Latest posts by hypercharleyfarley


Posted: 17/03/2014 at 16:16

Without seeing a picture it's a bit difficult to tell!  Sorry!  However, if it's been there for quite a while, the chances are that the roots are well-established so don't give up yet. 

I have two wisterias along the front of my house - very long established - and last year I had to prune some of the branches very severely, to the point where there was just nothing left on parts of them.   The main parts (just above ground) are really big - about ten or eleven inches in circumference, so their overall size - and what was left untouched -  may well have contributed to the fact that where I'd cut stuff off did produce more shoots as the summer progressed. 

One way to establish whether there's still hope might be to take a sharp knife and slice/scrape a bit through a bit of the bark of what you have left.  You'd probably be able to see then whether it looks "white-ish" or definitely dead.  It won't look particularly green beneath the surface, but I think if it's definitely dead you'd probably be able to tell.


Posted: 16/03/2014 at 10:10

I've found that they don't need the height of the sort of wigwam I make for runner beans, so have used some left-over plastic-coated metal mesh/netting instead. 

It's about a yard or so high - and was what I had left over when I got some to fix to my driveway gate.  This was to stop the dogs getting out - and I wondered what to do with what was left over.  I made  it into a tube shape, pushed it (vertical) as far into the ground as I could & then used two or three lengths of bamboo (woven  through it & then down into the soil) to act as reinforcing "struts".  It worked very well ref peas - I could easily reach them both inside and outside the "tube", which is something you can't easily do with a wigwam shape.

Monty don new presenter for Chelsea

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 10:22

I reckon the best balance would be The Expert and The Average Gardener, so that one could answer the more "technical" questions and the other could be the one who asks them!  I think I've said this before, but will repeat it anyway (!) - whatever's transmitted is almost always the version of what the producer thinks is best, rather than anyone else's ideas, so it's not fair- in my opinion -  to lay the blame at the feet of whoever's in front of the camera. 

international gardeners

Posted: 12/03/2014 at 10:08

Floradog'll be asleep now, I expect - but from what he says I think he could be on the Gulf Coast - Texas perhaps? - mention of "bayou" and shellfish needing some salt in the water.............  my D lives in Texas, not far from the coast, and I know they've had some really cold weather at times in the past couple of years.  Lots of the sub-tropical plants, which are common in gardens there, have really suffered.  Hailstorm damage too - resulting in some cars being so badly battered  by huge hailstones that they've been "written off", and people needing to have house roofs repaired and even completely replaced in some instances........and we think we get odd weather here in the UK!

Too early to chit?

Posted: 11/03/2014 at 12:53

If it's of any help, maybe you'd be interested to know that the commercial potato producer round here has just finished planting potatoes in the field at the back of my house.  They don't chit them - any shoots would be knocked off during the mechanical planting process - so I guess they think now's the time to plant spuds for maximum yield. As far as I know they've planted a variety of maincrop potatoes, because I've been told that what they grow usually ends up as frozen chips!

The first one I've seen this year - 2014

Posted: 08/03/2014 at 19:20

Saw lots of pink things today - a rhododendron & a camellia in full flower, and  "pinks" in someone's front garden rockery.  Two weeks ago there was a tortoiseshell butterfly fluttering in one of the windows in church,

Gardeners World 2014 BBC2

Posted: 08/03/2014 at 19:06

I agree with Edd!  I think the problem with lots of TV programmes these days is that the people who produce/organise them aren't in any way personally involved with the subject they deal with.  This is bound to result in the sort of arty-farty shots which we see in lots of programmes, where what we really want to see are clear and steady close-up shots of what the presenter is actually doing.  It's so easy to blame whoever "fronts" these programmes - they probably have no real  "say" in what is eventually transmitted. 

 A few years ago I was present when one of those "property programmes" was being made, and it was interesting to see what finally ended up on my TV screen!  At least one of the shots was repeated four times...........  I'm sure the car involved didn't actually go down that particular bit of lane as often as that!

Carrots, Parsnips - Manure?

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:15

Hello Mark - the problem with odd-shaped/forked carrots is that you end up with a poorer yield (i.e. what ends up on your plate) because you end up peeling a whole lot more off each individual carrot.  OK if you just scrub them & cook them, but most people don't do that.  I sometimes wonder whether anybody's actually weighed, say, a potato, before & after peeling, just to see how much of it they throw away!

Ask Alan

Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:08

I'd like to ask Alan what particular aspect of gardening gives him the most satisfaction/enjoyment, and is there anything he dislikes doing (for instance, I hate mowing grass but love doing all the other stuff) 


Posted: 07/03/2014 at 11:03

It's nothing to do with birds' nests.  Unfortunately it's a virus of some sort which has appeared in the UK in the past few years and seems now to have spread everywhere.  I've noticed that some varieties of conifer hedging seem to be more affected than others, but there's no really effective way of preventing it or dealing with its presence, so far as I know 

After the nesting season, you might be able to deal with the brown/dead patches by removing them and tying the remaining branches across the resulting gap.  That's what I'm going to try!

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