Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:55

They are tender perennials Aym and will often come again after a mild winter.  Some are very tender though and will only last the summer in this country (they are native to south Africa.)

Last edited: 08 June 2016 21:56:21

Apple tree leaves

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:49

I would also pinch off the worst affected tips and this will also act as 'summer pruning' which will encourage more fruiting spurs to develop for the future.

Common 'short' poppy?

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:46

No, you have a genetic variation there, aka a mutant.

Please help me know what I've planted!?

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:44

The first one could be a primula of some kind.

Little fly-type critters

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 21:40

I'm pretty sure those are fungus gnats (sciarid flies) and you generally only see them in pots indoors.

Have a look at this site for some ideas on control but they don't cause much damage other than to very small seedlings.

Last edited: 08 June 2016 21:40:50

Lawn weed

Posted: 08/06/2016 at 20:00

Yep, commonly known a "Fox and cubs" and "Orange hawkweed".  Spreads by runners just under the surface and by seed.  Quite pretty but difficult to get rid once you have it.  It's one of the few native flowers which are orange.

Last edited: 08 June 2016 20:01:25

Lupins and woolly aphids

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 22:04

Like lily beetles, the problem with (american) lupin aphid is that it's an introduced species so there are few if any natural predators.  The ladybirds and blue tits around here gobble-up greenfly and other native aphids but they completely shun lupin aphid.  I've even transferred ladybird lavae onto infected plants but they crawled off of the plants within minutes.

What plant is this

Posted: 07/06/2016 at 21:01

The star-shaped growth on the soil surface is liverwort which indicates poor drainage and is probably essential for your orchids to thrive.  The lilies will probably die in those conditions but I'd sooner keep the orchids!

The poor drainage would also make the Marsh orchid the most likely suspect as has already been suggested.

Last edited: 07 June 2016 21:03:49

Earth / Soil Advice

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:39

Hamish, the best way to improve the soil is to put down 2-3 inches of well-rotted farmyard manure.  The bagged stuff (eg Grosure) available from garden centres is very good stuff.  You can dig it in or just lay it on the soil and let the worms do the work but that obviously takes longer.  One thing to be wary of when raising the soil level near a fence is that the bottom of the fence will rot so you need to put something there to retain the soil such as decking boards laid on edge and screwed to 2x2" wooden stakes hammered into the ground.  A wooden retaining edge like that would last for maybe 10 years.

Help with something eating my Limelight Hedges!

Posted: 06/06/2016 at 21:30

Agreed, the ladybird larva will devour hundreds of aphids so is a real goody!  I suspect the damage seen is caused by slugs and/or snails.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Border design by Spanish bluebells

Random plantings 
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Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
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Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
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Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
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Increase in noise! 
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Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
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Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
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Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
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Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

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..ate all of my winter carrots! 
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Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
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Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

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


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

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

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

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52
1 to 15 of 40 threads