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Its like spring !!!


Its just so mild out with blue skies nice gardening weather and its great to get out in the garden.

Normally I prune the honeysuckles in early February just before them come into bud , how i missed them I dont know , budding away merrily , all pruned and look a lot neater as well.

Thought best and have lightly pruned the two apple trees as well , plus removed a branch on my mulberry tree just to balance it out more with the shape and this is known for bleeding from the cuts if done late into the new year. I may have fruit this year its only ever had one berry in the 8/9 years I have had it !!!! but from a small bush 12 inches high is now a good 10 feet. I will have to have a good read up how to summer prune the new growth.

Collected the last of the ripe seed pods on the “Pocket handkerchief tree” and planted in pots , I will see in two years time if successful as its roots the 1st year then shoots the 2nd. I do have one batch that should be showing shoots this spring ….time will tell.

I have snowdrops blooming and hellebore , bulbs galore all showing and one grape hyacinth in flower looks very lonely.

Sunflower seeds I put out for the birds some have sprouted, as I fill the feeders on the patio table and some fell in between the spaces of the wood !!! mad or what. I have potted them up and put in the greenhouse.

My bees I keep in the garden are out and about.

I opened the lid on the dalek compost bin and a rat just sat and looked at me !!! before it scurried off , so will have to get that sorted out asap! had them before in the compost bin I dont put any food waste in only the usual garden clippings , I suppose its safe and warm and dry ish? and with all the rain we have had must of flushed them out … plus I do have a river at the bottom of the garden !!! which had flooded this week up to the garden fence, scary !!!


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Rats like compost bins in the winter; I have got them in mine again which is on my allotment, I caught nine of the blighters last year using traditional traps. The trouble is I had to keep going and checking them every day ,so I think I will just let them get on with it with them being well away from where I live.

29 Dec, 2015



Traps dont work , this lot are too clever ......

I have left the traps (two weeks)in the compost bin so they get used to them then set ready and nothing !!

I think I will just empty the compost where it is , its the thought they have been peeing over all of it, so disposable gloves will be used when I get round to do it ....

29 Dec, 2015


I have always found traps very effective -use peanut butter for bait; they can 't resist that!

29 Dec, 2015


I will let you know ....

29 Dec, 2015


Last summer I cut open a drain pipe in my basement to install a new washer. Out came a flurry of rats directly from the sewer to my basement. A couple got upstairs and it was a holy terror trying to catch them. My cat, Costello, came to my rescue as he did what cats do best. :)

I love that 'Pocket Handkerchief' tree.

29 Dec, 2015


OMG Bathgate thats like American Gothic Horror story !!!

funny enough been watching the new one here with "Lady Ga Ga" as the main lead , cor has that been scary to watch , especialy the guy crawling out the mattress , now that had me good style !!! eeek

not many cats will take on a rat !!!

"I love that 'Pocket Handkerchief' tree."

mines done so well to flower so quickly
thought we better end on a good note !


29 Dec, 2015


All my cats do is bring the mice and lizards inside to play with, but only until they get distracted and I have to catch them and throw them outside.

29 Dec, 2015


Did you mean "Willard"? I had to throw that in, lol!

29 Dec, 2015


very clever Bathgate, its just as well I know my horror !!

Ratman's Notebooks

29 Dec, 2015


It's brilliant isn't it Gg I've been gardening today too :-)
, been so mild it's quite weedy out there.
Robs busy cutting hedges no easy task with them being Hawthorne blackthorn etc, must get us both booked in for a tetanus I think those thorns are lethal.
Noticed blossom on my plum today too the worlds gone mad.
Oooo must look out for your horror film I like a good scare :-)
We still have our tabby cat visitor who sorts all the mice etc, luckily he takes his catches home and doesn't leave them for me lol.

29 Dec, 2015


Interesting blog.
I am thinking of putting 'being ruthless to plants that don't do' onto my 2016 resolutions list! Unless the Mulberry has other attributes, onto the list?
It is said you are never more than 6 m from a rat, just we done usually see them. Beware of Wiels disease, it enters through cuts in human skin.
Enjoy your gardening ... Happy New year.

30 Dec, 2015


My plants are loving the mild weather too...although maybe not so much the wind...and I was so glad the sun shone yesterday but today its howling out there..

We have 2 cats that do an amazing job with the rats.they dont eat them though they bring them home for me!!! It amazes me how many there must be out there as they bring them home regularly. But then we are in the country side and have compost and chickens.

Will be interested to hear if your Hanker chief tree seeds do their stuff.

30 Dec, 2015


Rats! Oh I hate them!! When I had my allotment, I used to see the odd one and they used to make my skin crawl. In my little hut, where I kept my tools etc I got the odd mouse, which I had no problem with, but rats? No thanks. The guy who had the plot next to mine used to bring his little Jack Russell terrier every so often and he was terrific at finding the rats and despatching them.
GG. If you've pruned early, and the weather suddenly turns 'wintery' will those plants you've pruned suffer?

30 Dec, 2015


Hi Waddy

I pruned the apple trees (this year growth to produce fruiting spurs next year). Correct time of year

No shouldn't suffer I only pruned the honeysuckle because it had started to grow and I wanted a more tight compact growth on the trellis rather than it getting out of control plus it will produce new shoots lower down on the branches and will help it to produce more flowers as well , but all my clematis which have started in to growth will suffer. The weather can very quickly change if the wind changes direction if coming from Scandinavia and Russia !!! .

If we have another dry day it will be the wisteria time to have a light trim I normally count to 3 buds on the side shoots then off it comes.

Plants I dont touch till spring will be the hydrangeas as the old flower stalks protect the new flowering buds just below. All the outdoor fuchsia as well I just leave alone and when new growth starts after the frost have gone I selectively prune then.

Rats !!! at least mine in the compost bin , easily solved as its getting emptied tomorrow if its not raining , but I will give it a kick .... before opening lol .


30 Dec, 2015


I hope the river doesn't flood your property Gnarly.
The weather is so mild that the plants think it's spring, I'm sure.
I'm glad you have been able to do some gardening. It's good to have some fresh air at this time of year.

30 Dec, 2015


It is really mild here too but it rains all the time. I am so fed up with grey skies.

30 Dec, 2015


Hi Hywel Linda

River has abated luckily its only been really bad once in 12 years since I have lived here and was 50 feet away from the house and that was in May a couple of years ago when it rained non stop for 4 days , high tide as well so it all backed up, they have created flood planes and taken part of the river embankment out so it floods the fields 1st which has worked a treat up to now .

Linda I can see blue skies this morning , a bit of hope ....

yes good to get out in to the garden

31 Dec, 2015


Happy 2016 Gnarly Gnome ...
Handkerchief trees ... and rats hiding in Daleks ..
that must make an amazing and fascinating garden ! ;o)

5 Jan, 2016


Hi Terra

yes the blog went in all directions

and a good kick works !!! on the Dalek lol exterminate has passed my mind !!

you have great 2016 as well ....

wont be long before we are sowing, its what we do on here


5 Jan, 2016

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