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To fleece or not to fleece echium?

Hampshire, United Kingdom Gb

My Echium is now 6ft tall. It has survived the past two winters with out any protection. It should flower next year. Do I leave it to chance or spend £20.00 on a large pop up fleece cover. I live in Hampshire, 12 miles north of Portsmouth.

On plant Echium




If you've got a couple of old blankets or curtains, cover them with that to keep off the worst of the weather if you don't want to lash out on a giant fleece

11 Dec, 2008


Hi trees and things
How will you feel if you lose it?
If not feeling like that is worth £20 go out and buy some heavyweight fleece from ebay and wrap it in it several times and then tie with string.I always use long lengths either double or triple. The covers are only single and I lost an orange tree I have had for 30 odd years because i was too reliant on something which wasn't as thick as it needed to be,You will find you can get loads for your £20.

11 Dec, 2008


I think you should cover it somehow because I lost one when it was growing in plastic tunnel. This is North Hampshire, so you may be alright but this has been a particularly cold Autumn which makes the ground colder than usual so beware. Could you not make a tripod tent with Bamboo canes to support the fleece with polythene round it, I seem to remember the leaves were easily damaged

11 Dec, 2008


~that's a good idea Poaannua!

11 Dec, 2008


This is truely a U.K. thing. Not at all done or used in the USA.

I used to shear fifteen four horned sheep, Churo, from the Navaho nation. Wicked horns and often weighing up to 200 lbs. I had to flip those suckers, then proceed.

Those fleeces were coarse and not easily used in the normal manner so the fleeces were not sellable. Still we could not even get 1.00 for them. I took two truckloads back to my barn and use them today to mulch the soil. Nitrogen delivered as well as some useage for birds.

I also use the fleece in the shipping ofmy plants. Stuffed around the 4" pot and rubber banded it is GREAT. One lady, however gave me a neutral for using this ANIMAL product. Go figure. I also use Lavender stems, dried to be my stuffing material. No plastic, no bubble wrap for me.

I do hang small amounts under the eaves so birds can use this material in their nests. They really appreciate it!

12 Dec, 2008


Different kind of fleece Skyline. Thin knitted gauze like material just to keep the frost off. Very light and actually lets diffused light through. Usually made from a man made yarn so it dries quickly.

12 Dec, 2008


Fleece ordered on line should be here to day or tomorrow.

12 Dec, 2008


Skyline's comments about the sheep fleece is about the best thing I've read on GoY for some time :o)

12 Dec, 2008



:-) This is such a memory for me. Verle, knowing my love of this job duty, would actually phone me the night before so I could have pleasant dreams.

I always would get bruised. It was a job to whine about!

We, meaning I also had to do the hoof trimming. I do still have twenty bags of fleece remaining. It is incredible wool. Some are chocolate brown, some are gold and most are a mixture.

They are not suitable for normal knitting, but still can be used to make pictures. I don't know the name of this, but I gae a friend of mine three different fleeces. She would stick some of the material through a fabric, then back up and knot it.Turned out very pretty.

I was also ready to felt some. Hot water in the bathtub, then running the fleece in a peat roller over the lawn. It would make some great hats. Another friend did this in a different manner. She had head molds and put the shrunken felt and made hats.

I seriously couldn't sell them for 1.00!

12 Dec, 2008


The only American who ever understood irony was Mark Twain. And he is dead.

12 Dec, 2008


great antidote about the fleeces, but I was being just a little ironic, I had visions of Treesandthings having to 'flip the suckers' to shear his own fleece just to keep his beloved Echium warm for the winter. :o)

12 Dec, 2008


Or anecdote's ok I'm sober now :o)

12 Dec, 2008



12 Dec, 2008


Gee, you guys had me going there. I was puzzling about throwing fleeces over plants. Too wet and heavy thought I , but one never knows about other cultures.

Sarraceniac " Different kind of fleece Skyline. Thin knitted gauze like material just to keep the frost off. Very light and actually lets diffused light through. Usually made from a man made yarn so it dries quickly."

That was no Irony -- just a major bit of confusion. Something I am good at. RE: Mark Twain, I just went to the Library book sale to stock up on some reading material should the weather become as nasty as they say.

One other GREAT American writer who no-one ever talks about is Lafcadio Hearn. 'Japan's Great Interpreter.' He moved to Japan. He literally became Japanese, writing in Japanese he became beloved by the people In his American days he was one of the best translators of French.He wrote Chinese and Japanese Ghost stories and one of his American books was 'Stray Leaves from Strange Literature.'

He is totally forgotten in America and I try every time to collect any book I can find. This is very hard. Our Library doesn't have one book of his. Even Edward Abby who died just a few years ago -- dribblings. Edward Abby was a God to me.


12 Dec, 2008


if you look at one of my photos you can see a plastic greenhouse with a fleece inner lining~you can buy heavier weights which give better protection.
~it's obviously a UK thing!

13 Dec, 2008


The irony was mine Herb.........I think we could have made a good blog out of this one.

13 Dec, 2008


Bluespruce, i agree.

What got me was going back to the intro.

"Do I leave it to chance or spend £20.00 on a large pop up fleece cover."

Twenty pounds and I can't get one buck for mine! Something is very wrong here. Now I understand.

Considering our own arctic outbreak I might just end up tucking into those fleeces of mine. The lanoline might just be good for my winter skin.

What more can one ask for. A bottle of whiskey and 15 bags of fleece. I can survive 7 days of this.


13 Dec, 2008


You might be ok, I live in Cowes, IOW and people growing them here don't bother. But if ever you are unsure, fleece it!

16 Dec, 2008

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