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Latest posts by BILLYC


Posted: 24/09/2013 at 09:32

I planted 150 or so Dianthus in 30 pots at start of Summer. After they had finished flowering I cut them back. They have now begun to develop new foliage & some plants are showing new bud development & signs of re-flowering.

I am a novice where plants are concerned. I thought Dianthus were annuals & where thrown away after they had finished flowering?

Do Dianthus flower every year?

Can I overwinter these plants? If so; How do I do that? I do not have a greenhouse but a relatively frost-free car-port.

If overwintering; Do I water plants throughout winter?




Posted: 10/09/2013 at 15:00

I planted a honeysuckle last year which is growing fairly well & has flowered this year. Recently the leaves on the plant have turned black.

Any ideas what's wrong??? I fed the plant at start of spring with a little Growmore nothing else.


Posted: 28/08/2013 at 14:20

I have a Michaelmas Daisy (Bahamas) that is about 4 years old. The plant has flowered profusely every year. This year it grew quite healthily to a height of about 3 ft. No buds or flowers appeared & the plant began to go brown & wither from ground level upwards.

Rightly or wrongly I have cut the plant back to ground level.

Why hasn't the plant fowered & have I done the right thing by cutting it back? 


Posted: 02/08/2013 at 11:38

At the start of the Summer I bought 300 Busy Lizzies (Not the New Guinea variety) from Tesco's. At time of purchase I did not know that these plants where highly prone to to the airborne BL virus. Once I found out I received a full refund. However, the plants could not be returned as they had already been planted out in borders, pots & hanging baskets.

Pretty soon the plants began to either die off or struggle to survive. The ones that didn't die where in a very sorry state, flowers formed but quickly died off, plants remained small & showed no sign of the prolific spreading out. It was obvious that all the plants showed the classic signs of the virus infection.

Now, suddenly three months later, the surviving plants - I would guess about 70% - are a revelation They are growing prolifically, bushing out, healthy with hundreds of flowers with no sign of any disease.

I was under the impression that once this virus infected Busy Lizzies there was no hope for them. Yet these plants seemed to have survived the virus & somehow become healthy again. Does this mean that BLs are becoming resistant to this infection? If so is there hope for BLs next year?

Before people write in & say that perhaps the plants were not  infected in the first place I can assure you that ALL plants where infected. The vast majority planted in borders in close proximity of one another so virus would be easily transferred from plant to plant.

Any expert horticulturalist (not educated guesses) out there who could explain this?????   


Posted: 03/07/2013 at 11:23

I have two Rhododendrons growing vigorously in ericaceous compost in pots on my patio. They will soon outgrow their pots.

I intend transplanting them into my garden but my soil is not suitable for Rhodedendrons. I intend  transplanting plants into larger cheap plastic pots topping up with ericaceous compost, digging two large holes & planting  plant & POT in the holes. This is to try & prevent contamination of the ericaceous compost with my alkaline garden soil. This is something I have thought up (I am a novice gardener) & have no idea whether it will work.

Any advice? Experts only please as these plants are my wife's favourite. If anything happens to them I am a dead man.

If OK what is the best time of year to do it?



Posted: 05/06/2013 at 07:33

lazy gardener - You may have a point I think maybe I have overwatered. Should I leave to dry out?

marshmellow - Plant in close proximity to outside door obviously opening & closing. Should I move plant?

Clay soil and boggy lawn

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 15:52

I had this problem with my front lawn for many years. Believe me none of the suggestions work as I have tried them all. This is how I cured my problem but be warned it takes a lot of hard work.

Firstly my lawn is only 40 sq. mts. this method may not suit a large area.

Higher yourself a 8 inch auger (a large petrol driven drill that drills 8 inch holes) Drill holes in the boggy area to a depth of about 18" & about 18" apart. Remove soil that has come out of holes. Fill holes with pepples (you can buy from a builders yard). Purchase good quality top soil & cover to a depth of about 2". Allow to settle say a week. Tread in with heels & rake till level. Then either turf (best method) or sow using a hardwearing rye grass seed. If done correctly I guarantee this method works.

My son & I took 2 days to drill holes & remove soil & another 2 days to spread top soil & lay turf.

I doubt whether you will try this but if you do be careful. Check no underground drains or water pipes.

From a boggy moss ridden mud heap I now have a beautiful lawn as good as a bowling green.

Good luck.



Posted: 04/06/2013 at 15:28

lazy gardener - Sorry no. In subdued light & has been well watered


Posted: 04/06/2013 at 08:05

I have a Alicante tomato plant growing in a pot on the windowsill. It has been growing healthily for 3 weeks or so & is about 2ft. high. Suddenly the stems on the plant have begun to curl downwards some of them so badly that they are touching the main stem. I have followed all instructions given on this web site.  Any ideas why?????


Posted: 03/06/2013 at 15:22

For those of you still interested in the Busy Lillies bought from Tesco.(See post 30/5/2013) I received a full refund from Tesco's from a very helpful manager. I had no receipt but checked back on debit card for proof of purchase. Manager also informed head office about fungal disease & dangers of selling these plants. Ten out of ten for Tesco's. Just a pity they sold them in the first place. All plants are slowly dying.   

Discussions started by BILLYC

Overwintering Dahlias

Advice needed 
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Last Post: 13/09/2014 at 22:02

Fuchsia Cutting

Problems With Cuttings 
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Last Post: 12/08/2014 at 20:09


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Last Post: 17/07/2014 at 08:43

Advice Needed

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Last Post: 13/06/2014 at 11:33

Advice Needed

Fuchsia Cuttings 
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Last Post: 16/06/2014 at 11:44

Bedding Plants

Verbena & Dahlia 
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Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 11:17


Replies: 3    Views: 884
Last Post: 25/09/2013 at 09:02


Black leaves. 
Replies: 1    Views: 431
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 15:19


What's wrong with this plant? 
Replies: 4    Views: 896
Last Post: 29/08/2013 at 09:44


Busy Lizzie Virus 
Replies: 1    Views: 454
Last Post: 02/08/2013 at 13:04


Replies: 3    Views: 497
Last Post: 03/07/2013 at 16:17


Wilting badly 
Replies: 10    Views: 1821
Last Post: 07/06/2014 at 07:25


Bedding plants from Tesco 
Replies: 1    Views: 459
Last Post: 03/06/2013 at 15:27

Impatiens (Busy Lizzies)

Fungal Disease 
Replies: 9    Views: 1714
Last Post: 31/05/2013 at 10:35

Tomato Plant

Alicante Tomato Plant 
Replies: 13    Views: 928
Last Post: 03/06/2013 at 07:25
1 to 15 of 21 threads