Gary Hobson

Latest posts by Gary Hobson


Posted: 28/05/2012 at 10:11

Also remember that no caterpillars means no blue tits, and many other small birds.

Choose life.

Mowing the lawn, but not the frogs!

Posted: 28/05/2012 at 05:43
maggzy wrote (see)

...I now have a frog that has taken up residence over these past four days  Can anyone tell me whether they think it will spawn or not...

Frogs spawn in March. They won't spawn at this time of year. Also it requires at least two frogs to spawn. But as long as you have some cool damp places for it to hide, it may stay around and perhaps next Spring....

HELP !!!!!what about ground cover plants- does it work?

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 19:46
Berghill wrote (see)

...I have just spent an hour of more weeding a patch of  Geranium macrorhizum...

There's a very wide range of hardy geraniums. I have several different ones, mainly because they grown well on clay soil.

I did say...

Gary Hobson wrote (see)
....I have some other varieties of hardy geranium that are not as vigourous, and not as successful....

I'm not exactly sure what variety that one is, but it is far more aggressive and vigourous than any of the others. Most hardy geraniums that are sold in garden centres are the well behaved ones. I think I got it from a specialist geranium stand at Gardeners World Live a few years ago.

Gary Hobson wrote (see)

....Alchemilla is worth a try too...

Someone else has just started a thread about Alchemilla titled 'Ladys Mantle': Lady's Mantle

They are complaining that the plant is taking over their garden, and want to know how they can get rid of it. One man's weed is another man's ground cover!

Fork Handles

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 10:44
kate1123 wrote (see)

I went to the hardware shop today and asked for a new fork handle and he gave me 4 candles...

The original sketch is on YouTube:

HELP !!!!!what about ground cover plants- does it work?

Posted: 27/05/2012 at 06:07

Here's a snap of my hardy geraniums, taken last Summer. This is a border alongside a lawn. I never have to do any weeding in it. The plant is so vigourous that it encroaches on the lawn, and will easily smother the grass. I keep it in bounds by strimming it...

I have some other varieties of hardy geranium that are not as vigourous, and not as successful.

Kate mentions campanula. I have some campanula, and for me, this is a long way from effective ground cover. That's partly due to my soil, campanula is not rampant im my garden. I find that campanula can become infested with grass, and grass is very hard to remove from it.

Dove mentions lamium. Many people consider lamium to be an invasive weed. It's a pretty weed. I can believe that lamium might be very successful.

Alina mentioned ajuga. I don't actually have any of that. But I can believe that could be very successful too.

Alchemilla is worth a try too.

There's a very close boundary between 'invasive weed' and effective ground cover.

You could try a few plants of each, and see which one romps away. One of them would come to dominate the others, depending on your soil and conditions.

HELP !!!!!what about ground cover plants- does it work?

Posted: 26/05/2012 at 19:19

Ground cover certainly works.

I thnk that plants would work for you depend on your soil, and other factors. You need to ask yourself what plant really grows vigourously on your soil.

I'm on a clay soil, and the more vigourous varieties of hardy geraniums form a very effective cover. It is impossible for any other plant to seed itself among them. They also make an impressive show when in flower, and they flower for a long period. The single little pink flower is the first bloom just about to flower...

Hardy geraniums need to be watched, because they self-seed readily, and if one is not careful, they will take over the entire garden. But it's easy to keep them in check.

I believe that some people use Alchemilla mollis as a ground cover. That doesn't work as well for me because it's not sufficiently vigourous on my soil.

Your thoughts please

Posted: 26/05/2012 at 15:03
diggingdoris wrote (see)

.... To help with the weight I keep the plant in a plastic pot ...

Interestingly I used to have mine in a terracotta pot. But I changed the pot to a plastic 'terracotta looking' one, precisely because the terracotta pot was so weighty, even before putting any soil in. Using plastic pots does reduce the weight.

I prefer to use John Innes compost. It's soil based and is heavy.

A supplementary question is whether one plants anything in the soil around the plant, or leaves the soil bare. I'm actually trying wild strawberries.


Posted: 26/05/2012 at 11:54

obelixx - that was very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the photos.

My favourite snap was actually the close up of Joe Swift, talking to a man holding a cup of coffee (146). The expression on Joe's face!

Your thoughts please

Posted: 26/05/2012 at 10:32

Fatsia is an excellent choice, for what you want. Although it's not particulary original, or novel.

I have one in a large pot.

The top growth, and expecially the young shoots, can be damaged by frost.

I bring my pot under cover during Winter. The is evergreen and likes to have some light during the Winter. I put mine near a window in an unheated shed. It simply protects the plant from the worst of the weather.

A large pot full of soil is heavy, and not easy to move.

I have seen Fatsias planted in the ground, and left out all Winter. They seem to survive, and can become quite large. Though their survival may depend on the severity of the Winter.

Bamboo dying

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 06:35

I don't understand what you mean by 'cutting the roots off'.

Bamboos can normally be propagated by dividing the root ball. That means cutting through the root ball vertically. Each of the resulting halves will have some stems and some roots. The replanted halves will need plenty of water until they are established. In the sort of weather we are having now, they will need a good drink every day.

Bamboos are generally tough plants and can normally take fairly rough treatment.

Discussions started by Gary Hobson

New BBC Gardening Show looking for Kitchen Gardeners

Replies: 11    Views: 3024
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: 1814
Last Post: 10/02/2013 at 15:01
2 threads returned