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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Can you help identify this flower

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 19:51

It is indeed green alkanet.  The flower petals are pointed on borage (same family though.)

mushroom compost

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 19:23

You can use it on most things apart from acid-loving plants as it contains quite a lot of lime.  It doesn't have much in the way of nutrients left though, so best used as a soil conditioner or as a surface mulch.

Can you help identify this flower

Posted: 06/06/2012 at 18:49

Hi Trubill, I'm pretty certain it is Borage (Borago officinalis), very similar to Comfrey, but has open blue flowers instead of the bell-shaped (and usually purple) ones which Comfrey has.

Orange spots on raspberry leaves

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 22:05

It might be a fungal disease called 'rust'.  It won't harm the fruit, but after harvesting I would cut the affected canes down and burn or cut them up and throw them in the dustbin (don't compost them.)  If it is not on all of the leaves, try picking off all the affected ones and disposing in the same way.  Also don't water from above as this could transfer the spores to new shoots emerging from the ground (ie next year's canes.)

Planting scheme....

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 21:43

That's a tricky one!  If you are mobile, it might be worth visiting some open gardens around your area.  You can find a list of open gardens supporting charities by using the find facility here:

Personally, I would start with making a list of my favourite plants & shrubs - "must haves" if you like, look-up their approximate spread and then mark their positions on a scale plan of your layout.  Obviously put the taller things in the centre of each bed and work from there.  Even the professionals keep things in pots and move them around until things look 'right', so I would do the same.


Sickly smelling plant

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 17:10
gardengirl6 wrote (see)

I also suspect it was Herb Robert, which I regard as a weed - but does it stink?   I can't say I have ever noticed that.

It's called 'Stinky Bob' (no relation!) in some areas.

Help identifying mystery plants

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 17:05

My guesses:

1-Hypericum, 2-Aquilegia, 3-Peony, 4-Current of some kind, 5-young crab apple?, 6-Amberboa or Centaurea, 7-Purple Toadflax (weed), 8-?, 9-?, 10-Red Valerian (grows like mad here, so weed!)


Pruning clematis

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:38

Hi Bridget, I agree with the previous replies.  What you could do is plant a third clematis, but a group1 (no pruning).  This will give very early flowers (usually March) and you could train it to grow interspersed between the other two, to cover the lower areas that will become bare.  Once it has covered a fair area (a year or two), you could cut the group 1 types back to the recommended level, or even to ground - they usually come back fine if you do that.

unidentified pest eggs

Posted: 05/06/2012 at 16:08

Almost certainly eggs of the Large White butterfly, which lays batches of 20-100 eggs (the Small White lays lots of single eggs.)  Squashing/rubbing them off is the usual method, unless you want to risk waiting to see what emerges, but bear in mind caterpillars of the Large White can defoliate a plant in mere days!


Posted: 05/06/2012 at 14:14

Oops, I've just noticed that you put the name (Will Goodwin) in the header.  That is a group 2, so will produce more growth this year after the first set of flowers.  You could cut it back to the lowest set of leaf axils (which haven't produced shoots which have since died) and it should put on new growth from there, but you will lose the 2nd set of this year's flowers.  Alternatively, be brave and cut it back to ground level in late winter and it may produce new shoots from the roots.  I have done this to re-invigorate several group 2 clematis over the years, but that works best if they were originally planted deep (mine go in at least 4 inches below original pot level.)  If it fails to produce new shoots in spring, at least that is a good time to plant a replacement.  Comtesse de Bouchaud is a similar pink group 2 and is a 'good doer' in my experience.  Hagley Hybrid is another vigourous large pink, but is usually grown as a group 3 (late flowering) and cut back to a foot high in spring, but can be grown as a group 2.

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1 to 15 of 22 threads