Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Harvest 2017

Posted: 17/08/2017 at 13:05

Onion harvest drying in the sun:


Posted: 16/08/2017 at 20:17

I think the silk threads you can see in the close-up is a clue that they are the pupae of an insect of some kind, perhaps a small fly or wasp.  However, I haven't a clue what the insect is.  Is there any sign of damage on the leaves of the tree?

Magnolia Stelleta

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 15:37

Do you know if you have alkaline (limey or chalky), neutral or acidic soil?  Magnolias can cope with slightly alkaline or neutral but prefer slightly acid soil.  They don't do very well in very acid, very alkaline, or poorly drained soils.  The paleness of the leaves with green veins showing is usually a sign that a plant is struggling to take in magnesium or iron which can happen in very acid or very alkaline soils.
If you don't know what type of soil you have, are there any rhododendrons/azaleas growing in the area, indicating an acid soil? 

Last edited: 16 August 2017 15:37:48

My council flat garden

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 14:36

Looks lovely, Caroline - well done!

Greenhouse climate control

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 14:29

You could use solar panels to drive electric ventilation fans for summer cooling.  Agree with Mike about heating - insulation in winter will be at least as important as choosing a heat source.

One thing to consider is having large volumes of water present inside the structure as water will help stabilize the temperature by absorbing heat during the day and slowly releasing it at night.  In Victorian times, hothouses often had a heating system consisting of of large diameter cast-iron pipes which contained a large amount of slowly pumped water.  They managed to grow all sorts of things considered as exotic for the UK climate, such as pineapples.

Best shredder for very large borders

Posted: 16/08/2017 at 14:03

Impact shredders cope much better with soft green material than 'quiet' shredders which use a screw-type blade and/or crush the material.  Go for a design with a straight-through path which helps to avoid blockages.  I bought an Al-ko about 20 years ago and it's still going strong.  A pair of replacement blades are about £20 - I'm on my 3rd set.  The blades can be removed and sharpened on a flat oilstone.

However, shredding technique (which is something you will soon learn!) is as important as design.  I keep 2 piles - one soft green stuff and one branches and dried material such as perennial stems and put some green stuff in followed by a branch or some dry stuff.  As well as minimising blockages, doing this also keep the shredded material mixed properly in order to minimise the time needed for the composted material to decompose.

This is what I mean about the "straight-through" design:

'Industrial' chippers are another matter and can cope with just about anything but cost is upwards of £1500.

unknown plant

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 18:10

My guess would be iris foetidissima:


Posted: 15/08/2017 at 17:04

It looks like Iron or Magnesium deficiency - when you see green veins but pale in between it's a sign.  A quick fix for Magnesium is to spray with Epsom salts - a 5ml spoonful dissolved in a litre of water is about right and also water some onto the roots.  Iron chelate watered onto the roots will help with Iron deficiency.

The cause of the deficiency could be due to soil pH though and that would need addressing in the longer term.

Last edited: 15 August 2017 17:05:19

perfumed clematis

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 15:58

I can only just detect the scent of Freckles with nose to flower but Montanas can carry further although it's still a very delicate fragrance.

Last edited: 15 August 2017 15:58:28

Plant identification

Posted: 15/08/2017 at 15:53

Looks like a knautia.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Some kind of mint?

Replies: 4    Views: 267
Last Post: 27/08/2017 at 19:16

Accidental greengage

Wrong variety but happy 
Replies: 4    Views: 300
Last Post: 29/07/2017 at 16:32


Seems hedgehogs are breeding in my garden 
Replies: 11    Views: 449
Last Post: 09/07/2017 at 21:28

New greenhouse

Building greenhouse from start to fruition 
Replies: 12    Views: 465
Last Post: 09/07/2017 at 16:13

Border design by Spanish bluebells

Random plantings 
Replies: 1    Views: 321
Last Post: 14/05/2017 at 14:32

Unknown bird

Came home this evening to find this 
Replies: 4    Views: 539
Last Post: 10/05/2017 at 20:19

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
Replies: 1    Views: 303
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 453
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 34    Views: 1997
Last Post: 23/11/2016 at 22:23

Autumn foliage photos (2016)

Thought I'd start a thread just for our photos 
Replies: 69    Views: 9543
Last Post: 13/11/2017 at 12:59

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 1166
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 663
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 751
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1729
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1389
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00
1 to 15 of 44 threads