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Gardener Eve

Latest posts by Gardener Eve

1 to 10 of 22

Compost system for smallish garden - recommendations please

Posted: 25/10/2015 at 09:47


We have a nice size garden in South East London- but not big enough to have a compost area with large open containers like Monty Don has! 

I'd love to compost our waste as at the moment the council is taking our waste away and I am buying compost!

I don't know anyone with one so I'd be grateful to hear  peoples opinions about which models/ brands of compost bins (that are enclosed) are good?

Ease of use is important - plus for the smell to be contained.



Sweet peas have succumbed to powdery mildew again

Posted: 18/08/2015 at 09:46


Thanks for the advice. I didn't realise that nutrients would be an issue when in the ground. I've been meaning to put some rotted manure down anyway so Ill do that this autumn.

I guess I'd been trying not to water them overly as I thought thats what caused the powdery mildew!

Ill have a little rethink for next year. I also noticed that Sarah Raven does a comfrey feed apparently especially good for sweet peas so Ill try that too next year.

Thanks again!

Sweet peas have succumbed to powdery mildew again

Posted: 15/08/2015 at 16:54


for 3 years I have grown sweet peas from seed and every year by July/ August the plants have died off from this powdery mildew (I think that's what it is).

The first year I got great healthy plants and even they succumbed. I haven't managed as well the last 2 years but regardless by July August I'm looking at dried up plants- not because they havent got water but due to this mildew thing.

I only water them at the base if its really dry...

Can anyone advise? Im in S.E London and they have a nice sunny spot but tried some in shadier spot and same thing happened....I do love these blooms and have been buying good quality seed...



Strawberry problems!

Posted: 21/07/2015 at 19:24

As a strawberry lover I decided to make a strawberry patch.

I got a selection from Pomona fruits- sonata, malwina and mara de bois.

Most recent issue is with the malwina. The first few fruits that came up were nice but then despite lots of flowers hardly any fruit and those that grew sort of went a funny drab reddish colour and didn't continue to grow  - but definitely were not ripe. Now I found some weird growth out of some of these un developed strawberries... see pics. Its very weird.

anyone have any clues?


Also the earlier variety, sonata, came up with absolutely tonnes of fruit.... BUT  a lot of it was just rank.

Tough - strange texture for a strawberry and lacking any sweetness or taste- some were ok.

I spoke to pomona about the Sonata's and they said it was due to the lack of sunny weather maybe. They thought next year would be good and that the malwina's would make up for it. As it transpires they certainly haven't!!

these were bare roots planted last spring....

Have I been sold some dud plants or dud varieties??

I live in south east london with a very sunny garden.


I'm so disappointed!!!





Talkback: 10 zinnias

Posted: 13/06/2015 at 15:43

Thanks everyone- thought I was the only one! Mine look very sorry for themselves - planted out 25th May and not really growing plus brown leaves. 2 eaten by a greedy slug!

When I think about it it seems it must be the cooler spring we've been having- its really affected my tomatos too 

Kinda had to start planting out though as the windowsills and cold frame were looking like jungles.

We're just having a terrible spring...

Thompson and Morgan

Posted: 30/05/2015 at 17:08

Hi, I ordered the cottage garden collection from gardeners world mag and it took 3-4 times longer than stated! When they come they are so dinky- I truly mean- tiny!

Also they labelled mine up incorrectly so I couldn't tell which was which variety.When I called them they offered me a new pack which 3+ weeks later I'm still waiting for.

I ended up googling seedling pics and asking my in laws and worked out what was what in the end. Sadly I had a skin reaction to either the digitalis or the delphinium so I've given those away. Thats not their fault though- although I think clearer labelling of this risk would be better.

They took a long time to answer the customer service line too.

When I called the order line to order from them though the phone was answered immediately.

I get the impression that they are trying to be big before they are really ready- so many companies do this.

You could try calling them but when I did this it made no difference- as far as they're concerned the plants are ready when they're ready... makes sense but they really should be more prepared or cap the offer to the first however many respondents rather than having annoyed customers.

I spend a fortune with Sarah Raven/ crocus and thought they'd be worth a try on this offer (only £5.65) but have decided they're not worth the savings. Would rather pay more to one of the other companies- get good sized super healthy plants that come very quickly or just start things off from seed myself.

I'd call them and let them know what you think...its the only way these companies will improve 

Tomato plant leaves turning brown - should I pick them out?

Posted: 30/05/2015 at 15:14

thanks! will do!

Tomato leaves turning brown - repeat now with pics

Posted: 30/05/2015 at 14:20



Tomato leaves turning brown - repeat now with pics

Posted: 30/05/2015 at 14:19


These are seedlings I've grown myself. They were a bit late going outside as weather had been so bad but healthy if a little tall.

Since going outside last week (in good quality grow bags, same position as in other years) the leaves have been developing brown patches on them.

I don't know whats causing it, (somewhere online suggests temperature fluctuations at night could do this? It has been quite a cold spring so far- we're in SE London) but I'm worried it could be some sort of blight?

Is it best to leave the leaves on or pick them off? Have started to pick them off but worried that there'll be no leaves left at this rate!




1 to 10 of 22

Discussions started by Gardener Eve

Compost system for smallish garden - recommendations please

Enclosed compost system needed - recommendations please 
Replies: 19    Views: 913
Last Post: 28/10/2015 at 18:18

Sweet peas have succumbed to powdery mildew again

for 3rd year running powdery mildew has finished off my sweet peas 
Replies: 8    Views: 465
Last Post: 18/08/2015 at 15:00

Strawberry problems!

invested in 2 varieties both done appallingly 
Replies: 0    Views: 191
Last Post: 21/07/2015 at 19:24

Tomato leaves turning brown - repeat now with pics

Gardeners delight I planted from seed. Planted outside S.E London last week in grow bags 
Replies: 6    Views: 452
Last Post: 04/06/2015 at 09:28

Adding pics not working & how to delete posts or edit posts??

Replies: 1    Views: 311
Last Post: 30/05/2015 at 13:09

Tomato plant leaves turning brown - should I pick them out?

Gardeners delight I planted from seed. Planted outside S.E London last week in grow bags 
Replies: 8    Views: 413
Last Post: 30/05/2015 at 15:14

Sweet pea seedling problems - something eating them!

Sweet pea seedlings being destroyed by something... 
Replies: 0    Views: 263
Last Post: 25/05/2015 at 13:36

little black bugs smothering many of my plants

Replies: 21    Views: 24584
Last Post: 15/07/2013 at 13:02
8 threads returned