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Latest posts by Topbird

Moving a rosé

Posted: 10/07/2013 at 16:45

Addict is quite right that the main root for this rose is likely to go very deep and it will probably be quite difficult to move successfully - that said, it's probably worth a go if you particularly like it.

I would also suggest that you try to identify the rose now (whilst it has blooms and leaves on). If you're lucky there might be a label tucked around the base. If there is no label try posting some pics on this site (showing blooms, leaves and some sort of measurements so we know how large the overall plant and the individual flowers are) & perhaps one of the rosaphiles can identify it.

Then you can buy a replacement for the front garden if

  • an autumn transplant is unsuccessful or
  • you feel you need to remove it before the autumn to allow your toddler to enjoy the summer weather

It is unlikely to survive being moved now without bags & bags of TLC - especially if you are sharing in the hot dry spell which is causing my plants to wilt!

Good luck.

Feline Invaders.....AKA Cats

Posted: 09/07/2013 at 23:34

I'm a cat owner / lover & I KNOW for a fact that my cat only uses MY garden for the necessary. This is primarily because ALL the neighbours in our road have (big) dogs (often several - we are very rural) & also because I am the only person for a goodly distance who has a garden with beds / borders / seed beds / veg beds etc. He has a little routine whereby he nips out for his morning constitututional after breakfast, does what he needs to do (I can see him) & usually comes back in again for the rest of the day.

So, - yes it's not nice digging up cat poo when you're planting / weeding, and yes - it's irritating watching him scrab around where I've just put in new plants but I have to tell you he does hardly any real damage - unlike the squirrels, pigeons, rabbits, mice, runaway dogs and, worst of all the muntjac that I have to contend with.

I think the government have more than enough on their plate without worrying about disturbed seedlings and cat poo. How on earth would you police this? CCTV? For cat poo....  Get real....

Prickly visiters.

Posted: 02/07/2013 at 08:53

....Hedgehogs need untidy corners...

LOL Dove - I should have a hedgehog ghetto in my garden!!! 



creating a new flower bed

Posted: 01/07/2013 at 13:05

Sorry Trevor - think I go along with the rest - easiest to work with nature than against it. Could you not have some really large containers for your acid lovers?

Another idea for your old pond might be for bog / marginal planting. You already have the hole, you probably have an old pond liner - punch a few drainage holes in the liner - fill it with soil / compost & you have an area which you can keep permanently damp. Just an idea...

Browning on conifers

Posted: 01/07/2013 at 12:20

Thank you for posting this item Sarah.

These bushes are beautifully pruned & I really hope you don't mind if I copy the idea - just what I need in my new border.

Do you know what your shrubs are?

Very best of luck & hope you manage to save them. Assuming you do - it might be worth investing in some garden fleece in case we have another harsh winter this year.

Help - fungus or mould on apple tree

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 14:21

Oops sorry Bob - your post sneaked in whilst I was writing - glad we agree...

Help - fungus or mould on apple tree

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 14:18

From the pics it looks like woolly aphids. They are well hidden in the waxy cotton wool type coating which is very effective at protecting them from insecticides.

Google the term for some pictures. If it is what you have I suggest an afternoon with a bucket of soapy water and a nail brush scrubbing them off. You probably won't get them all (esp if it's a big tree)  but you can control them in this way & they shouldn't affect the harvest too much. Many gardeners just try to keep these under control rather than full eradication.

Garden Voles

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 10:19

Hmmm - am just starting to notice this problem in my raised veg beds too.

So far, just a few holes but I know there are lots of critters under the nearby hedges. I  tried poking sticks down the holes, then flooding them with water before filling them in  & sticking a large stone at the top for good measure.

A few days on and the holes have not reappeared. Will let you know if this is a temporary or permanent solution.

PS. I wondered why my cat had taken a sudden interest in these beds a few weeks ago - guess I found out the reason. Might need to remind him of his duties if he wants cuddles and biccies.


Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 01:05


I've been gardening for years but only just got into fruit & veg so need to ask a bit of a silly question.

This year my kind neighbour gave me a few onion & garlic sets & seed potatoes which he had left over. They were put in in March & are now all romping away. The potatoes are in a couple of purpose made bags & the compost has been up to the top for a few weeks & the foliage is about 2' above this.

Silly question is... how do I know when to harvest? Do I have to lift the plants to find out if they're ready or are there some tell tale signs with the foliage? 

Thank you.

We have an unintended wilderness!

Posted: 29/06/2013 at 00:40

How large an area are we talking about here and how large a budget do you have? If it is a large area & you have some cash I'd be tempted to get a landscaper in with machinery!

You could consider some low maintenance shrubs and / or the gravel / patio idea if the area is suitable (gravel doesn't get as slippery in the winter if that's a consideration).  Using weed suppressant membrane and thick mulches should go a long way to controlling weeds leaving you with a little light pruning once or twice a year. Using mainly evergreens would mean you dont have to deal with loads of leaves in the autumn.

Honestly, a good landscaper is worth his weight in gold, won't necessarily cost the earth & will probably have some good ideas of his own. Cultivating a large area of ground is hard work how ever many miles you have on the clock. If you want to be more active in this just get him to do the hard landscaping & soil prep & do the planting yourself.

Enjoy the end result!

Discussions started by Topbird

Will Jeyes Fluid harm my Box hedge?

Replies: 4    Views: 201
Last Post: 16/03/2014 at 21:15

Growing strawberries

Replies: 4    Views: 294
Last Post: 14/07/2013 at 23:02

Harvesting spuds, onions & garlic

Replies: 3    Views: 593
Last Post: 25/07/2013 at 20:19

Dividing Perennials

Replies: 5    Views: 370
Last Post: 12/06/2013 at 10:34

Moving delphiniums at the wrong time

Replies: 9    Views: 912
Last Post: 20/05/2013 at 16:08

Is this Pea Weevil?

Something's chewing my pea seedlings 
Replies: 1    Views: 265
Last Post: 04/05/2013 at 10:49

Getting rid of daffodils

Rogue daffodils in raised veggie beds 
Replies: 6    Views: 806
Last Post: 27/04/2013 at 22:12
7 threads returned