Kate Bradbury

Latest posts by Kate Bradbury

Bee friendly plants for hanging baskets

Posted: 29/02/2012 at 15:13

Hi Bowdeeka, I'm doing the same thing this year. I know it's not a classic garden plant, but I'm going to try bird's foot trefoil in hanging baskets - I think it will look lovely. It's a favourite nectar and pollen plant with bees, and some species of butterfly breed on it. You could also try phacelia, which is more often used as a green manure. The flowers are gorgeous and will flop over the side of the hanging baskets beautifully, and are also incredibly popular with bees. You won't be able to find these plants at garden centres though, you'll probably have to grow them from seed. I've had a quick look on Google and phacelia seeds are available from a few companies, both as a green manure and a cottage garden annual. Bird's foot trefoil seeds are available from wildflower seed merchants, though you may have some growing in your lawn!

More traditional plants to try include nepeta, cranesbill geranium, salvia. If you have these plants growing in your garden you could just divide them and plant small chunks in the hanging basket.

Hope this helps

gardenersworld.com team

after watching Sarah Raven

Posted: 29/02/2012 at 14:58

Hi Graceland, if you do a web search for 'meadow anywhere', you will find details of bee and butterflyy-friendly wildflower seeds ideal for sowing on to bare earth. Hope this helps!


gardenersworld.com team

Snowdrops and bees

Posted: 29/02/2012 at 14:51

Lovely photo AliP!

Wildlife flowers

Posted: 29/02/2012 at 14:50

Hi Trisha, it might be worth sowing the seeds into plugs, then planting them out as plug plants later in the year. I don't know which wildlife flowers you intend to use, or if the bank already has grass growing in it, but grass and other plants can quickly smother wildflowers. If you're just sowing an annual mix on to bare soil, wait until late-March or early April, as the seeds will germinate more quickly, reducing the chance of them being washed away. Mix the seeds with horticultural sand and water the bank before sowing. The sand will help keep the seeds moist, to a degree, and you'll be able to see where the seed has been sown. Perhaps check the weather forecast to make sure there are no heavy downpours due!

Hope this helps

gardenersworld.com team

Poly pests

Posted: 28/02/2012 at 15:09

Sounds like whitefly, pamajo. If you grow marigolds (tagetes sp) near the polyanthus, you will deter them naturally. Tagetes are strong smelling and can be grown in pots or planted in the ground. I always grow tagetes beneath my tomatoes, and never have any problems with whitefly.

Hope this helps


ground cover plants

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 17:38

Hi nip, try ivy, dog violet, vinca, and cranesbill geraniums. These are all low growing and grow happily in shade.




Posted: 24/02/2012 at 17:32

Hi anthonyhazell, it depends on the plants, really. It's a good idea to take the lid off the propagator a couple of weeks after germination, especially if condensation is building up, which can lead to fungal infections developing on the plants. If your seedlings are in a heated greenhouse then they should be warm enough. Perhaps you could acclimatise them gradually, by taking the lid off the propagator and leaving them for a few days, then potting them into seperate pots but leaving them in the greenhouse... then, eventually, when all risk of frost has passed (depending on how hardy the plants are), pop the plants out in the day time and bring them in at night, before eventually putting them outside. Hope this helps!


Potted ponds in Thailand

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 16:59

Try watercress, retired70eric. It helps remove algae. Just get a bag from your local supermarket and pop a bit in water, to encourage it to root. Then pot it up in soil-based compost in a pond basket, and top with a layer of stones. Gently lower it into your water feature and see what happens.  It should take a few weeks for the water to achieve a happy balance, but you should see an improvement. Fingers crossed.


Talkback: Mice in the garden

Posted: 24/02/2012 at 11:02

How lovely, angelstar958. Your wildlife wall sounds interesting. Do you have a photo you could show us?


scale insects

Posted: 23/02/2012 at 12:34

Hi cheekymonkey68, ladybirds and birds are the best and cheapest way to get rid of scale insects. The outer shell usually protects the scale insect from insecticides, so there's no point in spraying (this could also harm other wildlife). You can pick the insects off yourself, or wash off any residues of bug spray and wait for the ladybirds and birds to eat them.There's also a parasitic wasp you can buy (<em lang="latin">Metaphycus helvolus), but this option can be expensive.

Hope this helps<em lang="latin">


Discussions started by Kate Bradbury

Unusual bird behaviour

Replies: 13    Views: 1510
Last Post: 05/09/2014 at 21:02

Talkback: Queen wasp

Lovely x x 
Replies: 6    Views: 1466
Last Post: 21/04/2013 at 07:22

Talkback: Leaf-cutter bees

Saw my first leaf-cutter only a couple of weeks ago Richard. Didn't get a chance to look at its underside... Kate 
Replies: 4    Views: 1278
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 21:40

Potted ponds in Thailand

Just some of the many 'potted ponds' I found in Thailand 
Replies: 13    Views: 4681
Last Post: 24/02/2012 at 20:24


Replies: 5    Views: 2780
Last Post: 15/02/2012 at 14:45


Replies: 1    Views: 1412
Last Post: 17/12/2011 at 08:16


Replies: 4    Views: 1550
Last Post: 14/12/2011 at 20:26

Favourite tools

Replies: 17    Views: 2181
Last Post: 28/04/2012 at 10:06

Redesign of garden

Replies: 35    Views: 12376
Last Post: 15/03/2012 at 19:49

Seed buying

Replies: 7    Views: 2760
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 12:16

Plants still in flower?

Replies: 64    Views: 22351
Last Post: 19/01/2012 at 21:10
11 threads returned