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Barry Tabor's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 50


Re: Re: Insect houses

from Barry Tabor

Yes, Sangeeta, you can pay a lot for little 'houses' or make them like on that programme. For us it would be the difference between a suite at the Savoy or the B&B on the corner of the street. To our guests, there seems to be no real difference. As long as it's in the right place, the surroundings provide forage and it's not leaky, they are not fussy. We have one like the one in your photo (about £20) and another made of short lengths of cane tied in a bundle and tied to a fence. Cost NIL. They both get used. Fascinating little creatures, aren't they? Just keep them away from roses intended for the showbench. .......

Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 20th February 2012 15:13

Re: How are we all doing?

from Barry Tabor

Hello, All.
Presumably the visitors we get depend very much on where we live, but even among the prairy-like setting of the 'wheat belt' of East Anglia, gardens are a great refuge for wildlife, from the hostile environment all around. In north Cambs we regularly get about 20 to 30 bird species, including all three British woodpeckers (actually, only the green one is regular) and several species of bumblebee along with several kinds of other bees, many hoverflies, the occasional fox and a few frogs but no toads. Our pond was under an oak tree - there's nowhere else for one here. It soon filled with high-tannin oakleaves and the few wild creatures that used it for the first few years soon disppeared, ans we filled it in. We used to get three speacies of dragonfly and some damselflies. We plant for butterflies and moths, too, and have had some welcome visitors, but the number and variety of moths in our countryside has become very few over the last 40 or 50 years. We all know this because there are very few splattered over the fronts of our cars these days - many years ago headlights would be dimmed by small corpses after 20 or 30 miles. Not any more .....
Perhaps the best thing we do for them is make sure water is always available here - more important than food for most of the year.

Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 20th February 2012 14:51

Re: Beekeeping in my garden?

from Barry Tabor

Hello, Nicola,
Just a quick note on your list of 'bee-plants' if I may?
Probably most people already realise it, but it may be worth repeating that Dahlias of the fancy kind are of no use to bees whatsoever. In fact, very few double flowers of any kind produce pollen or nectar, as the multitude of 'extra' petals are usually replacements for stamens, and the nectaries also mostly disappear. Thus nearly all single-flowered daisies are bee-friendly but doubles of any kind should be avoided for this purpose. Likewise most highly bred bedding annuals and even a lot of highly bred single flowers have had the bee-friendliness bred out of them. As I say, most gardeners already know this, but it bears repetition as there may be a few members who have never been made aware of this fact. Sorry if I've bored anybody .....

Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 20th February 2012 14:36

Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers

from Barry Tabor

Good Morning, Candy - not a very warm one, unfortunately!
We have bluebells right against a west-facing wall under an overhanging projection, which means that they get no direct rain, and very little blown their way by the wind, but they are in gravel, which helps, and they flower well, and the clump gets a little bigger each year. You mention hawkweed (was Hieraceum, now Pilosella, as you rightly point out) and it is an interesting plant in its own right, and is a worthy addition wherever it will fit in, so long as you don't mind it spreading its seeds around downwind for a mile or two. The most beautiful must be P aurantiacum - not always easy to get, but quick to make itself at home when you have it. Not an English native, unfortunately, but near enough that I use it (prolifically, in places). It has that rare virtue of being a clear and deep orange colour. Anemone nemorosa might work for you, and it is certainly found growing wild at some English woodland edges, but strictly praking, it isn't a native, according to the purists. I use it and enjoy it, but I'm not a purist ..........
Barry

  • Posted: Tue. 18th October 2011 07:33

Re: Re: Re: Re: Orange Geum

from Barry Tabor

Thanks, Vincent. I will see what the seedlings look like, anyway. They are not for commercialising, so their legal identity is not a factor. All the best.
Barry

  • Posted: Thu. 29th September 2011 07:05

Re: Re: Sporobolus heterolepis - availability

from Barry Tabor

Hello, Nicola,
Thanks for the helpful advice. I suspected that was the case, but never got round to checking with the people in charge (You, in fact). Sorry if this omission has caused any trouble for anyone, but there you have it, folks - anybody who wants to get in touch with me (and presumably with any member?) for any reason has only to mail Nicola at Head Office, and she will pass messages forward. And yes, Nicola, perhaps some of us would love to have a personal messaging system within this site, so 'more power to your elbow' with setting it up. It occurs to me, however, that some members may prefer to maintain their privacy, and so an 'opt out' should be available whenever you get a system working, perhaps?

I used to belong to a numismatic site, and they had such a set-up, and I made friends through that facility in UK, Holland, USA, India and elsewhere, some of whom I shall be meeting in Amsterdam next weekend, and another in Ahmedabad early next year. So it works to give members the oportunity to get together, and they can then make of the opportunity exactly how much or how little they wish. I think 'Plant Heritage' has a similar encouragement to get in touch with other members locally, and many mutually beneficial garden visits have been arranged there. I have been involved with a few in the past, and they are always enjoyable and useful both for visitor and visited members, I found. Sorry for the long mail, but it might be interesting and informative to hear some opinions on the subject ....
Regards
Barry

  • Posted: Thu. 22nd September 2011 09:28

Sporobolus heterolepis - availability

from Barry Tabor

Greetings one and all.
I saw this delightful grass on TV but have not yet found a supplier in the UK. I have, however, sourced 5 x half ounce packets of seed from 'another place.' If anybody would like one of the packets, please contact me if you can (this site does not appear to encourage contact between members, or even to facilitate it, so I do not know how you will contact me .....) Anyway, I should have the seed within about a month if anybody wants some.
Barry

  • Posted: Thu. 22nd September 2011 08:40
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Re: Re: Orange Geum

from Barry Tabor

Thanks again, John. I am convinced that it is the one you first stated. Since it was introduced in 1917 and got an RHS award (more difficult in those days before the introduction of bribery and corruption!) it must have been a 'good doer' at that time, but maybe some clones since then have not been as good. Anyway, since both you and I have good examples, at least we can keep two good clones going. I think the origin of the plant I first saw was Holland, and I have now been offered a plant in return for a few seedlings from among those that have already germinated from the seed I took a couple of days ago. Amarzing, as they say on TV. Many thanks for your invaluable input. There is a deal of expertise on this forum.
Thanks and regards
Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 19th September 2011 08:49

Re: Re: Orange Geum

from Barry Tabor

Sorry to bother you again, John, but I now find TWO of them listed, none with pics. Geum coccineum 'Borisii' is stated to 'not flower very well' and G. x borisii' is said to be 'rarely cultivated': better illustrated books would have helped me more, but I still think it must be the first, as the pic. you provided looks exactly right, but photographic reproduction of colours is notoriously unreliable. You only have to check the 'usual' bulb and rose catalogues to see what I mean! Any further information you can offer on how to tell these apart, and whether a freely flowering plant can, in fact. be G. c 'Borisii' would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 19th September 2011 07:12

Re: Re: Orange Geum

from Barry Tabor

Many thanks, John. That looks like the one. I can get seed soon, so 'hear's hoping' ........
Thanks and regards.
Barry

  • Posted: Mon. 19th September 2011 06:59