Gary Hobson

Latest posts by Gary Hobson

How and when to move a large Bamboo

Posted: 28/04/2012 at 17:27
Debbie McKenzie wrote (see)

It will be hard work to dig up and move...I have done so successfully lots of times on Bamboo's not so big. You could maybe get at least 4 "new" plants from that one, I "saw" mine with an old bread knife, its very hard word tho'.....I would move Bamboo any time, but if its hot and dry, water water water...

I completely agree.

I've moved quite large bamboos. The most difficult thing is to actually dig the thing up. The roots are not usually particuarly deep, but it is still very difficult to actually dig beneath the plant. A rootball will also be very heavy and very difficult to move.

This is an excellent opportunity to divide the plant. Large bamboos are not cheap to buy, so you can save yourself a lot of money by dividing large bamboos. I use a saw - the type you would use to cut up logs. A breadknife would be woefully inadequate to cut through the woody roots of a decent-sized bamboo rootball.

Bamboos are tough and it should be possible to move at any time, except high Summer. If you do move it, you'll need to keep it well watered for the remainder of the season.

best way to clear grass and brambles under trees?

Posted: 26/04/2012 at 12:04
FloBear wrote (see)

It does help, though, to remove much of the brambles' top growth before attacking the roots. ...

Yes, it's a good idea to cut back the very long stems of the bramble first, to allow you to get near to the root. But it's best to leave a couple of feet of stem, to give you something to lift the bramble out with. It really is quite easy. This is the tool:

55 sq yards is not too large an area. To get rid of the grass, you could simply dig it over, removing any large tufts. (You can use a mattock to remove tufts of coarse grass). Then you could perhaps plant the area with comfrey or potatoes, some other robust ground cover, which could be dug in at the end of the first season.

And make sure that you use very strong gloves when handling brambles.

best way to clear grass and brambles under trees?

Posted: 26/04/2012 at 11:30

Personally, I'd be inclined to remove the brambles with a mattock. It's quite easy to remove brambles in this way. Using a mattock enables you to remove the roots. If you simply cut off the tops with a brushwood strimmer, then the roots will remain, and will be more difficult to deal with.

Garden Gallery

Posted: 26/04/2012 at 07:23
Berghill wrote (see)

To at  least give our catmint a fighting chance we put an upturned wire hanging basket over the plant.That way the cats do not eat it to the roots or lie on it.

I'll bear that in mind.

Incidentally, I loved your photo of your pear tree (message 99). It's not often you see a tree that old that has not been mutilated.

Garden Gallery

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 15:51

Catmint contains a mildly hallucinogentic chemical. Susceptability to catmint in cats is genetic. Catmint only effects about 50% of cats.

I believe that humans can also take catmint, in tea, as a relaxant. There's a lot more about the herbal uses of catmint here:

Herbal Uses of Catmint

If anyone owns a cat they really ought to invest in some catmint, if only to see the remarkable effects that it has on the cat. The cat, apparently, does love the stuff.

Garden Gallery

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 14:41

I don't own a cat, but next door's cat is often in my garden.

I've often heard about catmint (Nepeta) and thought I'd give it a try. Last weekend I planted two small plants in a tub (the plants are still alive; just)...


Old Aquarium Water Garden

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 09:06

If you wanted to make use of an aquarium in a garden, then a garden designer would say that the right thing to do would be to make use of it, as an aquarium, as a garden feature.

There's a photo of such a feature here:

Garden Aquarium

I think I saw a similar thing on the one of the TV garden makeover programs last season, possibly one of David Domoney's programs. But you'd really like an aquarium larger than yours, to make an impressive water feature like that.

Another innovative use for a small aquarium, also from David Domoney, is to use it to grow plants hydroponically, so you can see all of the roots. That can make a very unusual garden feature. He had a garden with several glass containers, with plants growing in the water, in his RHS silver medal garden at Hampton Court last year. There's a photo here:

Hydroponic Garden

You'd also need to think about what happens when the water freezes. A strong frame, and toughened glass, would be essential to prevent the glass from cracking.

cost of entrance to gardening shows

Posted: 25/04/2012 at 07:21

What baffles me is that some people visit shows simply to buy tiny items, that they could very easily buy locally, or by mail order. I remember one TV show where Carol Klein was enthousing because she'd bought a packet of plant labels for £1. Perhaps TV presenters get free tickets. But is £31 for a packet of labels really a great bargain, for anyone?

At one time I used to go to these shows because I could find plants which were not available at my local garden centre. But these days I can find a much greater variety of the plants that I'm interested in using the Internet.

I used to visit bookshops frequently. But I haven't been inside one for years now, thanks to Amazon.

I bought a new strimmer a couple of days ago. I used the Internet to find the best price. It was a tools supplier. They had an arrangement with Amazon, so I could pay without even quoting my credit card number. The product was delivered the following morning. The Internet, and superb customer service, have spoilt some of us.

In my view, garden shows are a social event. It's a day out. It's like taking a mini-break for the day. But it's not an occasion for serious plant buying.

Can anyone help me identify whether this is a weed or a baby seedling?

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 11:46
kate1123 wrote (see)

Gary lovely flower, how big is the plant?

The Cappuccinos got to about the size of a dahlia. I grew them from seed, and am doing the same again this year. I actually noticed some plants for sale in my local GC last weekend. So I bought a couple. Just can't have too many.

I have some Echinacea coming up. But mine have narrower, strapier, more pointed leaves, than the mystery plant.

Could the mystery plant be mint? You can easily tell by taking a look at the roots. If the plants are invidividual seedlings, then it's not mint. If they are all connected by long runners just beneath the surface, then it might be. Try to pot one up and you'll find out.

decorative pots

Posted: 24/04/2012 at 08:01

It depends a bit on your own tastes, and what else you have on your patio.

If the pot is black then that suggests something stylish. Personally I'd have gone for something like a small bamboo (upright and evergreen, but not very original), or perhaps an agave, or a selection of alpines or succulents, or maybe a Zantedecia (can look good in a black pot).

Make sure that the pot has a decent drainage hole.

Discussions started by Gary Hobson

New BBC Gardening Show looking for Kitchen Gardeners

Replies: 11    Views: 3054
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 
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Last Post: 10/02/2013 at 15:01
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