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BobTheGardener


Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Plant id - looks like pulmonaria but the leaves are wrong

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 20:11

Looks like a comfrey to me, possibly a cross between Hidcote blue and a wild one.  The leaves of Hidcote blue are only about 4 inches long compared to the wild one which can be 12 inches or more.  Love the stripes on the flowers - that makes it unique I think.

Tomato Black Russian?

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 07:22

I've grown them for a few years in a cold greenhouse in central UK and they do quite well producing about 3kg per plant with some individual fruits up to about 3-400g.  They grow well outside in a good summer but, like any 'outdoor capable' tomato grown in the UK, in a poor wet summer they will produce a poor crop and likely get blight, so fingers crossed for decent weather this year!   Sue is right - due to the weight of the fruits they do need good support so make sure you tie them with a soft twine or similar material which won't cut into the stems.

Plant biology.

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 07:05

Evolution and numbers, Mike.  A typical plant will produce about a billion pollen grains.  Many plants, while being capable of being pollinated by many different insects, have evolved to use one or two pollinating species in particular which they attract in a wide number of ways (eg by mimicking insect mating hormones);  This makes it more likely that a "preferred" pollinator is more likely to visit another plant of the same species and thus transfer the pollen.

The downside is that these interactions are so complex that the humble human race is unlikely to ever be able to collate all of the information, so we will continue to only find out when our activity leads to the extinction of yet another species.  A good example of this complexity is the Brazil nut, which was studied for decades (possibly over a hundred years) before it was understood:

http://thebrazilnutstory.wordpress.com/pollination/

 

what sort of a tree was that ?

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 20:33

I agree, almost certainly a cherry.  If you can get near enough to smell the blossom, cherries hardly ever have a noticeable scent but plums usually do smell 'flowery'.

More Plant ID please

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 16:19

I agree with Dove.  If you absolutely must move it before the Autumn, then wait until it has flowered and snip off the dead flower heads.  Then transplant as in Dove's advice and water it every day for a week or two, then once a week (even if it has rained) until it dies back in the Autumn.  It will probably sulk though and not produce flowers for a couple of years.

Courgette

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 16:10

Better to start them inside, OL.  They don't like the low temperatures at night in a cold GH.  A sunny windowsill indoors is perfect.

Courgette

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 14:21

Hi LL, I start mine off in 7cm pots and transfer to 15cm which is big enough to keep them in until you plant out.  When there is a lot of leaf area, you do need to keep up with the watering as they dry out fast!

More Plant ID please

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 12:34

The first one is a peony - looking at yours, the flowers will be out soon and are fantastic!

Not sure about the second one - need to wait a bit to see the leaf shape.

 

What are these infiltrators?

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 12:29

I'm pretty sure that is Black Bryony, a wild plant which I also have growing in part of my garden.  It has lovely glossy heart-shaped leaves and stunning berries later in the year.  It is a member of the yam family and grows from a large underground root.  It can overwhelm shrubs and small trees if allowed to grow through them, so I give it a large cane to grow up.

http://www.jeremybartlett.co.uk/2012/02/07/black-bryony-tamus-communis/

http://wildflowerfinder.org.uk/Flowers/B/Bryony(Black)/Bryony(Black).htm

 

 

crocus for plug plants?

Posted: 12/04/2014 at 21:10

Crocus plugs are usually ok.  The best thing to do with plugs is to plant them into small pots using multi-purpose compost as soon as they arrive - I usually use 7cm square ones from Wilko.  It's important not to leave them as plugs for any length of time as they have been grown in special conditions and won't survive long if not given some TLC.  Grow them in the small pots for at least a couple of weeks before finally planting out into their final pots or containers etc.

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