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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

What eats onion sets?

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:47

Yep, sounds like mice, rats or blummin squirrels, Leggi.


Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:44

Yep, my 'gardening boots' like you, Brumbull (I bought steel toecap work boots as they are VAT free ) and a pair of Dickies 'builders' trousers with replaceable padded knee inserts (invaluable!) and lots and lots of pockets.

missing fuchsia

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 17:36

There is an online image of it at, but that's about the only thing google turns up.  What occasionally happens in the plant retail world is that a particular variety is given a different name by a retailer when they sell it, if (for example) they are pricing it at below the minimum that the breeder (and owner of the original name) wants it to be sold at.  Something like that may have happened in this case.  You might therefore find a genetically identical fuchsia currently available but under a different name.  The trouble is there are thousands of fuchsias so finding it by searching the web for images may take some time!  If it was indeed sold under a different name, they might have used something similar (eg there seems to be a variety called crackerjack) which may help to narrow down the search.  Good luck in your quest, PG!

Talkback: House sparrows

Posted: 28/03/2013 at 16:46

What I like about sparrows most is when I see them flitting around my plants, clreaning them of aphids!  For some reason they don't like blackfly though, so still have to keep an eye on the broad beans and dahlias, which the blackfly seem to prefer.  Had a host of around 50 house sparrows in 2011, but a sparrowhawk started to regularly appear and was down to about 20 last year.  The most I've seen visiting my feeders at any one time this winter/spring was about 8, but hopefully numbers will rise agin once the breeding season starts.

Best dwarf pear or apple?

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 19:49

Patience is very much a virtue when it comes to growing fruit trees, Jess!

That is particularly true for bare-root trees and even if they do crop in the first year after planting, you should remove the fruit as soon as it forms as it is vital that the roots get established first.  However, if you are really impatient and want fruit this year, you could buy a 3 or 4 year old tree which has been grown all of it's life in a pot (if you can afford it - they come at a premium!)

canker in Rowan tree

Posted: 27/03/2013 at 19:39

It might be tricky growing any kind of tree in the same position as a felled tree of that age, as trees tend to deplete the soil around them.  If you have removed the roots as far as possible (eg having them ground out) and replace a lot of the soil in the area, you may be ok.

As far as the canker disease goes, you should avoid planting any of the Rosaceae family, which includes a lot of trees and shrubs, including Rowan.  See the wiki entry for Rosaceae and avoid anything mentioned in it:

Some kind of Birch, Beech or Oak would probably be ok. 

Veg beds at front - how to make them attractive

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 18:58

You can upload from an iPhone to somewhere like ImageShack, using an "App".  You'll get a link which you can copy.  Then, back on the upload screen from this site, click "An external site" and paste that link into where it says "URL".  At least I thnk that's a way to do it, not having an iPhone myself!

Forum names

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 18:24

So figrat, you're named after one of a group of opera dancers?

My forum nym is pretty boring.  Like Frank, I had a few fails when signing up on the old BBC gardening board, at the time 'Bob The Builder' came to TV, and this one wasn't taken.  Some folk call me that anyway in 'real life'.

I know my writing style usually comes across as a bit formal, but I do have a good SOH and often find myself having a good old giggle when reading some of these threads!

Veg beds at front - how to make them attractive

Posted: 26/03/2013 at 01:04

Hi Red Dahlia, you could try emulating the French potager style.  For early in the year you could grow lettuces which come in a wide range of colours and by arranging them in patterns they can look very attractive, perhaps interspersed with beetroot, with its red veined leaves.  Swiss chard comes in a few bright colours, the most common being a red one (ruby chard) and one called bright yellow.  You can sow chard both early and quite late with a late sowing often surviving through the winter.  Savoy cabbages (mid green through to dark blue/green) planted in a pattern could look good all winter.  For summer, try coloured cauliflowers.  You could even plant espaliered fruit trees (typically apples) acting as low fences to separate the beds.  The best thing is you can eat everything (unlike some real French potager gardens where they never actually eat the stuff - that attitude doesn't have any place in my garden!)  The above are just a few of the possibilites which come to mind.  There are lots of veg which can be grown for their attractive look, as well as for food.

Lynchis ('Ragged Robin')

Posted: 25/03/2013 at 21:20

It probably depends on variety.  My chalcedonica grew to about 3 feet tall and went down in the wind unless staked.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
Replies: 9    Views: 642
Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
Replies: 12    Views: 552
Last Post: 27/11/2014 at 21:12

Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
Replies: 16    Views: 494
Last Post: 14/09/2014 at 13:17

Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
Replies: 13    Views: 430
Last Post: 28/07/2014 at 12:28

Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

Broad bean tip blackfly infestation 
Replies: 2    Views: 296
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: 284
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

I went down the garden in the gloom.. 
Replies: 15    Views: 594
Last Post: 18/06/2014 at 14:32

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
Replies: 6    Views: 484
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: 932
Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 556
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: 598
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
Replies: 3    Views: 327
Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 628
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 676
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 6777
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads