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Vic2 last won the day on May 10 2011

Vic2 had the most liked content!

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    Letchworth Garden City

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  1. The advice given by wholesalers to my local garden centres is to boil and cool tap water to remove temporary hardness (bicarbonates) before using on CPs. It doesn't remove calcium and magnesium sulphates and chlorides, called permanent hardness. In my very hard water area (3 mmol/litre dissolved salts), even water treated like this can kill a Dionaea in a single application. Like Amar and Stephen, I wouldn't do it.
  2. Hello Vic, Are you the Vic I met briefly @ the recent Euro Flora Open Day?

    I now have Sunday free and may be able to go to Viv's Open Day tomorrow. I have never been there before. Do I need to contact him (please give me the contact number), or just turn up?

    Kind regards,


  3. Hello Vic, Are you the Vic I met briefly @ the recent Euro Flora Open Day?

    I now have Sunday free and may be able to go to Viv's Open Day tomorrow. I have never been there before. Do I need to contact him (please give me the contact number), or just turn up?

    Kind regards,


  4. That - if I may say so - slightly tenuous Welsh connection may not be enough to save you, mobile; Your granny's undoubtedly safe, but I'd check under the bed for highly-trained, elite SAS sheep / Border Collie assassins, if I were ewe... Mind you, by that reckoning, my recent jokes have put me in mortal danger from anyone from Wyoming, California or Kansas. Any room left under the bed for an English chicken? Vic
  5. I guess you felt safe posting this, being so far from the Land of Poetry and Choirs, boyo... Cluck, cluck, cluck...! I-Spy-a-Scottish-Chicken of Letchworth
  6. It's the day for them today: Q. What d'you call a man who hides in the bushes? A. Russell. Q. What's the difference between Prince William and a pizza? A. Generally speaking, you won't find a bone in a pizza. Unlike Prince William's new wife. Vic ;)
  7. This should appeal on both sides of the Atlantic: A sheriff pushes through the swing doors into a rough Wild West saloon. Eyeing the red-eye drinkers suspiciously, he asked the room at large: "Anyone seen the Brown Paper Kid?" A poker player looks up from his hand, takes the cheroot out of his mouth and replies "Never heard of him. What does he look like?" The sheriff fidgets with his six-shooters nervously, and says "He wears a brown paper Stetson, brown paper shirt and waistcoat, brown paper chaps and brown paper boots". The poker player looks askance and says "Never seen nobody like that, no sirree... What's he wanted for?" The sheriff gulps and replies... "Rustlin'" Vic
  8. Is THIS the right link? I can't find any details of shipping costs; What do they charge you? Thx Vic
  9. Vic2

    Moorland Gold

    If it's only a few pots-worth at a time, try microwaving the Moorland Gold first. Add a bit of rainwater and keep it loosely covered to stop it drying out (and spattering your microwave with 'humus'). I got the idea from Adrian Slack's method of boiling up peat for Aldrovanda; Besides releasing the necessary humic acids, I found it took care of the algae for a while. Cheers, Vic
  10. Hi Folks, This is still at the blue-skies stage, but there may be a way to get Pameridea marlothii legitimately into the UK for Roridula dentata. This is rather badly needed for conservation, as the very restricted R. dentata habitat is under threat from - of all things- Redbush Tea (Rooibos) cultivation. One problem is quarantine. The bugs need to be quarantined on arrival in the UK, and the big institutions like Kew and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) can't risk their plant/animal collections. It's too expensive and difficult to use established customs facilities for a highly specialised symbiotic insect, known to respond badly to handling and disturbance. One solution presents itself in amateur growers of Roridula dentata. We are usually quite isolated, far apart from each other and distant from big animal/plant collections. Ideal for quarantine, where the organism (and anything it's carrying) is unlikely to pose a health hazard to humans and is highly unlikely to survive if it escapes into the cold, sunless, Roridula-free UK environment. My daughter Emma found a way to transfer and transport Pameridea with 100% survival, so getting the bugs to you shouldn't be so much of a problem. I would like to build up a list of British-based Roridula dentata growers who would be willing to quarantine Pameridea marlothii for Kew and ZSL, if they can get it into the UK. Allow me to be doom-sayer for a moment: You won't get paid, nor given host plants, and there is no guarantee you will be able to keep some of the P. marlothii. Please bear in mind the potential risk to your collections and yourselves. It is suspected - but so far unproven - that Pameridea are venomous. They are not known to bite people, nor is any toxin they may produce known to be active against humans. In the extreme circumstance that P.marlothii was - or was carrying - something nasty, your entire plant collection may have to be burnt, or you might spend the rest of your curtailed lifespan in an oxygen tent. There may be even be costs involved for you. You will probably have to sign waivers to indemnify the importers. Nuff said. I've kept Pameridea roridulae for over a year, and in that time no-one dropped dead, nor felt an overpowering urge to salivate and bite people. (With an understandable exception for Christine Blakeley, of course... Yum yum!) I'm not saying anything will come of it, but please pass me your names if you're interested in joining the register of quarantine volunteers. N.B. That of course includes anyone on (or retired from) the CPS Committee or Trustees! You're all welcome to help conserve this fascinating little bug RSVP, Vic
  11. Ladies and gentlemen, something really quite important has been brought to my attention. Please see the Phil Wilson's post #194; relevant extract given at the end of this post. The CPS General Secretary states that, if you deselect Chairman Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown, your membership fee will go up by £3 per year. This is shocking electoral blackmail, intended to keep his old mates in power, regardless of the best interests of the Society and its membership. And it is almost certainly untrue, as I shall demonstrate. Phil's statement neglects to mention that: Steve Cottell does not have Committee responsibility for running any show, therefore his deselection as Chairman and Trustee will not affect his ability to contribute to Chelsea and Gardener's World Live. The Chelsea Show Secretary is Paul, and the NEC Show Secretary is Derek Petrie - just see the Committee list. Steve enjoys doing the shows - Dennis inferred as much in his post - and I see no reason why he will stop doing them. Steve just loses the Chairman and Trustee responsibilities he can't be bothered with anyway! Paul McKeown can be deselected as Trustee and implicit leader of the CPS without affecting his position as Show Secretary. I believe the only show he organises is the Chelsea Flower Show. According to Tim, he's arranging the plant display at the EEE, which is this year only. The hardest job in the CPS is not Show Secretary - the shows happen but once a year. And it's clear that Steve and Paul enjoy doing them, as do many others. The hardest job is Chairman - it's a year-round job. And its long-term neglect cannot have been missed by anyone. The General Secretary states below that Steve and Paul cannot fulfil their Trustee and leadership responsibilities. Logical for them to stand down for the good of the Society, no? As for difficulty in replacing Steve and Paul for the shows, allow me to quote from one of Paul's predecessors as Show Secretary, Elaine Goddard, on the CPS website: "The CPS has exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show since 1979 ...we have staged an exhibit every year. Since that time, we have won 4 Gold Medals plus many Silver Gilt, Silver & Bronze, but we have maintained a high standard of at least silver for over 15 years." This demonstrates that the CPS can and has run shows for years without Steve and Paul in charge. And can most likely do so again. Derek Petrie has been NEC Show Secretary for many years. Not Steve or Paul. Both Chelsea and NEC are such prestigious and fun events - with free tickets on offer - that I can't see the CPS cancelling its presence at either event, can you? Heck, if Paul stands down as Show Secretary, I volunteer to organise the Chelsea Flower Show!! So the CPS already has a volunteer to do the work. I'm sure that CPS members will want to volunteer in my stead! The CPS has admitted to vast reserves of members' money, which it is under-utilising. It would be politically inconceivable to increase membership fees when the CPS already has so much surplus members' money. To finish, a sobering fact: In post #194, the General Secretary quotes from the CPS accounts. It therefore seems likely that the figures were passed to him by Flick Foreman, CPS Treasurer, another long-time pal of Steve and Paul, and member of the Trustees. Flick has stated that "we currently have four Trustees - a good workable number." In other words, the CPS doesn't need any changes in the Trustees. As Dennis says here, Trustees are usually assigned (in this case, by the other Trustees) and so unaccountable to the electing membership and the Committee. I have already shown that the Trustees make decisions and take actions above - and sometimes in secret from - the Committee, in contravention of the Society Rules. The four CPS Trustees are Steve Cottell, Paul McKeown, Phil Wilson and Flick Foreman. All long-time pals. An old-boy network if you will, unaccountable to the membership and the Committee. This wouldn't be a problem for the CPS, if Steve and Paul weren't grossly neglecting their Chairman and Trustee responsibilities. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This post #194 by Phil Wilson, probably produced with Flick Foreman's help, shows that the Trustees will do and say anything to keep their old mates in power with them, even against the best interests of the Society and its membership. This includes financial blackmail of the electorate. Rereading this, I'm ashamed to say I was ever part of it, folks. I apologise profusely. Please deselect Steve Cottell and Paul McKeown as Chairman and Trustees, guys. Break up the Gang of Four, and allow some light and energy into the inner circle of the Society, for the benefit of its members and the plants we love. Sadly, Vic
  12. Seems Phil and I were posting at the same time! Interesting thoughts, Phil. Looking forward to hearing your views on the online/postal voting proposal I put forward. Please let me know if it addresses all your concerns. Then democracy can be reality. In answer to Ada's question, IMHO Yes. The Society's constitutional Rules state that the CPS is a charity at law, and democratic elections are a key part of its Rules. The Society is not beyond the law, therefore its elections are open to legal challenge. But I certainly don't think such an approach is necessary!! But you have to define what a quorum is. Previously, the CPS has interpreted this as a simple majority (over 50%). The Society Rules are unintentionally biased against the many voters unable to attend the Annual General Meeting. They state that voting must take place at the AGM (or a Special General Meeting). Only those present at the meeting can vote for Rule changes. But... The Rules do not state that voters for officers of the Committee (and therefore, associated Trustee positions) have to be physically present at the AGM. See the relevant Rules given below. The upshot of this? You can vote online or by post, within the Society Rules. So long as you do it on or before the AGM and the results are presented at the meeting itself. You could instead send a letter or email to the General Secretary or the Membership Secretary, but be quick. (N.B. I wouldn't bother sending to Steve Cottell or Paul McKeown, if I were you: It is strongly suspected that a number of items of post have gone missing that way. E.g. the Society's magnum opus, the CPS Guide, circulated for comment and lost without trace or apology, which led to the resignation of Bryan Pinchen from the Committee). N.B.2 The AGM can be held as late as the end of May (and sometimes has been!) Let's hope that something good comes of this; it all depends on the Trustees and Committee. Vic "Rule 12 The Annual General Meeting, notice of which shall be sent to members at least 14 days beforehand, shall be held not later than the month of May, for the following purposes: (a) To receive the Committee’s report and the accounts for the year ended on the 31 March.; (b) To consider any alterations to the rules; © To elect officers for the following year; (d) To consider any other business. ... Rule 14 Alterations to these Rules shall receive the assent of two-thirds of the Members present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. The General Secretary of the Society must receive a resolution for the alteration of the rules at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward. At least 14 days notice of such a meeting must be given by the General Secretary to the Membership and must include notice of the alteration proposed. Provided that no alteration to Rules 3 (objects), 15 (dissolution) or this rule, shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction shall be obtained; and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Society to cease to be a charity at law."
  13. There are more than a few people who want a say, mobile, if my Inbox is anything to judge by I hope we'll get a sensible response to the voting proposal from the CPS tomorrow. Vic P.S. Someone has told me that minority elections like the CPS AGM are in fact illegal and non-binding. Electorally, 30-odd members cannot be taken to represent the views of 400. I'm looking into it.
  14. Just saying, Darren! I simply made a point as well. Nil ad hominem me quoque I would really like to hear your constructive views on the proposal for online and postal voting. Vic
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