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John Harding


Latest posts by John Harding

Help identifying plant

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 14:40

Hi Ricky, welcome to the forum.

There are a couple of RHS books that are very pictorial and helpful, though they are quite expensive. One I use a lot is The RHS Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants and Flowers. As nutcutlet says there are a lot of people on this forum with a vast knowledge of plants and flowers and love the challenge of identifying them. Regarding putting photos on the site it helps to make sure the pics don't exceed the file sizes the forum can cope with. If you have the software to adjust them an ideal file size is 1024x768 pixels. These can then be easily opened and zoomed in on by clicking on the pictures in your post. Regards, John H

How did you get into gardening?

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 11:32

I grew up in a little Buckinghamshire village of Seer Green in the late 1940s. Our neighbours were my aunt & uncle and they grew cars: Austin 7, Austin Ruby, various Vauxhalls and Fords + an old Morris van - in fact anything with an engine in it!

Dad on the other hand was a keen gardener, mostly out of necessity after the second world war when everything was rationed. We had a dozen apple trees in the garden and a veg plot + an area set aside for chickens (gave us fresh eggs and manure and occasional chicken dinners). I had my own little plot to grow things but being a young boy it did get a bit neglected at times!!!

Then we moved to High Wycombe about 10 miles away when I was 9 and Mum & Dad took on an allotment in addition to their garden and I was able to help (carrying cans of water the 200 yds to the plot, helping with the weeding, and best of all picking the crops when they matured).

Mum loved to do the garden at home mostly and had a beautiful rose bed in the front garden which neighbours used to admire and a large rockery in the back (at least it looked large to me then!) She still loves her garden but at almost 100 she can't do it herself anymore so my sister & brother in law keep it tidy so she can still see it & get pleasure from it.

When I got married in 1966 we came to live in Bristol where we have lived in the house we bought then. The garden was a bit of a mess with bonfire holes dotted around and an old asbestos garage the previous owner had accidentally driven right through into the garden one day. My early gardening experience came into its own then and we have gradually built up to what we have now. When our children got married we halved the veg garden and did a complete re-design to what you see today (above left) so instead of 2 lawns with crazy paving up through the middle I designed a kidney shaped lawn & moved the path to the right and increased the left hand border size in width.

Courgettes

Posted: 22/06/2013 at 09:30

Just a couple of pics of the courgettes + 1 of an Iris that has flowered at last. The Iris usually flowers 1st week in June so it's about 3 weeks late this year.

Black Forest F1

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/26013.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

Supremo F1

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/26014.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 Iris (I don't know the variety)

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/26015.jpg?width=384&height=350&mode=max

 

 

Courgettes

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 22:49

It depends on the variety you are growing. Last year was a disaster for courgettes in my garden, cold, too much rain & not enough sun! Year before I grew Partenon and we got 30+ courgettes from each plant. This year I'm growing 'Black Forest F1' and 'Supremo F1'  both from Dobies Seeds of Paignton. I've never grown either before but picked 4 today from Supremo (2 each from 2 plants). The Black Forest haven't flowered at all yet but they are looking very healthy. Black Forest are a trailing variety & Supremo are Bush. Courgettes won't produce as many if you let them grow too big before harvesting them. I like to pick mine when they are around 5-6 inches long. I tried the yellow ones for a couple of years but they were nowhere near as prolific as the Green Partenon so although they look very attractive in the garden I haven't bothered with them this year.

Courgettes

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 19:07

We picked our first 4 this afternoon and cooked them as a veg with our evening meal YumYum!

Best Compost 2013

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 18:54
AndytheScientist wrote (see)

John i noticed you have a hoselock tomato waterer thingy.. How do you find it? We got a couple for my grandad as he can forget to water stuff due to his altzeimers. His seem to be doing well (from the plants i grew him).

 Hi Andy,

I have traditionally had poor results from my tomatoes because running my own business as a master locksmith I was often not around to water the plants when they desperately needed it, especially as OH never remembered to water for me! (No criticism of her I hasten to add, she has always been very busy looking after the home, children, being our accountant and helping elderly people etc. [an absolute Gem]).

When I saw the Hozelock product it answered all my problems and I have to say it is brilliant. I only bought 1 as a trial but will definitely buy more next year. Ironically I have now retired and have more time to look after my greenhouse but it's still one of my better buys. Wish they'd been around years ago! Price varies from retailer to retailer but they are also available on ebay where you can compare prices and carriage charges. I do find a lot of ebay sellers make a low charge for the product but then hike the delivery charge so it does pay to look at the overall price.

There are 2 styles of the Hozelock product so make sure you are buying the right one for you. Mine was £19.99 in a local Garden Centre inc Vat

 

 

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 11:29

'tiz my age y'know!

The daftest thing you've done in your garden

Posted: 21/06/2013 at 10:51
little-ann wrote (see)

ping

Me too, maybe it's my age but I don't understand the 'ping' thing. Can anyone enlighten? 

Oh dear what can the matter be?

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 22:55

I have a 'family apple tree' having Bramley Seedling, James Grieve and Cox's Orange Pippin on the same tree which are all pollinators for each other. (50th birthday pressie from my daughter 18 years ago!). Same thing this year though, we do have a few apples but there were very few bees about when the blossom came out. There is something called 'June Drop' when unpollinated fruit will just drop off the tree. Those that do survive and grow to maturity do need thinning out if there are a lot on 1 spur. This is because later on when the fruits grow large they will compete for space and 'windfalls' will occur - except they aren't always 'windfalls' but the weaker ones (though quite large) will be forced off the tree by their adjacent fruit and drop to the ground. The bruises that become evident aren't just from the ground contact but from the pressure of the apple left behind which can also suffer. Bramleys (I notice) are particularly subject to this because they do grow quite large.

Frustration

Posted: 20/06/2013 at 22:40
AndytheScientist wrote (see)

Believe it or not but i killed a lobelia, i put it in semi shade, in a moist ruch soil, and it died.. I guess they don't like clay. I think last year (1st in garden) i killed 4 plants, the lobellia, a delphinium (eaten by slugs), Blue Verbascum (eaten by slugs), a tree heather (not sure what killed it to be honest just went brown, cheif suspect was the cold easterly winds). 

I can't complain too much 4 from dozens and dozens of plants can't be too bad.

I suspect the tree heather died because clay soil will most likely be alkaline (PH7 ish) Heathers like acid soil and in my experience don't survive let alone thrive in alkaline soils.

Discussions started by John Harding

What's eating my winter Spinach?

Replies: 9    Views: 261
Last Post: 19/11/2013 at 09:12

Email notifications

 
Replies: 14    Views: 282
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 06:34

Is it me?

Replies: 5    Views: 266
Last Post: 28/06/2013 at 22:42
3 threads returned