Jess is in the Garden

Latest posts by Jess is in the Garden

Small Tree I.D.

Posted: 09/05/2017 at 14:25

Aah! Thank you, yes I'd totally forgotten the name.

Thanks again.

Small Tree I.D.

Posted: 09/05/2017 at 13:59

I see this little tree everywhere in front gardens and it is lovely, particularly in Spring.

What's the name, as I cannot recall it at all and wanted to plant one myself?

Does it need a lot of maintenance to keep that lovely shape?

Thank you.

Unknown bush or tree

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 11:12

Welcome  no idea which type though - goes beyond my knowledge! I'm sure somebody fare more experienced will come along and give you the exact name soon 

Summer plant for a large feature pot

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 09:37

A carex testacea, with its bronze/coppery leaves, with some geum Totally Tangerine growing through it, would look fab too.

Unknown bush or tree

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 09:22

Could be wrong, but it looks like a birch to me.

Last edited: 03 May 2017 09:23:58


Posted: 03/05/2017 at 09:20

Found this online:

"The answer is to eat the male flowers (dip in batter and deep fry) until the female ones appear. If the weather is cool, hand pollinate. Remove the petals around the male flower to expose the anther, then dab on to the female: one male will pollinate several female flowers."

My gran used to grow these in Italy, and I remember being a kid on holiday there, and her saying they only ate the male flowers!

This is assuming you want to try them - they are delicious 

Last edited: 03 May 2017 09:20:43

Ficus disease or normal phenolic glands?!

Posted: 03/05/2017 at 09:17

Thanks Pansy  knew I could rely on one of you top dogs to answer my query.

I had read that article, actually and I am also more convinced than ever before, that this is a strange ficus phenomenon, rather than a disease.

However, it doesn't explain why so many leaves drop - why would a tree do that in conjunction with secreting sap to attract pollinating wasps?! Especially as it has lost half its leaves. Seems counterproductive.

Or maybe it is being fussy for the first time in its life, secreting sap, then dropping leaves because it is having a proper ficus strop!

I think I'll let it recover from the trimming I did yesterday, then repot it into a slightly larger pot, with fresh soil. I wonder what the best soil would be - John Innes no.2?

I've also put it in an even sunnier spot and will turn the diva every day 

Did we kill the robin chicks?

Posted: 02/05/2017 at 17:50

Did we kill the robin chicks?

Posted: 02/05/2017 at 17:49


Our massive jasmine was home to a robins' nest, last year. They had a brood of 4 and it took flipping ages for them to fledgling their way around the garden, before they finally flew away.

T'was a tense and thoroughly nervewracking couple of days, I can tell you, with me and my family on magpie and cat watch! We left out an old roof tile for them to shelter under too, at night.

I've seen so many magpies raid the nests in trees, that I wanted to help these sweeties have a better chance! I know it's nature, but I'm a city woos 

I didn't feed them though - parents did that brilliantly, and stayed within range, swooping down to feed them all through the day.

I left the nest and they reused it this year!

Lovely birds and a lovely thing for my little girl to witness.

Ib191, I doubt you contributed to their deaths! They probably fell out of the nests poor things, 

Last edited: 02 May 2017 17:51:14

Ficus disease or normal phenolic glands?!

Posted: 02/05/2017 at 17:32

Hello All,

I posted about this a while back and had some replies, but the situation is ongoing and I really don't know what else I can do!

So, my 5ft ficus is about 8 years old and has been in exactly the same location, in a south east facing room with loads of direct sun and light, not near radiator, not overwatered, not underwatered, not fed in winter, not standing in water...for the past 6 years and has always been the picture of good health.

It normally sheds about 30-50 leaves every winter, just before spring, which I know if normal, as they are the older leaves.

I feed it now and again with Ahern rainwater mix and occasionally (maybe 2-3 times a year) spray it with SB invigorator spray.

I always thought they were dead easy plants, simply because mine always has been, but this winter/early spring, I noticed that the dried up leaves kept falling...and that there were the following things:

One, (never more) rather waxy white blob always at the base of the underside of the leaf stem, like this:

As you can see, any leaf with the white blob also invariably becomes yellower, mottled almost, with a strange, almost 'dusty' surface to some of the leaves. As the leaf becomes more and more mottled, it then dries up and falls off.

There is very little stickiness I can see anywhere.

There are no white blobs that move and I have looked under a microscope and not seen any sign of life! That said, I am no biologist, so if they are eggs, I wouldn't know.

There are absolutely no signs of any insects, either winged or wingless, anywhere, even in the soil.

The leave also become blemished on both sides.

I have taken rather drastic measures and watered it with a systemic insecticide, just in case, about 4 days ago. 

I have removed as many of the blobs as I can by hand (fun!), and also trimmed the entire plant.

I have removed all dead leaves from the pot, top dressed it with new soil and some Vitax Q4.

The pot is the correct size and it was only repotted 2 years ago. 

Apart from repotting it, which I am not even sure will do anything if it not pot bound, I have absolutely no idea how to progress.

After some research online, I have seen that many experts and amateurs agree it could be a normal (though weird) phenomenon of the ficus benjaminus type - in that they apparently have a phenolic gland under the leaf which exudes a sap that is meant to attract the fig wasp, in the wild.

However, others disagree and think it is a pest!

I dont understand - if it is a normal gland and this happens with focuses then:

- why has mine never done this in all the years I have had it, when nothing has changed?

- why do the leaves with the white blobs eventually dry up and die?

Surely if the blob is only sap and not a pest, this poor plant wouldn't be dropping hundreds of leaves??

Thank you in advance for all your help and sorry about the long post! I am desperate, as this was bought when my daughter was born, so I'm rather attached to it!

Last edited: 02 May 2017 17:34:52

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