Latest posts by Joe_the_Gardener

Very tall neglected pear and apple trees

Posted: 26/03/2014 at 12:24

I think that when we move into a new house the temptation is to adopt the garden the previous owners have left us. Then after a few months or years we wish we'd got stuck in to the job of changing things a bit sooner! Clearly we should retain things of real value or that are quirkily interesting, but equally there are other features which are bad and can only get worse. I don't think that the fruit trees you have inherited owe you anything; trying to reshape them to encourage fruiting will take a long time to work, if it succeeds at all. By then your new fruit trees will be cropping merrily.

I think the other posters are suggesting that there may be a lot in your new garden which is not worth preserving, and it may be worth going for a radical approach. For instance, will any fruit trees you plant be heavily shaded and therefore not do very well? And if you start to tidy and plant up the garden and then decide to get rid of these large fruit trees and leylandiis, will your work get trashed in the process? As Steve says, removal of large trees and stumps can be a little disruptive. I think your good-sized garden could look twice as big if you let the light in.

raised ponds.built out of sleepers and scaffolding boards

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 17:03

Quite so, Dove. But you've got to have an eye on other people's children too. Common sense should do the trick and everyone will have a great experience.

Magpie Seen Caching Food

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 16:59

There have been a lot of studies of Magpies hiding food for later use. They seem to have an accurate long-term memory for where they left it. They also nick other birds' hidden food.

Very tall neglected pear and apple trees

Posted: 25/03/2014 at 16:45

Patience. As a start I would carefully remove all the ivy from these trees to ground level and treat the cut stumps with a strongish mix of glyphosate or other suitable treatment. Be careful not to damage the tree bark with your tools or the ladder.

Next winter you will be able to see the shapes of the trees and start to cut out dead, crossing, weak or misshapen branches. But don't try to do much shaping per year or the trees will throw out loads of water shoots. You will probably have decided by winter which trees you want to keep (what varieties do you have?) and which others are not really worth the space they're taking up. Then you can look at planting some new trees which will crop much better and you won't have trouble picking them.

In the meantime, I'm sure you've got lots of other jobs in your new garden - you seem to have a lot of leylandii!


Posted: 24/03/2014 at 06:00

Fritillaria meleagris growing strongly - one or two buds showing; cowslips starting to flower; just finished planting out the irises that I split and potted up last autumn; Dapnne mezereum still a mass of flowers attracting the butterflies. There's no better time of year - until we get to the next bit!

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Posted: 23/03/2014 at 15:30

What are you referring to, Belgian?

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 18:35

Hummingbird HMs love lavender.

3' high raised bed advice welcomed

Posted: 22/03/2014 at 11:58

Whatever you build it from, it needs to be able to support 5 tons of soil; think about the weight of two Jeeps. And will concrete blocks look that nice, even painted blue? I suppose it depends on the style of the rest of your garden.

Chalk loving perennials

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:42

Campanula, Pulsatilla

Another 'what's this?' thread...

Posted: 18/03/2014 at 16:40

Or, as far as three of my customers are concerned, they smell horrible!

Discussions started by Joe_the_Gardener


Replies: 3    Views: 820
Last Post: 30/06/2015 at 09:06

Swifts in decline

Replies: 32    Views: 2203
Last Post: 02/07/2015 at 16:43


Replies: 20    Views: 1449
Last Post: 19/09/2014 at 21:05

Useful tool

Replies: 5    Views: 1009
Last Post: 27/04/2014 at 12:00


Replies: 12    Views: 1072
Last Post: 24/03/2014 at 14:55

Gardeners World Quiz

Replies: 0    Views: 922
Last Post: 23/02/2014 at 18:21

Silver birch

Replies: 2    Views: 940
Last Post: 15/02/2014 at 10:53

Hedging shears

Replies: 1    Views: 1204
Last Post: 04/12/2012 at 15:43


Replies: 1    Views: 1346
Last Post: 14/05/2012 at 20:05
9 threads returned