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Latest posts by Heliotrope

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Something is eating my tomatoes!

Posted: 04/09/2015 at 16:45

Hi Alan,

I'm having the same issue; in my case it's tiny snails that are doing the damage.  I've been picking my tomatoes just before fully ripe to try to get them first. 

If snails are the culprits in your case as well, regularly check the undersides of leaves and fruit to remove the snails.

To check if the damage is starting from inside cut open one of the fruits.  I would expect to see evidence of tunnelling.  I reckon it's snails, though!

Best of luck,


Belted Hoverflies

Posted: 25/07/2015 at 19:44

It's gorgeous - lucky you!

The right plant

Posted: 09/07/2014 at 19:34


I have similar only a 6ft fence.  It only occurred to me after I did something else (!) but what I'd do if in that situation again is put in a raised bed so that whatever I plant doesn't have to grow as tall before getting more light.  That would give you a quicker result.  Not sure about grasses though - I would think they prefer more direct sunlight but, as Hogweed said, someone here will know.

Hope you find a solution that suits you.  

Plant ID please

Posted: 27/02/2014 at 18:17

Could be a Lychnis coronaria?  They are biennial so if it is one of these you can expect it to flower this year.

Neighbours not wildlife friendly

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 18:22

As I understand it, disturbing nesting birds is an offence (if this applies to your situation) - obviously you can't tell him that bluntly but maybe you can work it in somewhere.....

Great British Garden Revival

Posted: 12/01/2014 at 16:45

Hello all,

Hope you don't mind: I'm a frequent reader and very occasional contributor (there's not usually much I can add to you wonderfully knowledgeable folk) but I must put in a word for the lovely Nigel on GW!  Even though I'm a very keen gardener and like the programme for the plants/advice, I find his appearances an absolute delight and I've warmed to Monty far more, after seeing how lovely they are together. 

Completely agree with all the positives about the Great British Garden Revival though, and it's been lovely to have some proper, one-hour gardening progs at last.  What a joy on a cold Winter's night.  Thank you, BBC.

Where to purchase roses?

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 21:05

I've bought roses from David Austin and Peter Beales and both were excellent. 

How to keep ants off the bird table

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 09:39

Neem oil also deters ants.  I've had a few wandering indoors to forage so have used it to keep them out.

Tree paeony

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 09:37

Most peonies only flower after 2-3 years .  My tree peony flowered for the first time this year (year 3).  It was only the one flower (!) but absolutely worth it.  I am hoping for a few more next year.

Standard Fuschia

Posted: 15/05/2013 at 18:10

Sorry - no, I'm not sure.  Vernon's Geraniums (despite the name) do a reasonable number of fuchsia so you could try their website.  I expect there's a fuchsia society as well,

Kind regards,

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