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John Harding

Latest posts by John Harding

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 11:36
Birdy13 wrote (see)

Beautiful Clematis, John! And a lovely healthy looking Hosta in pic 2. 

The Hosta had just about outgrown its pot last season so a couple of months ago OH decided to split it and put part of it under the apple tree: it does seem to like it there.

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 11:28

For those who would like to know, OH has just pointed out I didn't put names to the plants in pic.1: behind the tree is Bistort Superbum, front of pic, Osteospermum, to left of pic under tree is Polygonatum (Solomon's Seal).

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 05/06/2013 at 10:28

Lovely & sunny here in Bristol this morning, I've been out with the camera to take a couple more pics to share:

1st is part of the South facing border under the apple tree


2nd, looking from t'other side of the apple tree (various colours Aquilegia, Allium, Iris, Hosta & others).


 3rd, A Weigela


 4th, 2 pics of a Clematis climbing the post of the Pergola


 Clematis Close up (this one is called 'Elsa Spath')



Greenfly by the million

Posted: 04/06/2013 at 07:41

There was a lady on TV a while ago who specialises in Hostas - not a slug to be seen anywhere and all the Hostas were perfect. "What's the secret" the presenter asked. She took a bulb of garlic and mashed it up & mixed it with water (I think it was about a gallon (5 Litres)). She then used that as her concentrate and added a little to a 2 litre sprayer, topped up with water and sprayed her plants. Slugs and snails hated it she said. If you use this method though remember to strain the concentrate before mixing as the tiny bits could block the sprayer jet or clog the filter if it has one. Don't know what the dilution would need to be for aphids though [I've not heard of the method being used to deter them]. John H

Greenfly by the million

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 14:53

Just looking down the garden this morning I've noticed sparrows on the roses having a good feed of aphids. There were quite a lot of greenfly yesterday & I left them 'till tomorrow! - There are virtually none left now to have to deal with. A few years ago the sparrows all seemed to disappear, now I notice this year there are plenty of them around. It was the reason I started growing white flowering runner beans, because sparrows constantly pecked off the red flowers of Scarlet Emperor and Enorma. (I now grow a variety called 'Moonlight' & they are brilliant, sparrrows don't seem touch them).

Greenfly by the million

Posted: 03/06/2013 at 07:54

Just type buy ladybird larvae uk into the Google search box and a number of sites will come up. There will also be some photos of them so you can identify them.

please help weed taking over my garden

Posted: 02/06/2013 at 23:18
nikki ca wrote (see)

Oh she is just one of them people I think. It just feels like a nightmare no matter how much I chop it back it comes back bigger and faster. Iv seen something called Scotts Roundup Ultra 3000 does anyone know if this is any good ?

Hi Nikki,

Roundup Ultra 3000 is a concentrated form of Roundup. I use Roundup on my drive (common access lane to garages). It is very effective. You can buy ordinary Roundup in a garden centre already diluted & ready to spray, or the concentrate to mix yourself. The Ultra 3000 is very expensive but better value for money because you don't have to use so much per litre of mix, but it doesn't do a different job than the ordinary so far as I can find out. When I say expensive our local garden centre sells a 1 litre can of 3000 concentrate for around £50 all bar a few pence. The thing with roundup is that it doesn't stay in the soil forever. You just spray the broadleaf plants and wait: nothing happens for 1-2 weeks and you begin to think "well that was a waste of time, effort & money" then you notice the plant wilting and going brown. That's how Roundup works, it goes from the leaves down into the plant and kills the roots. If you use it don't let any spray get on to other plants as they will die too. Also be carefull to mix the recommended dilutions.

Don't make the mistake either of using a garden sprayer you will use again for other purposes as I once did. I washed the container out 3 or 4 times thoroughly, pumped a couple of changes of clean water through the nozzle and used it to spray some cabbages for cabbage white caterpillers. This was very effective, the caterpillers all died of starvation because there were no cabbages left for them to eat!!!!  John H

Greenfly by the million

Posted: 02/06/2013 at 22:55

The natural enemy of greenfly & other aphids is the ladybird & ladybird lavae so if you see them on the plant don't try & remove them, they might be hungry!

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 02/06/2013 at 09:16

Hi Birdy, The spring things around the canes are called 'Twisters' (supports for climbing plants).  I first saw them last year at Hampton Court FS and bought 2 packs (they come 3 in a box). The idea is to thread about 12" (30cms) into the soil and peg the wire down with the peg supplied, then stretch the wire up to the top of a 5 ft cane and insert the wire into the cane. As the plant grows the trusses, fruits etc are supported by the wire and can be tied in if preferred. I'm using them for trailing type Cougettes 'Black Forest F1' to keep them off the ground. 1st attempt at using them was problematic as the leading edge of the wire just popped back out of the compost until I practised keeping the leading edge going downwards into the pot. They work every time now. I've added some pics below incl.

An idea for a Bell Cloche:

This bell cloche is a 19 litre water bottle from an office water cooler that I cut the top off, then drilled a hole in the bottom (which becomes the top) to let heated air escape. If you go to an Office water coolers depot they often get damaged bottles which are useless for their intended purpose and they throw them away. A local depot to me gave me 3 with no charge when I asked. This size can be upwards of £20 each if you buy them purpose made from a garden centre. John H

Garden Gallery 2013

Posted: 01/06/2013 at 21:37

Nice plants Reiver, Like the greenhouse too in the top picture.

Here's an idea I got from the RHS Cardiff flower show in April. I had a Pergola made 2 seasons ago specifically because I've always wanted a Wisteria (that's it on the far left post in top picture. The idea though? Growing Swiss Chard in containers. I've made some shelves to go between the uprights of the Pergola and put Swiss Chard 'Bright Lights' in the top one and sown Beetroot 'Alto' in the lower one. Btw the shelves are level it's me that's leaning! - the shelf at the other end of the Pergola has Strawberry plants in it for 2 strawberry loving grand daughters!


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