Latest posts by Joe_the_Gardener

pruning native trees

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 15:54

Carole B,

How big is your garden? Are you being too ambitious in a small plot? Many of the problems I find are simply caused by people planting things without looking 20 or 30 years ahead. Forest trees in a small garden are simply not appropriate. The rowan and wayfaring tree can be selectively thinned and the leading shoot shortened any time now; the hazels, as has been said, can be cut to 6 inches; the field maple could make 60 feet high and 40 feet wide, so think on; and unless the crab is on a dwarfing rootstock it will also turn into a big untidy tree, as will the hollies.

So look around for wildlife friendly trees, shrubs and perennials of a suitable size, and if you want to look after woodland edge habitats perhaps you could go and help with National Trust, Woodland Trust or local Wildlife Trust schemes - they'll be glad to have you.


Posted: 04/08/2013 at 15:38

Fairygirl - don't knock the white butterflies! There are three common whites:  Large, Small and Green-veined, and they are just as interesting as the Tortoiseshell, etc.

Auntie Betty, I doubt that you've seen a Large Blue in Yorkshire - there are only a few colonies on downland in the south of England. If you're in Yorkshire you should be able to find Green Hairstreaks in May/June - a local enthusiast ought to be able to help next year.

Paul, I believe the reintroduced Large Blues were from a Swedish race that was more or less identical to the extinct British one. Not quite sure what you mean by advocating 'More action ... and less surveys'. The records are littered with amateur introductions of all sorts of fauna and flora. For instance, a few years ago it was a scandal that well-meaning enthusiasts were releasing captive-reared Barn Owls into habitats that were unable to support them, and they mostly ended up dead. As for less surveys, how do we find out what we've got? I'd be interested to see some references for the Isle of Wight Large Tortoiseshells. Agree with your call for better habitats for insects.

something for all you mole haters

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 14:50

They have a unique sense of humour on GQT - not to be confused with the normal sort!

Horsetail - can I nip it in the bud?

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 14:40

Agreed, Dove. The good quality of the soil is implicit in the contract that you agreed with the supplier.

Petrol Strimmers

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 08:01

For what it's worth, I find the Stihl FS90 manages everything I want to do. The 50 is a bit underpowered for matted grass and lots of bramble, so you will get more wear.

Anyone any experience with DR field & brush mower

Posted: 20/07/2013 at 07:52

Have a look at the RHS website and your local wildlife trust. There are lots of sites which have not been updated as regards banned herbicides, in particular Asulam, so beware of these.


Posted: 20/07/2013 at 07:40

It seems that for many years records of Large Tortoiseshells have turned out to be misidentifications or releases of captive stock. There are people in many parts of the country who release captive-bred butterflies and other creatures just for what they see as the fun of it.

Help I don't want my plum tree to die!

Posted: 03/07/2013 at 20:56

What is the soil like and how much have you watered it since planting?

Rogue hedge trimmer outrage!

Posted: 03/07/2013 at 20:54

The  man is evidently not fit to do anything that demands skill and knowledge. Is there a boundary other than the hedge (i.e. a fence); in other words is it clear that the top of the hedge is yours and not your neighbour's to do what you want with?

Why did you let him carry on doing what you didn't want him to do?

Something to block out sound of neighbours voice!

Posted: 30/06/2013 at 16:34

Don't need sympathy, Dove - I'll have 'em! But if you look through RD's posts, there's a lot more than the odd loud comment. At least the Local Authority will give clear advice as to whether the neighbour is committing a civil nuisance, or whatever the terminology is. If they don't feel they have any powers in this case so far, then there are some sensible suggestions, as well as naughty ones, on this thread. The thing to remember is always to act reasonably and stay within the law, avoid accusations of harrassment, etc.

Discussions started by Joe_the_Gardener


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