Gary Hobson

Latest posts by Gary Hobson

'weeds' at Chelsea

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 09:34

The trend towards naturalism at this year's Chelsea is part of a social trend.

It's caused by the inevitable pressure that agriculture is placing on our native habitats, and the desire of people to do something practical about this, which they can do, by giving a home to nature in their own gardens.

'weeds' at Chelsea

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 09:21
figrat wrote (see)
...I suppose all our cultivated garden plants were wild flowers or weeds at some point...

Part of the issue is that many plants in many people's gardens were never wild flowers - at least in this country. This includes all of the tender plants that many people grow.

Nature always grows the right plant in the right place. If people are lucky enough to have cow parsley growing in their garden then that's because cow parsley has evolved to grow well in our climate and our soil.

Very pretty annuals, that come from South Africa, ought to be growing in South Africa: they don't like it here. When grown in the UK they are 'plants growing in the wrong place', so you might call them the weeds!

Help with identifying a rose please

Posted: 01/06/2012 at 05:54

I would not try to move an established rose.

The roots of roses do not form a compact root ball that you can easily dig up.  The roots are normally long and wiry. They can extend for several feet. You would almost certainly sever them.

The sucker will come from a different variety of rose, and although it may ultimately flower, it will not be the same flower as the one you have.

I'm not an expert on rose varieties, but Peter Beales has a very clever website which enables you to select roses by any number of attributes.

So, for example, you can find all his roses which are both yellow and scented:
Peter Beales Yellow Scented Roses

Though your rose could be one that is not sold by him. Graham Thomas (a David Austin rose) looks a tiny bit like yours (but I'm not sure about the scent).

Perhaps others might have some better ideas...


Posted: 31/05/2012 at 08:08
Karen Green wrote (see)

.. they look like they may beTree bumblebees, Bombus hypnorum...

Thanks for that identification.

I'm completely useless at identifying bee species.

The distinctive features of this bee seem to be a pronounced orange coat on its back, and a white tail.

There's an on-line guide to species identification here:
Bumblebee Conservation Trust Identification Guide

They do look like Tree bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum.

That guide says that they often nest in bird boxes. That figures.


Posted: 30/05/2012 at 09:42

Some bumblies...

This morning, I noticed about a dozen bumblies circulating around a concrete block wall that has some ivy covering it...

Occasionally (but not often), a bee goes into a crack, and another will emerge.

But what is most interesting is that they seem to be 'grazng' the surface of the wall, as though it held some form of nourishment...


Roses growing through Hazle mounds at Chelsea

Posted: 30/05/2012 at 05:47

The simplest thing would be to make one, by buying some flexible hazel rods, and sticking them in the soil, bending them over, and tying or weaving them together. It's a challenging little project.

If you want to buy one, then they are available commercially (possibly made of metal).

The concept seems to have been invented in 1984 by one Lady Tollemache of Helmington Hall:

"Lady Tollemarche’s new rose support, her brilliant idea, simple but effective, is the perfect way to have the best display from your old-fashioned roses. Use one and you will be amazed at how better you can see and smell these beautifully formed, highly scented varieties, whether as simple specimens or in your mixed borders. Much admired by fellow gardeners and visitors to the gardens, the Helmingham Rose Support system is now available in kit form with full assembly instructions."

I believe you can buy them (in metal), for £35, through the Helmington Hall Gardens website: The Helmington Rose Support

That page also has a slide show of images of roses growing over rose domes.

Given the new found popularity of the concept I'd be surprised if hazel ones don't find their way into garden centres before too long, though I don't know of any suppliers.

Plant identification

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 14:09
sotongeoff wrote (see)

.. also yesterday about the edit facility not working.

Yes, I noticed that.

Websites are like gardens - lots of bugs and weeds.

It's inevitable really.

By nature, I'm understanding of the weeds, and other imperfections.

Computer programs can get unbelievably convoluted. Computer programmers have my sympathy.

Just grateful that the programmers employed by GW don't work for my bank.

Plant identification

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 12:46

I tried to edit my previous message, to give another example, but that didn't work - got the very popular 'Ooops something went wrong' message.

Never mind...

Anyway, this is another example of a thread with a blank first message...

Getting rid of grass in the border

Plant identification

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 12:34

I've occasionally noticed that the first message in a thread appears blank, although the beginning of the text is visible on the main screen. I didn't know if it was me, or an innovative site feature, or a symptom of a problem. Or maybe the poster is doing something odd when they post the message.

Moving grasses

Posted: 29/05/2012 at 08:15

Most grasses are springing into growth right now.

You certainly need a time when it is warm, and showery, and preferably when the plants are growing vigourously.

I would have thought that now is the ideal time.

But I know nothing about 'variegated moor grass'.

Discussions started by Gary Hobson

New BBC Gardening Show looking for Kitchen Gardeners

Replies: 11    Views: 2988
Last Post: 31/03/2014 at 19:57

Hampton Court Family Garden Competition

You are invited to design a family garden which will be built this year at Hampton Court 
Replies: 8    Views: 1783
Last Post: 10/02/2013 at 15:01
2 threads returned