Arwen Hutchings

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since Oct 15, 2019
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Recent posts by Arwen Hutchings

Thanks so much Anne, this is really helpful!  I can certainly give it plenty of shade and woodland conditions but I do have a constant battle with slugs... I think I shall give it a go though!  
5 months ago
Hi Anne, I’m trying to start growing medicinal herbs but hadn’t thought of doing so as a forest garden and am wondering if this might be the key to success! I’m keen to have a go at growing ginseng as I find it a really helpful ingredient in teas for energy, mood and as a general tonic, but do you think it would thrive in a forest garden in South Wales, UK? I’m in a sheltered south facing spot on a gentle slope with rich, free draining silty loam. We get a lot of rain and temps can go quite low (below 0 Celsius) in winter. I could lift and overwinter plants if necessary but this doesn’t seem quite in the spirit of forest gardening! Would be very grateful for your thought :-)
5 months ago
“I have not heard that you can fan train them. do you mean like an espalier, along a building? The building might get stained, especially with the red kind. If you are thinking of a hedge or a fedge, I'd see that: Less cutting, snipping, shaping... more fruit...“  

I did mean like an espalier but actually I think you are right and I am confused - it’s actually training them more as a bush that I’ve read about.  I like the fedge idea and it sounds more practical and manageable than espalier or fan training!! (Thinking about it logically it would grow every time your back was turned, wouldn’t it?)  :-)
6 months ago
I’m so tempted to plant a mulberry, I love the fruit so much, but I’ve heard they take years and years to fruit and they grow so big. Has anyone had experience of keeping them small or fan training them, which I’ve read you can do? What’s the quickest anyone’s got them to fruit? I’m in Wales, UK, so relatively cool and wet! :-) I tried one of those dwarf mulberries from one of the big online nurseries - an expensive failure!
6 months ago
i have been wondering if self-massage could help, thank you, I’ll investigate this further!
10 months ago
Thanks Sharol, that’s great, really appreciate your advice :-)
10 months ago
Hi Dr Tilgner and welcome. After a great many years of operations and orthodox  medicine I’m looking for alternative ways to deal with long-term pelvic/abdominal pain caused by adhesions, but have no idea where to start. Please could you suggest anything I can use as a starting point, for me to research further?
10 months ago
Lots of great tips here, thanks everyone! We definitely HAVE rodents - I’ve seen them! - but from your descriptions  I’m starting to think the damage might actually be more slug than rodent! I love the idea of having snakes. The snakes native to Wales are less commonly found in gardens but we do have slow worms which are actually a lovely type of snake or lizard I think, and they’ll eat slugs. I’ve seen one, once, in the garden and can easily create more habitat for them so I’ll try that. Coffee grounds are also easy as the cafe at my place of work gives them away for free. Thanks so much everyone, I’m really grateful to you all for taking the time to respond.
10 months ago
I do put out beer traps but there are so many slugs! Wales is very wet! 😂 I had seen articles about the stones and I’d forgotten all about it, I like this idea a lot, I’ll try it, the painted stones are so cute anyways! I have had good success with copper tape to protect hostas, so it’s certainly worth a go, and I have leftover copper pipe somewhere so I guess I could just lay that in the bed! Thanks so much everyone for your suggestions and advice!
10 months ago
Thanks Skandi, actually, we do have a lot of blackbirds... though we do net the bed, though I admit I get fed up with the net sometimes and give up and remove it. The holes are mainly on the bottom but can be quite big... it COULD be all slugs... I’ve just taken possession of about 5 Christmas trees from friends and colleagues so I can collect the pine needles and mulch the beds, I thought these might help deter slugs if it’s them! I agree about trapping. All that will happen is more will move in. There is a boundless supply of voles! (And I’m cool with that, lots of things eat voles!)  I’d be delighted if a weasel moved in but I don’t think we’re quite rural enough. I’ve seen stoats deeper into the countryside but we’re kind of suburban/semi-rural here. We probably do get foxes...
10 months ago