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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tall Spikey Plant- White Sap

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 16:19

A typo from Edd (or his "S" key may be broken!) - It's Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris as nut said.)   Lot of it about in UK gardens this year.

If you get sap from euphorbias on your skin, it can cause nasty wheals  or rashes.  Not nice stuff.

Dracaena help

Posted: 16/11/2014 at 16:12

It's suffering from shock having been re-potted and the most important thing now is to put it somewhere with a bit of warmth and plenty of light (a south-facing windowsill is ideal). Whatever you do, do not water it or the roots will very likely rot and that will be the end of it!  With a bit of luck it will recover and once it is growing again and the compost dries out so that the top inch is completely dry, (stick a finger in to test) only then commence watering it again.


Posted: 16/11/2014 at 13:51

If you dug them up from the garden they will be fully hardy types Caz8 and can be planted out and just left to do their thing.  They do not need digging-up.  Cyclamen coum and hederifolium are most common types found in gardens and will self-seed and spread over time.  Here's the RHS advice on garden types:

There is a small chance they are non-hardy types (those have larger flowers and in a wider range (the hardy c. coum and c. hed. types are always purple or white) but the 'florist' types are generally only grown indoors.  If they are this type (usually c. persicum) then bring indoors every winter and plant out again in spring.  If you found them in the garden then they are unlikely to be these.

clematis cartmanii joe

Posted: 15/11/2014 at 13:23

Hi greybird, I have had a cartmanii joe for a few years and find it does better in some years than others.  Mine goes outside after the last frost but is brought into an unheated conservatory before the first frost as they are not very hardy.  I would suggest that you do need to put it into your carport in a position where it will get the best light possible and would fleece it during periods of freezing temperatures.  They don't like cold winds either so if your carport is a wind-tunnel try to provide a bit of shelter from that if you can.  Mine is also very prone to scale insects which cause browning of some shoots so worth checking for that - only systemic insecticide (Provado) works for me even though I spent hours with a cotton-bud and methylated spirits dabbing the little b*ggers to try and avoid using it.  Overall they are fussy s*ds but the magnificent show of flowers in late winter is worth the pampering!

next year

Posted: 14/11/2014 at 19:01

I usually plant leeks (which I start in modules in Feb/March) when I lift the first earlies.  My leeks are cropping now and will continue to be available until about the end of Feb.  Not very useful advice if you don't like leeks but I love 'em!

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 18:56

Another really good red clematis is 'Rebecca' - this pic from a couple of years ago:

family fruit trees

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 18:45

I have a family apple and a family pear, both about 5 years old now.  The apple does very well and all 3 varieties crop.  The pear doesn't do so well (pear rust is a constant battle) but pears are much slower growing trees anyway.  It's very important to prune them properly for the first few years (winter pruning to promote strong growth - prune the weakest growing grafted varieties the hardest) and then you can switch to summer pruning to keep them to your preferred shape and dimensions which will also encourage fruiting side shoots (spurs.)

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)

Posted: 11/11/2014 at 18:37

If left for the 2 years needed to produce seed, the sprouts themselves may produce flowers as well as the top.  As this is a vegetable which has been bred by humans over centuries, it isn't necessarily the case that the sprouts are of any benefit to the plant whatsoever.  The first brussel sprout plant may well have been a genetic mutant which was then let to go to seed and bred on from those by whoever first discovered it.  That is how most of the vegetable varieties we now grow came into existence.

How to sharpen secateurs

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 19:00

For Felco and similar types:

at the end of the video you'll see links to dozens more similar clips, just in case some sections didn't show enough detail.

What's left for us to grow?

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 18:44

Most plants are poisonous and have naturally evolved to be so.  Humans have specifically bred toxicity out of many, many cultivated plants.  One should assume a plant is poisonous unless the label (or your own research) shows otherwise and you can't really go wrong.  Teach this to your children.  As a gardener who embraces nature I will not stop growing anything just because it might be toxic - to do so would be, well, unnatural!

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 484
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 290
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 319
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 921
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 703
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 652
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 623
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 490
Last Post: 13/07/2014 at 18:04

Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
Replies: 3    Views: 428
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 750
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 661
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
Replies: 16    Views: 1130
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 770
Last Post: 24/04/2014 at 11:30

Check your delphiniums for caterpillars

Look for distorted and damaged leaves near the tips 
Replies: 10    Views: 1212
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 464
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads