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I agree, the garden 'supermarket' mentality is sad really. Reminds me of shopping in a once vibrant and diverse local highstreet that is now a replica of every other highstreet in the UK. Having said that though I am lucky to have a couple of excellent, if small, local nurseries run by plant addicts. Where the rare and unusual are the norm and prices don't break the bank...well not totally!
The large yellow flowers on my tree peony and the prolific single yellow roses on my "Canary Bird" shrub rose are buzzing with bees, which makes me think it is because the yellow is attractive to bees that we see so much of it in the spring. Similarly with blue flowers - grape hyacinths and camassias have joined the forget-me-nots. There are no endemic blue flowers in New Zealand - not even blue gentians, but introduced lupins are taking over they are so well pollinated!
My wallflowers,second year plants/huge, floppy,,full of flowers and perfume. my best ever.and still blooming. bettall
Adam, I seem to remember a horticulural course teaching us that spring flowers are often yellow because the insects that are around to pollinate in spring can see yellow most easily. So for a flower, it makes sense to be yellow then.
I,ve had a sun king in my garden for 5yrs.It survives our winters. Its now 8ft tall.It is covered in flowers every spring. My neighbour can,t find one in any local garden centre.


Hi Adam I am fairly new to this blog but am finding the it is lacking a couple of key topics and it's a bit frustrating. I know it's a blog for the nominated writers but don't you want feedback from your TV watchers and magazine readers? There is no where really to put feedback about the program, there is no where really to put feedback about the mag. There is no option to ask questions directly to the GW bloggers or the wider GW team. I mean this may be deliberate but it would at least be good to know you're not keen on feedback and discussion on these topics, in this forum at least.
hi could someone tell me how to stop squirrells eating the new buds on my lovely climbing rose,and is there anything i can put on the rose to stop greenfly...i cant use a spray as i cant reach the buds[about 10ft high],is there anything i can put round soil so roots will take it in.
Try working with ladybird larvae - they eat around 100-200 aphids a day and can be bought online. You simply let them lose on the plant once you get them they work their way round pretty efficiently. I just ordered some for my roses which have suddenly got squillions of aphids this week Won't help with the squirrel problem but you could try bribing them with nuts somewhere else in the garden!
this is to rosalind,many thanks for info was just wondering about the larvae does that i will get millions of ladybirds after.....
probably not, once they have eaten your aphids and eventually turned into ladybirds they will be off on the hunt in your neighbors gardens! After many years of stocking my gardens with larvae I never seem to have many the following year even though I have built them several lovely little houses....oh well
Another thing I heard once and admit to trying was planting garlic chives around the roots of a rose....aphids are meant to not like the smell... My experience is, they grow very well together..but the garlic does absolutely nothing to deter aphids...
does anyone know if i can plant a rhododendrum in a half barrel, i was told they dont like being grown in containers, is that true? thanks
Reply to Curious: All the bloggers at love getting feedback, so do post comments to their latest blogs, so keep them coming. For BBC Gardeners' World Magazine, please send any comments or feedback to our published email address of: Also, the magazine sends out regular surveys to its Reader Panel. You can join the panel at: The television programme is far more elusive, and you'd have to ask them just why this is. Many viewers would love a way to contact the programme directly. However, you can use the forum at to post comments about the programme, as many viewers do. I hope this helps.
Elsie, Yes rhododendrons can grow well in containers. I'd choose a dwarf and compact variety, like Rhododendron yakushimanum or one of its hybrids. <ake sure the half-barrel has good drainage holes in teh base, or bottom of the sides, and plant in a loam-based ericaceous compost. Finally, keep in a slightly cooler and shaded spot rather than in full sun during summer, and keep watered. Feed a few times a year with a plant food specifically formulated for ericaceous plants – there are several on the market.


I have a problem with a Sun King shrub. It is 6 years old, about 6ft tall and was absolutely covered in flowers this spring. However now that the flowers have done it appears to be dying. The leaves are turning brown, dry and dropping. There are some new leaves but very very few. We are trying extra watering and feed but are desperate not to lose it - any ideas what is causing this?
I have a 'sun king' which is about 4 feet high and just one stem, and I am not sure what I should be doing with it, should I just stake it, or should I be trying to get it to bush out?
I have never pruned my plant, and haven't found any advice on doing so. It does grow and grow. In fact, my plant reached about 3-4m this summer and was taking up too much room, so I have severely pruned it down to a stump. I'm hoping new shoots will emerge from the woody trunk. Time will tell!
It was very interesting for me to read that blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read more soon.
we have a sunking it is about 8-9ft tall weve had it about 5years, the harsh winter weve had has taken its toll and it looks as though it has died, we have scraped the trunk and it is still green , any tips on how to prune, do you cut below where the leaves are or further down please help if possible as its a great plant.Thank you