‘Shrooms’ Already!

In a brief moment without any rain, I thought I would seize the opportunity to have a ‘potter’ round outside.  I couldn’t help noticing all the Mushrooms and Toadstools growing away. Normally here in the South west of ‘Blighty,’ the emergence of same would not be until at least late September through to November end.

This 2012 year is turning into a horrible damp depressing one. I see and hear from many friends in the USA that are hugely burdened by excessive heat! What a shame we cannot meet halfway.

So out with the trusty camera for a few quick pictures of some of my very own garden ‘Shrooms!’

Peculiar Weather (Bonsai Protection)

After the warmest March on record, the weather seems to have taken a massive reversal of fortune. Here in The South West of Blighty it is chilly (4th April 2012) but certainly not what has been pouring in to the North and Scotland!  Not had any winds here yet, and currently struggling to get over 10C. I see however on the news just now that roads are closed, one metre high snow drifts; bridges shut, icy roads in general, power is out to thousands and thousands of homes! And so it goes on. All this on top of a hosepipe ban that comes into force tomorrow in many counties.

Yes those icy winds will badly damage young and tender species of Bonsai. This is not just those that have been repotted. Maples in particular  even in the slightest of wind will suffer. Those that have rallied well after repotting, would greatly benefit from protection right now … if you are suffering with this awful weather. Anything will do; garage shed etc. If you use the Greenhouse, be mindful of heat build up even if it is cold outside. The sun is much higher now, and will warm up a GH in seconds.

With any species that has been repotted, don’t hesitate to protect it. You’ll hear much about frost protection to newly forming feeder roots. Well, frankly if the repot was done properly, then you have little to fear of frost as far as roots go. If it really worries, then a small fleece will suffice over the pot and rootball. Any evergreens will dry out very quickly in this wind so be mindful of watering needs.

And finally. To anyone travelling this coming Easter weekend; be it here within Blighty or to an airport for a nice break; I hope you have a nice one.


Leaving a reply

I must apologise if anyone has left a reply and it does not appear. Those that have left replies are fine, you are classed as OK for repeat replies. These days the spam software within WP pulls most of all the garbage out, and classifies it as spam. I simply then highlight the lot and delete. This will inevitably mean a false positive disappears into wherever.

Once again, my apologies if yours has not shown up here on the blog part, or elsewhere on any article. This morning the spam catching side had 29 kills waiting for deletion. Half are in a language I don’t even understand, some are those wee blue pills, books, love-sites oh, and so it goes on.

Thank you though again for all the views and comments through 2011.

Update Birdnest in Bonsai Oak

No picture yet; I’ll try when madam nips out for some grub. The good news is it is 100% definitely a Thrush in residence and there are four eggs in total.

Since my first post (May 19th) she has been sat in there pretty much most of the time other than when I go in the display area once a day to water. Soppy bird flies out as I walk in with watering cans then back while I refill and off she goes again and so on until I am done.

Normally I work on the trees in-situ, but like the daft as a brush person I am, I’m trying to keep my visits down to just watering … so she can sit quietly on her eggs without disturbance. Hence, trees are looking overgrown and in need of work; but … Mrs Thrush is of equal importance, especially after honouring me by making a nest in my Bonsai Oak.

By my reckoning and research, the eggs should hatch around 14-21 days from being laid; (Unless an expert can advise me better … please!). My only reservation is the amount of time she leaves the nest while I water; in which case they may be eventually addled and fail to hatch … which would be a crying shame after all this malarkey.

I can’t bring each tree across to my workshop right now as I am only just nine days off the operating table getting my left shoulder sorted; I can barely lift a pint right now so a tree is out of the question.

Ahhhh, sharing life with the birds; and then they go and rip my small John Pitt log planting apart and smash up my home made FIMO snail … sigh 😦

The moment I can take a picture of the babies in residence I shall do so. Oh, and thank you for all the emails of support for both my shoulder and the Thrush. I decided to run this update rather than answering the plethora of emails from around the world; mostly about the Thrush progress I might add 🙂


On-going Saga of the Bonsai & the Bird Nest

Not wishing to bore you, I thought it only right and proper to update the situation with the nest in my Bonsai Oak just a few days on.

The birdy carried on building the nest, hour after hour, cocooning the debris to make it just so.  She has become fairly confident now, and continued making the nest as long as I did not get too close. I did my best to ignore her, and I feel Mrs Birdy reciprocated.

I was watering this evening and I noticed Madame Birdy disappear, so quickly chanced my arm to get a picture. I was not disappointed. Result of said snap can be seen below. So that has put paid to further pruning on my Oak for a while. Bless:) Right miffed really; I was going to advertise this Oak for sale; not much chance of that happening … not with sitting tenants … sigh.

For Japan

In these difficult times that the Japanese are currently facing, I hope and pray they find the inner-strength to continue.

継続は力なり。 (Keizoku wa chikara nari)

‘Don’t give up. Just continuing to hold on, will yield/reveal strength and power.’

Vine Weevil? I Think NOT!

Amid shrieks and general pandemonium today, it was a case of … “We’ve got Vine Weevil all over the garden; you’ll have to treat all the bonsai!”

It is helpful at times to have some knowledge to differentiate between a Vine Weevil and something else. Upon closer inspection I could immediately see legs which confirmed straight away it was not going to be Vine Weevil.

This was an area of garden that we had wanted to develop for a while now, but after removing a diseased Silver Birch five years ago; it left a trunk sticking up out of the ground some 90cm across. I could have used a product to rot it away to nothing but I have for the last few years tried to go almost 100% organic.

Now as it turned out, these little beauties were  Stag Beetle grubs; to be absolutely precise the lesser stag beetle, Dorcus parallelipepidus. The Stag Beetle is now actually considered to be an endangered species where as the ‘lesser’ is not.

Here then is the first of a series of pictures from today! Oh, and don’t worry they were all put back and are now safe and sound doing what they do best, nibbling away at the dead wood. Birches are a great target because the timber is very light when dried out.

Just before I show you the pictures I felt it was prudent to just include a small bit of information on the Stag Beetle that everyone can help with.

Stag beetles need dead and decaying wood to lay their eggs and to feed on, so it would be great if you could leave an area of your garden undisturbed with fallen trees, tree stumps or logs that are in contact with the soil (so that the wood remains moist and can decay).

This kind of habitat is great for other wildlife as well, but if you are lucky enough, you may help these magnificent stag beetles move in too. Try to do your bit for endangered species … please.

Here then are the grubs:

They are not greatly pleased at being picked up and tend to defecate on your hand; they think it will put you off:-)

Sorry it was a bit blurred try this one.

You can clearly see the legs!

At the same time we found several adults.

So there we are; not Vine Weevils at all (breathe a sigh of relief).

Completely Off Piste … WordPress

 A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.

Chinese Proverb. Author unknown.

On occasions when using text widgets I find the need to use html coding to get what I need from said widget. I’ve been asked quite  a few times now how I do such and such with those widgets.

The truth is I found this nice blog that gave me everything I needed; so it ain’t worth squat if it isn’t shared, so here then is the site I have used to create widgets and also play around in posts and pages using code.

It’s gobbledegook mostly … well, to me it is but hey-ho, with copy and paste it always seems to come up trumps for me. Hope anyone ‘wordpressing’ finds it helpful, I know I have.

Link is here then.

All we need now is for WordPress.com to allow official plug-ins and we are home and dry:-)