Latest posts by BobTheGardener


Posted: 15/07/2013 at 14:32

Thanks for the encouragement and kind words!  New paving now not coming until Thursday so can do things at a leisurely pace so as not to overdo it.

MrsG - I have a gold ring buried in concrete somewhere in my back garden.  Luckily not a very expensive one or I'd have invested in a metal detector - that'd be no good if your diamond was dislodged from a ring though.


curling leaves

Posted: 15/07/2013 at 14:13

Aphids usually cause this.  It's possible that they have now been eaten by predators but the damage they caused will remain of course.

Edit: I'd go ahead and take cuttings - just snip the ends off which will help them start as bushy new plants anyway.

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.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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