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Latest posts by Joe_the_Gardener

plant i.d.

Posted: 21/07/2012 at 08:05

Carried unanimously!


Posted: 20/07/2012 at 17:39


Dunnocks have pretty complicated breeding habits - males can have two or three females, and females commonly have two males. Male and female territories are separate, but male territories are not exclusive to one bird, and you may have dominant and subsidiary birds, both of whom mate with the female, but only the dominant male will feed the young unless mating has occurred with the subsidiary male.

Not in the least brown and boring!

Talkback: Cleavers

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 10:46


I'm sure the Sweethearts name is more widespread than that - I know it from Gloucestershire - but the indispensible The Englishman's Flora by Geoffrey Grigson only lists it as from Somerset, but then language research moves on, and the book is 45 years old.

He quotes the Flora Vectensis (1856) as saying that it was commonly chopped up and fed to young goslings in the Isle of Wight. It is recorded in an old herbal as a cure for skin diseases, scurvy and piles, although what the exact treatment might have been in the latter case I don't know.


rejuvenating shrubs

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 10:13

I've seen Photinia growing between the central reserve safety barriers on autoroutes in France. They are cut mechanically to a height of about 1.5m. Photinias are very forgiving.

High Boundary

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 10:09


What plants are in your present hedge, and has it always been 11 ft high while you've lived there?

Flobear's idea is a good one

The best way to find out what you're allowed to do in terms of boundaries is to go and ask the Planning Department rather than guess or take the advice of the possibly badly-informed guesses of others. Planners are very helpful, know the law and often have good alternative suggestions to make.

Don't forget that whatever you do it's got to have appeal for a future buyer of your house or your neighbours', so don't make a problem for them or yourself.


Can anyone name this please

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 09:53


Going back to your first plant (the one hanging on your door frame), it looks to me like Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rivularis).


Deadheading RhodedendonDead

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 09:48

Sorry, Lorelei. I originally asked whether there was any justification for the American advice (they referred to preventing fungal attack and reducing seed-set) and proposed a simple experiment to see whether dead-heading would make any physiological, as opposed to cosmetic, difference to the plant.

Losing interest in the thread, I inadvertently wrote 'pruning' rather than 'dead-deading'. Needless to say, I do know the difference!

Thanks for Millais's advice, Grandma. Again, it would be interesting to know if it's backed up by any objective research. Obviously, they have an interest in offering plants that look good.



Identify bug?

Posted: 19/07/2012 at 09:24

Sorry, Sue, didn't mean to appear pedantic.  The problem is that at some stage of being interested in these critters I found it useful to be a be a bit more analytical. Also, I used to get told off by a good friend who was a very skilled entomologist.


Deadheading RhodedendonDead

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 19:00

Which brings us back to whether the reasons for pruning (apart from appearance) suggested by the Americans have any validity.

Talkback: Cleavers

Posted: 17/07/2012 at 18:49

It seems to have been a good year for Goosegrass. It is annual that is quick to seed, so you need to pull it out early. The fragile roots don't make any difference - it's a new plant that comes up. I actually don't mind dealing with it; it seems to surrender quite easily.

Discussions started by Joe_the_Gardener


Replies: 20    Views: 478
Last Post: 19/09/2014 at 21:05

Useful tool

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Last Post: 24/03/2014 at 14:55

Gardeners World Quiz

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Last Post: 23/02/2014 at 18:21

Silver birch

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Hedging shears

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Last Post: 14/05/2012 at 20:05
7 threads returned