Gary Hobson

Latest posts by Gary Hobson


Posted: 25/05/2012 at 05:15
Katie Blue wrote (see)

I've just been out with a torch and gathered up about 20 in under 5 minutes. these have gone in the compost bin ...

Manually collecting slugs, after dark, is a very effective way of dealing with the problem. They are easy to spot, and you can simply pick any off.

This is the technique I use. I pop any onto the compost heap, which is where they belong. Slugs are made to help recycle dead plant material.

I don't actually go out at night. I'm an early riser, and go round the garden first thing in the morning, as soon as it's light. Any slugs will still be out, and can be collected very simply.

Gardens devoid of life

Posted: 25/05/2012 at 05:03

One of the trends in this years show, possibly the main trend, is a trend towards naturalism.

A few years ago it was hard to find a wildlife garden at Chelsea. They were considered untidy. Naturalistic gardens may lack colour, but they support more life than any other type of garden. And there seems to be widespread desire to bring 'the countryside' into town gardens.

Some gardens which are full of colour are actually dead, in terms of the life they support.

The title of this thread is 'Gardens devoid of life'. There are a lot of gardens at this year's show that are devoid of life. But there are many that are struggling to bring life into our gardens. This does seem to be the trend.

ID of plant growing EVERYWHERE!

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 15:48
jude5 wrote (see)

.. the seeds are so fluffy and fine they will float all over the place...

I wonder if anyone noticed Carol Klein in the Chelsea Flower Show broadcast on Wednesday night.

Carol was apparently in the floral marquee (or possibly one of the show gardens), and she took a dandelion clock, and blew it.

It's a wonder she didn't get thrown out.

Rosebay Willow Herb doesn't produce its fluffy seeds till late Summer, so there's not much chance of seeing Carol distribute that one throughout the show.

Talkback: How to grow lupins

Posted: 24/05/2012 at 14:24
Barry888 wrote (see)
Your video is unplayable ... it jumps and sticks (I have a 20MB connection and no problem playing big videos on any other site). .

The video worked OK for me. It's only a tiny YouTube-style video. It won't require any bandwidth at all.

I'm a big fan of lupins. Like most wild flowers they prefer poor soil. The name 'lupin' is actually a reference to that. Lupin comes from the Latin for 'wolf'. The Romans observed that lupins only grow on poors soils, and mistakely thought that the lupins were responsible for improverishing the soil, like ravenous wolves. But the fact is that the poor soil comes fiirst.


Posted: 24/05/2012 at 05:33

On Wednesday night's show, I thought that the instant wildlife meadow, using a turf carpet, was a brilliant idea. A genuine flower meadow is so difficult to achieve, and the solution (wildflower turf) is so simple.

I've never seen wildflower turf for sale at a garden centre, through many garden centes do sell rolls of standard turf, to take away.

Googling for 'Wildflower Turf' finds several suppliers. One website gives their formula: 'Cats Ear, Salad Burnet, Meadow Buttercup, Yellow Rattle, Ribwort Plantain, Lady’s Bedstraw, Yarrow, Cowslip, Self Heal and Red Campion'. Only one website was quoting prices, which seem to be about £27 for a 1.25 meter square. Not that expensive, IMO.

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 16:34

Afraid I don't have a posh termometer like yours.

But this is the temperature inside my greenhouse at 4.30....

What's the weather like in your area?

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 15:05
David K wrote (see)

We could do with some rain. 

I'll get me coat! 

Two searing hots days and I've had enough.

Pots are drying out, so that means watering to do.

Bark mulch

Posted: 23/05/2012 at 10:12
Wintersong wrote (see)

... I think it depends on what type of birds are feeding...

Blackbirds thrive on worms and insects, that can naturally be found beneath leaves, and dead bark. Blackbirds in my garden make a similar mess with any compost, or manure, put on the garden. They are searching for worms and grubs.

Sparrows and tits, on the other hand, are seed feeders. So they don't bother. And magpies prefer picking meat.

That new roundup gel

Posted: 22/05/2012 at 19:41

I haven't tried that paticular product, though I have seen it advertised.

With normal Roundup, sprayed on, it does take quite a long while to take effect, possibly several weeks. Roundup works faster in warm weather. It's quite possible to think that it hasn't worked, when all that is required is patience.

I don't know how much of the plant surface needs to be covered with the roll-on version. But if you've followed the instructions correctly, then it ought to work.

Roundup is normally very effective.


Posted: 21/05/2012 at 05:04
Wintersong wrote (see)
...the garden depicting the divide between north and south Korea...

I thought the Korean garden was highly original and extremely naturalistic . It was my favourite among those we saw last night. Lots of deep thoughtful ideas behind the concept too. I think Titchmarch used the word 'inspirational', or something similar. Though the medals entrants receive depend on technical issues, such as the quality of the plants.

What really struck me was the contrast between the Korean garden and the one which immediately followed, the one by Tom Hoblyn, which was a sanitised lifeless garden - God awful, in my opinion.

I was also struck by Diarmuid Gavin's wacky pyramid skyscraper. Though growing plants vertically doesn't actually increase the amount of light available, because the surfaces of the lower floors are in deep shade. And the building itself casts shade on its neighbours.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the wildlife gardens, which will be featured in Wednesday's evening show. The full TV schedule, of 15 programs is here:
BBC Chelsea Flower Show Upcoming Episodes

Discussions started by Gary Hobson

New BBC Gardening Show looking for Kitchen Gardeners

Replies: 11    Views: 3061
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: 1835
Last Post: 10/02/2013 at 15:01
2 threads returned