Latest posts by steephill

woodlice eating my flowers

Posted: 15/06/2015 at 10:41

Woodlice quite happily eat fresh strawberries not just rotten ones. Many times I have picked what looks like a perfect fruit only to have the little sods drop out of a neat hole they have excavated overnight.

poorly aquilegia

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 15:48

Same problem here too, not far from chicky. I wondered why such bullet proof plants were suffering and now I know.

ripening strawberrys

Posted: 10/06/2015 at 15:44

They will ripen fully by themselves in a few days now, just check every day and try to resist eating them before they are fully ripe.

Neighbour's roots lifting my driveway?

Posted: 03/06/2015 at 11:02

All species of tree can be covered by a TPO, there are very, very few exceptions such as a working commercial orchard. A TPO  can be applied to individual trees, groups of trees, an entire area or a woodland. So it is quite easy to cover all the garden trees in a village with a single TPO.

This is why no tree surgeon will touch a tree unless you can prove that it is legal to do so. There is no need to remove a TPO in order to work on it, you just need to get permission first. Most tree surgeons will help with making the application to work on a tree.

If a tree is under threat then an emergency TPO can be granted within a day. So beware of trying to take pre-emptive action. Your neighbours may not share your enthusiasm for tree destruction and report the matter to the Council. So the only sensible way forward is a civilised discussion with the tree owner, probably offering to pay for the work, the get a qualified tree professional in to help get permission and do the work.

Multi-bum stawberries

Posted: 02/06/2015 at 17:13

It doesn't look like cat-facing or a pollination problem. I have had examples of that problem over the years and that distortion looks quite different. My funny strawberries don't have any pinched areas, they are fully pollinated, plump, tender and delicious.

Having done a bit more research it looks like this is an example of fasciation - . This seems to be caused by cold dry conditions in the Autumn which is a reasonable explanation as I keep them in a cold greenhouse which doesn't see any Sun from October onwards. I also tend to keep the greenhouse dry after the growing season is over. I initially suspected virus problems because I have let these propagate for at least the last 15 years.


Neighbour's roots lifting my driveway?

Posted: 01/06/2015 at 22:42

First thing to check is whether there is a TPO in place which covers the trees. There is a good chance that there is and this will have a huge impact on the issue. With a TPO neither you nor your neighbour will be allowed to damage the trees in any way without permission from your Council even if the roots are causing problems with your drive. Fines for damaging a TPO protected tree are severe - up to £20,000 for destroying a tree even up to £2,500 just for causing damage such as cutting through roots. And there is no point in trying to plead ignorance, you would still be prosecuted.

Multi-bum stawberries

Posted: 01/06/2015 at 10:58



Apologies for the title but it is descriptive! I have lots of strawberry plants which produce these berries:-



Looks like lots of smaller strawberries merged together. The flowers seem normal and the fruits are delicious, just a funny shape .  I guess it is some sort of virus which produces them. Has anyone else had this happen to their strawberries?



Posted: 28/05/2015 at 16:43

Glyphosate is a chemical weedkiller, the trade name you will see on packs might be Roundup. Look for glyphosate as one of the listed "ingredients".


Large area Heather Planting

Posted: 27/05/2015 at 16:03

The National Trust are working to restore Hindhead Common and the Devil's Punchbowl to heathland so I would suggest contacting them. Not far away from there is Lynchmere Trust which is also doing similar work. Most of the task is getting rid of bracken and birch trees though and both use cattle to help manage the land.

Another common ground cover plant found on these acid sandy heaths is blaeberry/bilbery/whinberry/whortleberry. Well worth considering adding these to the mix.

My New Garden Friend....sorry I had to come and show off

Posted: 22/05/2015 at 01:17

Posted before but OL may enjoy this video of birds feeding in my garden I see our GSW family several times a day and it never gets old.


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