London (change)
Today 8°C / 1°C
Tomorrow 7°C / 3°C


Latest posts by steephill

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.


Bramley Apple Tree

Posted: 21/05/2015 at 13:01

I would remove all the fruit this year and allow one or two next year just to check that they are in fact the varieties you chose. Trees are long term investments and will do best if allowed to build roots first.

New Garden Project

Posted: 21/05/2015 at 11:58

Your plot reminds me of the viewers garden Chris Beardshaw is working on in the Beechgrove Garden series. Look for episode 6, about 6 minutes in to see what they have done.

Help needed please with laurel hedge issues...

Posted: 14/05/2015 at 23:10

If it is any consolation I have spent the last 20 years in sporadic warfare against laurel in my garden. It seeds freely and runner roots from a hedge are always trying to colonise. I turn my back on small shoots for a couple of years then I have to take down 8 foot plants. Neighbours have laurel hedges which are 10 feet high and 10 feet wide and it is rather amusing watching them trying to prune with shears. A hard weekend will see them take off 6 inches which will regrow 2 feet in a season.

When you do get your 8 foot hedge be prepared for the hard work or cost of keeping it in check. Nothing gets to 8 feet quickly then stops!

Discussions started by steephill

Helping with the deadheading

Replies: 7    Views: 477
Last Post: 18/08/2015 at 19:24

Multi-bum stawberries

Replies: 8    Views: 432
Last Post: 02/06/2015 at 17:13

Honey Bee swarms

Replies: 17    Views: 627
Last Post: 05/05/2015 at 20:29

Last year's carrots

Replies: 13    Views: 497
Last Post: 14/04/2015 at 21:29

Bird feeder video

Replies: 13    Views: 541
Last Post: 31/03/2015 at 14:14

Problem viewing on Android tablet

Replies: 6    Views: 584
Last Post: 12/09/2014 at 18:51

Hardwood cuttings from apple

Replies: 5    Views: 828
Last Post: 06/02/2014 at 18:32

Eating weeds

Beating the weeds by eating them 
Replies: 3    Views: 686
Last Post: 28/09/2013 at 11:21

Strange broad bean

Replies: 2    Views: 808
Last Post: 22/04/2013 at 18:42

Slow worms and roe deer

Replies: 2    Views: 2559
Last Post: 26/04/2013 at 21:26

Air pots

Replies: 3    Views: 869
Last Post: 19/04/2013 at 12:43

Bean confession

Replies: 5    Views: 1080
Last Post: 15/08/2012 at 11:16
12 threads returned