Trash or trea­sure? Let's find out

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Time for tea

Gra­ham El­bourne writes I in­her­ited this tea set con­sist­ing of six cups, five saucers, six side plates and a su­gar bowl. The fol­low­ing is in­scribed un­der the bowl: Vic­to­ria, China, Cze­choslo­vakia, Old Eng­land and hand-painted. Is it valu­able?

Sophie-Louise Frohlich of Stephan Welz & Co. replies The Vic­to­ria Porzel­lan fac­tory in Stará Role, Cze­choslo­vakia (for­merly Al­trohlau, Bo­hemia up un­til the end of WW1) man­u­fac­tured this set. Sch­midt & Co. were the pro­pri­etors in the late 19th cen­tury and the pot­tery ran un­til 1945 when it was na­tion­alised un­der the Com­mu­nist regime. The fac­tory’s main con­cern was com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion and not artis­tic value. How­ever, it still pro­duced some high qual­ity pieces. Since your set is in­com­plete, it does not hold much value. CIRCA Late 19th cen­tury – early 20th cen­tury VALUE Less than R500

A fond re­minder

So­beth Jor­daan of Bloem­fontein writes I bought this 41.5cm bronze fig­urine at an auc­tion purely be­cause I loved it so much. The plaque in­scrip­tion reads: L’Alerte; Par Ru­chot. Can you tell me a bit about it? Sophie-Louise replies This Art Deco fig­ure is prob­a­bly spel­ter and is cast ‘af­ter Ru­chot’. In other words, this is a re­pro­duc­tion cast­ing. Charles Ru­chot was a French sculp­tor from the 19th cen­tury who cre­ated nu­mer­ous bronze cast­ings and ob­jets d’art. CIRCA 19th cen­tury VALUE R1 000 – R1 500 at auc­tion CON­TACT stephan­

Is this an ivy?

Michelle Richter writes This pho­to­graph is of my ivy plant; it has a flower that looks like a daisy. I’ve never seen an ivy flower be­fore – is this nor­mal?

JJ replies This isn’t an ivy, al­though it looks very sim­i­lar. It’s ac­tu­ally an indige­nous climber called a ca­nary creeper (Senecio ta­moides).

What a pest!

Anette Laub­scher of Oli­fantshoek,

North­ern Cape writes For al­most three years, I’ve been strug­gling to erad­i­cate mealy­bugs from my gar­den. They gather at the grow­ing tips of my asters and Inca lilies as well as on the stalks and just above the soil. The fo­liage just above the soil soon dies back and the rest of the leaves change colour. I’ve cut off the stems to ground level and burnt them but when the plants re­grow, they have the same prob­lem. I pre­vi­ously sprayed Rose­care and Red­spi­der­cide and more re­cently Mala­sol and Fen­dona. I’ve trimmed a lot of the fo­liage in my gar­den and lifted the asters; the Inca lily tu­bers will soon go into win­ter dor­mancy. What can I use to treat the soil or must I start from scratch with fresh soil?

JJ replies The soil can be ster­ilised with Jeyes Fluid: pour 20ml in 10L of wa­ter over the soil and cover the bed with a plas­tic sheet for three days so the soil can sweat. Un­for­tu­nately, this kills all plant life but once you re­plen­ish the soil with com­post, the earth­worms and mi­crobes will re­turn. Do not re­peat this more than once every three years.

Lis­ten to JJ’s gardening tips and tricks on Der­rich Gard­ner’s show Brek­fis met Der­rich at 07:40 every Satur­day on RSG.

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