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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Front garden revamp - before and after photos

Posted: 13/10/2013 at 18:11

Hi all, In the Summer I decided it was finally time to 're-do' my small front garden and drive.  The 30 year old crazy paving layed by the previous owner was beyond repair and the wood (cut from a fallen Ash tree about 15 years ago) which supported my raised beds had finally rotted away.  On other threads I promised to post some before and after pics, so here they are.




 I put 2 layers of weed membrane down followed by 2 layers of landscaping fabric to proect against puncture by the blue slate chippings.  Next door is infested with ground elder, so needed to make sure that doesn't find its way into my new beds (but it probably will, eventually!)

What new flower seeds are you going to grow in 2014

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 23:59

Haven't decided yet (just getting the catalogues in for the usual nights of Winter browsing - it's not quite the same doing on the web!)  I usually grow hardy perennials, shrubs and trees from seed which can be quite challenging but very rewarding as the natural variation you get in seed sown plants can produce unique specimens.

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 12/10/2013 at 22:51

Thanks Italiophile - I think I'll try growing a lot of heritage varieties next year and will probably ask you for some recommendations over the Winter.  I normally grow Marmande but I was trying several varieties for the first time and had limited space, but they're already back on the 'regular' list.  Lots of the ones I grew this year were potato-leaved varieties as I wanted to find out if they suited my palate more than those with 'ordinary' leaves, but can't say I noticed any link between leaf type and taste.

Verdun, the other half loves the sweetness of Sungold, so I'll have to keep growing those  but for me the suncherry premium (it's an F1, so not many seeds per packet) was the outstanding find of the varieties I grew for the first time this year.


Posted: 12/10/2013 at 16:43

Hi, very wet here - rained most ofd the night but ust light drizzle this morning/earlt afternoon so got one of the tonne bags of topsoil decanted into the new raised beds before it started raining again - chucking it down now and not forecast to stop until Monday evening!  I'll just have to get my coat and hat on tomorrow and shift the other tonne!  The cosmos has collapsed under the weight of the wet foliage so will cut that all back tomorrow and have a few vases full of flowers.   Here's a radar pic from metcheck of the band of rain I'm under:




Posted: 11/10/2013 at 19:20

Hi Nikki, if they are the tuberous type, see here:

If the summer bedding type (usually bought as plugs or in very small pots) it may be possible to overwinter them (same method as above) if they have developed tubers but it's usually far more trouble than it's worth with most going rotten so bedding types are normally discarded at this time of the year - it's the compost heap for mine.


Posted: 11/10/2013 at 18:49

Ah, sneaked in while I was typing, eh!


Posted: 11/10/2013 at 18:48

Good news, the topsoil arrived this morning  so I now know what I'll be doing for much of the weekend!  All I'll need then are those pesky bulbs from vm..

BTW, just spotted Brumbull posting on another thread - welcome back if you see this!

best flavoured tomatoes

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 19:50

Grew 10 varieties this year and no disease problems so will report on taste, crop/fruit size and a few cultural notes:

Brandywine: Excellent taste but small crop of very large fruit.  Slow to start setting.

Black Russian: Very good taste slightly better crop than Brandywine, large fruit, slow to start setting.

Tamina: Average taste, average size, good crop, set early.

Core de Bue: Very good taste, good crop, large fruit, still flowering!

Sungold: Very sweet but powerful taste, amazing crop of orange coloured cherry-sized fruit, still flowering!  Lots of splitting though.

Ferline: Average taste, average crop of average sized fruit.

Suncherry Premium:  Excellent taste (not as sweet as Sungold), excellent crop of red cherry-sized fruit.  Will be growing this instead of Gardeners Delight in the future.

Legend: Very good taste, good crop of large to very large fruit.

Cristal: Average taste, good crop of deeply coloured medium sized fruit.

Stupice: Unremarkable taste, good crop of medium sized fruit.

Hope the above proves useful to someone.


Scaffolding Boards for Borders

Posted: 10/10/2013 at 19:10

Yeah, putting in stakes every half metre or so is important as soil is heavy (esp. when wet) and can easily bow the scaf. boards.  I usually use 50x50mm treated timber for the stakes (oak is ideal if available and will last longer) and use 70mm stainless steel woodscrews to secure the boards to them.  At least a 1/3rd of the stake needs to be driven into the soil to stop them from being pushed over.


Discussions started by BobTheGardener


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 201
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 233
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 848
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 635
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 586
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 541
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 410
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: 363
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 672
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 588
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: 1050
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 658
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: 975
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 399
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 727
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05
1 to 15 of 28 threads