Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Guess the name of this

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 18:01

One of the purple magnolias I would think.  "Black Tulip"?

privacy fast hedging

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 15:09

Fully agree with Dove.  If you take up one row of slabs along the line of each fence, you will have room to erect tall trellis (eg 8ft/2.5m) by setting in posts.  Looking at the way the fences have been built, with the 'good' side facing your garden, those may belong to your neighbours so I wouldn't attach trellis to them directly, unless your neighbours agree.  You can then grow a multitude of climbers including clematis, roses etc.  Together with a pergola you can achieve this sort of thing:

Last edited: 05 March 2017 15:13:40

wireless thermometer for g/house

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 14:29

Have a look through these products on this site where I got my wireless weather station from:

The WS9160, for instance, says 100m in 'open field' conditions so will probably work at 120ft with the base station in your house, but you may need to position it so as few walls as possible get in the way.  My weather station base is on a bedroom windowsill so the signals only need to pass through glass from the GH which is about 60ft away..

You may be able to find the same products cheaper on other sites of course.

Removing Leylandii

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:47

Sounds like a plan to me, lubega!  As hogweed said, it will be a lot of hard work but worth it.  I would use well-rotted manure as it will improve the soil for many years and also mix fish, blood and bone into the soil as you dig the area over.  Dig a circle around the roots of the leylandii the best you can (the mattock will be a great help) then chop into the thicker roots and use the leverage the remaining trunk gives you to rock it back and forth until it 'gives'.  Hope it goes well.

Sloping/shaded border

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:37

I agree with nut.  You could consider raising the edging (which looks like decking boards?) to about 50cm which would effectively give you a raised border.  If you do that, drive 50x50mm vertical posts into the ground every metre to support the weight of the soil behind.  A retaining wall would be better but considerably more expensive and a lot more work.

Mango Seed

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:29

You can grow them as houseplants for a few years until they get too big and can then either cut them back and hope for new growth or start off new ones.  As others have said, they have no chance of survival outside in the UK.

Are these climbers dead?

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 12:26

Yes, that or something similar, Janer2.  On grapevines, some of the side shoots die completely every year and only the main stems remain alive but don't risk cutting into those at this time of year to find any green as they can bleed to death and should be pruned (if necessary) in December.  If you don't see any swelling buds on side shoots close to the main stem by the end of June, that would be the time to consider it dead.

Gravel paths in veg plot

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 11:44

I'd do both, a quick spray (especially along the edges) with roundup and cover with weed membrane.  To protect the membrane from being punctured by the sharp edges of the gravel I'd recommend a layer of woven landscaping fabric on top of the membrane, too.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 11:44:33

Are these climbers dead?

Posted: 05/03/2017 at 11:34

I think the 'controversial' climber (ie 'not boston ivy') with the red leaves and tendrils is an ornamental grapevine.  That won't show signs of life until quite late, probably May.

Last edited: 05 March 2017 11:36:02


Posted: 04/03/2017 at 12:47

Agapanthus have proven to be absolute thugs in my borders - huge spreading roots which prevented anything nearby from growing.  That's why I dug them all up and now only grow them in pots - not because they like it! 

As for the depletion thing, the microbes which break down woody matter require nitrogen to do so and will take it from the soil.  However, unless you mix (say) sawdust well into the soil, they can only take it from the top few mm so nothing to worry about when mulching as that is always left on the surface (else it wouldn't actually be a mulch!)  Judging by the amount of nitrates in our food and water, a bit of depletion might not be a bad thing..

Lots of gardening 'lore' is probably just misinterpretation.  If someone find a method of consistently growing a particular plant well, they will do it again and tell others.  Take a (made-up) example that adding crushed egg shells to the bottom of a hole before planting hostas makes them grow better.  They do an experiment with 100 'eggshelled' hostas planted side by side with 100 'un-eggshelled'.  The differences are clear and repeatable.  One might assume "it works because it increases the calcium levels" when, in fact, it may simply be because it improves drainage.  After a few rounds of 'chinese whispers', it becomes a 'fact' that hostas need extra calcium. 

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Garden photos April

By month so folk can see what is in bloom for reference purposes. 
Replies: 1    Views: 166
Last Post: 02/04/2017 at 20:01

Winter soft fruit pruning

Some things to do now 
Replies: 4    Views: 259
Last Post: 04/02/2017 at 17:52

'Dramatic' music in TV programmes

Increase in noise! 
Replies: 37    Views: 1333
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: 6599
Last Post: 03/12/2016 at 00:32

Gardener's World about to start now!

Replies: 16    Views: 917
Last Post: 14/07/2016 at 16:55

Cutting ID

I thought these were philadelphus 
Replies: 3    Views: 437
Last Post: 11/07/2016 at 17:34


Hope it finds it's way home 
Replies: 3    Views: 503
Last Post: 26/04/2016 at 18:22

Vine weevils

..ate all of my winter carrots! 
Replies: 8    Views: 1434
Last Post: 01/01/2016 at 22:01

Huge pest problem

Don't think netting will work 
Replies: 10    Views: 1066
Last Post: 19/12/2015 at 21:00

Renovate or remove privet hedge?

Replace or cut back hard? 
Replies: 17    Views: 2403
Last Post: 20/09/2015 at 13:33


No real rain here for weeks 
Replies: 11    Views: 728
Last Post: 07/06/2015 at 18:41

Little Red Devils (Lily beetles)

They're about now! 
Replies: 1    Views: 735
Last Post: 06/04/2015 at 17:03

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 1385
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 1145
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 1199
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17
1 to 15 of 38 threads