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    29/11/2011 at 12:40

Welcome to the plants forum, the place to discuss dahlias, conifers, alpines, cacti, culinary herbs or … any other plant that interests you. Share growing tips, recommend a variety or post photos of a mystery flower.

Daniel Haynes


03/12/2011 at 12:52

Many people do not seem to know how beautiful the maidenhair tree (Gingko or Ginkgo biloba) is, despite many having been planted in the streets of london, so i am posting this picture of this one in the Bristol Uiversity Botanic garden which I

photographed on Dec,1st.

03/12/2011 at 12:54

Heavens - when you click on the picture to enlarge it you can scroll down and up.  it is sensational!

    03/12/2011 at 14:53

Gingkos are magnificent aren't they, and they make a very handsome street tree. Lots in New York, too, apparently...

    05/12/2011 at 11:36

Hello Happymarion,

Thanks for your lovely picture of the ginkgo. The leaves are a really wonderful yellow. In a street that I walk down on my way to work, there is a female ginkgo. I know that it is female because for weeks now it has been dropping rancid-smelling 'fruits' all over the pavement. I love walking past it in the morning as ginkgos are such special trees for many reasons. However I think I'd be a bit fed up if I lived in the house that is situated a few feet away from it!


The Gardeners' World web team

05/12/2011 at 12:14

Yes, Emma, they made such a mess on the sidewalks in Florida they were replaced by American Oaks, but the ones sold by nurseries nowadays are usually male so no trouble with the fruits. The young tree we have at the Bristol Botanic Garden also has much bigger leaves than the old one so new varieties are on sale too.

They are a delicacy to some Chinese  so their common name is the Chinese Apricot and the Japanese roast and salt the seeds like we do peanuts and serve them in bars as a preventative for hangovers.

 The gingko is used in Chinese medicine for cardiovascular disease as well so it is a good example of "if a plant is threatened in the wild find a use for it".  It was thought to be extinct in the wild for many years but fairly recently was discovered again in a remote part of China.  It is stories like that that illustrate how important Botanic Gardens and ordinary gardeners are to plant diversity.

05/12/2011 at 12:25

For those not familiar with the fruits here is a close-up of the tree above taken on Dec,1st.


    06/12/2011 at 09:55

Hello Happymarion,

Thank you for your picture of the fruits on the ginkgo. It looks quite festive doesn't it? As you say, it is possible to buy new cultivars of ginkgo. Anyone who would like to make a study of them could visit Kew Gardens to see quite a few of them in the heart of the bamboo garden.

Emma. team

08/12/2011 at 19:52

There's a lovely Ginko at beth Chatto's which contrasts beautifully with the evergreens around it.

I was going to upload a picture of it, but the site objected to my large file as being too big, and objected to the smaller file which I've already created for my blog, saying it wasn't a valid path. Why not? Is it because it has words in the jpeg name?

10/12/2011 at 20:32

I am a great fan of this tree too and am attempting to raise new plants from cuttings (hardwood) this year. The City Council in Nottingham have planted some of these in the otherwise rather drab square in the town centre and I am looking forward to seeing these mature. There are a few specimens in the local country park at Ruddington on the site of an ammunition dump (since cleared) and I think it was an inspired idea to plant them.

    12/12/2011 at 10:05

Hello Newcastle,

There are a few different methods you can use for propagating ginkgos, and hardwood cuttings have many advantages. Not least is the fact that you can be sure of the sex of the new plant and avoid, or deliberately choose, to produce a tree with 'interesting' scented fruits. Hardwood cuttings are also low-maintenance and usually trouble free. Please do let us know about the progress of your venture, and any other propagation you undertake.

Emma. team

12/12/2011 at 11:38

Being of the oldest generation of gardeners I love my ferns.  We havr just had a hailstorm in Bristol so, of course ,I went up the garden with my camera and took these pictures of Dryopteris digitata "Crispum Whireside", a primula flowering among the fallen leaves, and rosebuds atop Iris unguilaris and a close-up.

I love the new site and the tool bar!!!

12/12/2011 at 12:33

I love ferns too, which is just as well since my garden is so shaded. I tried growing spores last year... The little thalluses grew OK but no baby ferns yet.

Love the piccies Marion

12/12/2011 at 12:39

Should be "Crispum Whiteside, of course!  Hailstones have frozen my fingers.  I expect you know to keep your thalluses very damp, Linda.  Good luck.

21/12/2011 at 21:34

Hi, I've just had the 'men from the Council'  with a 3 ft chain saw destroying the other side of my hedge!! I now have huge gaps and would like any recommendations for a very fast-growing perennial climber to help with filling them. They have totally destroyed my privacy and killed a lot of bird friendly bush - I could swing for them.

Thanks in advance

Carol, Plymouth

21/12/2011 at 22:09

Clematis chinensis grows very fast and is very lovely,madasahatter.  Also the perennial sweet pea.

    30/12/2011 at 10:51

Hello Madasahatter and Happymarion,

It may not be very original, but Clematis montana should grow quickly, cover the gaps and cope with any shade the rest of the hedge causes. It is also very pretty. It prefers alkaline - neutral soil so I would pick something else for a garden with acid soil. For next summer, why not go for some climbing annuals, or tender plants like morning glory as well? They will grow faster than hardy perennials and give you lots of colour. You could make use of them to fill the holes while you wait for the clematis to grow bigger.

Emma. team.

03/01/2012 at 17:30

I expect you want something evergreen, so how about Trachelospermum jasminoides or Clematis armandii? The latter won't like it if it's exposed, though, as it's not 100% hardy. I'm not sure about the hardiness of Trachelospermum, though, as the weather's quite benign here in Essex (usually) and I never saw it much in Oxfordshire. I'm planning on planting one come the spring. My perreniall sweet pea dies back in winter, and of course, the tender climbers die off over winter, but will add a sparkle of colour.

Whatever you decide on, I would avoid Russian Vine. It's a first class thug.

03/01/2012 at 17:34

Another thought is Akebia. Mine has gone nuts, even after a serious hack back. Or were you after something temporary while the hedge recovers from the assault?

08/01/2012 at 21:47
I would love to have happymarion2 as my neighbour, she's so knowledgeable!
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