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We often receive gardening questions on our Facebook page to which we feel the answers would benefit everybody; from the beginner to the expert. Our in-house gardening expert, Gareth Richards welcomes all questions!

Gareth is highly regarded within the gardening industry. Gareth has had an interesting and varied career in horticulture having trained and completing, an honours degree in horticulture at Writtle College in 2004. Since then he has worked at a leading plant nursery, as a researcher for BBC Gardeners’ World, at a private garden in Provence – and he is currently working for the Royal Horticultural Society’s members magazine, The Garden.

To read Gareth”s latest Q&A session, please click on the articles below or just enter a keyword in our search-engine! We would also love you to participate by adding pictures of your own gardens. From the good, the bad to the ugly. We have found that people love to share and help where they can.

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Gareth Richards - Garden Expert
Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Q&A with Gareth Richards 29.04.15

Thank you you everyone that took part, below are Gareth’s answers to the questions asked on Facebook earlier this week!
Q: Linda Heaton How can I stop squirrels digging my bulbs up, they do it every day and leave them on top of the soil!!!
A: Hi Linda – there are a couple of tricks you can try. Best one is to put some wire mesh (e.g. chicken wire) over the bulbs when …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards 18-07-2014

Q: Margaret Deery – Was given some Evening Primrose plants and told the flowers pop open at dusk. Haven’t managed to see this yet but blooms are out in morning. Is this true?
A: Hi Margaret, it depends on the species of evening primrose. If you want one that definitely opens in the evening, try the ‘common evening primrose’ (Oenothera biennis). This species is also the one that’s used to make …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 20-06-2014

Q: Robert John Walker – I live in a limestone gorge in Matlock bath on a steep sloping site that gets limited sun from 8:30am to 3pm max. I love roses and tulips and grow some. What long flowering items would you suggest? Would azalea and rhododendron work?
A: Hiya Robert, for a really long-flowering shrub, try Abelias or fuchsias, they both flower over a very long period and don’t mind a …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 28-03-14

Q: Samantha Carmichael – Hydrangea that never flowers – help! Where do I clip it and when/is there anything I can do? One is three years old and the other is five. Thanks.
A: Hi Samantha – try giving your hydrangea a feed (universal feed, or a high potash fertiliser such as bonfire ash – have a look at this blog post for more info on feeding plants, and don’t prune it for …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 14-02-14

Q: Clare Madderson – Hi Spalding me again. I have 15 pots in my front garden, a lot are covered in moss etc, would it be best to put fresh soil in each of them to start again, and also the bulbs that are in there i.e snowdrops etc, can I just transfer them to the new soil? Thank you.
 Hi Clare, yes, it’s generally best to use fresh compost in your …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 24-01-14

Q: Dorothy Fillery – I have a walnut tree in the garden that seems to have crumbling bark, a lot of dead wood and Ivy covering a lot of it. What can I do to help save it?

A: Hiya Dorothy, it’s difficult to answer this question without seeing your tree but I can offer you some general advice. If your tree is struggling, it’s best to remove the ivy from …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Gareth Richards – 10-01-14

Q: Susan Purse – I always have plenty of flowers on my rowan (chinese lace) but never any berries, any reason?
A: Hi Susan, Plants can sometimes fail to produce berries for a number of reasons. Late frosts can damage flowers and they’ll fail to set. If the weather is very dry after flowering time, the plant can sometimes abort the young berries, meaning you’ll get no display later in the season. …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Daphne Ledward – 18/10/13

Q: Joanne Parkin- I have 2 large spruce (?) trees side by side in a very tiny garden the roots are draining and clogging the rest of the soil I want to grow perennials but the lack of moisture is making it hard work. Any advice please.
A: Have you thought of growing them in raised beds?   For best effect, they should be as big as looks sensible in a small …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Daphne Ledward – 20/09/13

Q: Valerie Glover-Hackett – Although I’m a seasoned – and usually successful – gardener, I have two bet noirs. No matter how I try, I cannot seem to grow cucumbers and Buddleias. The former seems to contract all sorts of virus’ and other pests, usually resulting in their destruction. The Buddleias are a different matter – I’ve always planted and pruned according to my books on the subject. I’ve tried …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Daphne Ledward – 29-07-13

Q: Mary Savva wrote – I have peonies – when do I get rid of the foliage as they have finished flowering?
A: I would leave the foliage intact. Peonies have fleshy roots that benefit from being fed by their leaves throughout the summer. Also, the foliage colours up attractively in the autumn, adding interest to the border.   Once this has faded you can cut the leaves down nearly to ground …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q&A with Daphne Ledward – 07-06-13

Q: Judith Cooper wrote: “We have an area of our garden that is shady and quite dry.  At the moment we have bluebells, forget me nots and sweet woodruff there but want something that will flower later in the year, also what plants will thrive under our native hedgerow?”
A: This is a difficult area for colour later in the season. I have a similar spot, and I find day lilies …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q & A with Daphne Ledward – 17-05-13

Q: Sharon Jane Culliford –  When is the best time to plant out tulips and daffodils?
A: The ideal time for planting daffodils is as soon as they come on sale from late August onwards, and ideally should be in the ground by Christmas.  However, daffodils are very forgiving bulbs, and I have planted them in the garden in late March – they flower the first year with no leaves, or …Read More

Q&A - Question & Answer about gardening

Facebook Q & A with Daphne Ledward – 05-04-13

Q: I have a rhododendron. All the leaves have brown spots on them. What is it and what is the cure?
Rhododendrons often suffer from leaf spots. These are caused by a fungal disease and are sometimes made worse by less than perfect growing conditions. Spray immediately with a fungicide, and repeat fortnightly throughout the growing season. You will not eliminate the spots already affecting the plant, but new leaves should be …Read More