Latest posts by Hogroast2

Plant identification

Posted: 18/06/2014 at 17:19

Can anyone tell me what this thing that looks like a giant buddleja is? A couple of years ago I noticed it when it was what looked like a small palm about 60cm high. It's now over 3 metres tall. The flower cone you see is itself about 150cm. Can anyone identify it please?




Posted: 25/04/2014 at 11:59

Last summer I grew three tomatillo plants in pots. The pots were knocked over and broken by animals once the plants were underway, but netted, they were eventually very successful and produced heavy crops. The pots were such a mess that I didn't keep the plants. I am growing some new seeds now and would like to plant them somewhere more permanent.

Tomatillos are supposed to be fairly hardy perennials, but how closely related are they to those Chinese Lantern plants (physalis alkaklengi) that take over gardens and can never ever be dug up? I don't mind them spreading a little bit but the Chinese Lantern has a reputation for going on rampages under walls and annexing neighbours' gardens and so on.

I'm also interested in the edible Physalis/Cape Gooseberry - which Suttons are marketing as Inca Berries - although I have no experience of growing those. They appear to be even closer relatives of the feared Chinese Lantern.

Has anyone grown some or all of these as perennials in the ground and have any idea of how they behave and what to expect? I like the fruits of both tomatillos and physalis (I seem to be in a minority here) but I don't want to spend the rest of my life fighting them.

Saving rotten wooden trellises

Posted: 14/04/2014 at 09:08


Saving rotten wooden trellises

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 12:33

In the garden there is a wooden pergola/arbour with wisteria trained up it that is looking a bit decrepit. Two years of constant rain have made it warp and crack and in a couple of places it looks like the wood of the posts has rotted under the ground. The wisteria looks great though.

I'm not sure how much longer the pergola has but it will take a lot of careful wisteria growing with it when it goes. Is there anything I can do to prolong its life? The wisteria has twined around most of the wooden spars, so it is not very accessible to paint with anything.

Compost help

Posted: 11/04/2014 at 12:16

Thank you Steve!

Compost help

Posted: 04/04/2014 at 11:16

Thank you very much for all of this. Back to the drawing board for me. Fitgetbones, I don't have any grass to mow but I do have a heap of dead sedge grass which is quite straw-like. Is that any use?

Compost help

Posted: 02/04/2014 at 13:53

As a fairly new gardener, I left my garden for a year so that I could see what was planted in it.

What took me quite a long time to get the hang of is how to compost, and for over a year I have been throwing uncooked kitchen waste on the heap along with almost everything I cut out of the garden, ie no "brown" waste, and the heap has never as far as I know got hot, or 'cooked'.

The result of the leave-it-and-see gambit was that I experienced an absolute infestation of dandelions and what I now know to be green alkanets, all of which have gone on the heap.

Apart from being in need of a good source of failsafe advice on how to compost, my question is: can I use what I have got? It's all rotted down and so on but is it now too rich for my plants? And will it not just increase my supply of green alkanets? I definitely have more than enough of those.

If I have just created an unusable heap, is there anything I can do to it to make it usable?

Mulberry Mould

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 10:37

Thank you! " Clean air"  is not the first thing that springs to mind when I think of the garden so this is something of a surprise.

Mulberry Mould

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 10:29

That's a great relief, thank you very much. Why is it a good sign?

Mulberry Mould

Posted: 21/03/2014 at 10:17

Hello, I have a very old mulberry tree with blueish mould on a few parts of the trunk. Last summer it gave a big healthy crop. SHould I be concerned about the mould? I have attached a photo of the trunk.


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