Latest posts by jo4eyes

Gooseberry Bush Being Eaten Alive

Posted: 28/05/2014 at 17:11

Yes sawfly!

You can pick them off by hand & squish them in the meantime, if you feel like it..... but a rotten job & you never get them all IME, sorry.

You can spray the bush, if you dont object to doing that, but again vigilance all season is needed.

BTW if there's any Solomons' Seal around check that for the same thing! J.

Shady blooms from seed - Help!

Posted: 13/02/2014 at 19:19

Hi Waterfall,

The plants mentioned by others are all good & most will cope in pots, so some colour is possible.

A climber I love & have growing on a N facing fence, beneath NDN's overhanging Leylands (!!), so not much sun, is Hydrangea Peteolaris. I've also got it on a N facing garage wall that gets afternoon sun, so that 1 does better, but is an older plant anyway.It's a shrub that's self clinging, which if you gave it a good start, you could plant direct into a 'pocket'. You'd need to guide it up there & secure it to start with, & it can be slow to establish. Well worth the wait though IME. The white flowers smell wonderful & even in winter the bark is a good colour.

With any climber going up the fence do make sure that the panels are in good condition though as future fence maintenance will be compromised.

You could also use it as a host for climbers in pots in front of it, space permitting.... J.

Shady blooms from seed - Help!

Posted: 11/02/2014 at 14:31

Is the tree in your garden or a neighbours'?

If neighbours then unfortunately no guarentee it will be felled. If yours then if done asap you will have some time to deal with the soil conditions you will be left with. The soil beneath/around will be impoverished so will need TLC to improve things before you can safely plant things.

To do that properly takes time & effort, so had you thought about using large pots/planters for annual flower seeds, summer bulbs etc.? That way you'll get some colour this year.

Gardening in shade is challenging but there are lots of plants that will provide colour, providing you do 1.preparation of ground & 2. reasearch, ask on here etc, about suitable plants, J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 17:03

Well I'd certainly secure the fence panels first. Usually a small block of wood can be hammered in between the panel & concrete post to fix the 'wobble'.I'd do that asap so you 1. dont lose a fence panel in any more gales & 2. are ready for coldframe arrival. Trying to sort it once damage is done wont be ideal!

Oh & if the panels need restaining/painting do it before you site the coldframe next to fence.

Try some vine eyes fixed to the panel, or even concrete post if poss- wear safety goggles if drilling into concrete .Then strong garden wire looped through those & around the coldframe frame/supports should do the trick. BTW I'd also check who owns the fence first......

If it's not yours then just use very strong twine to loop through the wooden panels, if they're up to it, & the CF frame as before. J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 15:30

It'll be better sited where there is some shade, unless you can be absolutely sure that you can well ventilate it every sunny day. No offence, but all of us have 'frazzled' things at some time! 

BTW as it's a tall one do make absolutely sure that it's well attached to the wall if possible. The tall ones can blow over! J.

verbena bonariensis help

Posted: 14/01/2014 at 15:06
Magical Meerkat wrote (see)


I bought this Verbena Bonariensis last year and it was great and flowered right into November/Dec. I went for a wander today and I see it is started to shoot. Should I have pruned it to the ground? or do you leave them to get on with themselves?

Sorry for the terribly blurry photo, I took it with me phone.

Thanks MM


As it's still relatively mild then it probably will still keep growing. So leave it for now. Once the weather does properly warm up then there may be some dead/dying bits which you can snip off. You may also spot self-sown 'babies' nearby later in Spring. Those can be carefully lifted & potted up/planted e/w.

If it produces new side shoots you can take those off as cuttings, which I try & do every yr. The normal time for taking cuttings is late summer/autumn for me, but they need overwintering in a coldframe/inside which you may not have.

Mine are still standing proud out there- shall investigate them around March, J.

Cornus alba Sibirica in Containers

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:21

A large pot would be best. Also stand it on a 'saucer' as Cornus like moisture, J.

Caring for Skimmia japonica

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:18

Agree with Dove. Problem is it's already been indoors for how long?

If you can it would be happier in either a coldframe to start with, then when the weather does warm up putting it outside. If you just put it out now, when we have some more cold weather it wont be happy.

You could also tuck it right next to a sheltered wall, & then it'll be much better, J.

How do i find out if we have any hedgehogs?

Posted: 07/01/2014 at 16:12

I've done that too Dove. We had a new solid wood side gate fitted & as I knew, from droppings, the old gate was a 'route' I asked the joiner to cut one out.

Trouble is a local cat can sneak through as well. He/she then hides amongst my Hosta pots to stake out the birds feeding nearby! (Said cat, I assume, has also buckled the the polycarbonate lid to 1 of my coldframes by jumping down from the fence onto it!!)

Last summer I found the 'nest' of dried leaves under a Leyland hedge where I expect 1 had hibernated over winter 12/13.

Daughter also woke her parents at about 3am one night, after a night duty, to show us her photo of our visitor!! J.

December planting

Posted: 10/12/2013 at 17:07

I agree. Get them in the ground asap as long as it's not waterlogged or frozen. They'll be pot bound I expect, so possibly try to ease their rootballs, but very gently.

I've just spent the last 2 days planting up an enlarged bed created by the collapse in last weeks' gales of 2 6ft trellis panels. Digging it over the soil was good to work in. The recent rain will help things to settle in nicely. J.

Discussions started by jo4eyes

Care & maintenance of elderly Bramley apple trees.

Replies: 2    Views: 3381
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 20:32

Suggestions for planting in a sunny, boggy site.

Replies: 5    Views: 1897
Last Post: 18/02/2013 at 22:38
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