brought in, as the bees can cap the cells which contain the sugar syrup feed with ivy honey, which then sets like concrete, so the poor bees cant access anything at all.

    As SJ says, this is more of a risk when beekeepers meddle with the bees own natural winter stores, albeit with varroa mites and neonicotinoids nowadays, bees would arguably be in a bit of a pickle without intervention from beekeepers for numerous other reasons nowadays.

    Apologies, I am sending this thread well off track now.

  25. #275

    Show us your garden

    Sorry to keep off topic but why do the bees even make the ivy honey if they can’t use it?

    BTW is ivy honey ever sold? Never see monocrop(?) honey in the UK, unlike the continent where I’ve bought lavender, rosemary, thyme, chestnut (not keen on this one!) amongst others.

  26. #276
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    Flying right of topic, in a way but I read an amazing book last year called The Bees by Laline Paull, sort've Hunger Games meets 1984 told from a Bee's eye view, sounds fanciful and it is but there's a lot in it, meditations, about Authority, societal roles/position in life and questioning established religions/ideologies, the heroine is really compelling, Game of Drones in terms of drama and intrigue. I'll buzz off now.

  27. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Sorry to keep off topic but why do the bees even make the ivy honey if they can’t use it?

    BTW is ivy honey ever sold? Never see monocrop(?) honey in the UK, unlike the continent where I’ve bought lavender, rosemary, thyme, chestnut (not keen on this one!) amongst others.
    I really don't know the answer to that one, I guess it is because a food source is a food source and it is better to have it than not - just in case. Not all ivy honey sets solid though, it is more of an issue when that is the primary source of what the bees are bringing in, hence why providing a variety of pollen sources throughout the seasons is the key.

    Selling monocrop honey in the UK needs very specific percentages of the single source (eg heather) to be sold as such, so it is quite specialist and it quite hard to achieve, as there is generally such a huge variety of forage available for the bees it would be hard to sell it as specific. Heather honey is one of the few UK examples, but it is changing very slowly. I am not sure if the same regs apply for honeys from elsewhere, but there would need to be a huge area of monoculture around the hives to ensure that they use that predominant source for their honey, as the bees will fly (approx) 1.5 miles in any direction from their hive to find a decent food source.

    Ivy honey is very strong and is not to most peoples tastes, so it would never be a good seller. The last load I had was almost unusable as it blew your head off taste-wise (and not in a good way), even when it was used for cooking it was pretty unpalatable.

  28. #278
    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    I really don't know the answer to that one, I guess it is because a food source is a food source and it is better to have it than not - just in case. Not all ivy honey sets solid though, it is more of an issue when that is the primary source of what the bees are bringing in, hence why providing a variety of pollen sources throughout the seasons is the key.

    Selling monocrop honey in the UK needs very specific percentages of the single source (eg heather) to be sold as such, so it is quite specialist and it quite hard to achieve, as there is generally such a huge variety of forage available for the bees it would be hard to sell it as specific. Heather honey is one of the few UK examples, but it is changing very slowly. I am not sure if the same regs apply for honeys from elsewhere, but there would need to be a huge area of monoculture around the hives to ensure that they use that predominant source for their honey, as the bees will fly (approx) 1.5 miles in any direction from their hive to find a decent food source.

    Ivy honey is very strong and is not to most peoples tastes, so it would never be a good seller. The last load I had was almost unusable as it blew your head off taste-wise (and not in a good way), even when it was used for cooking it was pretty unpalatable.
    Thanks, very interesting!

  29. #279
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Apologies, I am sending this thread well off track now.
    I think that this thread is developing very well!

  30. #280
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    For bees - lavender. They’re mad for it.

  31. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    For bees - lavender. They’re mad for it.
    As the Bee is the symbol of Manchester I find that statement to be(e) amusing!

  32. #282
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    Show us your garden

    Time to hire a contractor with a very versatile Kubota digger. He dug out about 400 m2 (4300 sq/ft) of woodland. We decided to extend the lawn, complete with a path to another -exsisting- lawn. Those professionals are true wizards when it comes to moving soil.

    Next step: "Leave it for a month so that it can settle. I'll be back early April to make it all smooth and ready for the grass. Perhaps a soil test can help you determine what the ground needs for the grass to grow!"







    Last edited by thieuster; 2nd March 2021 at 19:05.

  33. #283
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    There's a couple of shy but then inquisitive foxcubs appeared today at the very bottom of the garden, I think there may be a Foxhole behind the shed, There was one a few years ago there!





    S'ppose this could be one of the parents..



    Sorry about the rubbish pics, I was taking them through the bottom greenhouse!!


    John..

  34. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnbaz View Post
    There's a couple of shy but then inquisitive foxcubs appeared today at the very bottom of the garden, I think there may be a Foxhole behind the shed, There was one a few years ago there!





    S'ppose this could be one of the parents..



    Sorry about the rubbish pics, I was taking them through the bottom greenhouse!!


    John..
    Amazing! We have rabbits, squirrels and hedgehogs but I'd love a fox hole. Suspect it might be an either/ or question though!

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  35. #285
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    Show us your garden

    Superb. According to my neighbour's wildlife camera, there's a family in our garden as well. I've seen the footage, I've seen the fox holes. But not the foxes IRL.

    Besides, I must have chased them away for today: scarifying the lawn. Loud noises! I had rented a machine for that; 30 euros/day (or 35 euros if I didn't bring it back with a full tank). That wasn't so bad, but raking the thatch after scarifying was back-braking!

    Menno



    Last edited by thieuster; 24th March 2021 at 22:03.

  36. #286
    We live in the middle of town, with only a small garden, so all we get is some birds. However, the Chinese cherry tree, crabapple tree and peach tree are all starting to bloom!

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  37. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Superb. According to my neighbour's wildlife camera, there's a family in our garden as well. I've seen the footage, I've seen the fox holes. But not the foxes IRL.

    Besides, I must have chased them away for today: scarifying the lawn. Loud noises! I had rented a machine for that; 30 euros/day (or 35 euros if I didn't bring it back with a full tank). That wasn't so bad, but raking the thatch after scarifying was back-braking!

    Menno
    Has the new mower arrived yet?

  38. #288
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Picking it up today!!!


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  39. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    Picking it up today!!!


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    Great, look forward to hearing your thoughts when you've had a go.

    Mowed for the 2nd time this year at the weekend and Daffodils are in flower

    Untitled by Alex L, on Flickr

    Untitled by Alex L, on Flickr

    Untitled by Alex L, on Flickr

  40. #290
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Never tire of your pictures here Alex. Lovely field, must be incredible over lockdowns.
    Last edited by wileeeeeey; 25th March 2021 at 15:13.

  41. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Never tire of your pictures here Alex. Lovely field, must be incredibly over lockdowns.
    We couldn't have timed it better, moving here 18 months ago. The space has made lockdown more bearable, creating plenty of jobs to do outdoors.

    Winter was a bit bleak and the monumental rain/ground water has damaged our pumping station which goes to our sewage treatment plant. In the next couple of weeks a big digger will be coming across the garden to dig a 4m hole, so the grass may not look so tidy.

  42. #292
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    Great place you have. Take some pic’s of the works.


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  43. #293
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    Totally jealous of that garden Alex!

  44. #294
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    Show us your garden

    It looks fab, Alex!

    What you write about lockdowns is true.

    Anyway, the result of 1200m2 scarifying. 800m2 to go.

    I collected my Husqvarna this morning and put it into action right away. Luckily, my mower has a 'normal' hitch as well, so it's possible to tow a normal trailer! With the 15 hp 2 cylinder Kawasaki, this trailer with grass and moss (dry, light as air) isn't too much for the mower.

    Last edited by thieuster; 25th March 2021 at 18:35.

  45. #295
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    It looks fab, Alex!

    What you write about lockdowns is true.

    Anyway, the result of 1200m2 scarifying. 800m2 to go.

    I collected my Husqvarna this morning and put it into action right away. Luckily, my mower has a 'normal' hitch as well, so it's possible to tow a normal trailer! With the 15 hp 2 cylinder Kawasaki, this trailer with grass and moss (dry, light as air) isn't too much for the mower.

    Great setup. Mine doesn't have a ball hitch, so not even considered towing my Ifor Williams behind the mower

  46. #296
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex L View Post
    Great setup. Mine doesn't have a ball hitch, so not even considered towing my Ifor Williams behind the mower
    If you're referring to the sort of Ifor Williams trailer I have in mind... Well than I'm sure you're right. (We haul the classic cars on an IF trailer).

  47. #297
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    If you're referring to the sort of Ifor Williams trailer I have in mind... Well than I'm sure you're right. (We haul the classic cars on an IF trailer).
    Probably not as big as you’re imagining, mine is a caged P7E for garden duties.

    Untitled by Alex L, on Flickr

  48. #298
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    That’s a lovely piece of land, Alex.

    Unfortunately we don’t have a garden at all. Not really the done thing here.
    We do have a very low maintenance yard/patio type thing though.






  49. #299
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    Is that outdoor laminate flooring Jon?


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  50. #300
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    Show us your garden

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Kenney View Post
    That’s a lovely piece of land, Alex.

    Unfortunately we don’t have a garden at all. Not really the done thing here.
    We do have a very low maintenance yard/patio type thing though.





    That looks like Thailand.

    Edit: I just logged in via Google and I can now see you are in Vietnam. Very similar architecture to Thailand.
    Last edited by jaytip; 26th March 2021 at 08:03.

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