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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Is bindweed sticky?

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 14:10

The sticky one is probably cleavers aka goosegrass, Galium aparine:

Bindweed has smooth heart-shaped leaves and smooth stems which wind around any and everything.


Identification please

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 13:56

It's a gall (rose bedeguar gall, aka Robin's pincushions) caused by the Rose gall wasp (Diplolepis rosae) and found on wild dog roses.  Pretty isn't it!

How to Propagate new plants

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 13:50

The RHS site is always worth a look - search for your plant and there is usually some propagation information.  However, in this case there's not much there, possibly because it is an unusual plant and not commonly grown.

Trifolium ochroleucum is a form of clover and is usually grown from seed.  Once it has flowered, wait for the seed heads to form and then collect and sow in trays.  You can probably divide them too;  Check how it grows - if it has more than one stem appearing from the ground, it can be divided.  If it only has a single stem then dividing obviously isn't an option and you'll have to wait for seeds.


Posted: 15/07/2013 at 11:23

Morning all.

Blackest, you've done a great job there - I remember seeing the pictures of your garden when it was empty - what a transformation!

I've now removed most of my crazy paving but the new slabs haven't turned up yet, so need to phone the suppliers.  Definitely the wrong kind of weather for his sort of work - short spells is all I can manage before needing to cool off.  Still, at least it's not the constant rain which I usually get when on holiday!

Shallow Chalk Flower Beds

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 02:15

Have a look at this RHS page on chalk soils which also gives lists of suitable trees and shrubs etc.  It recommends that you break-up the chalk to 30", so your beds with 2' of topsoil should be ok, but you probably need to do some work breaking up the chalk beneath on those with only a foot of topsoil.  I'm on clay so no direct experience, but I do have to add lots of organic matter which the link below suggests and will significantly benefit any type of soil.



Posted: 14/07/2013 at 14:13

Fruit trees really need to be left outside in order to blossom at the correct time and so get pollinated by the insects that are also awakened by the onset of spring.  If you allow them to get too warm in a conservatory, they will come into blossom and leaf too early and the shock of then putting them outside will make it fall off, as you have found.  You can bring the pots in during really harsh frosts in the winter to protect the pots from cracking, but put them back outside as soon as it goes above freezing.



Apple-tree die-back?

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 13:37

The white stuff is woolly aphid.  There was a recent discussion here:

Also try typing "woolly aphid" into the search box at the top of the page for more advice.  The tree probably also has canker which would explain the die-back.

RHS advice on apple tree problems here:



water butts

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 13:12

The stands are just to allow room for watering cans to be filled, but if the linked butts are of different heights, the water in the highest butt will only get up to the top of the lowest butt, so ideally both should be at the same height or you will have some wasted capacity.  You don't need a stand though (which are expensive) and could just use bricks etc to raise the second butt to the same height as the butt with the stand.

Apple tree problem or not

Posted: 14/07/2013 at 13:08

Ants themselves don't harm apples trees, but they farm aphids which do cause damage.  If you look at the leaves on the branch tips, you will doubtless find aphids which the ants have carried there.  As aphids suck the sap they produce honeydew as a waste product and the ants eat this.

To prevent ants from climbing the tree, try putting a thick wide band of vaseline around the trunk and cut down any tall nearby plants which touch the tree branches and would allow the ants to find another route up the tree.

You shouldn't allow apples to produce fruit for the first 2 or 3 years anyway so that they can establish a good root system first, so lack of apples on your year old tree is actually a Good Thing.

Insect ID

Posted: 13/07/2013 at 16:42

Hi Frozz, that's a ladybird larva, 100%.  Lucky you!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 76
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
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Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
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Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
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Last Post: 11/02/2014 at 11:06

Cost of bird food

bulk vs supermarket 
Replies: 31    Views: 887
Last Post: 10/02/2014 at 12:33

Wild Garden (Community Channel)

On Freeview/Sky 
Replies: 5    Views: 321
Last Post: 10/12/2013 at 12:21

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Redsigning weedy crazy paving 
Replies: 24    Views: 1281
Last Post: 21/10/2013 at 20:16


Flowering in September 
Replies: 7    Views: 460
Last Post: 13/09/2013 at 13:20


The sparrows have had a good breeding season 
Replies: 15    Views: 562
Last Post: 07/10/2013 at 09:26


Replies: 4    Views: 319
Last Post: 10/08/2013 at 11:31

ID trumpet flower

Replies: 8    Views: 412
Last Post: 18/06/2013 at 11:41

Bee spotting

Have you seen any bees yet? 
Replies: 61    Views: 2006
Last Post: 11/04/2013 at 18:55

New deliveries

Tree and shrub planting 
Replies: 4    Views: 373
Last Post: 16/02/2013 at 19:01

Flower ID

Pink flowered perennial 
Replies: 4    Views: 691
Last Post: 10/07/2012 at 16:52

Oh no, lily beetles are back!

More of warning than a plea for help.. 
Replies: 20    Views: 6562
Last Post: Yesterday at 19:38
15 threads returned