Kate Bradbury

Latest posts by Kate Bradbury


Posted: 04/04/2012 at 11:13

Hi Percy, as a compromise why don't you let the thistle flower but then cut the flower off before it seeds? Then you get to enjoy your thistle but it won't spread all over your garden.


Clearing a large area of Ground Elder

Posted: 04/04/2012 at 11:10

Hi Rose7, thick black plastic, cardboard or weed-supressant membrane (which can be expensive) for a year would probably do the job, though ground elder is quite difficult to eradicate. I'm interested to see that you're hoping to turn it into a wild area... ground elder and nettles are pretty wild already. Nettles in particular are fantastic for ladybirds, butterflies and moths, many of which are in decline. And ground elder has flat, umbel-type flowers, which are particularly suited to butterflies and hoverflies. So it might be worth saving time and effort and just leaving your wild patch, as it sounds like it is already a great wildlife habitat.


All year round Wall basket - drought resistant!

Posted: 04/04/2012 at 10:40

Hello NJJ272, it sounds like Mediterranean herbs are the perfect option for you. Does your wall get a lot of sun? First I would consider lining the baskets with an old plastic bag to conserve moisture in the compost (the coco matting liners should hide this). Add a few drainage holes so any excess water can drain. Then plant it up with lavender or rosemary. These plants thrive in dry, sunny conditions, so do well from a little neglect. The lavender will need deadheading and a bit of a prune to keep it in shape (many people do this after flowering, but I do so in spring, so the birds can eat the seedheads in autumn and winter), and you'll need to repot the plants every year or two, when they get rootbound. Lavender alone has attractive foliage, and of course lovely flowers in summer, and rosemary has pretty blue flowers in spring. From the size of your baskets I'd probably just go with lavender. You can have a mini, fragrant, bee-friendly hedge jsut outside your back door!

Hope this helps


Bluebells, Bluebells!!!

Posted: 04/04/2012 at 10:15

Hello April. It sounds like the area is pretty perfect as it is. What about adding some wild garlic, which traditionally grows with bluebells, and will provide ground cover from early spring to autumn.


Talkback: Ladybird pupae

Posted: 02/04/2012 at 14:56
@alittlesliceofeden - yes, I think we do need to accept change. But interesting that our native parasitoids are targeting the harlequins as well. Nature always adapts.

@oldchippy - I hope the introduction of the Japanese knotweed beetle will be successful!


Carol's beehive

Posted: 22/03/2012 at 18:56

Bumblebees MrsI!

Talkback: Making nettle beer

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 08:27
Oh that's good. It sounds like Mrs oldchippy likes things ship-shape. A clump of nettles around your compost bins will work wonders.


Non Flowering Daffodills

Posted: 21/03/2012 at 08:17

Oh well you're doing better than me! I've decided my garden is too shady for daffs


Wildlife Ponds

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 15:29

Hi MrsSpratt, an old bath makes a good wildlife pond, as long as it has plenty of shallows (tricky with such steep edges). You'll need to seal the plug hole and overflow pipe using a pond sealant (available from aquatic shops). Then I would take some large stones or slabs and use these to create shallows (5cm deep). This is where frogs will spawn in spring.

Choose a sunny site for your pond and inlcude lots of native pond plants - such as marsh marigold, frog bit, hornwort and brooklime.

If you do sink the tub - which is fairly easy to do - make sure wildlife can enter and exit the pond easily. Consider sowing grass seed around the edges and allow it to grow long, which young frogs and toads will use to shelter in. Avoid filling the bath with tap water, but let it fill up naturally instead. This will ensure a healthier pond in the long run.

Hope this helps

Gardeners' World team

Carol's beehive

Posted: 20/03/2012 at 14:55

Hi louiseww, we believe the bees are doing very well. If you would like to know more about natural beekeeping, visit biobees.com.

Gardeners' World team

Discussions started by Kate Bradbury

Unusual bird behaviour

Replies: 13    Views: 1508
Last Post: 05/09/2014 at 21:02

Talkback: Queen wasp

Lovely x x 
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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: 1277
Last Post: 05/07/2014 at 21:40

Potted ponds in Thailand

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


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Last Post: 15/02/2012 at 14:45


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Last Post: 17/12/2011 at 08:16


Replies: 4    Views: 1547
Last Post: 14/12/2011 at 20:26

Favourite tools

Replies: 17    Views: 2178
Last Post: 28/04/2012 at 10:06

Redesign of garden

Replies: 35    Views: 12366
Last Post: 15/03/2012 at 19:49

Seed buying

Replies: 7    Views: 2759
Last Post: 06/01/2012 at 12:16

Plants still in flower?

Replies: 64    Views: 22334
Last Post: 19/01/2012 at 21:10
11 threads returned