Latest posts by Tomsk

Tree ID Please

Posted: 14/06/2016 at 14:27

Somehow, a tree has started growing in my garden even though there are no trees anywhere near and birds don't land in my garden. Droppings from birds flying over, perhaps?

Anyway, can anyone identify it, please?

I've spent ages Googling tree leaves but a lot of them look the same to me. Perhaps it's a beech tree of some sort?

I have nowhere to grow a full tree in my tiny garden (and would be scared of the roots doing damage), but how long could I keep it in a large planter before it needs transplanting into proper land?

Big lily plants

Posted: 10/06/2016 at 12:01

I planted some lilies a few years ago (sorry, can't remember the varieties) that grew to their expected heights of between 0.8–0.9M. They tended to produce a couple of flowers each.

This year they're all growing taller, with the ones in the best sunlight already at 1.4M and still looking nowhere near ready to flower. They're also developing loads of heads — 10 at least but some with 15 tiny buds so more may appear yet.

Is this normal for lilies, both the height and number of flowers, and the way they've taken 3-4 years to suddenly grow bigger?

Or is it just a good year for lilies?

Foxes & Cats

Posted: 17/05/2016 at 15:35
I walked past the same house again yesterday and there were no cats outside but... I did spot the fox curled up under a bush. It must live in that front garden but only has the confidence to sit in the open when the cats are around.

Twin bulbs in packet

Posted: 17/05/2016 at 15:32

I bought some lily bulbs a month or two ago and only got around to planting them today. They were already sprouting in the packet when I opened them.

There were supposed to be three bulbs in the packet but two of them were sprouting twin stems and looked like two half bulbs fused together. I take it these were probably older bulbs that were propagating?

I snapped them fully in half (which was quite easy) and planted them in separate holes. Did I do the right thing, or should I have left them as one?

I wouldn't be surprised if they come up blind this year, as happens with tulips when their bulbs do this, but does it mean next year I'll end up with 5 lilies instead of the three I paid for?!

Foxes & Cats

Posted: 16/05/2016 at 11:29

A couple of days ago, I was walking home past a suburban house in the afternoon (bright sunlight) and was surprised to see a fox and two cats keeping each other company outside the house. The fox was curled up trying to sleep, but raised its head and got a bit nervous when it saw me walk past. Literally a foot next to it was a cat sprawled out cleaning itself happily, and up on a box next to them both was another cat just sitting there enjoying the sun.

Has anyone else seen foxes starting to make friends with cats and being so comfortable to hang around with them outside someone's front door? The fox clearly felt more comfortable being part of a 'pack', and will probably learn from the behaviour of the cats not to be so scared of people and feel a sense of 'home'.

Last edited: 16 May 2016 11:32:19

Bees in chimney

Posted: 16/05/2016 at 11:24

Thanks for the replies. I was going to try to take a photo of them but none have come down the chimney for the last couple of days. I did hear one buzzing inside it, but it must have gone back up and out rather than down into the living room.

There are also no flowers in bloom in my garden at the moment. The last of the tulips died and it's too early for the lilies, dahlias and gladioli.

Bees in chimney

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 13:31

I have a chimney that gets used every winter t burn coal, and suddenly there are lots of bees falling down it. Sometimes, from the garden, I can see a few of them flying around the chimney pots. These are black bees that sort of look half way between a honey bee and a bumble bee. Are they the African bees introduced to the UK a few years ago to help boos falling populations?

Anyway, assuming they've made a hive either in or close to my chimney, are they likely to leave at the end of the year and not come back? Do they leave eggs in the hive that will turn into bees and leave next year or anything?

I don't want to harm them, but I will need to light fires again in the winter. I tried burning some paper several times to cause smoke. There's no problem with the smoke going up, so the chimney isn't blocked, but it hasn't scared them off.

Identify a fly

Posted: 14/04/2016 at 17:14

Thanks for the replies. Glad to know they won't lay eggs in bulbs and kill them or anything. Not sure what they're living on since there's not any rotting stuff at the moment, but they're welcome to stay.

Identify a fly

Posted: 13/04/2016 at 17:19

I have a load of flies living in my tulips. Does anyone know what kind of flies they are, and whether they're a pest to flowers?



Chameleon tulips!

Posted: 10/04/2016 at 20:11

I bought some yellow and red 'Helmar' tulips a few years ago and they were beautiful the first year. The petals were mainly warm yellow with bold red around the bottom end that joins the stem. The following year they were more or less all red.

They just flowered and are now completely red. It's annoying as I bought these premium bulbs but now they look just like the cheaper, basic red tulips.

Discussions started by Tomsk

Gladioli seeds

Do the flowers turn into seeds? 
Replies: 4    Views: 460
Last Post: 24/09/2016 at 19:22

When to pick carrots?

Do you have to pick them at a certain point? 
Replies: 2    Views: 567
Last Post: 15/06/2016 at 23:14

Rosemary beetles

How to get rid of them 
Replies: 5    Views: 476
Last Post: 15/06/2016 at 21:14

Tree ID Please

Unexpected tree growing in garden 
Replies: 5    Views: 582
Last Post: 14/06/2016 at 17:55

Big lily plants

Lilies growing bigger than usual 
Replies: 1    Views: 349
Last Post: 10/06/2016 at 13:10

Twin bulbs in packet

Bought lilies, some bulbs were 'twins' 
Replies: 1    Views: 444
Last Post: 17/05/2016 at 17:51

Foxes & Cats

Saw a fox with a couple of cat friends 
Replies: 7    Views: 588
Last Post: 17/05/2016 at 15:35

Bees in chimney

Lots of bees suddenly coming down chimney 
Replies: 6    Views: 974
Last Post: 16/05/2016 at 11:24

Identify a fly

Are these red-headed flies a garden pest? 
Replies: 3    Views: 600
Last Post: 14/04/2016 at 17:14

New Moth

Chrysalis just opened 
Replies: 5    Views: 625
Last Post: 08/04/2016 at 18:42

Found a stray frog

Advice on what to do 
Replies: 5    Views: 887
Last Post: 11/03/2016 at 08:52

Tulips in cold weather

Fully grown tulips won't open because of cold weather 
Replies: 13    Views: 963
Last Post: 29/03/2016 at 21:01

Growing garlic

First unplanned attempt at the wrong time of year 
Replies: 6    Views: 1033
Last Post: 08/03/2016 at 15:00

Daffodils Disappeared

Most daffodils failed to grow this year 
Replies: 5    Views: 955
Last Post: 18/04/2016 at 10:58

Curly dahlias

Dahlias growing curled and folded. 
Replies: 1    Views: 498
Last Post: 28/07/2015 at 20:23
1 to 15 of 63 threads