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I find hazel stakes great and unobtrusive and cheap as I cut them from my freebie nut trees brought by the squirrels. Once I made the mistake of using hardy fuchsia and cornus stakes and they all rooted! We have had some longed for rain and a jungle has grown overnight - now for some long weed-pulling session.
I wish I could access hazel stakes. i don't like the look of bamboo but can find no source near us and our squirrels aren't so obliging near Peterborough! I've tried Google and our local country park to; no avail. Shame.
Thanks Ked. I agree. There is a big market for natural hazel stakes, I'm sure, especially at this time of year when gardeners are looking for bean poles and plant supports. I think the garden centres are missing out on a big market here. And considering that these natural products are grown here in the UK we could be supporting local businesses and reducing imports of bamboo plant supports from abroad.
Ked, why don't you try posting a request on Freecycle( There will be a local group near you, you have to register with the site but I've used it for giving away raspberry canes and self seeded hazel saplings as well as getting a free bath from a lady in our village which we've used as a duck pond. It is a GREAT way of recycling unwanted items and reducing landfill and it's all free!
I use wire coathangers. Straighten out the kook and bend to right angles with the loop. Pull the loop into a circle, slip the loop over plants and stuff the spike down into the end of a bamboo cane the right length. You can pull it out to put in a longer cane and move it up as the plants grow. It will dull down with a film of rust quite quickly, and can be easily flattened for storage for next year. Free and easy!


Thanks to Adam and Constant Gardener. I agree with your comments Adam and make a point of asking at any local garden centre I visit so hopefully the penny will drop that there's a market out there. Sarah Raven's garden pictured in the gardening section of the Telegraph on Saturday looked lovely with the birch and hazel supports. I will try Freecycle as you suggest CG. It is a great resource which I've heard of but not used as yet. Thanks, see you at GWL! Ked
Can anyone recommend a Hardy Clematis that will grow in dense shade. The sunlight hits the spot for about 2 hours each day. Thanks....
Thanks to Gardeners' Worlds great advice on "clematis wilt" I read today, I think I have managed to save a beautiful specimen I had bought a few weeks ago. I thought it had been damaged by wind, and did not realise it was so important to remove the infected foliage. Thanks a million.
I use bamboo supports but the type that have been moulded into a hoop, dig them into the ground arround the plants and they hold up amazingly well and dissapear under the leaves as they get bigger lovely for staking peonies and other tall plants without the risk of poking your eye's out.
Bumblebee, the good old hardy geraniums will have the bee's buzzing, you can get loads of different colours and in the front of the boards will keep your bee's happy after they've flowered cut the flower stalks down and they will soon flower again.
if you have a local allotment association you can usually buy hazel sticks from their shop, at the beginning of the season.
Annora, I have a very hardy clematis the very rampant Montana Rubens, which grows in all day shade and gets bigger every year!
I live in one of the suburbs of Michigan where flowers are plentiful. However, on my own property where flowers are plentiful I have not seen any bumblebees. I have specifically planted and nurtured flowers that will attract the bumblebee, but I have not seen any to date. Last year we had several bumblebees, but this year they are nowhere to be found. Neither red roses, nor pink & white peony have done the trick. I hope my butterfly bush will bring them out. I fear our friends the bumblebee is in serious danger. I will keep my eyes peeled for the busiest buzziest worker in my garden.

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