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Latest posts by BobTheGardener

ID please - unknow bulb

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 16:42

I'd guess arum lily too, perhaps one of the more tender types with spotted leaves, judging by the shoot.

Raspberry Canes

Posted: 22/12/2014 at 14:07

Hi Yorkshire Lass, there should be small buds on redcurrants at this time of year.  If you think it might be dead, use your thumbnail to scrape away a little bit of the bark on a stem.  It should be green underneath.  If it is brown, try a few more stems but if you don't see any green anywhere it might be a dead.

If you do find some green, then it should start growing in about March and the small rather insignificant flowers appear not long after the new leaves, in about April.

Here is the RHS link about growing redcurrants:

There are no real rules as far as returning plants, but if one is clearly dead and doesn't show any growth or performs poorly even though you have followed their instructions, then state this when complaining and most suppliers will exchange for another or alternative plant, supply vouchers to the value of it, or give you your money back (their preferences are usually in that order!)

Having no transport, I always buy online and there is an excellent thread called 'the good guys' where members have recommend suppliers who they have had good experiences in using.  Local GCs can be a bit of a lottery - some are excellent, some not.  You can tell by asking about the plants you are interested in - if they don't seem to know much then avoid.


Posted: 21/12/2014 at 15:44

Daffs not even poking through yet here, but I'm in a bit of a frost pocket and it did hit -3.5C recently which would have put the mockers on any ideas they had of coming up early!  Plenty of crocus showing although none in flower so far.  On the plus side one of my young vibernum bodnantense 'Dawn' is covered in buds, some now opening and the red Witch Hazel (Rubin) is already in flower.

Pruning an apple tree

Posted: 20/12/2014 at 13:04

Yes MJ, that's exactly where I would cut it.  Leave a small part of the old branch proud of the trunk as cutting completely flush will damage the branch collar and inhibit healing;  You want to cut just flush with the end of the branch collar.  Don't try and cut the whole thing off in one go as that could be dangerous and also lead to tearing a strip of bark from the trunk.  Make an undercut a few inches away from the bottom of the branch first, to avoid any possibility of tearing the bark.  These links should help:




Posted: 20/12/2014 at 11:34

The reason comfrey is so full of nutrients is that its tap roots go well down into the sub-soil (a metre or more) and extract minerals from that, something most herbaceous plants cant do as the majority only send roots into the topsoil.  I have several 'stands' of comfrey so I can crop them at different times - it's fantastic stuff and the bees love it.

Shed treatment query

Posted: 20/12/2014 at 11:25

Modern water-based wood treatments are very good and will prevent water penetrating, especially if you use several coats.  However, storing paper based products in an unheated outbuilding can lead to issues due to the large variations in humidity and temperature which can lead to condensation.  Anyone who leaves steel tools out in an unheated garage or shed knows that they will rust, even if it is perfectly dry as humidity in the air causes water to condense on them when they become cooler than the air in there.  A layer of insulation on the inside walls and roof should help, such as rockwool or insulated sheeting such as Celotex.  Both of those would need a layer of something covering them, such as thin plywood.  You would ideally run a dehumidifer in there which would require a mains supply. An alternative would be to keep everything in air-tight plastic boxes.

Some links which may help:



Pruning an apple tree

Posted: 19/12/2014 at 21:13

I completely agree with nut and would remove the whole branch on the right, right back to the trunk.  Because it is growing from very low on the trunk, it may even be from below the graft and that would explain why it is so vigorous compared to the rest of the tree (which seems fairly well shaped.)

Christmas has come early

Posted: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Well done Verdun, your tactic of mentioning that plants are "on their last legs" always seems to pay off!

Finding a plant

Posted: 19/12/2014 at 16:44

There's also a white form of the anenome BL found, called Annabella White.

BTW, congrats mate!


Posted: 19/12/2014 at 15:31

It's a bit early - best to wait until the worst of the winter is over or early spring.  However, if they are blowing about and risk wind damage, you could take some off now and trim back further in late winter.  RHS pruning advice here as things differ for some types:


Discussions started by BobTheGardener

Christmas has come early

New trees 
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Last Post: 19/12/2014 at 16:52

Anyone for squirrel crumble?

Thieving rodents 
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Plant ID quizzes

Have fun identifying plants! 
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Watering dried-out pots

Tip to help to stop water running straight through 
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Blackfly - ladybirds to the rescue!

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Bob's guide to picking soft fruit

Only fto be read by your household's main gardener! 
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Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 18:52

Lovely surprise

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

Dragonfly/Darter/Mayfly ID?

Flew into the polytunnel for a while 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 21:44

A week of rain = jungle garden!

It's been too wet to really do anything outside.. 
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Last Post: 01/06/2014 at 17:42

Deep Down & Dirty: The Science of soil

Replies: 4    Views: 525
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: 568
Last Post: 22/04/2014 at 10:58

Seed grown Wisteria finally in flower - Hooray!

Planted many years ago 
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Last Post: 15/04/2014 at 12:39


Polytunnel growing 
Replies: 16    Views: 604
Last Post: 16/04/2014 at 19:05

First day of (meteorological) Spring

How id your garden looking 
Replies: 13    Views: 643
Last Post: 03/03/2014 at 20:31

DIY heated propagator

Making one from scratch 
Replies: 48    Views: 5902
Last Post: 30/06/2014 at 19:57
1 to 15 of 26 threads