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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Tree problems.

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:43

Not a good sign for the poplar Philippa.  Most fungi can only grow on dead matter.  Having said that, a tree can lose the vast majority of its heartwood (which is dead anyway) and still survive for hundreds more years although when that happens it becomes structurally weak and prone to being toppled by the wind.


Posted: 08/10/2014 at 18:33

Didn't see all that many here (Leics) but certainly not absent.  Not spotted any nests though, or large females looking for places to overwinter.

I thought everyone in the UK agreed about where 'the divide' occurs now;  There's Westminster and everywhere else.

Last years Garlic as this years seed ?

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 00:42

Agree - viruses and rusts can build-up if you keep replanting your own cloves, which are really just clones of the original one so carry any infection.

Weeds or flowers?

Posted: 08/10/2014 at 00:31

I'd get rid of the Wood Avens (no redeeming features and invasive) and Vetch (also invasive)  Don't know what the first one is, perhaps Leucanthemum seedlings so would keep until it grows enough to be recognised.  Doesn't look like a weed.


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 23:35

Mike, I'm sorry but I disagree and re-state that conifers have shallow roots systems.  The Encyclopedia Brittanica agrees: "Roots gather water and mineral nutrients from the soil and anchor and support the above-ground portions. Most conifers have rather shallow, if wide-spreading, root systems, making the trunks highly susceptible to wind and surface disturbance.":

It doesn't mean they can't damage foundations of course.


Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:51

Borage or Comfrey would probably do OK (if they establish) as they have roots which go down a metre or more.  Conifers don't generally have deep roots which is why they tend to suck all of the moisture from the topsoil in the surrounding area.

Hibiscus dormancy

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:44

I bought 2 identical ones and kept them in identical conditions.  One of them didn't produce leaves until a whole month after the other one.  Both have now shed most of their leaves except for a few at the top.

I need a new clematis

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:34

If you can manage to upload a photo it will really help to identify the purple one.  If it looks like this (Polish Spirit):

That's a Group 3 and you can hack those back as hard as you like and they will come back beautifully (if fact they should be cut down to about a foot high every year in late February.)

In general clematis don't do well in pots.  Having said that, there are a few modern ones which have been bred for doing that - see here:


Something has eaten the plastic lid of my slug pellets

Posted: 06/10/2014 at 18:28

Good idea Jane!  Metal containers like biscuit/sweet tins should be rodent-proof too, but I wouldn't put it past a determined one..

FG: I wouldn't put it exactly that way but rats are a menace in my garden - stables are only metres away and I think they are the main 'holding tank'.  It's either stop feeding the birds or continue to poison the rats, so any 'Darwin awards' they win themselves are a definite bonus!   I do worry about catching Lyme disease from their ticks, too.

Something has eaten the plastic lid of my slug pellets

Posted: 05/10/2014 at 18:18

I found a dead rat in my garden a few days ago.  When I went into my garage yesterday, I found that it had gnawed at the bottom of the wooden door to gain entry and then proceeded to chew it's way into a plastic container of rat poison before devouring the lot, including all of the small plastic packets within!

Quite a spectacular own goal really! 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 19    Views: 503
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: 923
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: 624
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 492
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: 429
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 752
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 662
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: 1138
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: 1214
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 465
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39
1 to 15 of 29 threads