There is a natural 'junction' on each rose stem which allows the dead flower to detach naturally. However, a pigeon or other large bird flapping about can easily detach them at that point (the damn things are constantly chasing each other during mating rituals around my flower beds.) A stressed rose will also drop buds and flowers which will detach at the same 'junction'.
Apple trees do sometimes have small amount of blossom again if they are stressed. It's too late for fruit to form though. Young trees shouldn't be allowed to fruit until about their 3rd year anyway as they need to concentrate on putting down a decent root system. The weight of fruit can also bend or break the branches which are too young to support them.
It's certainly not Hawkweed. As previously mentioned, that only grows to about a foot high. Hawkweed also has hairy ovate leaves and orange flowers while your plant has smooth thistle-like leaves and yellow flowers. It's one of the sow thistles, maybe this one:
or if it is prickly, this one:
Last edited: 23 July 2016 11:29:02
As it has two flowerings, it is more likely a group 2 so only light pruning is needed in early spring. Follow the tips back to a pair of buds and cut just above them. If you find the flowers are getting higher each year with bare stems below then treat it as a group 3 for one year then 2 more years as a group 2. I find this is a good way to keep vigorous ones under control but still maximise flowering. You're right, there are so many clematis varieties it is often difficult to pin down the exact variety. On a rainy day, have a good browse through this site to see if you can find it:
Brassicas don't really like the loose soil in raised beds and do much better in the ground. They need firming in when planted - I use the heel of my boot and that's on clay soil. If you have no choice but to grow them in raised beds, plant them deeper (right up to the stalks of the bottom leaves) and really firm them in. Never let them go short of water.
You have a very healthy looking specimen there Flyfifer!
I'd say that is "The President" and is an early large-flowered type. Group 2 for pruning which means light pruning in late February. Start right at the end tip of each stem and follow it down until you find a pair of healthy looking buds and snip the stem off just above them.
Try slug nematodes. I've been using them for about 3 years now, getting very little slug damage and my garden has a grass field and ditch on one side and a wild area on the other. They might seem expensive (£23 to treat 100 square metres) but that is only the cost of a couple of decent sized plants and I lost far more than that to slugs each year before I started using nemaslug. As long as you apply them correctly (onto already damp soil when temperatures don't go below 5C) and follow the instructions on the pack, they do work.
It looks like a jelly fungus. You can remove the fruiting bodies (which is what is in the photo) if you don't like them but the main part of it is in thin sheets underground. It is doing no harm and is beneficial as it is breaking down dead woody stuff in the soil into a form that plants can use. Nothing to worry about.
The clematis might be Polish Spirit which is very prolific and flowering at the moment. If so, it's a Group 3 so cut back to 30cm in late winter/early spring.