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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Eric Bray – My old camellia trees (at least 30 years and 12 – 15 feet high) have grown very yellow leaves this year, although they are full of flowers. I presume they are hungry, but what is best to feed them with? Thanks.
A: If your camellias have thrived so well so far, this looks like a recent problem. The soil may have got too soggy over the last year, …Read More