I have a fuchsia collection in raised beds in my front garden. This area will become a builders site in a few months when we have an extension built. My plan is to lift the fuchsias ( about 50 of them, both H3 and H2) into pots which my kind neighbours have agreed to store. … read more


I have grown some Cape Gooseberry plants from seed. One is fruiting now but the leaves are going brown at the edges and yellow and the fruits are falling off. I water it about once a week. It is indoors.


Going planting griselinia hedging – any general advice re planting , depth , spacing and ground preparation including compost , soils and feed.


Can you please tell me what this tree is? Can I harvest the seeds to bring back and plant when I move back to Dublin next year? I want to be sure it’s non-invasive for Ireland too.


I have a beautiful bouganvillea which thrived all summer and is still covered in flower, how do I manage for winter? I have unheated greenhouse/ garage/ pantry. Would any of them be suitable to overwinter it?


I have a plastic compost bin. When I open the lid loads of earthworms fall down. Where do they come from? Are they on way in or way out?


My Dahlias and Rudbeckia have all been knocked to the ground. I will have to cut them all back now as I would have done after 1st frost. Will this have adverse effect on next year’s blooms. Also should I lift and store the dahlia tubers now or leave them until frost arrives?. I’m sure … read more


Spring-planted Portuguese laurel showing slight yellowing on some plants. Bonemeal was added at time of planting. Can you suggest a cause/remedy or, is it a seasonal thing?


I tried to sow Creeping Thyme as grass alternative last August. I dug few inches off the existing clay soil, I added chicken manure and one layer of compost, 10-15cm of westland nutrient rich top soil, then seeds mixed with sand all around the garden but it wouldn’t germinate (weeds are doing great though…!). I … read more


WE HAVE AN ORCHARD OF 18 APPLE TREES WHICH HAS BEEN NEGLECTED SINCE PLANTING 10 YEARS AGO. THERE ARE 10 VARIETIES ALL PURCHASED FROM SEED SAVERS THEY ARE HERITAGE APPLE TREES.AND WERE ORIGINALLY SUBJECT TO A FARMING GRANT. NOW WE ARE RETIRED FROM FARMING AND IN OUR 80.S HAVE MORE TIME TO TAKE FULL INTEREST … read more


When should i divide my enormous clump of crocosmia lucifer which has finished flowering?


When can I harvest my pumpkin? Is it too early to take it up now? I attach a photo. I have another pumpkin growing which is smaller than this one? I would like to take up the pumpkins as I need the space for winter planting.


We appear to have an infestation of vine weevils on one of our trees. we only noticed them because there was alot of wasps around them. we have removed as many of them as we can and used the spray but they keep coming back and usually another batch of them appears the following day … read more


I have an old (Not sure how old) red currant bush which produced about 2kg fruit this yr. It has been here since we moved in 2 yr ago. It sits right against the wooden fence in a very close to a gooseberry bush which it completely overpowers (you can hardly see the gooseberry bush) … read more


I have a bed of summer,mixed, and autumn fruiterer. Each year I prune my summer plants. I find there are berries unripe new on new green shoots. my question to you DO I REALLY HAVE SUMMER FRUITING RASBERRIES


I have freesias growing in a window box in the greenhouse. They flowered during the summer but have died down now, except for one. What do I do with them over the winter? Should I replant them in new compost and leave them in the greenhouse?


When is the right time to half ten foot wide hedge? It s 8 foot high.


If you look at the picture I have on tomatoes you will see that the leaves are somewhat burnt .Is it a fungus?


Patchy and stunted new sown lawn in April this year – any ideas ? – is it too late in the year for a product such as green comfort recovery


I unknowingly put in spreading/creeping bamboo into my garden. I now want to completely eradicate it! Last spring I removed it but it came back . I then used round up, the old strong stuff. It killed the leaves but not the roots and now I have more regrowth again. Through this soil there are … read more


We have 5 old apple trees and one old pear tree, all 10 to 15 feet high. They have always been good croppers and are professionally pruned every 2 years. In recent years, we have developed a huge problem with Codling Moth. We have used the traps each of the past 3 seasons. The first … read more


How can one fertilize a hedge (Portuguese laurel) planted in April of this year; given that the area surrounding the plants is covered with a weed-restricting membrane topped with bark mulch?


This is the plant I’m trying to identify


your advice was to cut the stem ?? above ground, My Q1 is how low? also, to put teaspoon undiluted Roundup into each stem. Q2 should i spray the ground around the plant? i never use chemicals in my garden so i am wary of using some now. i’m unable to do this job myself … read more


A few years ago we planted a cheery blossom tree about 5 foot from house but i have found out these can grow up to 25 feet, so i presume roots will go a lot deeper and spread. So i will uproot and replant but how far should i plant it from house. Or even … read more


My Norway Crimson king has been stripped of its leaves in a few days. When i looked closer it was covered in caterpillar like creatures. There was what appeared to be hundreds of soft brown hatched eggs on the ground underneath the tree. Should i leave it to recover or treat with a spray?


We are in the middle of having our back garden done. Living in Wicklow town in an estate with a south East facing garden . Relatively sheltered but with a steep slope at the back. We are putting decking at the bottom, outside the back door with steps up to a higher level of decorative … read more


We have a beech hedge planted over 20 years now . This spring one of them did not produce leaves now the two beside it has died.it is 6 ft trimmed twice a year each side and top . nothing sprayed on or near hedge.


My house of 25 yrs on a half acre has now had a new build dropped right in front of me in the neighbors site. I am looking into their kitchen and second level bedrooms. Suggestions for a suitable screen of evergreen trees or large shrubs wuold be very much appreciated


Should I cut day lilies back after they flower?


I have a peony rose in my garden for a good few years and it always flowered until last year and this year when I had plenty of leaves but no flowers what is the reason for this I include photo.


I bought a Philadelphus plant in Lidl about 5 years ago and planted it in garden but it never flowered all I get is plenty of leaves I include photo.


How can I prevent my unripe plums on the tree from being attacked by wasps as they are in full flight at the moment and the plums are not near ripe.


I downsized to a smaller house 4 years ago. My garden is a raised bed going fully around end house. One side just gets morning sun. Other side then gets sun later in day, I am so disappointed this year. All my clematis have wilted and gone rotten. I seem to have no colour.. Can … read more


I have a 4 year old hydrangea which has blossomed each year pink so this year I wanted to change it to blue which successfully worked after adding colourant. what I did notice however was these beautiful blooms have fallen over onto the ground and doesn’t look so good. Is there something I can do … read more


Accidentally sprayed Roundup on my vegetable raised bed, how long before i can safely use it ?


I have a laurel hedge which was planted in June 2010. The ground in which it is planted is a heavy clay soil type but I have a land drain running along both sides of the hedge and it is also planted up on a mound of soil which I got from digging the land … read more


I planted a Yellow Wall Virginia Creeper early this year, has been feed, mulched, watered as needed. It was very health in early spring with lots of new growth, but for past 2 months it slowly detoriated. Leaves looked like something was eating them so I sprayed with insecticide (caterpillars, whitefly, blackfly & other mites), … read more


I have 2 hamburg grape vines planted in a polycarbonate lean-to greenhouse. The rights are inside but in a raised bed 18″high. This is their 2nd season. There was a lot of growth last year. I pruned them back to train then up the wall. I dug in well rotted dung last November. They started … read more


I would be delighted if you could enlighten me as to what is causing the tiny holes on the leaves of my Victoria Plum trees and of course what would rectify the problem. See photo.


Can you please tell me when is best to prune this. I am getting conflicting advice on internet. It is about 15ft high and has really thrived but it needs some control. It has blossomed already. Do I wait till winter or can I cut back now? I don’t want to jeapordize next years display. … read more


While walking by Carlingford Lough I came across this singular plant. It was growing in thick undergrowth and seemed out of place on its own. Could you please identify it for me? Picture attached.


Seems to be tiny which flies at the tip of the the branches on my Viburnum bodnantense DAWN which is killing off the leaves. What can I do to put this right please?


Is it possible to transplant foxgloves into my hedge row? It would be similar environment. They are just starting to lose their flowers now. The same applies for some beautiful ferns and primroses?


Can you recommend and tell me where I can buy an organic weed killer. Buttercup, clover, daisy and dandelion are the problem.


I have 2 varieties of main crop potatoes – Roosters and Records. The Roosters are doing beautifully and in flower. I though that the Records were also doing well but they have failed to flower!!


I have a blue Hydrangea growing in a large tub of Ericaceous compost (it was blue when I bought it last year). The label says the PH level should be 4.5. I checked the compost and the level is 6+ and the flowers this year are red. How do I lower the PH to get … read more


I have a raised bed in a small unheated greenhouse. In summer I have tomato plants in it. Last winter I overwintered strawberry plants in it. this year I would like some colour in it for winter. Can you recommend anything? It fits about 10 tomato plants. The greenhouse is not made of glass.


Something is devouring my Pieris, see photo. Is it the dreaded vine wievel, and if so, how can I get rid of them?


I am growing cucumbers in my greenhouse. When should I start feeding them ? ..largest ones are 2/3 inches long.


Foxglove not looking too good, but I can’t find what’s eating it. Anything I can do now to improve things?


Loganberries planted in good soil and growing very well on 4ft south-facing wall for 3 years producing abundant growth and flowers but not one fruit. I dont over-feed them. Have no problem with raspberries.


I have blobs of jelly on my pebbles and wondering what they are. Here’s a photo beside my shoe to show the size. Searched internet but got no joy. 


I put quite a lot of unidentified plants in my garden and while doing a bit of weeding today I found this plant. Can you tell me what it is please?


greenhouse tomatoes(Shirley) very skinny and one fell over. all 3 have first flowers and about 20inches high .


we have four David Austin shrub roses very vigorous and floriferous. every may/june as they are growing strongly, branches which start from low down on the bushes fall over at the point where they grow from the main stem, and die. is it something i am doing when i pruned? with the heavy rain and … read more


I have a question regarding oak. The tree is already five years old and is growing in kind of bad place I wonder can I transplant the tree somewhere else, where it would have enough sun and more room.


I’m worried about courgette plant growing too large and smothering other plants of light it has already started to spread stalks and leaves over the pepper plant which is in the same growbag.


I have problem with slugs eating my fruit and veg leaves in greenhouse is there any natural way of keeping them away other than using slug pellets?


Hi, A tree (elderberry) in our garden is covered in an insect. It a old/mature tree and all the new growth has insects covering the stems of the leaves (see photos attached). Some of the older leaves are covered in small flies. Is this harmful to the tree and what action should we take? I … read more


! planted a new apple tree ( bare root) early this year. started to leaf and produced two trusses of flowers with 5 flower heads on each. When flowers went the little apple buds appeared. however checked one morning to find one complete truss gone. put a mesh on the other one in case it … read more


I am involved in an Afforestation project and we will be growing trees from cuttings. As this is a mass plantation of trees we will need to store the tree cuttings for long periods as they wont be planted immediately after the cutting is taken. Hence,I was wondering what are ideal conditions for their storage … read more


Most of my potato plants show only small slug damage to the leaves, but some (right beside seemingly healthy ones) are heavily stripped. I don’t wish to kill the slugs, but I wonder whether its safe to just let them finish eating what they started, as the other plants flourish?


I m new to planting sweet peppers in a pot in a grow house the plant in the pot looks weak and on the verge of wilting I have another plant in a grow bag and looks to be OK can you please help me out on how to give proper attention to make the … read more


I dug up a peach tree from the open garden last year as I was fed up with leaf curl every year. I potted it in a large container and moved it to a polytunnel where it has thrived, flowering for the first time this Spring and currently carrying a half dozen small fruit. Recently, … read more


I had a new tree fern planted in January. Unfortunately I was away for 2 weeks during recent dry spell & all the ferns wilted! I have watered well & new ferns are growing Should I cut away old ferns & should I feed now?


A family of foxes , a mother and 3 cubs come into my garden most evenings, they eat slugs and snails but also dig holes in the lawn and flower beds. Disturbing bulbs in pots. What can I do to get them to leave the garden alone, please help, before the garden is ruined. I … read more


I’m a complete novice to garden – set a new lawn six weeks ago – it’s a small bit patchy – with a few weeds – when is the right time to start cutting – and could you recommend anything to kill off weeds.


Hi Gerry, I am hoping you can identify the plant in the photo. Its pale yellow flowers have just appeared. The leaves have a lovely scent when they’re rubbed. It has woody stems. If I know what it is hopefully I can take care of it.


I have grown potatoes from cuttings fairly successfully in the past. Reading about spacing, and hoping to improve the crop, I have cut back to soil level some plants (they are all just under a foot high) to give space to the others. However, as many of the stems are from the same cut pieces, … read more


My hydrangea is in a large pot and the tips of the leaves are turning brown but the rest of the plant seems fine. The rose in the same pot is fine. What is wrong with the hydrangea? thanks for help.


We had a new (less than 1 year) very patchy lawn which I overseeded over 2 weeks ago. I prepared diligently the existing lawn (aereted, de-thatched etc). I cut the grass fairly tight, laid top-soil then seed down. Gently raked the new seed in. Watered every day, when it wasn’t raining. I am still waiting … read more


How should i be watering my peonies now they are starting to flower?


I applied Dicophar weedkiller to my lawn last year and wish to do it again. However the instructions state: “Do not treat new lawns until established for 6 months.” Since I have overseeded and repaired bare patches on the lawn, does this mean I cannot use my lawn weedkiller again this year as it might … read more


My white camellia flowered but now appears to be dying on one side of the shrub. There is new growth one side and the other shows curling and brown leaves.


Please could you help me identify this seedling.. The pot’s label lost its print !! Jane,


I appreciate if you could let me know as what kind of flowers is possible to grow in Dublin/Ireland?I am looking to grow more exotic flowers such as Gladiola, birds of Paradise, Calla Lilly, Lilly of the valley rather than the more common one in Ireland I have no experience in Gardening or growing flowers … read more


Crocosmia has taken over my garden. Pulling up the bulbs seems to encourage it. Has it become another invasive species in the west of Ireland? What”s the best way to get rid of it? I use old carpets to smother weeds but would need acres of it to get rid of this pest.


I live in mid Kerry. I have a huge Gunnera manicata in my garden. It soaks up a lot of moisture and is an ‘architectural’ feature. However I spotted two samples growing in a neighbour’s drain last year. I have removed the seedheads from my specimen this year. I’M WONDERING SHOULD I remove my plant … read more


I have recently planted 2 young pear trees and they seem to be doing well, but I have noticed the presence of much leaf rolling and black tipped leaves (as well as the cluster mites). I followed advice and took off all the badly affected leaves. As long as its not fire blight, do they … read more


I planted a healthy Viburnum Rhytidophyllum 1 month ago and leaves are turning yellow. No frost since planting, acid clay soil. I put plenty of my own compost and appropriate quantity of Blood, Fish & Bone in planting hole and watered well. Mulched with my own compost and watered when needed. Any advice would be … read more


One of my Japanese maples has died, however the rootstock which is very pretty, has sprouted. If I plant it out, is it likely to be very vigorous?


I planted tulips for the first time last autumn, and got a really lovely healthy display this spring-time. They are about to finishing flowering now. When can I cut back the greenery? Do I leave the bulbs in-situ in the ground? Do they need to be fed?


Please suggest some plants or shrubs or fruit or colourful cover to plant against a north facing wall in Co.Tyrone


I have peonies growing in pots and they make buds however then they dont flower just wondering whether its insufficient feed or something else?


I have peonies growing in pots and they make buds however then they dont flower just wondering whether its insufficient feed or something else?


I left dahlias in ground this winter, covered with bark. I can see they are still there but when will they start to sprout. In Mayo.


I left dahlias in ground this winter, covered with bark. I can see they are still there but when will they start to sprout. In Mayo.


We have a new build with acidic soil and just lawns done. We want to sow low maintenance plants and trees that do not cost the earth . It is a 2 storey House 180m in from road its an open site with a sweeping drive and lawn wrapping around the house with smaller lawn … read more


I am in the process of preping the ground for seeding, part of which includes drawing in top soil to raise the level by 4″. I just have a few questions- • should I add sand to the soil prior to seeding? • should I roll the topsoil prior to seeding (I would presume so … read more


I would like to plant a hedge in my front garden which will give privacy all year round but also be edible/friendly to wildlife? ( hedge space is 20ft by 3ft)I can plant holly and ivy to keep some winter green as they grow well here. My partner is obsessed with neat hedges and wants … read more


I inherited an untended 15 year old beech hedge and lopped them to 6 ft . Can I prune the branches which have grown untended back without loosing all of its foliage? Pictures attached.


We have a raised area by the back door which is ideal for plants. Unfortunately it is also next to the oil burner. Are there any plants that could survive the oil fumes?


leaves turning yellow, brown will they die.


Recently a few magpies have found something they like in my lawn and are systematically digging all around the lawn leaving small holes and clumps of grass which dies of course. Any suggestions?


Having problems with the rhubarb this year as you can see it is being eaten by something but it is not slugs or snails and underneath them there is nothing there either could you any have suggestion as to what it might be. Regards b


I have 3 plum trees, 2 oulins and 1 opal. All were laden with fruit til 3 years ago when the Opal stopped. Then the gages stopped the following year. All are completely healthy with no disease. To my horror I read the fruiting life span is 20 to 25 years which is roughly how … read more


I am wondering if you can tell me what is wrong with my Camellias.Both are kept in containers in a shaded position outside my front door.One of them looks like it is dying, is leaves have turned brown as have the flower buds and the new leave stalks. I’d there any way of saving this … read more


I am wondering if you can tell me what is wrong with my Camellias. Both are kept in containers in a shaded position outside my front door. One of them looks like it is dying, is leaves have turned brown as have the flower buds and the new leave stalks. I’d there any way of … read more


When I sow scorzonera indoors, it germinates well enough. But it doesn’t take well to being transplanted. So I sow it in large patio pots (for ease of harvesting); germination is poor, and still most of the plants wither. Is the soil too damp, or too dry? There seems to be no leeway between the … read more


I bought Emerutus Brutus (fox Lily) and planted them in October but I have three left over which I didn’t get to plant yet.Can I plant them now or not? Thanks Gerry


I have cosmos planted in trays in greenhouse that are now approx 2 inch tall but just two leaves on top and tall and string looking. What should I do next?


Later this month, (April) I will be planting 4ft high Portuguese laurel hedging (potted) topped off with a permeable membrane and bark mulch to prevent weeds.Question :- As new plants will require watering for a certain period until they get established, will the mulch restrict water access to the plant roots?


I hope you might be able to answer a question that I have. I Am attaching photos of something that has appeared all over the branches of a greenhouse Pear tree in the last week. We do have a lot of ants and woodlice in greenhouse and maybe there is a connection. Do you have … read more


Last year my garden was full of flowers in good conditions.I had only black spots in Wild Rose, treated with natural products , I washed all roots, new land and planted in the soil. Now, Early April, it seems more plants are like full of earth around stems and leaves , the Lavender in a … read more


Moved into new house about two years ago….,the attached plant was growing vigorously in the border,can you identify please ?see image attached . Large leaves / no flower … Is it a weed?


I planted white hydrangea, after 2 weeks the leaves turned white and the stalks just collapsed..what could be the cause?


My raspberry canes are thriving but I’ve noticed some of the leaves on a few canes have begun to dry with a brown colour. Is it due to lower than normal rainfall or bad maintenance? I can water them from my rainwater butts if necessary.


I had this gorgeous plant – as per attachment – until it died recently. I dont know the name of it – can you help and identify this plant please and can you guide where i would be able to purchase it please.


I have 6 very large pine trees in my garden, and three of them that need to be removed as they are encroaching on power lines, at the same time, the trees are home to the most incredible array of birds and the sound of them singing is magical, I don’t want the birds to … read more


I got the most beautiful bunch of cream and baby pink roses for Mother’s Day is it possible for me to grow from those particular roses and if so how do I go about it ie where should I cut it I have just acquired a greenhouse also so maybe start off there or am … read more


What is wrong with this bamboo the leaves have fallen off and it just doesn’t look like it is doing to well


Nearly every white daffodil in my garden has been picked or cut by something… humans have been ruled out, the stalk is cut at the base with no chew marks, no part has been eaten… is this the work of a dog, slugs or something else? Thanks!


I now think my Prunus serrulata ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura has canker, as there is a gummy ooze on some branches. Do I cut them out now or wait until June?


I am growing a hedge with mixed Portuguese Laurel and Photinia, and haven’t touched them for the first couple of years to let them get established. They are slow growing and most of the Photinia are bare on the lower parts and there’s a few tall ones with growth at the top and bare branches. … read more


My potted tulips have finished flowering. Will they come again next year? If so, what do I do with the bulbs now?


Any tips on preventing disease when pruning prunus?


The attached photo is of my 20 year old Prunus serrulata ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura’ growing outside my kitchen window. I trim it every summer to keep it compact as my garden is small. I’m tempted to remove the side branch as that is now getting quite heavy. What is your advice.


I’m going to paint my house and there is moss on the walls what is the best stuff to take it off.


My son found a very strange plants I think under my roadside hedge when it broke opened a big puff of smoke came out of it and as he turned it upside down loads more black Powder substance emerged it was quite unusual and have you any idea what that be we were looking for … read more


After three years of anticipating a beautiful yellow flowering Laburnum I have had nothing. But this year it looks a little different. Do you think it is going to produce a blossom if so what month does this usually happens thank you


Can you please help me identify a beautiful Japanese maple which I lost and long to replace? A. palmatum type, with five-lobed leaves, undissected, unvariegated or otherwise marked, sap-green in spring, light green in summer, and flaming crimson in autumn. Small (in a pot), lovely loose, leaning habit (not the squat, congested look of some … read more


My fuchsia hedge is starting to green now – it could well do with a pruning – am I too late to prune it at the end of March ?


Please see photo attached of this awful weed i cant seem to get rid of. It comes back after about a week when pulled out. Has very large root system. Ive tried using weedkiller but they still came back. How can i ensure they are killed off before i plant my flowerbed in may?


is it to late to move this white beam


My darling 4 year old boy took a hammer to a newly planted somewhat mature tree I believe is a red oak or beech. It is badly damaged should I wrap it with something it was planted last autumn so I hope it survives. Do you think it is currently alive?


I got a neighbour’s grass clippings last year, which I used in the lasagna-layering in the veg patch. Working the soil this spring I noticed a strong odor of dog poop. When I commented about to him, he admitted that he doesn’t clean up the yard after his 3 dogs, just mows it up with … read more


My daughter is getting married on June 30th. Have you any advice on what I can plant now for maximum colour impact.


I have recently killed the moss in a section of my garden. Raked it off when browned. I prepared garden for overseeding 2 weeks later March 16. I planted seed lightly watered and spread a light coat of fertilizer over it. Did I seed to early. The weather seems to have gone back to winter. … read more


the Receptacle on my peas are being infested by a microscopic white grub which kills the flower. What is it and what can I do?


Can I cut back lavender now as its getting too big?


I planted spring bulbs (snowdrops and bluebell H. nonscripta) under a sycamore tree and nothing has come up. I cleared and raked the area well before planting, cut away the lowest branches, so there’s plenty of light and rain getting to the soil, but still not flowers. Just wondering if the sycamore itself might be … read more


I want to move a large clump of helleborus, the Lenten rose, which is currently in bloom. I am getting conflicting information on when best to do this.Could you advise please?


I am relatively new to growing vegetables and am not having much luck with my seedlings so far. My French beans are doing good as the stems are nice and thick supporting nice leaves ready to plant out soon maybe ? but the broccoli, spinach and coriander are looking pretty miserable; Extremely long leggy and … read more


can Jasmine solanium survives in Ireland . Will I place it indoor or outdoor in garden soil . What weather is best for it and what will happen in winter?


I’m a beginner. I bought 20 bareroot beech about 3 ft in height. I started digging thinking I’d be ready to plant in a fday or 2. Over a week later I’m still digging as ground is impacted. The trees are outside in black plastic bags..will the trees last as I need another’s day digging. … read more


Can you advise me if I’ve left it too late to prune / trim back these shrubs. They were planted few years ago & not pruned regularly. They’re getting a bit too big now.


I’ve purchased hydrangeas two were blue one pink and one white the following year all plants just turned pink. I was told it is the soil, but if you go down to Clonakilty you will see pink hydrangea beside a blue hydrangea next to a beautiful purple hydrangea growing wild how is this the case. … read more


I have attached two pictures with this post. The one on the right is of the weed that covers our front garden – it looks like a very light and soft moss to me and seems to be very much covering the surface and spreading fast.The other picture on the left, is of the weed … read more


What product (what brand) should I use to get rid of moss before raking it out and what to use to feed the lawn and fix patchy areas? Is it ok to do it all now in March?


I have moved some fruit bushes from my late fathers garden and transplanted to my own the following day. I think gooseberry and raspberry and blackcurrant from what I can remember. I cut them back to about 4 feet. Do you think they will survive as I am unsure how much of the root I … read more


I have a raised flower bed, backed by a high wall. Its about 12ft long and would be in a South facing garden, it would be located to the South East. The sun would hit that section of the garden from about 1pm until 5pm.I want to plant it up with colours and some trailing … read more


I have a NW facing paved area and wish to populate with pots etc. In pots, say 32cm x 32cm what could I use for permanent pot life that might also add a bit of winter colour? I already have Buxus there and will have summer colour in some troughs as well. I live in … read more


I have a pink horse chestnut tree planted 3 years now which leaves up ok but wont produce blossom. it has plenty of light and good soil. Have you any suggestions please. The same applies for my laburnum and my wisteria. I’m not doing too well with my non colourful plants!


When should Turtlehead be planted?


When should a lilac bush be pruned?


I have a camillia in a pot for about 4 years and nothing much has happened. The odd flower here and there. I am thinking of replanting out of the pot and into the garden. Good idea or not?


The bay hedge is 4.5 – 5m tall, multi-stemmed and well established. However the foliage has become very sparce and thin and it is losing its ‘screening’ ability. What feeds, mulch etc can I give it to encourage it to develop more foliage and to become denser?The hedge is about 15-18 years in situ.It is … read more


Is it okay to feed my alder trees, fruit trees and shrubs with last year’s potato compost. I don’t need it for this year’s veg beds but I don’t want to throw it away.


Where can I get ‘Sharpe’s Express’ seed potatoes to grow my own?


I have an agapanthus in fat bud for the last month! Is this unusual.


I am looking for a small variety of Camellia that wont get too big and will look good in a small front garden. I am going to put my next Camellia in the ground as I have already killed a Camellia in a pot by accidentally letting it dry out.


I have Tulip bulbs stored in old newspapers in my garage. They are sprouting. Is it too late to set them in mosspeat in pots? Will they be ok if left there until December?


Question concerning main crop potatoes . I simply cannot grow them as eelworm gets them or at least that’s what I believe it to be . They look fine until lifted and are then found rotten inside . No problem growing earlies though which is what I do the past ten years . Any suggestions … read more


I get a small crop of blackcurrants by removing the big buds now. Is there any cure other than destroying the plants ?


Just wondering what could have eaten my beetroots? Surely it couldn’t have been done by slugs and I don’t see any rabbits or hares around.You might enlighten me. They were taken out of the ground in November with all this damage.


Will Skimmia Japonica reevesiana ‘Chilan Choice’ which is both male and female pollinate S. Japonica ‘Rubella’ which is male only, when in the one garden?


I’m trying to identify the “critters” in the pics. I discovered them when replacing some beech hedge plants. There are 40 plants in the hedge that was planted bareroot in march 2016, each plant was about 5ft in height when planted, so reasonably mature. I had to replace 10 of them, which i did January … read more


I have a new 12′ by 15′ by 10′ tall greenhouse. Can you give basic maintenance tips already I have green slime on the patio slabs supporting the frame. I will sow in the soil and will have pots also. I intend to grow a few vines but I wonder is it worth having two … read more


Can Pomegranate and Persimmon grow outdoor at Ireland? If yes, which breed is better?


I have got a load of well rotted horse manure and I want to revitalise my raised beds. What is the best modus operandi at this point of the winter? Do I spread and cover with plastic?


I recently noticed a white fungal growth on my bluebells, wall and tree trunk in a bluebell bed. It looks like polystyrene beads but when touched it turns to a watery substance. I noticed yesterday that it seems to have consolidated and when the skin was broken it looked like dog sick. What is it … read more


My brother has a poinsettia about six years old. My mother brought it for him the year before she died. It’s extremely big and needs repotting but we don’t know when to do it. We have been told it’s very rare that these plants survive very long.


Our pear tree produced fruit fine for a couple of years but, in the last few years, it blossoms normally but then the leaves turn as per the picture attached and the fruit it produces is withered. Is it lacking a nutrient or is there something else afoot?


I had some hedges planted & they look very bad. He planted 2 sizes in the front. The smaller plants are alright. As you can see the others do not look good. Also the ones in the back look very bad. What do you think?


I was wondering what would be a suitable plant for my Kitchen. I’m thinking of the fumes etc that are generated in a normal kitchen and the effect these might have on a plant. The window is westnorthwest facing so only gets sun in late afternoon/evening. Temperature fluctuates between 12C and 20C but very rarely … read more


The weather has been dry for a while now and it seems likely to continue. Should I water some of my container plants? I am thinking here of the Camelia, Rhododendron, Hydrangea and Wisteria. None of them seem to be dry. I have miniature roses in the greenhouse but they don’t seem to be too … read more


Can I grow sweet potatoes in a polytunnel in Ireland. where can I get the sweet potato slips in Ireland?


My question is: I would like to create a wildflower meadow in the 4-acre riverside sheltered field that adjoins my cottage. I need to remove tough grass but preserve certain areas which are filled with bluebells in the Spring. I have researched the basic principles of creating such a wildflower meadow but would like to … read more


Magnolia buds being eaten?


I’m wondering what annuals to plant for the best cut flowers for an informal wedding.


I have peace Lily for 25 years its leaves have started to turn yellow and die.


The ivy in my back garden is now falling away from the wall. This is the first time this has happened in over 30 years. Would you have any idea why this is happening?


I’m having trouble with a ground root which is clogging up the soil in my front and back flowerbeds. The root is a reddish colour and forms a mat of roots and is proving difficult to manage. Any suggestions on what it is and how to eradicate it?


I have a one year old garden that has grown tremendously. Is it too late to prune back the lavender, cone flowers, jasmine etc. or should I wait to the spring? I live in Sutton, Dublin so we don’t get so much frost.


We have a new house and new garden, half acre. Most of it is in lawn but I have a few special areas – like the Vivaldi Garden and the Via Augustino!! We will plant some fruit trees on Sunday next but we would also like to plant some soft fruits. Could you please advise … read more


I’m hoping to sow a lot of pumpkins for Halloween next year. Can you tell me where I can buy pumpkin seeds in bulk rather than the small 10-15 seed packets that are available in shops and online.


I have attached some photographs of a patchy grass fungus which we have in our garden. I would appreciate any assistance you can give in identifying it and how we might eradicate it.


I want to store my Dahlia tubers, which have been growing in the herbaceous borders, indoors over winter in pots. I read that they should be placed in Peat or sand but I’m wondering if I could use Multipurpose Compost instead? My long term plan is to put them back out in a coldframe in … read more


A section of my garden is very damp and sometimes waterlogged. I was thinking of planting a living willow hedge, but have concerns about the roots and their effect on my house, Are the roots invasive? Is a living willow hedge safe for a suburban garden?


do I need to put this in bigger pot or leave it same for sometime . This is a 9cm pot size.


I have an anthurium plant since last2 months . Recently started brown spots on its leaves . sending you pic. What is the reason and how to treat?


I make leaf mould every year. The leaves are mainly sycamore and have black spots. When planting a new Acer earlier this year I applied some of the leaf mold. Will this have an adverse effect on the Acer? Can I continue to make leaf mould with leaves that have the black spots?


I want to plant a Virginia Creeper and am interested in Panthenocissus quinquefolia ‘Yellow Wall’ PBR. I seem to remember someone saying that it is a less hardy variety. Is this true? My house is on the north Donegal coast and I’d like to plant against an open east facing wall. How does it compare … read more


I have just built a raised bed along a fence with railway sleepers and willow screening covering a block wall 1.5m high. The border is approx 6m x 0.8m. Can you recommend a shrub mixture, ideally a mixture of everygreen colours with maybe some grass and flower.


Here in Kildare my Dahlias and Rudbeckias are still flowering away abundantly. I’m just wondering when I should cut them down and take them undercover given how mild it has been this Autumn.


I was wondering if I could use aquatic pots for planting Tulips. I am considering starting the Tulips in these and once into growth I will put them in their final positions in the ground and in pots. Their final positions aren’t available for a couple of months yet. These pots will also make removing … read more


For Summer hanging baskets and containers I always use water retaining granules. Should I use them for Winter baskets etc, or could they freeze and kill the plants ?


Part of my west facing bed only gets sun late afternoon any ideas for winter colour preferably bedding plants


I have a Chusan palm tree for ten years it’s about 10ft high. Every year I cover it with a fleece bag but it’s so high it will be very hard to do. is it hardy.


On holidays last week (Mid Oct) and I came across this in a coastal forest in very sandy soil. It was the last of them, all the others had gone to seed. Any Idea what it is? I brought seed home but don’t know what way to plant them.


Would like to install a row of pleached lime trees along the side passage of my house where there is a 1m space between boundary wall and house wall. Would buy these trees from a nursery, they are 8 foot tall at present. Is this feasible?


I found these seeds in the garden Could you please tell me what plant they are from and could I reset them?


Many thanks on your advice on preventing slugs from getting into my pot plants in the greenhouse. However any advice on removing or getting rid of slugs already present. I have been resting my Christmas cactus outdoors and will be bringing it in shortly please help me get rid of any potential slug infestation of … read more


should I buy Buxuss in this weather if yes where to keep them and how to look after them .? I live in Ennis.


I am just wondering that what is this plant ? It has orange colour stem and last year it had orange colour flowers. How to care that plant?


How to care strawberry plant in winter?


There’s a lovely specimen in a neglected garden nearby and I would like to grow from it in my own garden. What’s the best way to get results?


My Red Sentinel Crab Apple tree has a problem with its leaves since June, it has very few fruits and they are small and scabby. Its blossom was fine in the spring. I checked its ties and it’s not strangled. The apple tree next to it is fine with a wonderful crop of apples. I … read more


Please help me, any tips on how I can prevent slugs coming in to my house from potplants that have been in my greenhouse? I try to check them carefully and water before I bring them in. Should I re pot them? Some may be in bloom or ready to bloom.


Do you know the name of the attached plant I purchased without card?


Could you please tell me the name of this plant. Are they outdoor or should they be treated as houseplants? There is another one with lavender floor flowers.I’ve had them out during the summer and they were very happy and flowered heavily. I’ve now taken them indoors and wonder will they last the winter. They … read more


Newly laid grass on a south facing lawn in April this year, on a well churned topsoil using a rotovator. Last month or so have had a lot patches of grass turning yellow in the middle of the lawn, no dogs or cats in the household, also a lot of thinning grass too, what might … read more


I have an Euphorbia amy. Purpurea planted April 2014 and am unsure what to do. I’m told it should be cut to ground level now but it looks so good now. However I did not cut it last year and it did not look good earlier on. Also should I divide it next spring?


Can you tell me what this plant is and how do I thin out? When is best time to thin out?


My dahlias (which I have for several years) produced a lot of leaves but not a lot of flowers this year. Why was that and how can I increase flowers next year? I don’t lift them in winter.


Any treatment to remove lots of mushrooms from a lawn. My understanding was they feed on dead wood etc and once that decomposes they will go, however I seem to be getting more and more each year. Digging out source not an option. There are at several different varieties all poisonous I expect. I put … read more


I have a bright green moss invading my flower beds, it doesn’t seem to respond well to roundup, and picking is not very effective as there is too much to use as permanent workaround. Any ideas to kill permanently would be appreciated.


I transplanted Arum lilies 7 years ago and they flowered OK. In recent years they have flowered less and less and this year only a few flowers. Plenty of green leaves. They are in a south-facing, slightly slopping bed with clay soil. What can be done and what are the ideal conditions for Arum lilies?


I have some ” fungal” growth on my stone pathways. These areas tend to be be very wet. What is it and how can I get rid of it. It’s very prolific and returns very quickly when removed.


Are they sensitive to fertiliser ? I cant remember very well, but chances are l included slow release fertiliser in the hole. I ve grown a few white abutilons from seed. Planted them out in June when quite large plants growing in about a 12 litre pot. Watered well. Ground prepared well. Even though they … read more


I have a courtyard garden with shrubs and perennials planted up against its painted fences and masonry walls. The hard surfaces are discoloured by algal and some moss growth.Will you recommend a proprietary cleaner that I might spray onto these surfaces? It must not be too deleterious to plants as it is inevitable that there … read more


Please advise on what to plant/shrubs for a very wet steep slope at the back of the house. We live by the seaside in the west of Ireland exposed to westerly winds.Its grassed over at the moment but we do not want to be moving anymore.


Greenfly have managed to get into my tunnel and are going to work on my aubergine plant. I cut off two leaves that were infested, put orange peels around plant and sprayed some greenfly insecticide. The aubergine plant now appears to be wilting/dying and greenfly are popping up in other parts of the tunnel.


I got this rose bush as a present at the beginning of the Summer, so I don’t know what variety it is. It has been easy to look after so far (I have no experience) and has bloomed twice. I’m wondering what the best thing to do for it is now that the weather is … read more


Will dahlias left in pots survive over winter (saving on storage etc,)? If so, will they need to be freshly potted next year? I have these plants for a few years and have been lifting them after the first frost.


What is the best way to control slugs and caterpillars on cabbage, turnips etc?


photo attached is one of my tuber begonias which I want to keep for next year. Can I overwinter it in an unheated greenhouse as a green plant or do I have to store it as a tuber (like a dahlia)? Will pelargoniums overwinter as green plants in an unheated greenhouse successfully or should I … read more


Yesterday I planted new geranium plants from branches of old plant dipped into rooting powder and planted in small pots , just wondering should I keep them outside and how many days it would take to have roots .


can I leave Geranium , dahlia , Japanese laural, and camellia bonovana plants outside in pots in winter , if not until what month they can keep outside , if I bring them inside room temp is 19-20degree Celcius. Will that be ok for them or bring them in shed where there is no heating.


I bought indoor Lily plant, it had very beautiful scented flowers but in few days all gone and branches died as well , can I regrow that from same branches and roots next year or how to take care of that?


From my dahlia plant in pot 1 branch broken which has many leaves , flowers and buds. Can I regrow that branch into a new plant after applying rooting powder and plant into a pot?


I have a red hydrangea which normally blooms well. This year however, it has not done at all well. At the moment, it has a whitish mildew on many of the leaves, also it seems to have spider web in many of the leaf clusters with myriad little white mites in the webs and the … read more


Looking for help on pruning this old apple tree. I was pruned a couple of years back back but not sure if it was done right.A lot of new [long] shoots appeared [see pic] some are bearing fruit . Any help would be appreciated


My hollyhocks are doing well this year. This is their first year. When they finish flowering, how will I deal with them during the winter? will I cut them to the butt and cover them up?


Campanula “Elizabeth” was recommended in The Irish Garden June 2014 issue. I cannot find it anywhere, perhaps you know of a supplier?


I am looking for a supplier in Ireland that sells Escarboucle red water lily plants. If you can point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated. I have a large ornamental pond in Glengarriff.


I’m having some problem in removing decorative bark from an area where I want to add about 10-20 cm top soil and sow a lawn from grass seeds. Can I just leave it and cover it with soil? The bark is Shamrock Decorative Bark Mini Chips.


I have a long established and neglected common box hedge in a mature garden. I am wondering how best to prune and encourage the hedge – many of the shrubs have grown straggly and some of them (which were in the shade of a tree that has now been removed) are lying on the ground … read more


Never one to put down a healthy plant I willing took some strawberry plants from my friend. He grew them from runners. Its September!! what can I do with them? Will they survive, will they grow, is there any chance of getting fruit from them and if so how should I plant? I don’t have … read more


I have a dividing hedge in my front garden that i hope to restore to its fully glory. I am not sure what type it is? see attached photo. all but 3 bushes were killed off a few years ago during the freeze. can i take cuttings off some of the surviving ones and replant? … read more


I am not sure of the tree name – see attached photo. the main tree died a few years ago during the last freeze so i cut the trunk, however it produced several offshoots which appear to be independent of each other? my question is can I dig up these individually and replant them or … read more


I have had a problem with botrytis on my tomatoes in a polytunnel this year. They had plenty of ventilation but I assume the cause is climatic (a combination of humidity and low light levels). I have grown tomatoes for 30 years and have never encountered this before. My question is: Can I spray the … read more


I have a Portuguese laurel hedge growing out the front of my house. One side looks fine. The other side looks like something is eating it or something weird.


Having a country garden we sometimes have a problem with wandering cows do you know what the best option is to protect the garden, we have gates but need to keep them open during the summer season because we have visitors to our garden and art studio,don’t really like grids and the are very expensive … read more


I planted a small Acer earlier this year but had to lift as leaves were curling and falling off. Slow drainage in area planted and clay soil. Small garden and nowhere else to plant. To improve drainage could I dig a large hole (with digger), fill with stones, then topsoil? Area is beside a wall … read more


I don’t know what kind of lily if it is lily.


I mow my lawn weekly land fertilize monthly. Can’t seem to get rid of these brown areas, fungus?


We bought a rhododendron specifically produced for alkaline soil a year ago and fed it with the recommended feed but it hasn’t grown at all, although the buds are there. All the leaves have gone black at the edges and we’re at our wit’s end as to what to do next. Quite an expensive mistake … read more


In recent times, I have only done the basics for my lawn so it’s long overdue some attention. It’s a little bit patchy in places and I have some clover type weeds. I believe my Soil is Sand type and I will get a PH test soon. Could you help advice the order of doing … read more


In recent times, I have only done the basics for my lawn so it’s long overdue some attention. It’s a little bit patchy in places and I have some clover type weeds. I believe my Soil is Sand type and I will get a PH test soon. Could you help advice the order of doing … read more


Can you tell if this is a fungal or pest problem on my apple tree.Some leaves are going brown, others have a mosaic pattern on them and there are holes in the apples. Can you give me advice on how to treat this problem?


We have 5 apple trees, Bramley, Golden Delicious, Coxs orange Pippin, Braeburn, Floweing Crab. There was a a very good crop of blossoms on each tree, which formed small fruits on the long stems, but progressed no further. All of these fell off the 5 trees. We had a great crop last year. Just wondering … read more


Could you recommend small conifer trees (that will grow to approx 10 ft tall) that I could use for shelter on either side of my house. Both planting strips are approx 40 meters in length but on one side of the house the width of the strip is very narrow, only 2 feet wide, the … read more


At school, (2nd level) we have a tunnel, about 20m long with raised beds. Could you give me some ideas on anything transition year students could put in and sell about two weeks before Christmas, and when we could plant. Also could they grow herbs in the tunnel now and lettuce or is it too … read more


Growing happily for many years. Now has developed a vertical split on main stem, and an area of rot down near the root. Leaves turning yellow, and falling off. Only favourable sign is a couple of green leaves appearing from the root. See photos on my journal. Can the plant be saved?


I have grown tuberous begonias in pots for the first time this year and was amazed with the height of this magnificent specimen. It is 77 cm (30″) tall. Do they usually grow to this height?


After 35 years gardening I’m planning to make my first rose garden. I’m thinking of having a row of standards down the centre of a narrowing bed (1m wide by 10m), under- planted with other varities. Any suggestions on what to buy. I’m a complete rose novice!


I have lettuce and radish growing in a window box. First some radish leaves got holes and now some lettuce are toppling over being eaten at the bottom of the stalk and have no roots.


Ive got few questions.Is it too early to scarify? Can you spray dicophar directly after and apply feed aswell? Trying to get sorted before Winter. Also, when scarifying should you go in few diff directions, or just over the area once in one direction?


Any idea why my April/May blooming magnolia has gone into full bloom in August.


Can you comment on the following hedging plants with regard to their suitability for front garden in an urban setting: Portuguese Laurel Cherry Laurel


I have an olive tree (c.6 ft) in a pot (c. 2ft diameter) for around 5 years. Want to know when is the best time to re-plant it as the roots are appearing and it has never really grown very much and what size pot should I aim for.


Flowering heads on my dahlias are drooping …not dried out or sickly…just looped over…is there a reason / remedy please.


An unusual tree? Seems to be two species in one. Any idea what it might be.


I have a small amount of potatoes,grown successfully.I will be going away early September for 5 weeks,returning October 9.Should I lift all the potatoes before I go or leave them in the ground till Oct.?How should I store them?


This creepy crawley was found when a pot plant outdoors was moved recently. Is this good or bad in the soil? New to gardening so any info appreciated.


I have bought a Crittal Greenhouse 2nd hand and need to replace a lot of glass any ideas where I might get some in the Bray/ South Dublin area


Have recently acquired an allotment. Digging done to clear it and now getting mixed messages re weeds. Do I cover it in black plastic to keep them down or do I bank it to let the frost get at it during the Winter. Not really intending to plant it til the Spring. That wise?


Can you please identify this shrub for me?


Keeping weeds especially nettles at bay around holiday home in County Cork in recently cleared grounds. Would really appreciate suggestions for low maintenance quick low growing ‘anything’ that will sort this problem.


The magpies are eating my plums even though they are not yet ripe. Should I bring them in to ripen on the windowsill, or just take my chances?


When is the best time and how do you sow seeds to obtain the best germination success of tropelium speciousm


I want to put a little science project together for school children to test which of the advertised garden “growth products” on sale have the best results. I want to set up the experiment in multiple yoghurt sized pots and get results in hopefully 2-3 weeks. It doesn’t matter what a plant I use, just … read more


The flowers seemed to be coming out, but they have all gone brown now and never actually flowered


all of lawn mistakenly sprayed with Rosate 2 weeks ago. can I scarify now and overseed?


I would like identification of this plant cutting. I am not sure whether it is some type of cypress or not.


I cannot seem to grow Rhododendron. I set the Rhodo’s in Brown Gold. Dug a deep hole and filled it with brown Gold. However even a large Rhode is now starting to turn black – this will spread and kill the entire plant. A smaller Rhode is already ravished and died as per pictures. Thanks … read more


I have two hydrangea in a shrub bed in the front garden growing side by side with each other now in their second year. Both seem to be growing painstakingly slow (was under the impression they were very hardy and quick to grow) one is doing well in so far that it is healthy looking … read more


I recently bought some mint seeds online. I planted them in composted seed trays about a month ago with no sign of life!The package advises to sow in March but would this just be to avoid potential frosts? The variety I bought were ‘Tagetus Minuta Muster John Henry Peruvian Black Mint’ (a bit of a … read more


I am looking to plant some red currant bushes. 1) Will they successfully grow in this climate? (Best time to plant). 2) How do they fair in cooler weather (will they die off?). 3)When could one benefit the harvest? 4) Would they be (similar) to a rose bush & take over the garden? (Do they … read more


I have blue and white Canterbury bells they are currently hidden by shrubs would it be ok for me to dig them up and replant them and would they be more suited to a shady part shady or sunny location?


I recently seeded my new lawn and am now preparing for the first cut. Someone had mentioned to me that I should not collect the grass on the first cut and instead leave it sit on the lawn to act as fertilizer. Is this a good idea and will it make any difference?


The picture attached is a Galway Bay rose I planted late last year. It is growing well. My Dad (RIP) was always concerned about rose suckers. He said it was very important to remove them. The Rose Expert book says that “if nothing is done to check this growth then suckers may take over the … read more


My broad beans were very healthy but the leaves have now gone rusty and are withering. No problems in previous years.


My next door neighbour has a Griselinia hedge on both sides of her back garden. Both are at least 3 feet wide. If it’s cut back by half or even two thirds, will it sprout again, and if so when would be the best time to do it.


Last Spring I sowed a lot of seeds. The labels got mixed up on some & it ended up I was unsure what I planted. Most I managed to get sorted out, but this one is unique – no other seed like this germinated and I don’t know what it is. I have it in … read more


We planted pyracantha as a hedge 18 months ago and it’s doing well. When and how would be best to cut it back as it’s growing too tall next to our neighbour’s wall?


The stem has grown flat and the flower head is covered with over a hundred blooms,it is in perfect health and is blooming profusely, height is over 7 feet and it is in a pot with two other lilies which are growing in the normal way


8ft olive tree approx 8 years old. When it rains it seems very weighed down by the water on the leaves and branches sprawl out. Think It should be pruned to lessen the load on the branches. Would appreciate advice on how and when to perform this job.


Have ferns in garden that have ticks on them. What can be used to get rid of them from the plants?


I planted bamboo at the end of my back garden 6/7 years ago and am now worried that is seems to be spreading to neighbours sites. if i dug a trench and laid paving slabs on their side would it halt spread or how deep do the roots go.


I bought & planted Daphne last February in the garden. It has berries, but no leaves. What is wrong with it? Will it get better?


I am trying to find out the type of tree that is in a site where we are building a house. I attach a photo of it and a close up of the leaf.


Yesterday I had a lovely gooseberry bush laden with fruit. I wanted to pick them but it was wet and misty so I waited. Today, only 2 berries left. the tree has been stripped completely overnight!! there are no intruders, its a fortress but I have a visiting fox! Could he be the culprit? if … read more


Could you please identify this plant. It’s climbing up a sycamore tree in shade.


I’ve got a rough ditch boundary at 1 side of my property. It is mainly blackthorn, briars etc and looks messy and fairly bare in Winter. I have managed to level off the top and front and would like to try and cover it somehow – as it cant be removed or replanted etc . … read more


Can you please identify this plant which I think is found growing along the edge of the road leading into Enniskerry ( from N11 Bray)?


I have a beech hedge which I planted bareroot 3-4 yrs ago and it has never properly established. Each year in spring time the buds/leaves burst and flourish out and it seems like it is doing well, but then by around mid June, it seems to stop growing. Some plants die, some turn yellow, some … read more


I have moss trouble on a bed with carpet spreaders – I just cannot keep the moss down. The spreaders are – Cotoneaster Queen Carpet. Potentilla, Genista Lemon spreader, Lonicera pileata I notice that you advise for lawns – ”To control moss, you need to apply sulphate of iron or lawn sand, between October and … read more


I have 4 raised beds with vegetables in my garden. In one of my raised beds where I have started to grow beans I’ve noticed that the leaves are being eaten by something. I have protected against slugs with pellets and have checked for insects but cannot see any. The bed beside this has some … read more


I have just removed 20 Golden Apeldoorn Tulip Bulbs, which I planted last October, from a large pot to make room for summer bedding. I have read that it is not worth keeping Tulip Bulbs for later planting as they often don’t flower again or do so very erratically. Whats your view on reusing Tulip … read more


I have this tree,,and i don’t know its name or how to look after it,some leaves look sick.. see picture. can you help? regards larry


I am growing cherry tomatoes in a grow bag. The top level of leaves have a discolouration in comparison to the leaves on the lower level. Is there something wrong here?


This appeared in my flowerbed. I think from researching it may be Bindweed I am not sure and I would like to make sure before I try to remove it. If it is Bindweed, what is the best way to kill it?


Can you suggest a reason as to why begonias, although covered in lush healthy leaves, are not producing flowers? They are potted since beginning of May! I didn’t use fresh compost but, replaced the top few inches and added some Fish-Blood & Bonemeal NPK 5 : 1.3 : 4.2 Would removing some of the leaves … read more


1.5 metre high Orange tree in container (pit planted Jan. 1999) dropping leaves continuously with no apparent reason/visible damage. Leaves are pliable/healthy and smell of orange if rubbed but they are falling directly from the stem. Kept on enclosed, unheated porch year-round. Used an all-purpose pre-mixed liquid plant food for the first time in early … read more


I have been growing garlic successfully for years. This year, the garlic grew strongly at first. But, in the last month, it has all wilted and vanished. On either side of the garlic, white and red onions are growing well. .


When do you take clipping from roses to sow?


I have grown 13 plants of Sweet Pea on two wigwams which became too small so I put extra canes down as well. My problem is that a lot of the flower stems are growing bent instead of straight upwards and so they are not suitable for cut flowers. What is the reason for this?


Why are some of the flowers on my Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ going bad before the flower opens? Not all the flowers on the plant are like this, but some are.


I bought a climber rose about 6 years ago and it used to flower with lovely red flowers. I’d cut it back every year. But over the last two years it’s gone very strange. Last year it had pink flowers and very few red. This year it’s just bolted and no sign of any bud … read more


After numerous attempts to grow Morning Glory I’ve finally managed to get some growth – leaving it in a pot instead of the ground. However, something is attacking the leaves. I’ve spread salt around the base of the pot in case it’s slugs but I can’t actually see anything. No other plants seem to be … read more


I have discovered a clover like weed that has spread throughout my lawns. It has a very small yellow bulb like head on it that tangles itself throught out the grass ,not sure what it is or the best way to get rid of it. I put down a weed and feed about 3 weeks … read more


I would like to know what is the best way to plant laurel hedging?


This lilac was planted four years ago and is 8 to 9 feet in height (see photo) As I don’t wish to let it get too large for its present location, can you advise, please: When and how should pruning be done?


I am looking for some genuine advice from an expert. I have new garden and have new grass growing. I have an area at back around 70 foot long were I would like to grow wild flowers, see photo. Looking for advise as tho where I should purchase, what do I have to do to … read more


I have grown courgettes from seed indoors but now that I am planting them out, they are breaking off at the stem. They are in a sheltered area and I’ve also put down slug repellent, and bed is covered by nets so it’s not birds or animals. I don’t know what is causing this. I … read more


I got a Laurel hedge growing around our property. On one side it is bordered by post and rail fence lawn, and the other is a steep bank. Majority of hedge is thriving, however, one section (about 6yrds) is lagging way behind. It is about half the width of surrounding hedge, and not as high, … read more


What plants can I take cuttings of for propagating in June or July ?


Hi Gerry, I’ve a beautiful white birch tree that has recently become infested by mini green caterpillars. Can you please advise how I can remove them before my poor tree ends up leafless? Many thanks.


Would you kindly tell me what’s the name of the plant fro the photo attached


Some weeks prior to the recent dry spell, I applied ‘Dicophar’ lawn weedkiller. Some weeks later (about the beginning of the dry spell) I applied ‘Hygea lawn feed (3-in-1) to part of the lawn where growth wasn’t great, around trees & hedges and watered it in thoroughly and on successive days. Despite this, with the … read more


I used Mo Bactor on my lawn in early April, great result with Regards to moss removal and a lush lawn. I am now seeking to remove clover from my lawn can you recommend any product. I hope to apply Mo Bactor again in Autumn. Cheers Derek


What is this, coming up at the base of a Yucca?


The flowers on the first truss of my tomato plant have begun to brown and wilt. Do I need to hand pollinate? I am growing in a greenhouse and watering pretty much daily.


I have a clear gel like substance on the stalks of my rhubarb. Can you suggest what this might be?


Is it too late for me to plant Dahlia tubers in pots? Those I planted directly in the ground have been destroyed by slugs/snails. I thought I might grow new tubers in pots and plant them out when they are mature. Don.


I stayed in a hotel last night and saw this wonderful evergreen front hedge that would be perfect for my outer perimeter wall space. Is it some type of dwarf leaved Laurel?


I think I have white fly on my lupins. One plant is badly infected and I got to spray it before it bloomed but now it has bloomed and I can see the whitefly on the other lupin I was wondering should I cut off all the blooms and spray again or should I just … read more


My lupins are currently magnificent but I notice today covered in white fly . Is there anything I can use that will not affect bees or other wildlife?


I have just moved into a new house and this bush is in the garden. It would be great if someone knew what it’s called.


I planted this about 4 years ago without knowing anything about it. Now having read horror stories on the internet about its invasive habit I am anxious to get rid of it. I started to dig it up but cannot get to the end of its long tap root. Whats the best way to get … read more


Its my first time growing potatoes and the flowers are coming out on some of them. When do I harverst them? I planted them 11th and 28th March.(I have them growing in bags).


This weed (see attached picture) has grown all over our lawn. It is only our 2nd year in this house but it wasn’t there last week. Any ideas as to how to deal with it?


I recently started composting in my polytunnel. Fruitflies have been attracted to the mound though, should I be worried about them attacking my tomato or chili plants when they bear fruit?


I think it may be too late to save, one of my Buxus balls has turned yellow and basically looks dead?? I’ve given it miracle-gro and for some reason it hasn’t come on I would like to know why you think this might be? In the picture you can see a second ball that has … read more


I’ve bought a house with a mature beautiful garden that is over grown. I had to cut back alot of plants/trees and I have a hygranea that has the leaf attached growing kinda on top of it. I actually only noticed today that there were 2 kinds of leaves and that it seems it is … read more


I have cleared off the weeds from this slope pictured. Can you suggest some plants(flowers & shrubs) which would have an immediate colorful impact. Are there any colorful plants which provide good ground cover also.


Received a present of 2 fruit trees planted on 13/3/2016. 1 Plum Prunus domestica ‘Rythgestetter’ and 1 Sweet Cherry, Prunus avium ‘Burlat’. Blossoms on Cherry but no sign of life on plum. Will these pollinate each other ?


Can you please tell me what this flower is? It has returned again this year with no effort whatsoever.


How far to keep away from mature trees building a wall?


Is Japanese acer a good choice for my area – how high will they grow?


When is the best time to cut back? How best should I cut the shrubs back? Should I remove some of the shrubs? Are these shrubs suitable?


Could you tell me what this plant is? Bought it in Amsterdam recently as a novelty it grows without soil or water.


Looking for recommendation for dwarf tree/shrub (6-8 foot) for flower-bed beside a wall in small surburban garden. Maybe globe-shaped? Sunny aspect. Preferably colourful and preferably evergreen.


I mistook the lily leaves and stems for ivy and chopped them down completely… what should I do to try and save the bulbs?


I have a variegated holly with black kind of scum on the leaves. The holly is 4 foot tall doing well but should I be worried?


I have 2 roses in a half barrel facing south. One is Dorothy Perkins and covered in mildew. It is growing slowly I have sprayed with Rose clear but no good?


I’m trying to grow organic and to that end I’m looking to make my own insecticide. Quiet a few of the formulas I have come across on line specify either insecticidal soap or dishwashing fluid as part of the formulation. Can you recommend an organic version and supplier of either of these.


My courgette plants are producing male and female flowers but the male flowers produce absolutely no pollen whatsoever. I even checked them at 6am this morning and not a hint of pollen on them.They are in a greenhouse so I was hoping to hand pollinate but with the male flowers not producing any pollen what … read more


Can you advise me on best practice for growing a privet hedge? It was planted in march 2014. Should it be filling in by now? I have wire around plants as I have rabbits in garden any tips on getting it to fill in?


I have a new lawn only three years old and lately it has being covered with scutch grass, can I add anything or spray anything to get rid of it?


Bites and chopped leaves all over 3yr laurel hedge?


I spotted this plant at a farm house in Kerry image attached – would you kindly be able to give me the name of it so I can get one. In winter then plant produces cherry size berries that look great .


I was given this plant as a present = the giver does not know its name!! It grows to about 5 ft and has a pink flower. Can you tell me its name please. Thank you Brian


I ordered a packet on line and arrived today with no instructions.


Can you recommend anyone who can erect a polytunnel near Tubbercurry, Sligo?


I am living in Roscommon and looking to plant a couple of native oak trees. The soil is slightly alkaline. Would oak grow in this soil and if so are there any stockists near me. My local suppliers tend to stock English oak when they have oak in stock.


Can I grow fruit trees on a north facing slope? I am in West Cork near to the sea. The land is arable and the slope is approx. 45 degrees and drains well. regards Dan O’Leary


My cherry blossom tree is planted now about 9yrs and it’s not growing. Flowers very briefly with about a diameter of 2inch’s since the day I planted it.


I bought this plant a few months ago thinking it was a Christmas Cactus however it has only just flowered in the past two weeks. Also the flowers close at night or if the sun doesn’t shine they don’t actually open. Have you any idea what this plant is?


Last year, on my big  2 year old lawn,there appeared big brown patches filled with dried dead grass. I ‘ve tried to rake and spread more lawn seeds and lawn feed on the patches but don’t see any changes so far. Grass is not growing as quick and thick as it used to. What can … read more


Is poultry manure (pelletted) a suitable lawn feed?


I want to install an overhead watering system in my greenhouse 15’x8′. I grow mostly tomatoes,cucumbers and pot plants and wonder would it be suitable? I can only find one system in England ( wrong size) but no reviews. Help please.


I am not an expert in gardening and I need your help. I have a corner area in my front lawn that is full of weeds, they are now attached to the black landscape fabric sheet underneath and when I try to pull the weeds I tear the fabric, I feel like I’m not getting … read more


3 year old vine, produced healthy leaves this season but now leaves have curled up, brown spots, withered and died – any solution?


I have a ‘growth’ on my lawn and have no idea what it is. Pic attached. Can you suggest what it is and perhaps suggest how i get rid of it?


This is a most beautiful Camellia that has been planted in my garden for over three years. It is in a sunny south west facing spot. It has grown nicely since being planted and its foliage is glossy and healthy. The only problem is…is has never flowered. The label (long since gone) showed a red … read more


We put sedum cuttings down on a roof 3 years ago, didn’t realise we had to feed the sedum, waiting for the show of colour last year combined with a very dull summer, there is a lot of moss in place. We applied seaweed on it last autumn which I will do shortly again. Just … read more


Is it safe to put farmyard manure around heathers ?


I took a snip last summer (pic attached ) and i potted it and it has bloomed but I’ve no idea what it is. Would you have any idea? There are 7 stems with only 1 little flower head.Also should I wait till May to plant out and lastly should I divide it now before … read more


I have a 100 ft boundary block wall and its 6ft tall. I want to cover the wall with flowers/plants etc. what would you recommend.


We have only shale and builders’ rubble in our back garden but want to lay lawn. Would we need topsoil/clay if we want turf/sod which already has about 1″ soil backing to take?


Can you recommend an evergreen tree suitable for a seaside area that can grow up to 20-30ft? I would like to screen off an neighbours extension that overlooks my garden. Ideally, a fast growing tree would be great! My garden isn’t very big.


If I pinch out the main shoots of my Dahlia plants at 3 sets of leaves (18-20″) to promote bushier growth, by how much roughly would this reduce the eventual height. I have a few tall varieties (40-48″) but my site can get windy conditions at times. I have shorter cvrs but I would like … read more


Can you kindly identify this plant for me please. Spotted on the roadside in a bogland area.


I have grown a nectarine plant from seed and up until a couple of days ago it was fine, now however it appears as if it is dying. all the leaves have wilted. What could possibly have caused this? It isn’t overwatered (or underwatered) in my opinion, and is on a southfacing window. I have … read more


I was pruning yesterday and a stem from one of my plants hit against another one. The sap inside blew out and into my eye resulting in a chemicial burn in my cornea, I have been in the er dept of Beaumont most of the night and in the mater eye clinic today. They have … read more


Could you please identify this lovely plant. Growing at the front gate of my new house.


Do sweet pea need to have their center tips removed to make them spread out more?


I meant to buy an ericaceous compost in the garden centre because I need to plant some heathers, but I couldn’t see any. Could I use “Multipurpose compost with added John Innes?” It says on the packet that it contains “a blend of loam, perlite, course grit, sphagnum moss peat and fertilisers.”


I need to plant about 30 foot of hedge. I quite like laurel, and went to the local garden centre to check it out. I reckon a potted plant is better, and they had two options. Both appeared to be the same variety (Cherry), both were the same size and both looked identical. The difference … read more


I intended to use grass clippings from my lawn in the compost bin, and also small amounts to mulch shrubs. However, the lawn was treated with Dicophar broadleaved weedkiller, so does this mean I can never use the clippings in those ways? Would there be a period of time after which it would be safe … read more


I note that in some US sites they talk about varieties of grass species that is quite resistant to talk urine. In a small garden, such as mine where the dog is trained not to go near borders, tubs or boxes, it is hard to also designate an area for urine that is also discrete … read more


The leaves on my Iris reticulata are extremely long, to the extent that they actually take from the display, its like looking at the flower through the bars of a cage. Can you tell me what may have caused this please?


Have mossy lawn with what appears to be lichen on it (spreading quite quickly) in Co. Mayo. Can you suggest best method to get rid of it?


My dad died recently and we’re in the process of clearing his house. There’s a rose bush in front garden which my mother planted that I want to try and take as the garden is being paved. It’s an old bush but flowers beautifully each year, Turkish delight scent! What is best way to give … read more


Some of the stems on my Rosa rugosa are very thorny and some have very few thorns at all. Is this normal? Should I cut out the very thorny ones ?


Last year I had someone in to prepare ground and spread topsoil as needed to level it. I was away the day that the work was completed so never got to see the topsoil. It was only when I began rotivating and preparing it for seeding that I saw the poor quality of the soil. … read more


I’ve just put nitrogen on my grass as instructed on the label, it has now gone yellow – can I save it?


We’re planting an alder boundary behind a new beech & hornbeam hedge. The area is coastal & very windy & wet. How far apart do we space the bare root alder trees?


I am looking at the above types of dogwood. Can you advise if these are seasonal and if they are likely to die in the winter? I am thinking of a raising flower bed, with good drainage. Also, how big would these grow?/Flowering?


I found a bunch of these insects eating my leaves. They are curled up in the end of the leaf in a web. I thought i had a caterpillar but this doesnt look like one? I have removed all insects but how can i prevent further attack!


I bought too many seed potatoes in my local garden centre. I assumed they’d be OK to eat, but it was suggested by a friend that maybe they’d be sprayed/treated in some way.


Can I grow potatoes in the same ground 2 years running? Have grown them successfully but usually skipped a year.


What kind of trees would grow in marl soil?


My front flower bed is shaded and sheltered by a tall hedge. The front yard is north-facing. What can I plant for some colour and coverage that will populate the bed nicely for the summer and maybe next year too? Would a clematis climb up the hedge with very little sun?


I have recently moved into a house built approx 14 years ago. It is in a development with houses behind and at each side. I have a soggy and uneven garden. I have two young children and would like to put my garden to better use. I am a first time gardener! I am considering … read more


Is it too late to prune roses in early March?


I work in a school garden. Because the children get holidays at the end of June, we try to sow the chitted seed potatoes by mid March at latest. This year Easter hols are very early so we probably need to sow next week. With the bouts of frost and cold….Is this going to affect … read more


We cut down a large variegated Poplar a few months ago as it was rather too close to an old barn. There are lots of suckers rising from the roots which are near the surface and I was wondering how we can get rid of these.


Like everyone , my garden is very wet and soggy. I thought I had good colour in a bed I see from kitchen window, but Primula viallii and pasque flower have disappeared. Winter heathers? Perennial wallflowers? Mini daffs doing well. Primulas struggling


Attaching photo of diseased leaves on Daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’ – quite a small young plant. Please advise treatment.


I have a Phygelius African Queen I believe. Planted in 2002 by now it has invaded the decking, grass and the rest of the bed, neighbour’s garden. Cutting it comes back stronger and spreading more than ever. I need to remove or eradicate it somehow, but there is a lot of it. Really need your … read more


I moved to Ireland few months ago. I didn’t work in my garden because I wanted to know what plants I have here. I found this plant and neither me our my husband know what it is.


We have a wintering flowering cherry blossom that has suffered from blossom wilt the last few years, getting progressively worse. Last summer all the only leaves were at the very top of the tree, and there were no flowers this winter. Is it worth cutting back the tree hard to see if it will recover, … read more


I am trying to find inspiration for a climber on a wall that is in shade and in a very windy spot. I used the tool on this website (very useful) but the results give only creepers and ivy; I’m not crazy about either, do you know if I have any other options?


We are lucky to be moving to a beautiful riverbank site shortly. I would like to plant a weeping willow/s at the waters edge. It is a stoney riverbank which floods regularly. How do I go about this, will the tree disappear with the first flood?Also I would love to set wildflowers on the sloping … read more


I planted some Oriental and Asiatic lilies in pots and left them in the shed maybe until they start sprouting because there is still frost outside so hope this is ok? Also is there any other flower bulb that I could plant now in pots for spring and summer?


Moved group 2 clematis end of summer last year. Should I prune to 18 inches this spring? One is already sprouting. Nellie Moser and Niobe.


I have just bought a couple of dahlias to plant in a pot but I wonder if it is still too cold to leave them outside? Should I wait to plant or could I keep the vase inside? I don’t have a green house only a shed where there is no sunlight but could I … read more


I recently got a dog. My garden is blocked from the sun for the majority of the day, with the recent weather the garden has cut up badly, and I was hoping you could advise me on any way of hardening or drying out the ground, I don’t want to concrete as it takes the … read more


I got 2 Pittosporum evergreen shrubs last year. They are in pots outside the front door and are very much exposed to the elements. I haven’t been watering them as they get a fair bit of rain. One of the plants in particular has started to wither – see pictures attached. Just wondering if you … read more


We have a topiary tree with inner frame in the shape of a horse. It’s probably about 10 years old now. Is it possible to remove it from current location and replant, sell on or donate?


My box hedge which surrounds the vegetable patch has recently been infected with blight. i am treating it and hoping for the best. However I am wondering if it is safe to grow potatoes in this area. I realise the two blights are caused by different fungi but am concerned that it will increase the … read more


Is lime good for lawns at start of year.Have 1 acre of lawn which looks weak and mossy in patches.What agricultural fertiliser will I use in spring to get it back to life.


Repotted in large terracotta planter after purchase last year, using John Innes 3 medium. Should it be fertilized and when? What type fertilizer & amount?


I have two types of Agapanthus blue and white the White one is growing down to the ground while the blue is upright. They are in a south west facing bed what can I do?


Several years ago, we transplanted an apple tree. Most of it died but part of it recovered and grew new shoots producing apples. Another part of the tree grew new shoots producing apples also. We removed this part and replanted it and put rooting powder on the roots. Will it grow again?


Our lovely mature variegated Holly (about 25 ft) is shedding leaves in one section. The leaves are blackening at the tip and are falling off promptly afterwards. It is spreading rapidly. I have been collecting the fallen leaves and tried to cut back the affected branches, but i can’t control it. We are after the … read more


We moved into a new house last October with a small south-facing back garden/patio area that is fenced with a dull wooden fence that I can’t really paint much of due to some old climbers already there. I would like to plant some new colourful climbers and am wondering what to plant and when to … read more


I enclose a photo of rhubarb plants which are being eaten. I’m wondering what could be attacking them at this time of year and what remedy you would recommend. The variety is ‘Timperly Early’. I have applied slug pellets to no avail.


It said last week to check on stored dahlias to make sure they have not dried out. I thought that the idea of storing them was to make sure that they are dry before being put away so that they don’t rot. I dried mine & put them in newspaper in a box. Surely if … read more


I have one Black Hamburg grapevine in a glasshouse. It is 30 years old. Grape crops were excellent up to 6 years ago when it was attacked by mealybugs brought in on an ornamental plant. How can I get rid of this pest chemically? I have tried control by cleaning off old bark, squashing egg-nests, … read more


I received a gift of a rose bush but I am not sure how to plant it at this time of the year – any tips? things I should avoid?


I recently moved to a new house and found some of these plants in a shed, all dried out but flowering. The flowers look like yellow pins in a pin cushion. Could you tell me what they are please?


I have a virginia creeper/boston ivy on the front of my north east facing house but it has never clung on with it’s pads (I think the render is too smooth) Im thinking of changing to Wisteria, would that be a good idea, or can you suggest another climber. Otherwise, any tips on how to … read more


I have a fence at the front of my house. I had a shrub growing over it but it was too heavy and the fence was falling and getting damaged. Can you recommend a light climbing shrub please. Preferably that flowers and is evergreen.


I am planning on purchasing a lean-to glasshouse. It is a very exposed site beside a lake, subjected to strong winds. What type of glass would you recommend? Is there a strength difference between safety & horticultural glass?


Sparrows are pecking at the silicone on my windows causing damage. Any ideas?


My Trachycarpus fortunei died in winter of 2010/11. This month I have discovered new leaves growing around the butt of the old truck. It looks like 4 individual new plants are growing from the old root system. Can I separate and transplant these new trachy? If so when n how is best method. Would not … read more


I was at a wedding on Saturday ( three days ago) I was given a little rose to wear on a suit. I was wondering could I propagate this rose into a new plant? I have had it soaking in water for couple of days, thinking it might grow new roots. Is it possible to … read more


I planted winter pansies, violas and mini cyclamen and cyclamen in my window boxes in late September. The compost is very wet and cyclamen may be rotting. Have deadheaded but little further flowering. Do I need to dry out window boxes and if so how? Also, should I fertilise to encourage growth and if so, … read more


We back onto a house which has Leylandii planted and which have grown very high and overhang into our garden. I can’t cut them back to the party wall as the foliage is brown so am wondering what can I do to prevent them continuing to grow and overhang the shared wall as we are … read more


Anything to kill ivy on shed, it’s growing wild.


I have used Gallop to kill grass and moss. If I just dig the garden over leaving all the dead moss and grass will it make matters worse?


Can anything be done with ground ivy which is gradually creeping around all my shrubs especially hebes. Any suggestions?


I have a large concrete back yard with swings etc, surrounded by mass concrete walls, 1m up to 2m in height with a beech/whitethrorn hedge on top bordering field. Can’t plant in concrete unless pots?? Looking for a creeper that will grow down and not effect hedge on top, would ivy strangle it as it … read more


I have a fig tree growing in a polytunnel for 3 years. Lots of fruit but tree is now too big. I’d like to move it outside but don’t want to kill it.


We’ve just brought in our Waterfall Begonias to overwinter indoors. How often should they be watered? I ask this because if planted in the ground, you dig up the tubers and bring them in to dry out so would watering them kill them off?


When bulbs are grown in pots and removed in the summer can they be repotted for a second year?


I had a turf lawn laid about 3 weeks ago and have watered it every evening since. About a week ago I noticed patches of what looks like white fluffy cottony mould in places. What is this growth and how can it be treated?


I would be delighted if you could identify this flower please


Can you recommend an ever green climber (strong preference to avoid ivy) for a North facing wall. The wall is roughly 10ft high & 7ft wide and is looked on to from the kitchen window.


One eating apple tree, 4 years old, either Katy or Fiesta (I have one of each), had a great crop of red apples but they were sticky to touch and it was not easy to wash this off. What is it? (Other eater and the Bramley got scab this year.) Should anything be done now … read more


I have a fuchsia collection in raised beds in my front garden. This area will become a builders site in a few months when we have an extension built. My plan is to lift the fuchsias ( about 50 of them, both H3 and H2) into pots which my kind neighbours have agreed to store. … read more


I have Autumn bliss Raspberries growing on a west facing wall which I fed with chicken pellets in the Spring. The crop is plentiful and the leaves appear healthy but the fruit is very crumbly with white bits on the inside. Is this normal?


I have ash trees sprouting up everywhere that are becoming a nuisance. How can I can rid of them successfully?


What causes hard woody bits in pear fruit? How to avoid?


When should I sow my forget-me-not seeds so they are flowering with my tulips?


I am looking to source 150 -300 bulbs, do you have any suggestions please?


I have an area about half acre and two years ago I converted to a wild flower meadow. The first year the results were spectacular. The second year was very disappointing with far too much grass and very few flowers. This happened even after I followed the instructions on mowing, cutting, lifting etc. I now … read more


Im making a new bed. I hear that it’s better to plant in spring if you live in the north. The bed is on the top of a hill and exposed to wind. What plants could be planted now or should I wait?


I have a magnolia tree which is now about 9 ft tall. It flowered in its first year but poorly. I moved it to a spot where it seemed to thrive but it has not flowered since that first year. It has large white/pink tulip shaped flowers (or could have.) Any recommendations?


There is a section in my garden that I am unable to grow anything, most plants have died. The part of the garden is a very cold spot. An ideas of what I can grow?


The weed in the attached photo is growing like wildfire in my field beside my house on Achill Island. I cannot kill it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to take care of this?


The plant in the picture grew from seed which I think fell from our bird feeder. It’s about 2ft tall and has just pridudes blue & white flowers. Any idea what it is? Last year we got some Nyger seed plants!


I want to start a vegetable plot, my garden had 10ins of soil on top of hard compacted stones and yellow subsoil and poor drainage,i scraped off the soil with a digger and removed 12 ins deep of subsoil i put back the soil and then filled in with new topsoil i tested the new … read more


I am looking for planting suggestions for my garden boundary to offer privacy for both my garden and my neighbour. I am in the process of renovating an overgrown garden. As you can see from the attached photo my garden and house are over looked by my neighbours house. I plan to continue my fencing … read more


Having tried unsuccessfully for three years to eradicate this disease from my cordon apple trees, we eventually dug them up this spring. They were in the best location ( South facing wall) so I would like to try planting other fruit trees, maybe a fig. Could this disease recur? Do you have other recommendations?


I have moved into a small housing estate, with fairly large green area. We have formed a residents association and we are looking for advice on the type of shrubs or trees to plant in the estate. Each house has a small green area beside the footpath. We would like to put small trees or … read more


Many years ago an article was published in “The Irish Garden” about the traditional Orange and Easter lily commonly grown in Irish gardens. I specifically want to know the botanic name of the traditional Irish Orange lily. Other Lilies that are orange are available but these are not the one’s I remember from childhood. They … read more


Any vegetables the kids can get started and in the garden for Oct, Nov, I hear peas can get started in November or kale’s looking to give the kids something before march/April yo see growing Any herbs Maybe?


Can you identify the attached please ?. I am worried it is Japanese hogweed.


A cherry tree was planted about 5 years ago and is not growing as it should. the leaves seem fine and it flowers but not getting bigger. not sure how it was planted and is planted on raised ground. also there is bark damage at base about inch and half cut. also a windy site. … read more


I recently bought a white horsechestnut at a good price. probably sitting in a pot for years at nursery. there is some leafburn and bark damage. could you have a look at pictures and give me a prognosis. it has a good central leader so i took a chance once planted in ground it might … read more


What is the name of this plant?


I have planted spring bulbs on my bank and there is a load of weeds in the area. If I use weedkiller will I kill my bulbs too.


We have planted gladioli in pots,there are lots of greenery but no flowers yet should we put in ground or leave in pots at this time, thank you.


My lawn was sown a year ago and I applied fertilizer (agricultural – due to size of lawn) in late April/early May. It was nice and green but now the fertilizer is gone and there are alot of white patches – the soil/drainage is not great. I was in to the garden centre and they … read more


My dad grew this plant in a glasshouse this summer assuming he had courgette seeds, any idea what they are?


I’ve been trying to buy madonna lily bulbs for over two years. Every garden centre says something different. If I ask in spring they say they come in in the autumn. If I ask in autumn they say they’ll have them next spring. – When should I expect to be able to buy them, and … read more


Looking for your advice on what to do with my new flower bed 10mx5m in the front of the house. I will be planting in two weeks but im not sure whether to lay the weed barrier and bark mulch on top,weed barrier and top soil on top or just plant and laying nothing at … read more


Planted Hydrangea macrophylla early summer, was thriving for first 6-8 weeks but now some of the leaves are looking burnt and a bit dried out, but more distressingly all the flowers are fading in colour and turning brown, soil is moist I’m sure it doesn’t need water but I have no idea what is happening … read more


I am new to gardening and just moved to a new house. Our back garden is patchy, weedy and full of small stones. The soil is greyish colour, not sure if that is normal. We have mowed it a few times, raked it, stabbed the soil with pitch fork and lightly covered lawn with lawn … read more


What can I start growing in my garden at this time of year as in fruit and veg?


I have a little veg plot in my garden, about 5 X 4 meters. 7-8 years ago it was producing plenty of excellent results. Basic stuff…lettuce, carrots, peas, spring onion…but it was always great fun. Last year several of my crops started off well, but then completely failed, and this year pretty much nothing grew, … read more


I collect chestnuts, acorns, sycamore ‘helicopters’, beech nuts, rowan berries etc over the last few years during Autumn, and stick them in pots in compost over winter, usually in the garden shed. Often they won’t germinate, but they regularly do. I now have a couple dozen tree saplings / seedlings and think they should probably … read more


I planted a hydrangea earlier this year, which was thriving – lovely dark green foliage & growing rapidly. Since the start of our ‘summer’ it has started to be effected by, what looks like, mildew. It has started to turn a pale yellow and is losing its leaves. I’ve treated the mildew with a baking … read more


Some years ago, I bought back two cones from Israel (sentimental reasons) and recently put a couple of the seeds into some compost. Surprisingly they have taken root and I now have four little bright yellow green spikey shoots almost like the spikes of an upturned umbrella. Do you think they will survive here and … read more


I bought a plastic hanging basket preplanted with cherry tomatoes. They are just ripening but the plant appears to be dying and half the tomatoes are diseased looking . What is it and what can we do?


What’s likely cause? it occurred on the potatoes from just one plant. Plants either side are okay


Purchased this tree, japanese maple – dissectum Garnet, two/three months ago and repotted it some weeks later into a larger deeper pot (see photos) in John Innes 3 and also put gravel in the base for drainage. As you will see from the attached photo, it is situated in a sheltered location which gets plenty … read more


I planted this at the front wall of my house thinking it would grow over the wall but it seems to just grow upwards and seems to sprawl all over the place. I’m not sure how to look after this plant and make it look nicer than what it does. At the moment it just … read more


A young pear try that I purchased in Spring and planted up immediately always had droopy foliage. I assumed that was a varietal habit. However, in recent days it has developed black and brown marks on the foliage and the droop has become more prounced. I am concerned it might be fireblight as it is … read more


I have a new raised veg bed this year that is producing very well. However I used railway sleepers at the front and sides of the bed without really thinking about the danger involved from wood preservative leaking into the soil. Do you know if the veg will be contaminated and what I could do … read more


Recently planted red robin hedges in side my fenced garden. The problem I am now having is my lawn meets the fence, and in turn grass is growing in between the hedges. I have been strimming these areas, but this is not a long term solution. Any suggestions ? In hind sight I should have … read more


I want to lift this year’s raspberry canes to give to friends. I would normally do this in January, having cut the plants from about 1.5 metres to 0.5m. What’s the ideal month to lift them? The old canes have finished fruiting now, but I noticed some new fruit on one or two new green … read more


When can I put cuttings from shrubbery that I want to put in a bank I have created? I have rooting powder.


I am having a problem with ivy growing up through a mature hedge…..any suggestions?


I found wasps on my potato stalks today. They were on two different plants. They were grown from the fruit that formed on the stalks of sharpo axon is that l had growing last year. I was wondering what was the attraction. I have never seen it before.


Apple tree (bramley seedling) purchased last year is showing brown sunken marks on the bark. There are two of them like this. What is this? Is it serious? What can be done?


I would like to know where I can get the Edible Barbadenis Aloe Vera plant, please.


I need to return my garden and I want to do it with roll on turf. Do I need to strip the grass or can I just roll theturf on top of old grass. Would I need to put weedkiller on it?


Can I dig up wild orchids in my garden and move them?


House purchase – Line of mature leylandii are on boundary. Causing darkness, debris on driveway and major drought on one side of house. Like them as they shelter house however dreading high winds or storm. Looking for suggestions on what to plant underneath as the soil is powder dry. Roots are huge and are affecting … read more


I plan to work on my daughter’s garden this coming weekend, and would like your advice on how to get rid of the moss that has taken over the flower beds. Also what can we do to improve the soil. There is a box hedge surrounding the bed which is doing ok but the plants … read more


I bought chill pepper plants from Mr M. Mary St There are no flowers hence no peppers The plants are about 2 and a half feet high now


I have had an allergic reaction to something in the garden of a house let out, on/off for several years. Severe swelling of eye/lips, rash on neck/face, I have been admitted to hospital for treatment due to severity. I would like to get to the bottom of the issue as we are now moving into … read more


What is eating my Elaeagnus plant please ? how to stop it and picture attached.


Need help identifying this plant. It came in a box of seeds that encourage butterflies. It is thriving along with other ones of the same type in my garden.


I have Damson and Victoria Plum trees planted in County Monaghan . Both are Prunus domestica variety and are 8 years old. Last year was the first year that I had fruit , none before that and none this year. I’m told it was the late frost this year. Is there a more suitable variety … read more


This Acer has being dying down one side over the past few years. I have cut off the branches as they died. There are now only the leaves shown left & these look fairly healthy. Can you tell me what has happened & if the tree might fully recover?


I have yellow leaf on laural hedge was wondering if epsons salts would help the green back on to the leaf an would the epsons salts promote growth on the laural hedge.


can you grow new potatoes for Christmas?


I purchased this Boronia and it had beautiful pink flowers. It died a sudden death and lookes so dry even thought I have watered it every day. Initally I had it in a pot then put it in the front garden which get good sun in the afternoon and early evening. Is there any way … read more


I need a ground cover solution for under Dogwood shrubs (large area) as grass and tall weeds are visable even when dogwood is in full flower.


Have recently just fallen in love with gardening after never having done it before. I put in a large rockery (prob about 10M) and I have been busy planting away with summer flowers. My question is what are the best flowers to plant for autumn or seeds to sow. Have no idea what will last … read more


We’ve got this plant all over. The photo is the tomato bed in the glasshouse, but it is in veg beds, flower beds, patio cracks, etc.. It doesn’t seem to respond to Roundup or Mo-Bacter. It is a devil to manually weed.


I’ve been searching high and low for this in Ireland but it appears this isn’t grown by nurseries here. Have you ever heard of anyone growing/selling this climber? Any info greatly appreciated.


I have a ditch at the end of my garden with whitethorn trees growing along it. The slope of the ditch is very bare (apart from some rocks) and I want to fill the space and add some colour. What are the best types of plants to set in an area like this?


I would like an identification of these two weed grasses. The first one could be scutch grass but I am not sure.


my neighbour has asked me to water his pepper plants in his green house whilst he is abroad however the solution of fertiliser and water has now depleted will it be ok to use just water


I have 2 hazelnut trees in my garden, there are small shoots growing at the bottom of the trees, could i use these shoots to grow more hazelnut trees and if so what would i need to do.


My Leylandii hedge is turning brown like if it’s dying. Can you tell me what might be wrong it’s about 18 years sowed?


I have grass growing up through my heather. The heathers were planted several years ago and we used a black membrane to stop weeds. However the grass is shooting up through it and when it try to pull the grass it breaks and I am unable to get the roots. Do I need to dig … read more


I have a problem with my tomatoes, the skin ‘s are splitting, Is there a recommended amount of water per plant or per square yard


I got a present of an Orchid today. I don’t know its name. It is in a plastic container and it looks to be set in bark. There seems to be about 3 rings of root at the bottom. Since its bark, the water will just run through. How do I know when and how … read more


Have to cut back a mixture of different shrubs that have exceeded their space. I know that pruning now will give risk of infection in pruning cuts. New growth should harden off before winter as far as I know. Some will have to be cut back hard as well. Any advice?


Do you know what kind of weed this is? It is growing near the roots of one of the shrubs in my garden and I am reluctant to put week killer on it in case I damage the shrubs. I have dug it out before and put wood chip down. Any other suggestions would be … read more


I transplanted red dogwood I found in the bog earlier this year. It started to grow and looked well, new leaves and all. Now leaves are turning black on some plants and all the green vegetation is blackening on those sick plants. I am afraid it might spread – what ever it is?


I’ve a syringa vulgaris lilac bush that is not in great soil. While its healthy, its struggling to grow. I have it about 5 years and want to transplant it to a better area. It’s nearly 4ft tall. Would replanting damage it and do you know what type of soil would be best? I’d like … read more


My Hyacinth Carnegie and Muscari blue grape variety are now falling back but I’ve noticed small tomatoe type growth on the stems. Are these new seeds/bulbs ? and what should I do with them. Also how far back should I cut out of season stems such as above and tulips for.


I have a Robin Red and a golden maple next to each other. Both are covered in a tiny black insect. On the maple the insect appears like black spots on the leaves. On the Robin Red the insects are grouped on the stems. What is the best way of treating this? Thank you.


I’m planning a new build the site has been chosen (not in Dublin) but there are approx 150 year old, 50-60 foot tall beech and chestnut trees on the site, could you recommend a safe distance the house should be from these trees root wise? Going at least the height of the trees from the … read more


Had an idea to run by you. Could one recreate a greenhouse/polytunnel effect by training tomatoes and peppers vertically on a sturdy steel frame and draping it with plastic? Could you envisage improvising an otherwise expensive fruit cage? Trying to work out how to grow a few plants…


I have a number of pear trees in my garden which last year showed signs of pear scab and a blackening of the leaves. I have looked in various places for a suitable spray but have been unable to locate one. I note Jeyes Fluid is recommended in some circumstances but only when trees are … read more


i have put down a new lawn four weeks ago and i am just wondering for the first few cuts will i collect the grass or is it best to mulch it without the box on the lawnmower.


The new growth on red robin plants are inclined to sag forwards and downward to the ground. My question is, should I stake them upright with bamboos before trimming the side of the hedging, or trim as they are. The only thing is if I trim as is, I will be cutting approx. 12 to … read more


Are there any shrubs or plants that will grow in a shady area by the sea.


I can’t find a supplier of Nymphaea candida (for our small pond) in Ireland: any suggestions please?


Should the pot be left sitting in water or should they be watered from the top and left sitting on a surface that will dry off


I accidentally sprayed vinegar on my vegetable garden. I sprayed with the hose right away with water of course. What is the probability that my plants will die??


My lawn grass is in very poor condition with weeds and moss, what can I do now i.e June to improve the condition without resetting? Also I have a hedge out the back that has briars running through it is there anything I put on this can will kill the briars but leave the hedge?


Bamboo trouble. I bought two pots of bamboo at Woodley, it seems to be fading fast. I water it and fertilise it. Leaves turning brown… is it that I need bigger pots .


i keep finding this white stuff on dead plants in my indoor garden. Is that what is killing my plants? Please see photo attached


Something is munching my Brocolli plants both those bought as plants and those I have grown from seeds. Doesn’t seem to be slugs, cant see any tiny eggs or caterpillars although there are small tracks on the reverse of larger leaves? Might it be Vine Weevel although there are lots of big bits from the … read more


Can I plant daffodils under a mature magnolia? They are not doing well in pots, but I am afraid I might damage roots of magnolia Stellata as they appear close to surface. Thank you


A few years ago I set Photinia Red Robin and Pink Marble hedge mix of 2:1 respectively. Unbeknownst to me, the Red Robin is a quicker grower and has crowded out the Pink Marble and as a result there are slight gaps where the Pink Marble is.Should I leave things as they are or should … read more


I planted some hoheria trees last year but the leaves have some type of fungal disease. There are small black spots on the underside of the leaves, the leaves turn yellow and fall off. I sprayed with Rose Clear Ultra and it definitely helped but the problem seems to be returning again. Do I need … read more


I am new in gardening and decided to plant Marigolds from seeds from shop. I know how it must look but what was grown from my planted seeds confused me a lot! I am not sure I am growing Marigolds. What do you think it could be?


Need help in selecting a boundary for shelter in our garden in a very exposed area of North Kerry, in the countryside approx. 7km from the sea/coast. I don’t want it to grow too high, would like to keep an open feel to the area but creating a shelter belt with little maintenance is paramount … read more


So my lawn has become around 70-80% scutch. I want to avoid the nuclear option of roundup, Rotavate and reseed since the lawn is about 3/4 of an acre. I’m scarifying heavily tomorrow and overseedng in the hope it will help. Have I any other options..??


My wisteria grows beautifully and looks very heathy and green but very few flowers appear.it is on a south-facing wall on the back of the house.Any ideas what I can do?


I bought a wisteria plant 3-4 weeks ago. Want to grow it in a pot so bought a good big one but the leaves are turning brown and the plant is not growing.Wonder if the cold weather has anything to do with the fact that it is not doing well. Thank you.


correct time of year to treat the lawm for moss


My 5 year old camellia (potted) started budding for the first time this year. However the leaves and buds have turned brown.


Our red acer has seeds growing at the moment it is May 25th 2015, first time for this tree, when i can take them and try to grow new trees from them? Appreciate any help.


I would appreciate advice on how to deal with this problem. I had two 9ft Holly Alaska’s planted last November. I had to tie the stakes to the fence over the winter to support as the strong winds were uprooting them. They have lost all their leaves from the top half – for about 4ft. … read more


how do i treat peach leave curl i have 2 trees 1 in Ireland and 1 in Montenegro which has a warm Mediterranean climate. I bought trees in Ireland and was wondering is it the variety of tree that is prone to peach leave curl rather than the climate .


Just wondering is there anywhere that stocks Irish strawberry trees.


have noticed that some ash trees in my area have a blackish hue to them. When you look closely at branches it looks like hundreds of tiny, flat, dark coloured leave like structures are present. have been told that trees have gone to seed too early. Is this what has happened and what has caused … read more


As a first time tomato grower, what do I need to do to get best results?


I am growing some tomato plants in a polytunnel (first year) and one of them seems to have developed a problem. The leaves at the top have become rather crispy and shrivelled. The rest of the leaves seem to be fine albeit slightly leathery. None of the other plants have this problem and seem to … read more


Is it too late to start growing blueberries?


Just a quick query about my laurel hedge its along the side of my house some more exposed than others exposed ones have taken a battering with leaves falling of where the others have grown good do you think the leaves will come back the branches are still green fed them chicken manure in march … read more


Could you please let me know who stocks or where I might be able to get the fireball poppy and the foxglove tree featured in this months magazine?


Just re-designed garden in formal style, buxus pyramids & balls. Would like to plant slow growing, compact evergreens with colour between. Any suggestions please ?


I would like to plant both climbers in one large clay pot circa 17″ diameter and 17″ high. North facing wall at my front door with canopy and wall trellis. Will they work planted in the same pot and is that size pot adequate for healthy growth


I have bought 2 large pots diameter approx 80cm. They are for my patio which is very open and on a very windy site. I would like to plant a tall shrub/tree in each and plant some low lying plants around the bottom. Ideally I would like them to be low maintenance and as a … read more


Every spring my perennials start growing like this. Any advice on cure please?


What can I plant in my glasshouse now 1st May. Bereavements took me away from gardening.I have sown Veg marrow yesterday as previous plants died of drought and frost. Never had a quince on my 10year old tree – and ideas??


Two – level very overgrown garden. No topsoil or clay – only builder rubble, stones and sand.. Lower level sloping towards house with no retaining wall with wooden railing separating upper and lower levels. No access for mini digger. Two landscapers have said no to job with one saying it’s the worst he’s ever seen. … read more


I recently replaced a long (20m) wooden panel fence with a concrete block wall. .About 6m of the wall is bounding on a new patio and there is a buried oil line just under the patio surface, so cannot dig beds. Wall is north facing, getting sun late PM onwards.I would like to grow evergreen … read more


I am growing onions in a polytunnel but the stalks are shooting up way too fast and starting to fall over. Is there any way to slow this growth?


I planted this hedge about 2 years ago. Growth fantastic. Towards end of last year 3 plants started to fade and I replaced them and they are doing brilliantly. However the one next to them has now faded, (leaves dying off and branches discoloured). Any idea what may be causing this and is there a … read more


I have a Daphne Astrid that I bought 3 years ago (25euro) I have it in a container on my patio which is south facing and sheltered, I also top dressed it last year. It is struggling, I am desperate not to let it die.It is very bare with a few leaves at the top, … read more


My Azalea seems to be only hanging in there this year. Is there anything I can do to help it? Its planted in my garden, not in a pot. Before I planted it, I had lined to hold with compost.


When is the best time to cut back my heathers which are in bloom at the moment?


I HAVE 4 STANDARD ROSES IN CIRCLE WITH RADIUS 4FT FOUR ROSES IN SAME TWO SPOTS HAVE DIED ANY IDEAS


I have a magnolia tree that was planted 3 years ago. It is in a sunny position and seems to be flourishing with plenty of new leafs but it has not flowered yet. Is there anything I need to do to get it to flower for next year?


We have lots & lots of daffodils, all various varieties. This year a large % of the Daffodils failed to flower & left us with leaves only. Why did this happen?


I need a supplier of Shamrock or Erin Grow Bags in the South Dublin area, I find it harder each year to find these as a lot of English grow bags are in the bigger stores and I don’t find these as good as the Irish ones.


Have you ever heard of a Moon Flower? Its a flower that comes out when the sun goes down and has a wonderful scent. If you have heard of it or seen it somewhere, could you please let me know where I can souce the plant. Alternatively can you enlighten me on flowers that open … read more


when you list rabbit proof plants/shrubs does this also mean hares?


Can you name this plant? They are sprouting out of the ground in my son’s garden


My wife and I visited your beautiful country, last fall. I took a picture of a plant near the Ring of Kerry and want to know if, you can identify it. See attached photo.


I purchased an assortment of fruit bushes from a supermarket and am not entirely sure which is the best way to plant them in the ground?They come in pots and are grown with small bamboo stakes surrounding them, I do not know if I need to plant them with the same small stakes or else … read more


This tree spent 2 yrs in a large tub then went in the ground, the surrounding hedge has grown almost as tall as the little tree now (about 3 feet tall) and I think it does not get enough sunlight anymore as it seems to have stopped growning. It is in its current position for … read more


can i buy a small quantity (40-50) of annual bedding flowers for pots and baskets (lobelia,trailing surfinia,etc.)in plug form anywhere in ireland.i want to finish growing them in my glasshouse


I was wondering if you could tell me where I could purchase a red Passion flower as I have the purple ones and pure and white but cannot find a red one or any other colour.


I’ve a wooden arbour in the garden (which has good soil throughout) and there are some mature climbers on it: honeysuckle, clematis & jasmine which get trimmed every year.There was also a mature sycamore beside the arbour which was cut down last November and the trunk poisoned to kill it off.A sewer line about 4.5metres … read more


I have a gorgeous pink lady apple tree growing at my allotment. Last night I noticed a hole in the trunk close to the bottom of the tree, about 10cm in diameter and 1cm deep. I also spotted a joint on an upper branch withy crusty, dried and flaky chunk bark. I am worried!!! What … read more


Hi Gerry, I sat these laurel plants bareroot in October where doing good until bad winds in February now they are brown/spotty and leave tips breaking is there anything I can do to save them. have fed and watered well and also have bark around base of plants


2 years ago I planted 4 chaenomeles ‘Jetrail’ against a fence in a semi-shaded spot in my back garden. To date, only 1 has bloomed. Any ideas as to why the others haven’t yet when conditions are the same for all 4? Do they need more time to establish themselves maybe?


Couple of years ago we got connected to water mains and dug a trench for pipes. Soil has now gone down and trench is about 6 inches under level of garden. Is it possible to put soil/sand on top of current grass where trench is and this will remain level. can’t dig up etc due … read more


My well established Schizostylis normally blooms late summer/early autumn. However, in the last week it has started to flower – is this normal?


New house nearly ready and we are putting gravel provisionally around most of house. 0.25 acre site. I want to start growing veg. Should i just get greenhouse ? or leave some ground as is for a tunnell ? or just leave some ground and grow direct in that. Aim is to grow kale / … read more


Having Planted out some Cabbage and lettuce plants in my polytunnell I am having the same problem as last year with Wire Worms…could you please tell me the best way to deal with these and what to treat them with.


I have a daffodil with 3 flowers on one stalk. I have never seen the likes. How unusual is it?


What would you recommend for my lawn which is hungry and also needs greening up?


I am creating a native wood in my back garden. I have 4 x 4 m to play with I am wondering what density of trees and shrubs I can use for canopy and shrub layers. eg. Canopy trees 2m apart and shrubs in between at say 1m apart?


We have a holly JC in our garden for the past 5 years (see photo). The bulk of branches are low to the ground and more sparse mid and top of the shrub. The leaves are also being eaten by pests. Is it too late for me to prune the lower branches and any ideas … read more


I inherited this tree in a pot with the house.It had 2 leaves at first but has added some in the last 2 years.Can you tell me what it is?


A builder next door has dug up part of my border, in which there is a 250+ year old pear tree growing. He appears to have cut through half the roots to one side of the main tree trunk. What can I do to ensure the tree will not die. It still provides fruit regularly … read more


I purchased a mixture of roses, some climbers, eg. ARTHUR BELL and other non-climbing varieties. I aim to start a nice rose garden but am not sure if the climbing varieties can be planted alongside the other roses or do they need to be kept a certain distance apart?


Prior to laying a turf lawn (as soon as the weather allows me) in order to aid drainage and levels, is it advisable mix in some “sharp sand” with the topsoil? If so, would the stuff thy sell in the builders’ section of places like B&Q be suitable? My intention is to then mix in … read more


When is the best time to sow foxglove seeds?


I’m wondering what the best hedge would be for screening? I’ve been thinking of Laurels, but believe they’re an invasive species? I’m looking for something affordable and hardy & evergreen. In addition, I want to get this done ASAP so something that can be planted year round (or late Spring). It’s for a border area … read more


Can you please tell me the name of this shrub and any tips on care?


I have to train a large Virginia creeper up a wall but I can’t screw anything into the wall as it is hollow (I think it’s externally insulated). Is there any clever method for attaching something to the wall that the climber can then use?


I would like to to know how to prune my Jade ( Crassula Ovata) plant ( tree ) ideally I would prefer not to have to but it has become too big for its location. You will see from the photograph just how large it is.


Why would an Aucuba japonica suddenly begin to wilt? It has been in place for a few years. The leaves have what looks like wind damage also.


Two of my raised beds have been taken over by a weed with a white root (see photo) that can run parallel to the ground at the depth of a few inches. The root is quite strong and can be a number of feet in length and I assume it is strangling the roots of … read more


I was given 2 small roses in pots for Mothers Day. They came from Aldi. But there was no instructions on how to care for them or whether they are indoor or outdoor. I have them indoors at the moment in bigger pots. They looked cramped. I have them on a sunny windowsill but after … read more


I’m looking for advice on what type of plants I should plant in my border. It’s facing the sea, about 100 meters away! and Easterly in direction, so exposed to all manner of breezes and gales. I am thinking about heather, saxifraga, aubretia at the very edge and at the back some erysimum, hoping to … read more


I am trying to locate Coronilla Glauca or Valentina for my garden. Have tried a number of the major garden centres in Dublin and also Johnstown, Kill. Can you suggest where I could find one ?


Would you recommend MO Bacters moss remover and if so do you know of a local supplier?


Ridges are appearing on my lawns for past few years. They are approx 3-5 metres long, 3cms wide and 1-2 cms high. There are up to 10 ridges perfectly parallel to one another, in three or four areas of the lawn. There are no tree roots near them. I have dug up 1 square foot … read more


Very old apple tree (100 + yrs old) was pruned too hard to allow light to house, 3 parts of trunk cut straight across leaving main trunk and 3 stumps. It sprouted briefly afterwards but this year it seems totally dead. Twigs are dry and brown. Is there any way to save the tree? Was … read more


I planted a Elaeagnus x ebbingei hedge 2 years ago. It has always had these insects on it and I kept them at bay by individually washing the leaves. But now it is too big and is suffering badly! There are about 16 plants and all affected. Myrtles in between are fine. Leaves have yellow … read more


My Magnolia has a central stem with rot. Should I go extreme and prune it hard to save the plant? I noticed an earwig in the hole last year too.


I have a large lawn. 1/2 acre or so. Is solid or liquid fertiliser more economical.


I planted photinia hedge spring 2013. I probably plante half and then finished it 2 months or more later!! so the second half of the hedge didn’t get as good a start unfortunately. I have pruned it well twice yearly since to thicken it well. The good half is beautifully thick but the other half … read more


I’m planning planting some Laurel and was wondering what sort of nutrient or fertiliser I should use – I’m told lime and some moss peat is good.


Please recommend disease free, sweet eating and also cooking apples trees for location in County Monaghan. I have finally thrown the towel in on trying to grow Cox Pippins despite spraying for scab etc. at recommended times. Little or no success with them after 6 years


Is it ok to use home made seaweed liquid feed on tomatoes?


Some years ago when I moved house, I didn’t have sufficient protected space for my half hardy Fuchsia collection. So, I planted some of them out in the garden. Many survived the first few mildish winters, but only this specimen came through the savage winter of 2010 when my garden plummeted to an all-time record … read more


I have what appears to be lichen on my Cox’s Pippin apple tree. Also some cankers (they look like hard sponges) on certain branches. I got little or no fruit last year through neglect. Is it too late to prune and feed and place a Codling Moth trap?


Looking for hedge options for a windy site bearing in mind that my client likes to keep it natural as possible to her surroundings, which is a country house. Also no shiny greenery. Also fairly uniform with wind braking qualities. Thinking of a mixed hedge. what do you recommend ?


What different trees can I plant on land in Achill island ?


Recently my Dad put his new Connemara pony into the back garden to graze, when he came back he noticed she was eating the bark off my prize plum tree, what can l do to save it, or can l?


I have a small sunny front dublin city garden and I want to plant trumpeter roses . I want to add in another colour probably white or yellow. What rose would be good in terms of height and flowering to complement trumpeter. Also where do you recommend to buy the roses. Many thanks Mary gallagher


I have a gooseberry bush that i have’ nt pruned this year as pruned wrong last year and got very little fruit. Is it too late and how do i prune it ?


Can you please advise if the spreading of cold ashes from a coal/briquette fire has any benefit good/bad on my lawn?


This old church has pervasive ivy growing on it. We have attempted to sever the roots at the base but the ivy seems to be rooted behind the stones. We believe that if we do not restore this building now it will be beyond saving. How can we get rid of the ivy without damaging … read more


Can climbing roses be planted permanently in large pots or must they be sown into the actual soil


I’ve planted some Asiatic and Oriental lilies bulbs in pots and I wonder if I can leave them in the shed until they start growing or is it better to leave them outside?


My veg garden gas been going for 9 years and is now tired and performing poorly. I am not really able to dig it anymore, nor have I farmyard manure to dig in.I see you’re not really a fan of raised beds but I had intended to put them in to avoid digging and make … read more


I mulched my apple trees this winter with well rotted horse manure. But then I heard that this is not a good thing to do because it promotes too much soft growth. Should I remove the mulch?


I would really appreciate it if you could tell me when is the best time to prune the trees in the photo and if you could tell me what species of tree they are?


After lots of looking decided I like look of Escallonia hedge. I like the small dark leaves and flowers. I rang a few nursery’s and they have said Escallonia is getting a disease. Is it worth risking going ahead and buying it or am I better off going for something else.What would you recommend? It … read more


I have tried for a long time to grow Embothrium coccineum but can’t seem to get it to take off. What are the optimum planting conditions and do I need to do anything specific to care for it? This shrub is simply spectacular when it flowers. I live in Mallow Cork on a fairly exposed … read more


I have a 6 foot wall that separates my back fence from the street I am looking to grow some climbing plants up the wall to cover it but the issue I have is at the base of the wall its very shallow until it hits cement. Therefore can you suggest any climbing plants that … read more


I’m looking for a Cherry Tree recommendation. 1) Tasty cherries 2) Mid sized – pref 3 metres approx height and bushy. Any suggestions? Also – Will birds devour the lot or will I be left with at least half the produce? I’m prepared to net the tree if necessary.


I’m looking for advice in relation to planting a hedge around the circular rim of an old fort, it hasn’t any preservation orders on it of any kind. The previous bushes, whitethorn and blackthorn, were never trimmed and they grew to 20ft and more but fell over due to a combination of ivy, wind and … read more


Included is a photo of something that comes overnight, it is weird, I have a small dog and would it be harmful if she ate it.


When raking up some leaves today I came to a pile of sycamore leaves. Most of these have black spots on them. My question is: Is it ok to add them to my leaf compost heap? Or is this a fungus that will infect plants where the leaf-mould is used?


I am part of a committee completing planting in a new Local Childrens’ Playground.The playground is an enclosed area (approx 800m2) with mostly tarmac and rubber safety surfacing. We have a circuit bench which will have a tree planted in the centre. What tree would you recommend? We would like a feature tree, with a … read more


Please can you advise what trees I can plant in a very exposed coastal site in South Wexford . I need these trees for some privacy. The must be able to survive in high winds and will be about 20 to 30 feet from the house. I have attached photo of what I envisage


Could you recommend name of suitable apple tree to plant , i would like to plant two ,not too big and easy to grow ie not susceptible to disease . i have reasonable soil plenty of sunlight.


What plants would you suggest I use to conceal the concrete box in the foreground of the attached photo? I have planted Cotoneaster horizontalis around the box to the background. The surrounding lawn has Maples, Silver Birch and Mountain Ash. This lawn gets morning and full afternoon sun. Your expert advise would be greatly appreciated.


I have 2 dozen lupins from this year’s seeds, in a cool greenhouse, about 12 inches tall, should I place them outside, or leave them where they are?


I planted some Madonna Lily bulbs 3 weeks ago and they are now showing well above ground. I didn’t expect them to appear until next summer. Is this usual? Will the frost kill them, should I dig them up and plant deeper? Your advice would be appreciated. Eilish.


When is the best time of year to transplant an olive tree growing in the wrong place outside in Co. Wicklow. What growing medium suits it best? I believe it it a well established tree but don’t know its age.


Do any readers know of a home cure or preventative for blackspot on roses. I have been using a proprietary brand but this year the blackspot has been very bad. My New Dawn has now lost all its leaves. Many of the hybrid tea roses look pretty sparse and even roses which have never had … read more


Making a large heatherbed (70 m2). Using mainly winterflowering heathers and some conifers.What other small flowering shrubs/perennials can be added to have some colour in the summer/autumn? The area gets full sun and is exposed to wind. Soil is clay and some added mosspeat.


This seems to be affecting my victoria plums. Will the whole crop be lost? Is there anything I can spray the tree with to stop it happening next year? (lost entire crop 2 years ago due to constant rain, no crop last year due to very late sharp frost)


Last spring I noticed a small plant in my garden with a large fig type leaf and I decided to leave it to see what it grew into. When the stem reached about 18 inches a nodding small blue flower with a yellow centre was produced. The plant is now about 3 ft, a single … read more


I recently noticed an apple blossom on the same branch as a fairly mature apple. It is a small Coronet apple tree. Would that be a usual occurrence?


Both last year and this year, my mother’s Sweet Pea has a small fly inside in the middle each Sweet Pea flower, and she does’t like giving small posies as gifts any more. What is the reason for these flies appearing and how should they be destroyed? Thanking you.


I have several holly-like plants appearing in the garden. This spring one flowered with beautiful yellow clusters of flowers, and now berries are forming. The flowers are like Mahonia, but the leaves are not compound. They are in clusters around the stems like Osmanthus. What is it?


My father gave me this plant before Christmas and said it was a kumquat grown from seed of fruit sourced in Florida. I gave it to a friend who has an orangery thinking that it should fit in nicely. The thing is that it doesnt resemble a kumquat plant from what we can see. Do … read more


I have a problem each year with my lilac plants, in county Monaghan. The leaves turn brown and curl up and fall off. It appears from previous “Ask Gerry” questions by others that it may be honey fungus damage. What is the treatment for this condition.


I have I think a variety of Arbutus. it seems to be suffering in some way. im wondering if you can have a look at the pictures and see what you think, and if i can treat it.


How soon can I sow a new lawn? My rural garden is in County Laois. It is fairly well drained, and the area for sowing is sheltered on the south-east side only.


We have an old apple orchard possibly 130 years old. we know the variety of some of the trees but not all. Unfortunately with the recent weather some of the trees have blown over. Would it be possible to salvage some of these varieties, i.e take a cutting and graft to a new rootstock? or … read more


Wisteria is well established, growing along a fence, c 30 m long, straggly & bits are somewhat bare at this time of year. Probably need someone to prune it properly, even if I lose a year.


Recently in ‘The Irish Garden’ I saw a recommendation to prune a daphne. I had always believed any cutting of a daphne was wrong, even cutting flowers. Please advise, should I prune daphnes now? Thanks and happy new year.


I need a fast growing, hardy, evergreen screening hedge for a location in county Monaghan, very frosty in the winter time. Space is not a problem. I have considered Leylandii but would prefer something that would stop growing at approx 25-30 feet high. I’m in my sixties so fast growing is important . Is there … read more


Two years ago I damaged the bark on this tree in September, it bled badly and the leaves browned and dried up that autumn with no colour at all. The same seems to be happening this year, nothing like the normal colour display, very little flower on it this year and once again leaves drying … read more


I have an Echium of about 1.20 metres in my garden which shall flower next year. How canI protect it from frost? It will only tolerate up to minus 3 Celsius as I read in one of my books. I heaped some earth around its base and popped a huge plastic bag over it as … read more


I have sowed new potatoes and kerr’s pink potatoes in back Garden which has not been sown in years The new potatoes were perfect and clean, they turned out great big and floweryThe Pink potatoes are bit scabby but seem ok to eat, very flowery, What causes the skin to be scabby


A friend told me she wanted to tidy her garden and cut her lilies down as they looked very uglyafter flowering. Now she is worried that it might have been wrong and would damage the plants. As I have no lilies myself I could not answer her. The lilies are the ones with leafs directly … read more


I have a very steep slope down my lane/drive and currently have grass, but as the slope is about 80 degrees its hard to cut etc so I’m looking a solution which will provide me evergreen low maintenance, flowering would be a bonus. I have looked at many options but keen to hear your input.


Part of our garden in being overrun by Russian Vine which is coming from a neighbour’s garden. Our bamboos are being strangled and the vine is scrambling through the tree canopy. No sooner do we take it back to the boundary than it returns. Our neighbour invited us to chop it back on his side … read more


Am I right in saying that pears won’t fruit in Galway? Or it dependable on the spring ie frost timing re buddingAlso should I prune my pear tree now as its gone a bit wild?


I have a Cedrus Atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’ which is 5 years old. It’s about 5ft tall and the leader has now reached the ground. I am wondering what i should do next, if anything, to help it change direction?


I planted a Magnolia Tree in Spring 2009. It went in in blossom and blossomed 2010 & 2011. In 2012 & this year it only produced two or three blossoms. The tree appears to be extremely healthy however, I have under-planted it with spring bulbs and sweet William for the summer. Is this the problem? … read more


see photo enclosed that are growing in a hanging basket Can you tell me what they areI know one is a geraniums but the not sure what they are


A few years back there was loads of pears on a pear tree but last year there was only one and this year none. There has been loads of flowers every year. Can you please help me as what I should do with it?


Hi Gerry, see enclosed flower yellow and orange Can you let me know if u know the name of it Thanks Francis


Can you tell me what this flower is? It look like a shamrock 3 leaf with yellow flowers. Not sure if it a real flower or a weed


What do we use for outdoor peach trees to prevent peach leaf curl now that liquid copper is not available?


We have a beech hedge in front and back garden, it is covered in something like greenfly. At the moment cannot even trying cutting it, as there are millions of these flys on it. What would you suggest, we have tried spraying with suddy water, and spray to kill greenfly cannot remember the name of … read more


i have this tree planted about 7 years. the blooms are beautiful in maythe leaves however are yellowing but the main concern is that the leaves are not very numerous. tbh it seems to be in trouble. the small branches are delicate looking and unhealthy. i suspect that there is builders rubble directly underneath. there … read more


I have a lovely large shrub of Daphne bholua “Jacqueline Postill” which has sent up suckers all around for the first time this year. I would like to pot up some and would like to know when I should do this? Also should I remove the rest? The mother plant is ringed with them, all … read more


I have a wide double row beech hedge. How and when can I cut it back severely ? One row grows towards the front, and the other to the back. The middle of the hedge is like an empty “tunnel”.If I cut back one side I will leave the trees on that side with hardly … read more


I have recently put in raised beds. The first layer of soil is made up of the grass / lawn sods taken from the area. Followed by mulch. The beds are 20″ high. Cutworms are appearing and eating through all stems of salad and leafy veg. only thing that they have not eaten are onions … read more


The above tree, southern beech, was blown over a year ago. Its about 4 to five meters tall. I pulled it back up and staked it firmly. Its growing quite well but recently the tie broke. I fixed it I feel without the staked support it will fall over again. Can I dig it up … read more


Would it be adviseable to plant JUNIPERUS COMMUNIS “HIBERNICA” or JUNIPERUS SCOPULORUM “SKYROCKET” in a coastal area in west of Ireland, (Galway) which has frequent strong winds, laden with salt, on an elevated site?


Photo enclosed Can you tell me if it a weed or a flower? It has blue bell type flowers and green rubbery leaves Francis Sean Donoghue


Should a lupin plant which I have had for a number of years have started to sprout by now or is is likely to be dead. There are no shoots visible.


I sowed a vine about three years ago, rooted outside and trained it inside the glasshouse. There has been plenty of growth and flowers. However towards the end of June the flowers fail to develope further- no obvious signs of pests or disease. I have used no spray to date. What is the cause of … read more


I have a peony tree which is about 12 years old. It is about 4/5 feet tall and looks very healthy. The front of the house is near the sea but the peony is in a small walled back garden and gets the sun from about 11o’clock until 3 o’clock. Over the years, the number … read more


My son in law has a Red Robin tree in the garden of his recently bought house in Swords, so we can’t tell how old it is. It is about 8 ft tall. He asked me about it today as it has black spot on the green leaves and the new red leaves are shrivelled … read more


This year i had a lot of daffodils, and very few flowers, i am wondering should i put some fertilizer on now, last year i waited a long time before tidying them up, it was early May, when i cut them back. What kind of fertilizer should i use?


Evergreen tree which has been burnt in sections, Not sure why or how to rectify it, do i need to cut it down or remove bad sections


The attached pictures show the condition of a plum tree in my garden. Where the branch broke off, the exposed wood is soft. Also, there appears to be wood worm. Can the tree be saved? Can you let me know please. Thanks, Geoff


I have a rat in the compost bin. Can I use the compost or should I destroy it?


I bought 2 Agapanthus plants at a garden centre 4 years ago and I planted them in garden and had 1 flower on each the 1st year but only had green leaves and no flowers since,could you tell me reason for this and what I should do to get flowers on them as they are … read more


I have a camellia with 5 or 6 years,but have no buds or flowers on it this year or last, had flowers on it for other years,was wondering what problem is and would I move it to another part of garden.


I have 2 damson and 2 plum trees. They are 6 years old. They have grown fairly profusely but little or no fruit . Only a single damson and a single plum last year. I have planted a new damson and plum tree last year of different variety in case pollination problems. There is an … read more


We have a damp area measuring 40 feet by 30 feet and were advised to plant Salix Alba Tristis here. On the internet we read that the roots can spread three times the distance from trunk to outer canopy. This seems huge. We think it was an American site. Will this hold true for Ireland? … read more


Is it too late to move new rasberry shoots that have grown near old plants? what time of year is the best for replanting?can i mulch rasberries with well mulched farm yard manure? when is the best time? can rasberries and strawberries be fed with liquid manure?


I have strawberry plants in the tunnel (2nd year). they have been out over winter, will they fruit this year? and when will i start to feet them. can these plants be sown outside and what time of year? can outdoor strawberries be mulched with well rotted farmyard manure?


I got/rescued this conifer from a nursery about 3 or 4 years ago. It was neglected and growing in a bit of peat. it didnt even have a pot on its roots. It is planted in my garden since. Worries me a bit as i dont know if its growing or not- i think it … read more


Crimson Sentry maple planted about 5 years. never grew an inch i’d say. last year the leaves were tiny. miniscule. a lot of the branches seem to be brown under the bark- would i be foolish to leave it or should i replace it. photo below seems to show a bit of green under bark … read more


There’ s white growth on dead roots of frost-killed Viburnum (winter 2010) Is this harmful especially to young Variegated Privet planted last Spring? To the soil in general?


Variegated Privet hedge planted last Spring. Was flourishing with plenty of leaf up to c. end Nov. Loss of leaf completely spreading from ground upwards. Normal? If so does this mean I’ll have no hedgecover for 3to 4mnths annually?Or are plants dying?


I planted 2 rows of hawthorn shrubs last year on hillside entrance laneway. They are 2 feet high now but weeding is very labour intensive . Row length is 100ft. I’m advised to place pearmeabile plastic sheeting along rows to suppress weeds. They say rainwater will get through but I’m worried because of medium gradient … read more


I got a present of a gardenia house plant. How do i care for it? – watering, positioning, room temperature.


I need advice on my Cox’s Pippin apples trees- 4 of them. A significant amount of the leaves turn brown and fall off each year. There are about 5-6 years old. I sprayed with Dithane this year and it only helped a little. I have read that I should spray with a dormant oil in … read more


I recently got some large logs from a neighbour to create a “fernery” but this fungus has appeared on the ground immediately next to the logs. The logs originally had the bark on them but the harsh frosts detached the bark. the fungus does not have any stalks, the cups appear to emerge directly from … read more


I have attached photos of my Fuschia Gertenmeister, which as you can see from the photos has damaged leaves, can you please give me advice on this. No insects have been spotted on the plant but holes are obvious.


I want to plant fast growing deciduous trees to act as screen and wind break but dont want roots to damage old barn that is 5.0 metres away. Can you recommend suitable trees?


I have a number of Erysimum (Bowles Mauve) plants. Should these be trimmed back to ground level or just pruned and will they grow back again?


The bark is coming away in some parts of the plum tree in my garden. In these areas there have been a lot of centipedes living there. Also, where one branch was cut off, there is a bubble of sap coming from the tree. From the attached picture, do you think this is a problem … read more


There is a silver birch tree in my garden which appears to be decaying. please see the attached picture. Do you think that the tree should be cut down or is it possible to save it somehow. Also, if it is a prevalent disease, is it possible to prevent it spreading to other trees? It … read more


Can I prune or cut back blueberry bushes and a fig tree ? They are getting very untidy.


Acer Palmatum. Roughly 20 years old. Last 2 yrs. has lost leaves early and now has lots of dead twiglike branches. Was told to leave it last year and feed it in spring. Situation is bad now. Fungus was mentioned as the cause. There is also a False Acacia near with the same problem and … read more


I have 2 agapanthus plants growing with 3 years but have no flowers on them, I had 1 flower the first year but nothing since only green leaves,what is the reason for this.


I have several trays of sweet pea in the green house at present, they are about 6 inches in height, i also have a polytunnell, and wonder should i transfer them there, will they keep growing ,and should i put them in to larger pots, i read about a trial being done , some sown … read more


I have been following your advice and have taken some cuttings from geraniums which have got long and straggly. I have put them into a jam jar of water on the sill of the kitchen window. Should I have dipped them into rooting powder and put them into compost or are they ok as they … read more


I have had some good success this year with poppies and now have several withered stalks with seed heads. Should I collect the seeds and plant them or should I leave them to reseed naturally? If I should collect and plant, when should I do this?


Some of my fuschias have faded yellow coloured leaves with black spots which are falling off, is there a reason for this, rest of fuschias are fine.


Could you please identify this beauty which “appeared” in my garden some years ago. Evergreen “hairy” green leaves and dandelion like small orange flowers?


this normally beautiful tree is a big disappointment this year. its planted about 5 or 6 years. i dont know if its because of the rain or what but it hasnt leafed up well at all. it seems to have struggled a lot. other acers are doing as well as always. is this one just … read more


I’ve just read nearly all the answers on spuds. I”m not sure any of them answersed mine. My potatoes are in various stages of dieback, some completely, some half way ect. My problem is, I have started to dig them and I”m finding good ones and rotten ones under each stalk, their Roosters, and I … read more


A small colony of ants have appeared all over the waste matter in my compost bin; are they a threat to the process or final compost?


Hymenocallis narcissiflora/Ismene what is eating the above plant? I planted the bulb in Spring and long strap like leaves grew very well but they are being ‘stripped’ by something and at this stage, there is hardly anything left of the leaves


About 3 to 4 years ago I planted Flame Creeper at the base of a Japonica shrub growing against a north facing wall. Thought it would give colour when the Japonica finished flowering. The creeper has now started to spread deep in the soil and I am afraid it is going to ‘take over’. I … read more


I’m looking to buy ladybirds (or larvae) to control greenfly on roses. They have all disappeared from our garden in recent years. Is this advisable? If so, what kind of ladybirds should I look for and where might I get them?


I have a recently planted Acer palmatum atropurpureum. I used fish, blood and bone meal at planting and put wind break up to the east and north sides of it, it got some wind from the west but now it has started to shed the most of its leaves. It got a lot of rain … read more


Our AZARA INTEGRIFOLIA small tree has developed a fungus spreading rapidly up the trunk. I enclose photo. Can you identify it for us and suggest if we can possibly cure it? If we lose it, is it safe to re-plant a tree on the same spot as it forms a cover for us? Thank you, … read more


In relation to one of your previous questions about a frost damaged cornus controversa, I also have one (planted in January) that got frost causing all the buds to go black. I removed some of these tips but even at this late stage there is nearly no leaves on it. Apart from a few black … read more


I have a 2 thuja occidentalis smarged, 11 years planted in my back garden they are about 13 feet tall, and planted quite close to each other, they’er in a sheltered spot near a corner wall, there is euphorbia planted in front of them, they have turned brown in alot of places and when I … read more


Could you please suggest a shrub for a large terracotta container on an elevated exposed site facing west close to the sea in the west of Ireland?


My sister in Scotland had a soil lab test done for her veg garden recently. The results showed the soil had only 1.01% Boran and 0.03% Molybdenum. The lab reccomended levels of 2.1% and 0.6% respectively. All other elements were OK. How does she increase her levels. Are there any propritiary brand products available ? … read more


I have a numer of weigela plants. They are in flower at the moment, but the cats are eating the flowers. Why do they do this and is it normal?


I have some calibrachoa planted in window boxes with good quality compost along with a bit of vermiculite, swell gel and slow release feeding. I have them planted up for about a month or more but have noticed where the leaves of some of them are turning yellow and wonder what could this be. They … read more


This might seem like a daft question. The attached ‘greenery’ has invaded my veggie patch and I don’t think it is anything I planted as it is in strange places. It lies flat on the ground. Is it a weed?


Lots of my shrubs and small trees have been badly burned by frost and I’m not sure what to do with them. Some of them are definitely having some die-back, so for them I just cut back to sound material. But what to do with Hydrangeas with burned leaves, and in particular a two year … read more


My rose bush’s new leaves have what looks like a white powder on them. See attached picture. Can you please advise what this is and how I might correct it?


Are these ash seedlings which are appearing in their hundreds aound an old ash tree? They are appearing all over the lawn, in areas distant from the tree and in the neighbour’s garden. This is the first year i’ve seen this happen. I pull them quite easily but I’m wondering could I use weedkiller on … read more


i have a pauls scarlet for about 7 years. it flowers brilliantly but it never seems to have anchored itself properly. it has always been staked. last year i got a jcb to put down a post to support it to and it has been great but i know from the look of it that … read more


I got a present of a plum tree (Prunus Domestica Victoria). I was told that it was a minature, but not the height or spread. It’s about 3 foot high at this stage, but what height will it grow to? I planted it a few weeks ago, but I think that I planted it too … read more


Most newspapers now use coloured ink. Is it still OK to use them in compost or for mulching?


My Kilmarnock willow hasn’t any catkins for the past few years. I have it about 10 years and it had catkins for a few years – nothing since. Also, should I prune it and if so,when? There’s a lot of dead wood underneath.


My Magnolia wilsonii is sick, few leaves, dying branches, damaged buds, possibly due to cold weather after early good weather. What should I do to try to rescue this favourite of mine?


I have 4 varieties of tomato plants – ‘Golden Sunrise’, ‘Red Cherry’, Gardeners Delight’ and ‘Moneymaker’. Whill any of these grow outside?


I have tomato seedlings that the leaves have started turning a whitish colour, they are also pale green in colour. They are about 3″ to 5″ tall. They are Money Maker, Alicante, Ailsa Craig and tumbling tom. I grew them from packet seed,as I do every year with very good results. There is about 300 … read more


Is a box hedging suitable as a low ‘divider’ between a garden border and a piece of meadow. Not looking for anything high – around 3ft would be fine.No animals in meadow. Something that is easily maintained when established. Any other suggestions re hedging? What are pros and cons re box?. Soil quality good. Hedge … read more


I would love to get a Cornus kousa “Satomi”. Do you know who supplies them? ( I have enquired locally without success) Also, how far from a wall should it be planted, and how high is it likely to grow?


Some of the tulips I planted this year seem to be stunted and badly eaten-leaves and flowers. Some flowers are at ground level-some dont even seem to have leaves. Any advice?


I intend to kill lawn moss. May I leave the dead moss on the lawn to rot? Unsightly, I know, but I recall you dealing with this some tome ago


When is the correct time to clip my box hedge and is there any special way?


I have two of the free Fuchsias from last year and am wondering what, if anything, I should do with them. They are in pots (about 8 inch ones) outside and are starting to put out new leaves. They look a bit straggly, so should I cut them back a bit, or hard, or just … read more


Strawberries growing in ground since last year. If I cover them in straw now (march) will that help to keep the slugs away as well as protecting them from soil damage. Do have to use something for the slugs also. I have eggshells kept all winter and was going to use these with my brassicas.


Tops of some daffodils (three clumps) look burned or charred. They didnt flower this year and the tips of some of the leaves also appear ‘burned’. Other daffs near them are unaffected but I am worried lest this ‘burning’ will spread.


I have noticed that something is eating my Daffodils before they have flowered, its looks like something just bit the top off the bud where the flower is, any idea what this might be?


Bought some type of brocolli/calabrese plants in a garden centre last June, put them down and didnt really give them any more attention. From about August onwards they started to give lovely crops of these small heads of broccolli, all through the winter until about mid December. Winter came and went and as you can … read more


I bought 2 big bags of daffodil bulbs last Autumn and planted them along the perimeter of my garden. I notice now that although most of the bulbs did produce foliage only a fraction of them have flowers. Apart from buying them cheaply what have I done wrong, and is there anything I can do … read more


I have just bought Gallup Blograde 360 which I am going to use to kill off all the grass and weeds that have grown on my vegetable patch over the winter. I am not sure that I have bought the correct product and if so I can always return it to the shop and exchange … read more


I have recently moved to Ireland and have a huge back garden that i wish to make into a flower garden, how do i compost all the grass clippings that i am about to get?


I would like advice as to some of the most suitable shrubs to use to give me an evergreen hedge that could be maintained at about 60cm x 150 cm.I am replacing existing Thuja hedge as it is impossible to keep it at a reasonable size.


I wonder what is the best product to put on the tarmacadam to kill moss, When is the best time to apply and do you do it when the ground is dry.


I have a tiny patch of lawn (6m2)- over the last few months it has started to die off (about 30%) in patches and there are lots of little holes in the soil. Tonight i went out the back and i see tons of slugs – small little brown slugs on the parts of the … read more


I planted 80m of potted green holly Sept 2010 to form hedge. well prepared trench compost and mosspeat, with leaky hose at back, used initially until plants settled in. did very well, lots of new growth in 2011. black leaves and branches appearing this winter in some plants with leaf loss.sheltered site, east facing beside … read more


I have a decent sized back garden which is mainly grass, it is quiet uneven and there if it was taken up, I am sure we would find a lot of builders rubble underneath. As a result, the drainage is quiet bad in parts and the surface is quiet uneven. Just to add to the … read more


Last year I overfed (with liquid feed that was too strong) my viburnum davidii and I lost a lot of leaves and a lot of the remaining ones have turned black. It was a fairly mature shrub, there seems to be some fresh new growth on this year but around 3/4 of the plant is … read more


Rather than throwing ashes in the bin can I use them to grow vegetables in a raised bed? The ashes are those derived from burning dry wood cuttings (raspberry canes, pruned branches etc.) How deep should the raised bed be? Can I use a base of 8 cm polystyrene sheets to build it up to … read more


I received a Dwarf Peach Tree called ” Terrace Garnet ” as a present. For a variety of reasons I accidentally kept it indoors ( I do not have a green house ) in my kitchen. It has now got blossoms on at least half of it’s buds and I can see that pollination has … read more


I bought some strawberries last year at the garden centre and two growing bags. We didn’t get much fruit and i was wondering if I can put them in containers this year to increase the yield. I left them hanging outside over winter and most of them seem to have survived. What size containers should … read more


Are tulips salt loving plant? I live in Galway and i can get seaweeds here as much i want, just i dont know can i use seaweeds for tulips?


Planted Portugese Laurel hedge in November and some plants are dying off – leaves gone brown. They are 3ft tall. Can I do ang thing with this?


Last summer I planted a Passiflora directly into soil on a south facing wall. It failed as did an evergreen clematis that was planted nearby. I now propose to plant a Passiflora in a largish pot in the same location. Would this work do you think?


I planted a bareroot Acer campestre hedge 12 months ago . For what i know is that Decidous trees start to get new leaves in April . Is it too early for my hedge to be coming into leaf ?. Most of the hedge is showing swelling green buds .


My friend has a small heather plant. She wants to know if it is an indoor or outdoor plant?


How can I prevent my Jonagold apple tree from continuing to bend the way it is a present?.


I inherited an old cornus and the new shoots are short and produced on the old stems. Can I hard prune and is this the right time to move the plant?


When is the best time to scarify a lawn?


Is Phyllostachys nigra a runner or clumper and what to do with it all brown leaves falling off?


When is the best time to take out the sweet william out of the pots to plant in the ground as this is their 2nd year in pots. the pots are outside my house in Sandymount?


What would you recommend to restore a horse trodden lawn to its original condition as at 4th February. Basically two horses intruded on a lawn one night and left a lot of hoofprints. The lawn is an average square sub-urban back-garden lawn with no flower-beds. The soil is fairly soft and there are just imprints … read more


Agapanthus in south facing bed didn’t flower last year – should I put restrict their roots within the bed to encourage flowering?


I want to buy a green house but am hopeless with diy, can you tell me if there is a company that i can buy one off but they will also put it together for me.


I have an Aucuba which is going black, I have cut out the dead branches but the rest of the plant is now going black. Should I dig out the plant and if I do will I be able to replace it with another Aucuba? It is planted in a shady spot and was doing … read more


I recently planted some bare root willow slips to form a screen/hedge. I planted about 3ft apart. Can you give any advice on getting them going good? Can I put lawn cuttings around and between the willow? Thanks


My wife has 2 blue Hydrangeas at the front of the house ( north facing) for the last 8 years in large pots. But they have not florished and do not retain the blue colour for her….any suggestions?


When is the best time to move blackcurrant and raspberry bush they are too close together?


Put new lawn in end of August 2011 grass grew very well. However it is now full of small weeds – leave resemble nettles but much smaller and have a smal purple flower. So disappinted as we thought we had prepared ground very well – weedkiller etc. Can we use lawn weedkiller in April and … read more


want to have thin border round septic tank. thinking of bearded iris. in states the leaves remain year round. can u recommend any evergreen iris or another plant if iris not evergreen. want to cover atank edge about 2 ft high.


my amaryllis bulbs have started to grow. only green leaves,no sign of a flower shoot. they have been dormant up to now. one new one is in full bloom.


Viburnums were killed by frost last winter. Problems if I leave roots in the ground? If so , remedy?I would like to plant Viburn again or Red Robin. Also I want to grow apple trees near where I cut down a Hibiscus the roots of which are in ground. Forsee any problems?


my apple trees are 4 years old this year on 2 out of the 3 tress iv only got 2 small apples form one of them and about 6 from the other that were cracked what is the name of the white paint iv seen on some other peoples apple tree ,s ,iv this year … read more


could you please advise what way to plant alder whips? do i need manure -compost etc in the planting of them now?


I am planning to replant my patio beds in the coming weeks – do you have any suggestions for fairly hardy and relatively small shrubs (up to 2 ft)?


Are there any courses in Ireland on polytunnel growing and best choice of polytunnels?


I wish to plant a hedge along a timber railing around the hse its almost 3/4 acre! It is exposed,and I’ve already lost red robin along one side 2 yrs ago I was thinking laurel but saw purple beech recently and thought thet were very nice what would you recommend?


What type plant would travel through the bare frame of the hedge with plenty of colour on a yearly growth.


Can I move a six foot laurel hedge. And if so when?


I bought 13 window boxes for the spring and im not sure what to fill them with.


I have been advised by a local nursery to plant dogwoods instead of alder for a wet part of my garden. I want to form a hedge /screen . What in you opinion is the best and which would look the best?


I have a small north facing garden and I’m wondering if you can grow fruit and veg in it.


Would you plant Alder , willow or Birch to form the best hedge/screen in a wet/ boggy area at the back of my site approx 100 ft from the house?Would the trees go bare at the bottom ?I really want to form a hedge/screen there eventually. Have you any other ideas? The ground is very … read more


When can I plant privet hegding?


looking for a shrub that has small pink flowers that appear before the leaves


I would like to know your opinion on using grass clippings for mulching a flower border and a shrub border. We produce a lot of clippings when the lawn is growing and I have been putting some of them on the borders to cut down weeds, conserve moisture and to rot down into the soil … read more


I have some ivy on a wall of my house that has no insulation and I’m hoping it will raise the insulation level a bit and not cause dampness or damage the wall in any way. I hope keeping it trimmed and away from wood, gutters etc is enough to avoid probs?


Over the last 2 years, I’ve grown a lot of veg and summer bedding in containers and so have about 2 cubic metres of spent compost, made up of bought in proprietary peat based product and home made general stuff (grass, plant shreddings, green kitchen waste etc.). How best can I re-use this? Ideally, I … read more


New treatment system and percolation area installed in garden last year. How far do i need to be from perculation area or tank to plant vegetable and fruit?


We have heavy clay soil so we dug a trench about 3ft deep around the edge of the garden and replaced with topsoil. Now our soil is constantly waterlogged and it’s impossible to dig. So far we have one photinia in the soil but I can see that could fall over easily as it can’t … read more


I planted a field maple hedge 12 months ago and it’s doing really well around my home . Do i need to water these trees during there 2nd year and are they fully established yet ?


I’ve recently discovered coral spot on my two maple trees . I made a pruning cut to eradicate this problem. My question is , will there be a good chance of this disease coming back ? i’ve checked the trees and they seem healthy to me .


I’ve grown Nicola potatoes in the same ground for the last two seasons and wonder can they be put there again for the third season. I’ve heard where they should be moved to a different spot every couple of years. Nothing else has ever been grown in this particular bit of ground.


What is the best way to control Box Blight? I have been using Octave and Eyetac 50 but it always seems to spread again. What can I do?


What is the best tropical plants/trees to use in sheltered sunny garden, taking into account our cold frosty winters?


I potted up some houseplants in peat free compost last year. Now I can see tiny worms round the base of the pots, obviously coming out of the compost. Is there a way to get rid of them? I really don’t like having worms crawling around the floor!


I have a small pale pink early flowering clematis. the roots are well protected. I have always cut it back but last year I left and it is budding half way up the stem. will I leave it as it has never really establied well and is still very stringy looking. it is about 5 … read more


I was wondering can you advise me on what hedge to plant. I live on the top of a very windy hill and need good shelter. I would prefer something evergreen but maybe with a flower or a bit of interest. I have a privet lining one side of the house, we had to take … read more


Could you let me know if adding sulphate of iron to soil ( black moss type) would be of benefit when planting a hedge of pieris Mountain Fire .


I want to build a raised vegetable garden. what is best type of wood to use for this project


I put mushroom compost on the soil in my Poly Tunnel, and now I have loads of mushrooms growing. I know it sounds silly, but will they be safe to eat?


I had a cherry tree cut down some years ago but the base and roots were left in ground. I now discover that there is honey fungus creeping around the base. It is beside both my compost heap and some evergreen shrubs. Should I be worried? What is the best solution.


I have about one acre in lawn and whilst I mulch as much as I can there are times I do have to cut and collect. I dump the cut grass in two dirty corners in the garden but now they are just unusable as they contain a dreadful gunge. I cannot drive the mower … read more


I cut out a Griselina hedge that was killed off with the frost last year. As the hedge has been there for nearly 30 years, I couldn’t dig up the stumps. Can I plant laurels in between the stumps of the Griselina? Can I plant in February and have you any tips to help them … read more


Planting some strawberry runners this spring, I have read its better to remove the flowers this year in order to get better yield next year,is this a good pratice?also can runners be propagated from newly planted strawberries this year? and finally is it necessary to prune this years runners in August if flowers were removed … read more


We have had a Cherry Blossom in our front garden, beside the gate, for approximately 23 years. We live in a three bed semi with an average sized garden. In the last two years one side of the tree has failed to produce leaves or blossoms. The other side appears to be healthy. Can you … read more


I bought potted David Austin English roses a few months ago but never got around to planting them. Is it possible to plant them now and how far apart should i plant them ?


I’ve been seeing these strange little mud piles everywhere recently, and I’m wondering if they are earthworm castings? They seem to appear where the ground is particularly wet or muddy. They don’t seem to be anything like any castings images I can find on the internet. Do you know what they are?!


I have a steep bank at the back of the garden but its very hard to grow anything, it seems quite dry and very stony! Daffodils appear to be about the only thing that is growing well. Can you recommend something to plant and also a fast ground covering plant that might cover the area. … read more


The upper surface of the leaves on my mature holly bush Golden King is covered with a black sooty mould, which can be washed off.A young small holly alongside is now similarly affected. Other evergreen shrubs alongside are NOT affected.Under surfaces of leaves have browny ? mites, and/or raised white patches. Can you suggest cause … read more


looking for ideas for wet area at bottom of lawn. water remains for long period and ground never dries. drainage isnt an option.


i have just cut down a very old ditch that has been there for i’m sure 30 odd years, i want to put in a hedge/ shelter belt as i’m putting up a polytunnel 48 foot long and 20 foot widethe garden is south facing and gets sun all day but i get severe frost … read more


I have a long garden and want to section a part into an intimate garden room so I wish to plant a thick fast growing hedge 8′ to 10′ high. Would you recommend Lawson’s Cypress?


My lawn was sown a year and a half ago and was lovely and rich green in colour last spring but as summer and autumn came so did yellow patches. I have an acre of lawn and yellow patches are quiet noticeable but grass is still very much alive. With spring coming what fertiliser or … read more


I have 3 types of Molimba which done really well throughout the summer. They are now looking very hard done by over the last month and wonder if they should be cut back and if so when would be the best time to do so. I am new to gardening so not sure of these … read more


After having a great year in my tunnel, I went in today to find rats had attacked all my winter crops. I have removed what is left and I want to know do I have to disinfect and with what as I am ready to sow my seeds they even got my lupins and delphiniums … read more


Hi Gerry, In the summer the sun is full on it during the day time I know the west of ireland is usually bad for moss but is there anything i can do to improve it


Are everlasting wallflowers too late to grow from seed for this year? Can’t find them in any of the usual outlets


I have two year gooseberries ,still no fruit how long do they take to fruit


I have 2 Camelias in pots. They were beautifully green until Xmas and now have started to loose all leaves. I did bring them into the conservatory in October and they seemed to do very well for three months. Are they dying?


I sowed some bare root beech hedging in February last year. Out of 200, I counted about 40 which did not bud last year even though I watered them in dry spells. Should I replace these now or could they bud this year?


How do I eradicate brambles that are growing through a privet hedge without killing the hedge?


I took down wild Ivy which was growing on and around my shed it is very hard to get at the roots could you suggest how to control it or destroy it.


I am looking for a supply of Irish grown dried lavender for making into bath salts. I cannot find a supply anywhere on the internet or in the phone book but would love to find an Irish supplier for this. Do you know of any gardens growing and drying lavender in Ireland? I need only … read more


The strong westerlies in Mayo ripped my Polytunnel to bits agian this December, 2yrs running now, so the time has come to think about Greenhouse. What would your advise be wrt to Strength and would something like what the Walton(UK) Polycarbonate Greenhouses be strong enough for Westport? Big investment so want to make sure it’s … read more


Would you please give me the names of two repeat flowering climbing roses?


Could you help me with this question. Having dug manure into garden last October and covered over with plastic,do I need to repeat the same again before I start planting vegetable seeds? I have raised vegetable beds in my garden. Thank you, John and Rosemary.


I am looking for a perennial flowering plant that I can plant in mass that will look good against calamagrostis Karl foreseter. Have used rudbeckia in other parts of garden so do not want to use it again.


I have for some time heard of the virtues of seaweed as a fertilser and/or Nutrient booster. I am fortunate in that I live minutes from the seas shore and an abundant supply of West of Ireland Seaweed. I was wondering is it safe to bring some fresh and unwashed seaweed directly over my strawberry, … read more


My problem is a plant identification. In the attached photo is a small border perennial plant that has continued to survive every winter since I bought it about 4 years ago. I want to get some more, but nobody knows or has seen it before.(Secateurs indicates scale)


The above trees have spent 2 to 3 years in pots in my garden. I would like to plant them in the garden now. Is it ok to do this now ( January )? What special care should I take ?


I’m a very amateur gardener but I love growing things and this Christmas I took a shine to a flower I describe as ‘Ornamental Cabbage’. They are a form of brassica of this I’m sure but are they just cabbage plant flowers? Or have they a specific genus?


What can i sow in my polytunnel now as i have it dug over and can i use green manure in it?


I have a one acre lawn. It was sown in September 2009. It is divided by a long tarmacadam driveway. The tarmac was done in May 2010. Since the rainy weather started I notice hundreds of dead long worms presumably earthworms on the tarmac. The crows etc eat most of them. I have not seen … read more


My neighbour and I share front steps and have 3 black square wooden Versailles type tubs in front. Quite formal look which suits 19th century terrace. Currently planted with box (or something similar) which is brown and dead. I want to replace with something evergreen and not too demanding. Thinking pieris or fatsia. East facing … read more


Can you please reccomend a container or product that would make it easier for me to create a raised bed around my garden?


I have an orchid which I pruned when it finished flowering it now has a stem of about 16 inches with another growth of about 5 leaves at the top where the flowers used to be, these leaves look so healthy would it be possible to get this new this new growth to root or … read more


I planted a big laurel hedge last year both sides of my site and 75% have survived, the others have possibly died due to water logging ground. I also have a 100ft back boundary to my site away from the house. I would like to know is there any trees or hedges that would survive … read more


I am hoping for the first time to plant a vegetable garden and am in the planning stages. For a family size garden, what size areas chould I allow for say potatoes, carrot, parsnips, onions etc.


Can you let me know where I could obtain this product whuch I am informed is very beneficial to root formation. I have about 100 trees to transplant to cover some rough ground so would need quite a lot.


I have 20 green beech that were origionally in 2 litre pots but they rooted into the ground where they stood. I have now replanted them in 12 inch poly bags. If these were now laid almost flat on the ground until they rerooted would there be less chance of losing them or of dieback … read more


I planted a Katsura tree in early November and have to move it. It’s about nine feet high. I’v read that they don’t like being moved and am wondering if it would come to any harm being moved so soon again? Also would putting straw in the new planting hole help to establish rooting quicker?


I want to plant 4 trees at the front of our house . want something no real maintance and wont grow to high. we also live beside the beach and can be very exposed to high winds.


Is it better to have raised beds in a poly tunnel or plant directly into the ground, or a combination of both? I intend to buy a 30ft x 18ft tunnel and grow both veg and flowers for the garden.


I have an established fish pond in my garden. I recently found out about aquaponics and I was wondering if I would be able to set up this system with my pond or would I have to set up a complete system in order to start growing vegetables in this way?


When pruning our apple tree today we noticed some branches on one side had twisted shoots – looked like a witch hazel tree! What would cause this? Is it a disease? It is more than 40 years old and is a keeper apple, not sure of the name but has upright growth and long high … read more


Love to grow sweet potatoes but dont know how to get started. I kow it needs a green house but I cant find seeds, seed potatoes or plants? Any advice.


We have a huge patch of over growth in the back garden that i want cleared but i DO NOT want any weed killer used on the soil as I hope to start growing next year, can you tell me how to go about clearing this patch manually, Im afraid i dont know the names … read more


I saw a plant/ bush that has yellow tops and it is spikey like thorn and is like something that you would see at the side of a motorway after it has been completed, any clue what it could be?


I want to replace two ginkos with two thinish tall trees.Suggestions welcome & when to plant.


i have 3 hyacinth bulbs in pot that I got as a present. they seem to have bolted and are drooping in full bloom. what can I do?


Can you advise on a small to medium size magnolia for an area of garden that receives afternoon and evening sun please?


I want to replace two ginkos with two thinish tall trees.Suggestions welcome & when to plant.


Last Feb I planted a long Carpinus Betulas hedge using bareroot plants. It is growing well but this winter a minority of the plants have lost 100% of their leaves while the other plants have retained most of theirs. They all look identical to me but could they be different varieties? I want screening in … read more


I tried growing onion shallots in a poly tunnel for spring use. I couldn’t find any so I bought some in the supermarket. I planted on 1/10/11 but out of 15 planted only 2 have sprouted and are only 2 inches long. The rest have small roots only. Have they been treated to keep them … read more


I have a beautiful Cheese plant approx 4ft high and for the past few years grew leaves every day – it was so healthy. It is in a bright room, no direct sun but nicely warm and this week it has lost approx 4 leaves each day. Should I withhold water (its quite dry). Also … read more


A new canna in pot in garden over summer did v well now in cold greenhouse do i cut back ? or just leave dry ?


I have 3 citrus trees – Lemon, Lime and Orange. Presently the leaves of the lemon tree are going yellow and falling off at an enormous rate. The other two trees not so much. I have tried tomato feed as I am finding it hard to get citrus feed locally. Any ideas?


My apple trees are infested with scale insects, the little ones — about 3mm long and les than 1mm wide. It takes forever to scrape them off with a knife. Have you any suggestions for getting rid of them, (preferably organic)


i have a plug in electric radiator(which is in good condition but an old style) would you think that this could be used when and if neccessary in my two bay hobby tunnel.


Our garden is being taken over with this terrible weed, how do you suggest we get rid of it, have tried Round Up with no success.


For some years I have been setting traps for codling moths and I still have them–what now?


The problem I have is I sowed a new lawn 2 years ago but have had problems with neighbours cattle coming in on lawn ( I have no gate yet) and as a result there is a load of holes in the lawn.What would be the best way to mend this. I have been told … read more


Grass growth retardant for steep slope quarter of an acre in Co. Kilkenny? Please recommend a product. In USA this product is sold for that purpose RITE-HITE® CONCENTRATE GROWTH RETARDANT- Growth Retardant #S6532


A red robin that has been in the same spot for 9 yrs has been uprooted in a storm,It broke where it went into the soil,and was a very healthy tree.What are the chances of it regrowing in spring?


where to buy one and are they hard to grow thank you


I planted daffodil, grape hyacinth and narcessi bulbs in October and they have all come up to almost 5cm in height given the good weather we experienced in November. Will they just die down naturally and reemerge with flowers in the springtime or is it too late now? A friend suggested that I should bring … read more


A tall Busy Lizzie with pale watery stems, can you give me a name for this plant please?


I have some perennials that were bought for me in the last month but because of a bad back was unable to plant them as yet. Is it too late to plant them now? or could i plant them and give them a good mulch? or should i just cut them back and leave them … read more


i want to plant an ornamental cherry but as i only have a very narrow bed against a south east facing wall, i think a cherry that can be trained against a wall would be best. i’d like a variety with dark reddish leaves and pink flowers if possible. could you suggest one?


i have a grapevine in my conservatory affected by mildew. during the dorment season what treatment should i apply and simularly during the growing season. a lot of references are made to Captan ?


I am looking to buy some type of bush or shrubbery for my in-laws for Christmas, preferably with white blossoms to shine in the moon, hence the moon garden. Any ideas for this time of year?


I burn only dry timber in my fire (no coal). I was wondering what to do with ashes? Is it too early to spread around fruit bushes? Should I keep it to spread later on in the summer around bushes or could it be put in the compost heap? Or do the ashes have any … read more


I burn only dry timber in my fire (no coal). I was wondering what to do with ashes? Is it too early to spread around fruit bushes? Should I keep it to spread later on in the summer around bushes or could it be put in the compost heap? Or do the ashes have any … read more


I purchased Winterberry plants in B&Q a number of years ago. They were covered in red berries and of course as I did not realise at the time, are a form of ilex and were all female. Do you know where I could purchase a male. Would it have to be of the same species … read more


Can you let me know where I can purchase Prunus Mume Beni Chidori. I have read alot about it and you mentioned it in your article “The first Cherry Blossoms” in the Irish Independent on Sunday February 18 2007. Is it hardy to -15? Many Thanks Margaret


On 5th Nov I planted 25 bare-root laurels where lawn meets the path in front of the house. (replacing frost damaged escallonia). Approx 20 inches apart. I used a mixture of compost and the soil which is poor enough. Mixed in a handful of ckicken manure per plant. The leaves are going yellow on about … read more


My soil is clay and I planted a Hornbeam hedge last February. I didn’t cut it back when I planted it and it is very bare at the bottom. Could I cut it back at this time of year to encourage it to sprout at the bottom in the spring? Also I’m going to plant … read more


I have just planted two Cotoneaster hybrid Pendula trees, with the high winds at the moment I need to support them, can you suggest a good support please, was thinking of an upright timber support with a rubber type hold between it and the tree, I need to make sure I do not damage the … read more


I saw something I’ve never seen before this week .. daffodils in full bloom! Is this usual?


Back in May or June my two young dogs managed to strip the bark completely from the trunk of my dwarf weeping willow. The tree is about 10 years old and continues to survive. There are fine healthy buds on the branches at the moment and it kooks fine despite the fact that the trunk … read more


I am looking for a mahonia whose leaves turn orange I think it’s called “orange flame” where can I buy it or is this the best mahonia for coloured leaves?


I have a problem with greenfly in my greenhouse. I have tried several sprays both organic and commercial chemicals but to no avail. I was hoping to get some advice on doing something over the winter-the only problem is that the greenhouse is never empty. There are winter lettuces and some permanent residents like lemon … read more


Can I cut back lavender plants now? I want to move them to a new bed, and can i cut back aqualeigas? as they are huge this is their first year down and can i move them also? my climbing hydrangeas are in full bud will i bring them in to the shed for winter … read more


Can I move a magnolia now, any advice re same ?


Is this a good time to move a camellia ? Any advice re same?


My escallonia hedge badly damaged last winter I cut it back hard late spring. and removed lots of dead wood .It grew back during summer thou many leaves seemed to have disease – yellow and black spots.By September foliage was quite good but now following recent rains and winds most of foliage has been shed … read more


My friends lawn was badly damaged yesterday by a tractor driving over it. The ground is very soft and It has left several deep ridges and mucked up areas where the tyres appear to have spun. What if anything can be done to salvage this?


When is the best time for pruning back ‘very old’ apple trees?


I bought a potted weeping cherry tree in a garden centre and when i was putting it into the car i accidently ripped off one of the branches. its left some damage to the bark of the tree. will the tree be ok and is there anything i should do?


I have recently brought back some mistletoe from France, 1. how can I keep it till Christmas and 2. Can I graft it on to one of my apple trees?


I planted a group of trees about five years ago. I burned the grass underneath them to give them a chance,now the weed liverwort is spreading .should i remove it and how or leave it.


Our sprouts are doing rather well (see pic). At the top are cabbage-size growths. Is all this greenery edible (leaves and centres). Sure seems a shame to waste it.


Is November a bad time to apply Iron Sulphate on the lawn to kill out the moss? And lastly When is is a good time to prune (Heavy) the apple trees?


I planted garlic cloves on Oct 18, and now, 3 weeks later, I can see 5cm shoots above the ground. Is this normal? I had somehow thought the cloves were meant to lie dormant over the winter.


I have a Golden Leylandi hedge about 30 yrs old, the back of which is completely bare. Can you recommend a replacement hedge that can withstand wind and heavy frost.


I want to remove concrete in my garden and replace it with a lawn. Would you advise just lifting the concrete now before the cold spell and spend the next few months over the winter preparing the ground for April or would I be better off waiting until the cold winter is over to start … read more


Will a holly (Ilex aquifolium) hedge be suitable for planting very close to the sea and also be resistant to a heavy frost. How large are the plants available to buy from nurseries as I would like it to be as high as possible?


I have a Verbascum densiflorum and a friend wants some seeds. I have crumbled some dried flowers from one of the spikes (that grew to about 10 feet!) but I can’t identify anything as a seed. How can I identify the seed or is it possible that there is none?


We have inherited an old bumpy (lethal for kids to fall on) porous tarmac tennis court and the cost of replacement with astroturf is too expensive. Therefore I’d like to replace with grass. Rather than completely dig up and re-seed, is it an option to simply put topsoil over the court and if so, how … read more


100ft long, 16ft high, lived through all the frost, Beautiful. But now we redoing paving on one side and the wall on the other side has no foundation and needs to be replaced. Hedge growing beside it. ? do we replace it and or take our chances that it will live another bad frost winter? … read more


Is it too soon to plant Allium giganteum? The packet says to delay setting as frost might get them if they come up too soon. also people tell me they are very hard to grow. Is this correct?


I had always grown Shirley tomatoes very successfully in a tunnel but last year my sister grew Moneymaker tomatoes and they developed a disease whereby shoots became mouldy and died back. This year the shirley tomatoes had it as well and a lot of the shoots died back early. i don’t know what tis disease … read more


Problems with spots in the flesh of cooking apples from my tree. They are brown and the fruit is peppered, but the outside skins look perfect?


I have a 5 year old apple tree which has always blossomed but never produced apples until this year. Mind you the fruit was poorly. I recently noticed what appears to be canker on the trunk of the tree just where it branches outwards. I have checked previous questions and you suggest potash and also … read more


I am involved with flower bed filling in Roundstone Co Galway. I want to plant native Irish plants, which provide lots of colour and are suitable for a coastal village in Connemara. Can you give some help? Shrubs and hedges could also be included.


I love dwarf conifers and would like to find the supplier with the best range in Ireland, can you advise?


We have planted a new laurel hedge recently, I have been told to put fertilizer on it or 10.10.20 – what is your advise here?


I have to move a Camelia (Donation) which is about 15 years old as it is squashed. I also have to move a Fushia (large variety with pale pink flowers) which is about 15 years as it is hiding some smaller plants.When is the best time to move both of these shrubs please?


I have double begonias in pots outsidewhich are beginning to thin out & I believe these can be saved for next summer. How can I save these tubers until next spring/summer. Last year I just left them in their original pots in the shed but to no avail.


I had this misfortune of cattle getting on my lawn after i gave its its final mow, there is alot of hoof marks and sliding marks what can i do to repair the lawn especially at this time of the year, spade and repair the sod or sand /soil.


I sowed hardy perennials in late Sept/early oct. some have germinated and are tightly packed in the pot. I think it is too late to prick them out. Will they survive in my plastic greenhouse? I have each pot in a ziplock freezer bag which is open now, but I can close over the winter. … read more


I have a photinia Red Robin hedge since august 2010. I havnt prunned it yet cos its thriving,new growth past two weeks. when should i cut it back?


I saw this tree when I was in Monaco last week but found it frustrating not to be able to find out the name. Maybe you can help. The aerial roots look like it may be a Strangler Fig but unfortunately I didnt take a close up of the leaf but I dont think it … read more


I bought a propagator and took over 20 Hydrangea cuttings and they have now rooted….when do I increase airflow in propagator or move them to larger pots in my (new) greenhouse?


I have had my flower beds cleared. What would be good to plant here to withstand frost in the winter yet providesome colour year round? I am thinking a mix of shrubs and flowers


Can I plant potatoes next year in the plot i used this year?


I have two Chilean lantern trees growing in pots on each side of my north facing, front door. I would like to keep them there as apart from their brightening up this area our garden is alkaline. Would this be possible? If not could you recommend a shrub that could be container grown and would … read more


I have a number of very mature apple & plum trees which I would like to cut back. Trees are between 15-20 feet high.


Is it too late to put nitrogen on my lawn, also I have a green beech hedge 90% of it is very strong but 10% directly under a large tree is weak. Is there any feed I can put on this 10% to help them.


My lawn is 20 m x 20 m . On three sides there is a gravel path and on the fourth is a flower border . On the sides with the path, about 18 inches into the the lawn it starts to slope down to the gravel preventing me from getting a nice defined edge … read more


Might you advise on a remedy or cure for hole shot in a laurel hedge, as whilst the hedge fairly full of foliage, it would seem that it is not triving either.


What evergreen flowering climbers would you suggest for a south facing 6ft high wall. Must be hardy


Can I divide Oriental Poppies and Astilbe now?


sticky, honey like substance on some leaves of lemon tree brought back indoors after being outside for summer. what is causing it. How can I treat it?


There is a lot of moss in between my patio slabs also on a bank where there are lots of shrubs I also a wax leaf carpet which is invading everything Have sprayed it with round up on several occasions to no avail Any suggestions


what is the best time to lift geraniums to store for winter


Am I leaving it too late to put down grass seed next weekend October 22/23rd. I have a very large lawn to plant and circumstances didn’t allow it to happen in Spring.


What weeping tree would you recommend , similar to Weeping Birch, but smaller, that will grow to about 2.5 meters high/ 2.5 meters wide


I am looking for a virginia creeper. I have one but the leaves are very large. I am intersted in one with small leaves as it is for a small patio area – preferably a purple colour in summer. Do you have any suggestions as to where I could look on the internet?


I am growing a lemon tree in a pot in my living room. It was previously in a greenhouse ahd produced fruit. It is producing healthy leaves now but no flowers or fruit. Somtimes I see little black coloured “twigs” that break off it. Can you advise?


I bought a lovely Pyracantha in Spring which is supposed to have berries for the birds. It has come on really well since i planted it but hasn’t got a single berry on it. Can you tell me why please. Also where could i find a lovely Japanese Quince with an orange flower please?


The books all tell us that we should cut down the canes of autumn fruiting raspberries (mine are “Autumn Bliss”) well into the winter and I’m wondering if it necessary to leave it so late? Do the plants need that lateness (like daffodils do in order to store food in the bulbs) or is it … read more


I planted a Laurel hedge last March, it has grown vigoursly, is now (mid October) a good time to start pruning it ?.


What should I put on rhurbarb now to feed it for next year. I cannot get old horse manure. I was wondering if “sea mun gus” (fish-seaweed-humic acid. would suffice.


I have 100 carnation plants in a plastic tunnell with good size buds on them i have a wedding on 5th of nov how can i get them to full bloom for then tips on watering feeding.


l am in the process of building my base for my new green house 6 foot x 10 foot. l have read in a book that a good ldea is to put sheets of styrofoam around the outside frame of the greenhouse 2 foot deep to keep the cold soil coming into the soil in … read more


I have some comfrey/nettle tea left which I made in May. I’m wondering if it’s okay to still feed some of my tired looking shrubs with it at this time of year, and if it is possibly too old after 5 months brewing?


Half my rose bushes have dropped their leaves already n 1 even has 2 flower stems yet no leaves? When would be good time to prune them this year?


I have just erected a greenhouse. Should I plant bedding seeds in the greenhouse now for spring ?


How far from wall of house juniper tree should be planted so it would not damage foundation of house? same about thuja.


We have three cooking apple trees, all 70 to 80 years old. I was always told they were Bramleys, but the fruits on each are clearly different from each other. I was wondering if you could help me to identify them from the photo. Left to right, 2 apples per tree. Tree 1, all the … read more


My Brussel sprouts are still quite small and on a few plants, the sprouts are only half formed. Will they still grow at this time of year? Can I still leave them in the ground in the hope that they will increase in size?


My Cordyline which died because of the bad snow last year has re-sprouted from below the soil. Instead of one new re-growth, I have three. Should I dig two of them up and re-plant them elsewhere as the three are in very close proximity to the other. Also my Mahonia and phormium have re-sprouted again … read more


How deep do I plant Allium Caeruleum bulbs, 2ft. Ht. and blue in colour, do they need full sun.


Some of my ‘Record’ potatoes have purple flesh. What causes this and are they edible.


is it still ok to trim box in october


I have a large rural garden surrounded by fairly flat fields, so the prevailing wind is stronger than usual. i want to block this wind as much as possible using trees and shrubs. any suggestions?


Plants to suit the front of a woodland area. the woodland is about 15 years planted with sitka spruce and dappled shade trees. i want the planting area to look natural.


My neighbour has some trees that are growing into my garden. I want to cut back these overlapping braches without damaging the tree. When is the best time to cut back these overlapping branches ? and is there any particular way i should be cutting them ? Thanks


Diseased young apple trees? spray with Jeyes Fluid now? wasp nest in compost heap


Whats the difference between Round up and Round up pro Biactive. which is best as a general weedkiller?


Whats the difference between Round up and Round up pro Biactive. which is best as a general weedkiller?


How would I go about pruning an old apple tree 30 x20 ft high?


How do I dispose of the weeding rubbish which contains bindweed and the roots as I was told they could not be composted and could continue to survive in the soil. At present I have it all stored in a plastic barrell.


Do I lift dahilas and gladioli for winter and how do i store them? Can i move and seperate my peony now as its bolcking my front gate its been there since before i bought the house 12 years ago?


I sowed seeds of purple sprouting broccoli direct into the soil in the spring and transplanted them on 8th April to a sunny spot in a cage well spaced and fed with comfrey tea. They should be harvested at the end of winter but they seem to be maturing now but they seem to be … read more


I have a few roses that are now hidden by other plants and I’d like to move them to another spot. Any hints?


What can you plaint in the garden or plaint in the Organic garden in Ringsend?


Please put my husbands mind at rest as he keeps insisting they might be usable. He knows nothing about gardening but like all men, never takes his wifes knowledge as ‘gospel’. The mushrooms in pics are growing in my garden under a Pine tree. They are beautiful but I would love to know the name … read more


I attach a photo of an apple growing in my back garden . I thought I purchased a Bramley apple but it’s not. I have it 2 yrs. Originally I planted it in a border but the fruit was making the branches sag, so before last winter I transplanted it to a back wall where … read more


I’m planting up pots for wjnter at the moment. planting tulips in layers to give a longer period of colour in spring, any suggestions for what to plant on top of pots to give colour now and throuh the winter, no great success with cyclamen in the past.


this tree/plant was planted by a neighbour who moved before i could ask him what it was.. its been about a year.. i’d really appreciate you telling me what it is as i really like it and want to move it into my garden but need to know soil/site preferences and how big it’ll get


I have very large scallions can i dry and store these like onions,


when is the best time to plant tulips? its late september now….


I’d like to try growing a plum tree from pits but am getting so much different advice i’m confused. do i need to put the pits in the fridge for a while or can i just pot them?


Is there was any way to keep flowers alive during the winter?


I’ve noticed some damage on the leayes of lupins. What could be the problem, i.e. what pests are common to these flowers?


Would it be too late in late Sept. to trim a laurel hedge?


I have a beech hedge planted about 1 year ago.What is the best type of weed killer to use and when is the best time to spray . If I top it will it thicken.


I have a beech hedge planted about 1 year ago.What is the best type of weed killer to use and when is the best time to spray . If I top it will it thicken.


A year ago I had lots of evergreen trees cut down at the back of the garden, one metre high stumps now remaining. I notice many many yellowish mushrooms all over various parts of the lawn and especially surrounding the jacquemonti birches. I’m very worried it is honey fungus as one of the tree trunks … read more


I planted a bishop of LLandaff last year and a bishop of York this year.The llandaff came back with a vengeance this year. My question is when do I need to seperate the bulbs? Do I wait for them to die off for the year or just stop flowering? Also my bishop of york is … read more


What is the best grass seed for a sunny lawn? its a small lawn 12 ft circular lawn.


How far into the soil should I plant garlic bulbs?


I would like to buy a greenhouse 8′ by 6′ approx. to start plants in winter and spring because there is very little growth here until June. Site is exposed. Not too expensive. Glass or poly? which is best? UV filter? What are the features/problems to be aware of? Where to buy and secondhand options


This plant is about 5ft high and I think it has white bell-shaped flowers in spring but not 100% on that; I hope the photo is evidence enough! It’s also now being squeezed on both sides.


Hi Gerry, A friend of mine gave me some of her left-over propagating successes but we can’t identify this one. It has small thorns or spikes and grew quite rapidly over the summer.


I had a few trees planted two years ago but they have failed to grow. I think this is down to using the strimmer to close to the bottoms of the tree while cutting the grass. The bark has bee chipped away but the trees are still alive. Is there anyway I can fix this … read more


I moved the Philodendron Xanadu to the front porch of my house which is enclosed and it is doing much better and I will move it indoors completely soon. It gets tiny aphids mainly on the back of the leaves. I have sprayed it with a house plant pest spray containing fatty acids its (been … read more


I planted lettuce plants under a cloche to extend the season into autumn. Unfortunately over half of them have died and appear to be cut off at ground level. I cannot find any insects in the soil and I have been using slug pellets. The same happened to other lettuces earlier in the summer; not … read more


Drimys. When would be the better time to move this 4ft shrub – autumn or early spring?


My bedding dahlias have formed tubers.Is it possible to sow these tubers next April?


Please identify from the attached picture. Can grow very tall. Also recommend how to eradicate.


I made some compost tea in May (using nettles and comfrey) and gave everything a good feed with it. Now there is still plenty left but I’m wondering is it a) too old and b) too late to feed plants this time of year?


I’ve been recommended this site by a friend and so wanted to ask your help in identifying this shrub; it’s beginning to look a bit straggly since I took this photo so I’d like to be able to help it along.


I had 4 mature japanese maple (don’t know the variety) planted about 2 months ago. In the past couple of weeks one of them, in particular, has developed curled listless leaves gone brown around the edge and some of the leaves have a dusting of what looks like white mould. The bark and branches look … read more


A number of ridges have appeared on part of the lawn in early Spring. Approx 3 meters long and 1cm wide. What could have caused this and whats the best way to restore it back to an even surface.


we have a wet site, even after draining. any ideas as to what to plant?


My copper beech leaves have been turning yellow for quite a few months now and it just generally looks dull and hasn’t grown at all this year.. could it be that its roots are too constrained in the bed its in?


Should I deadhead my jasione as the old flowers look very dull? how far down the stem should i cut?


I wish to move my sambucus to a different part of the garden. its growth has been affected by the strong winds of late. should i prune it back very hard and should i do this before or after moving?


I want to start preparing my garden for winter.. do i need to put down compost AND mulch and if so which do i do first? which is the best compost and mulch to get?


Sunflowers – have sunflowers in a pot and they were flowering but now have closed up. Can you tell me why they might have closed and what to do with them?


You mentioned a flower with “big white blossoms” on Trish Taylor programme this morning (Sep17). I can’t listen back on the internet at the moment due to gremlins. Any chance you could tell me what flower you were referring to?? My German husband still can’t believe that you guys can plant out that sort of … read more


There is a bad looking split in the base of this juniper. I’m wondering if there is anything I can do to save it and if it’s not a problem, is its position of hanging over a wall in a sunny, well-drained (almost dryish…) spot not a good one for it?


I was told that this shrub (about 4 ft tall) is Drimys but looking for your take on it. It’s in a dry semi-shady spot and obviously not thriving (it never flowers) and I’ve never been successful at propagating it. Is it Drimys and is it too big to be moved?


What causes black spots on brussel sprout leaves . Starts at the bottom leaves and works it’s way up.


I want to dig up roses that have been growing in my mother in laws garden for the past 30 years and plant them in mine. I have been told they might not survive because they have been too long in the ground and this worries me can you guide me as to how i … read more


Hundreds of (small-size) wasps are buzzing around in my weeping willow. On the stem and the branches there is busy traffic of wasps, and flies of all sizes, and fat blackflies. The leaves of the shrub under the tree or coloured black. So probably, flies and wasps are feeding on excreet/fungus from the blackflies. The … read more


We have an external courtyard at the centre of our house which gets no direct sunlight to ground level. What trees or plants would be suitable for decorative purposes in this shaded but very sheltered area?


The old oak tree was cut down over 3 years ago. I have drilled lots of little holes in it, filled them with the appropiate tree stump decayer chemical every autumn and covered to no avail. It is still as solid as the day it was first cut.I do not want to have to go … read more


can I save sunflower seeds for sowing next year?


I have a large “Rambling Rector” rose which has been completely blown down in the wind, including the trellisses. Would it be possible to cut the whole thing near the ground? Will that kill it or will it grow back next year?


I have a laurel hedge that is about 2/3 year old. However i only planted it last october. Should I prune the hedge and put fertiliser on it for the winter? I want the hedge to be thick and tall. Some of the trees are filling out while others are quite tall and not so … read more


My lawn is a blank canvas with the exception of two recently planted mature trees – Birch and Beech. I want to begin by planting a series of trees along the west facing perimeter of my garden. Site is exposed, I live in a limestone region and I love trees. Garden centre has recommended, Mountain … read more


My grissilinia hedge was badly dmged by frost, but is showing signs of life now. I have pruned all the dead wood. I now have 1/2 hedge with spindly limbs, & the other 1/2 is cut down to the ground as new shoots are coming. Should i leave these long spindly (but healthy) limbs, & … read more


I planted bareroot Blackthorn / whitethorn hedge in January 2010 and some of the plants have developed well and are over 3ft high while others are developing at a slower pace. However, in order to develop the thickness of the hedge and promote growth near the base of the plant should I cut the hedge … read more


I am getting rid of a flower bed which has alot of Geranium Endressii in it. I was just wondering if I sprayed them with a weed killer would it kill the roots also as there are too many of them to dig up.


I have some hanging. basket plants which I would like to save – Dichondra Silver Falls & Trailing Verbena Lanai Early Scarlet. I think they’re perennial in warmer climates but is there anything I can do to safely overwinter them here ?


I have some home grown Basil and Chilli Pepper plants. All seemed well until I discovered some small white mites on top of the soil. They are not on the plants and when I water them these little guys jump and run around at great speed. They are too small to take a photo. They … read more


Im looking for a name of a tree,i think it might be an acer,its the first to take on its autumn colours this year,a lovely gold and redish colour,see alot of them planted driving into wexford town.


what is the best hedge to grow?


My cabbages are getting eaten and as i have seen earwigs at them assume they are the problem. i have put wet newspaper down in the evening to trap them without much sucess, any help would be great


I have an ugly wall i want to cover but its foundation is high and extends about 10 inches out what type of climber would grow without much soil or have you another idea and i cant paint it because its an old poor wall ?


My 8 year old 60m Escalonia hedge was badly affected by frost last year. I cut it back strongly in early summer and each bush seems to have had new growth. Is there anything I can do to protect it this year, besides praying?


I planted out my Everlasting Sweet Pea earlier this year. At that time I had very little in my new garden. My Verbena was very small then. Since then I have spotted these sweet pea in other gardens and they seem to be very bushy and strong. I am afraid for my Verbena which gives … read more


I got a gift of this beautiful shrub. It hasn’t thrived at all. I started gardening in April of this year. The flowers are beside a beautiful wall of an old walled garden. I am aware that years ago this area had glass houses and in places there may be old foundations. I have cared … read more


can i move a florabunda rose to the front of a border to plant taller plants at the back


I sent in a not very good photo of this plant to you and you suggested it might be tritonia; I’m attempting a better shot, as I read that tritonia only flourishes in mild climates and this one has survived two very bad winters! It’s about5 inches high. Many thanks for such a great site!


One of the horse chestnuts in the garden died this past winter, and now this one looks like this, which could be early autumn normal activity but I feel it’s too early (this started in mid-August) and wonder if it could be chestnut blight I’ve heard about. If so, is there anything that we could … read more


This monarda we bought last year was helathy and flowering but seems to be struggling; I’ve given it plenty of water and it’s in a courtyard which gets afternoon sun; anything I can do for it?


I planted this evergreen clematis last year, it was doing well but I noticed some starting dying off in the last few months. See the attached pictures. It is planted against a screen about 2 metres from an established silver birch. Is there anything I can do to save it?


I tend to get gardening type presents for birthdays, fathers day, etc etc which include plant nutrients such as fish meal & bone mixes. Do these things have an expiry date (as I seem to accumulate of lot of boxes of different types of veg supplements?)


For the first time ever, I have had catterpillars in my glasshouse (I assume butterflies made their way in and laid eggs although I saw none??) I have noticed a lot of small groupings of little green and/or black pellets on my tomato plant leaves and window frames of the glasshouse…are these the droppings of … read more


I’m very pleaaed with my rhubarb as it’s been very plentiful this year. I am now wondering when I should stop pulling it?


I have some poppies growing that I planted, as opposed to wild ones. They have finished flowering now and look a bit straggly. Should I cut back parts of them or should I leave them alone?


Our sambucus nigra has grown to a height of 7 feet as we did not know that it could be pruned. it is very healthy and we do not wish to ruin it by improper pruning. What is the best time of year to prune and is it ok to prune outjust the top high … read more


Leeks on my allotment have got rust. RHS website says do nothing, other sites say to use dithane 945. What do you recommend?


I have a Contorted Hazel and a Portugese Laurel which I planted too close together, I would like to move one of them, preferably the Contorted Hazel, to give them more space as they are growing into each other at this stage. They were planted about 7 years ago and both are about 6feet high. … read more


can you tell me why so many wasps are attracted to my bay tree


I am looking for a plant called the Pride of Maderia (Echium candicans), can I buy some of them from you?


My apples are small this year. I sprayed the base with weed killer earlier and I wonder if that could be the reason.


I have a yellow rose for about 25 to 30years which has produced lots of beautiful scented flowers every year. This year it did flower but not quite as much but now one large branch with leaves have turned a copper colour very quickly and the rest of it seems to be starting to go … read more


Part of my garden has concrete , only a few inches so it will be quite easy to remove so thinking of removing the concrete and digging up the existing grass and planting a whole new lawn. I was wondering when the best time to undertake a project like this is? and with winter approaching … read more


Fruit from tree this year has small hole in it and inside is rotten. Don’t think its an earwig, any ideas what it could be? I’ve attached a photo if it helps.


I had a rambling rose that unfortunately got poisoned. (Dont ask ).It was a very overgrown rose. Alot of the stems and part of the bush has turned brown and can be cracked off since the poison. In parts of the bush it has been cut down to a foot off the ground. Do I … read more


This year I had a poorish crop of summer raspberries. The canes for next year look small but to my surprise some of them have just fruited with good size fruits. Any ideas or suggestions?


I have had a problem with premature die back of potatoes for a number of years resulting in reduced size of tubers. It is not blight as the tubers are not affected. This year I was growing Sarpo Axona and Orla. The same problem has effected my greenhouse tomatoes, grown in growbags, this year. My … read more


Had healthy griselinia hedge 30m long 5m high 6ft wide.Neighbour cut same with tractor mounted hedge cutter august 2010. Result mangled.Got professional help cut another 4ft off sprayed against disease.fed with liquid fertilisor nov 2010. Looking at hedge 90% of it has no leaves at all.There are no new buds . Will it recover and … read more


I plan to plant mixed climbers to grow up a 4ft concrete wall on top of which is 4ft sunlap fence so the total height of wall is 8ft and the length of wall is 39 ft long (6ft of it at the end is on shallow sloping dry ground) and my question is how … read more


I have an 1/2 acre garden with a thornbush border but I have problems getting rid of weeds around the trees. I have used weedkiller and have got rid of some weeds but it grows back again.


Laurel hedge, planted 5 years age, 12ft hi, never trimmed on top, want to grow another 3ft high, worried that bottom of hedge will will start to go bare, should I trim top to prevent this?


I want to start growing Veg & Fruit in my garden. I have a large enough garden but want to know am I better using raised beds or digging up the soil? Also, can I start now with some winter veg or am I better off waiting til Spring time to get going? Do I … read more


I have a new lawn, when sowing I spread 0-7-30, it is coming along nicely but it has some yellow patches, what should I spread now to bring it nice and green. Also, is it safe to spray a new lawn for dock leaves at this time that have grown and what would you recommend.


When is the best time to plant a cistus shrub?


Round up was sprayed between Potato drills 2 weeks ago, are the potatoes safe to eat?


I want to move my agapanthus from the front garden into the rear garden. When is the best time to move them also can I divide them up as they are in a big clump?


We would like some advice on choosing a suitable small tree for a windy front garden between N11 and Redcross, Co. Wicklow. At present we have an Acer Rufinerve planted on the site. It is not thriving as the wind is breaking the young branches and tearing off the leaves. It never gets a chance … read more


I have a newly installed south facing porch. Looking for ideas for a plant or maybe fruit tree that would look well and survive. The leaves on my tomato plant have started to droop badly. What can I do to bring it back to health?Would blueberry work and look well ?


How can i prevent wasps attacking my Victoria plums next year? I prefer not to use insecticides.


Can I feed bay trees with tomato feed or can you suggest a suitable food. They are sparse and a little sad looking at the moment.


I intend to sow strawberry plants in the ground where I harvested my potatoes. Is this ok?


Ive bought a winter flowering cherry and hope to plant it along one side of the garden, beside a 5ft fence. Ive read different reports of how tall and wide it can grow. How far out from the fence should i plant it and can i prune it/remove some branches if they are extending out … read more


Could you please explain about composting wood shavings and why there can be a problem (bacteria using up all necessary nitrogen, or something?


My Endive, and my Chard have bolted fiercely, and my lettuce also, recently. Have they been too dry?


I have an Arum Lily that I separated and moved two years ago. Since then it has not flowered but looks quite healthy otherwise. Do you have any suggestions what I could do with it for next year?


I have been growing two apple trees in pots, and they are going into their second year of winter. I am asking if you think they would be able to survive the winter outdoors at this young stage and if they will loose their leaves. Also, should I continue fertilising throughout winter?


I have a 16 month lawn however its a bit yellow and not growing quickly, I was looking at putting down a fertilizer but don’t know what one to get, also it is quite a large area and would need around 30 – 40kgs. Where is the best place to buy this amount?


Border Plants along a back wall – Lavender, climbing sweet pea & other evergreen climber were thriving but now have stopped growing completely and leaves are eaten (not from edged but more lace like). I had replanted a rhododendron from other end of border closer to the affected side – would this have caused a … read more


About 8 yrs ago I planted Rubus Tricolor on a long, large bank to give me quick ground cover. Well I got that for a few years but now it’s like something out of ‘Day of the Triffids’. It is growing at a huge rate every year & it seems like the more I cut … read more


The sambucus nigra in the garden hasn’t been happy these past few years; we’ve tried pruning, then not pruning but nothing has helped. The leaves have some brown marks on, probably not distinguishable in the photo.


An otherwise healthy-looking Aralia in the garden now has this leaf curl; is that just because of the dismal summer that we’ve had or something more sinister?


A pear tree, planted 3 years ago, looks really healthy and produced flowers this year but they didn’t develop into fruit. Should we have pollinated them by hand, perhaps?


I have gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes which have grown out. Can I cut them both back to the stump now and will this kill them?


i fell in love with a Cercis tree i saw recently in Airfield House. it was still a very vivid burgandy and i’ve since been trying to buy one but see that most types fade to green by this time of the year.. could you recommend a type that retains its colour throughout summer? also … read more


I have an 8 yr old Beech hedge which has begun to die back in the past 3 years in sections. I have heavy clay. On reading your problem section, if the die back is caused by a root rot or fungus is there anything I can treat the ground with in order to replant … read more


See attached photo of what looks like a small brown crustacean on my wisteria. The branches of my blackcurrents were also covered in these. When picked off, the surface underneath them is slightly white. The inside of the crust is covered in a minute amount of whitish powder.


Is it too late to prune my plum tree.? Other websites suggest June .The tree is about three years old and is all over the place.I never did prune it at all as I was led to believe you did’nt need to.I did get a reasonable crop this year for the first time.


My 3 yr old asparagus plants are not doing great and planted very near to a wall. Is it ok to move them to another site. It’s possible they don’t get enough water and also I forgot sbout the snails.


I planted everlasting sweetpea seeds in March indoors. Planted them out in early July. Some of them are twelve inches tall attached to some trellis. I am aware that they do not flower the first year but my question is what do I do with them when the frost comes. Do I cut them closer … read more


Could you name this plant please?


I was wondering if anyone could help with some advise as to how to over-winter strawberries that are in hanging baskets? I have heard mixed reports of where to store them – I only have a shed, no greenhouse.


My rosemary plant, which is growing very well, has alot of ‘rust’ colour on the leaves. What could be the problem & are they safe to eat?


I have a black bell pepper growing, whats wrong with it.


My mint plant has discolouration on the leaves – a beige to light rust colour. What causes this & is it safe to eat the mint.


what if anything can i plant now as space in garden. I am going to put in some garlic but would like to try maybe something else?


I have two little girls that love the gardening, they want to grow an apple tree from the seed from the fruit, can this be achieved,


I have recently moved into a house that has three apple trees, one plum tree and one unknown tree in the back garden. I am a complete novice at gardening so desperately need a bit of help. All the trees have some sort of disease (rotting fruit, withering leaves, etc) to varying degrees. Help? What … read more


We have an orchard about 3 yrs old 1 tree has a lot of apples [not sure if they are eaters or cookers] they are covered in a wooly substance, and when rubbed off, are perfect underneath. it was the same last year, good with flowers , no use with fruit trees. sorry if the … read more


Where can I buy the following Spring bulbs please i think our dwarf plum tree might be diseased..we haven’t had any leaves so far this year and the buds all look like there is a swelling just beneath – last week I noticed a kind of sap oozing out of them but this appears to … read more


I want to plant 2/3 fast growing trees to obscure neighbouring windows overlooking my garden. I want something deciduous with non invasive roots. I attach a photo of the 3 windows I wish to conceal from view. As you will see there is an old stone boundary wall that I do not want destabilized by … read more


Have a cobblelock path around house and had problems with moss last year. Scraped out moss and sprayed with roundup and came up very well, This year have a new weed and dont know how to treat, much harder to clear than the moss and looking for how to treat as spreading rapidly.


She has this almond tree which is struggling and she wonders if it is because her soil seems to be mostly acidic.


This lovely plant is growing wild at the bottom of the garden and I’m wondering if I can move it into the garden proper.


this plant suddenly appeared; I think it may have hitch-hiked in on the Stipa it’s right beside. It’s about 3-4 ft tall, with sparse, lance-like leaves. Thank you!


Is it safe to plant fruit bushes along a creosote fence?


I have a four year old cooking apple tree and I came home from holidays to find it had fallen over. It had been leaning. The trunk has split almost all the way through just above the graft. Can this tree be saved? What’s the best plan of action? It has a good amount of … read more


I have two different types of stipa – feathertail and golden oats – can i divide these and when? also do they need feeding and when?


I was wondering if you could suggest some attractive trees (at least 10ft tall but not necessarily too wide) to provide screening along a south westerly facing side wall in my suburban garden. I would like evergreen trees so that the screening is year round but I don’t particularly like conifers but I cant come … read more


I have a 10m high beech tree. The leaves at the top half of it seem to all have brown blotches and are dying, the bottom half has some but is still in a much better state. 2 years ago a similiar tree about 15m away died. A close by beech hedge is struggling with … read more


Is it possible to take cuttings from a large bay tree which is planted in the ground? The tree is in good condition.


I grew carrots for first time this year. Carrots are severly cracked, short and fat. Also they appear to have worms.


I am interested in growing medicinal herbs and of course ginseng is the holy grail of these. I am aware that the root can only be harvested after 10 years and that it tends to grow naturally in shady woody elevated areas, so my question(s) are can i buy the plant here and would it … read more


My lawn is boggy perhaps due to being on an incline and getting runoff from garden at back. However the problem now is that when I mow the lawn large patches of black wet spawnlike fungus/algae(?) have seeped up. It looks like black frogspawn. This is the garden of a new house so I imagine … read more


We have seed feeders in the garden for the birds; however long periods go by when no birds visit – I am wondering is there a reason. Also, we have a Nyger seed feeder for the goldfinches, but they only visit infrequently.


What is the best systemic pesticide spray for wooly beech aphids control in a young beech hedge? Also, what is the best spray for aphids in a cotoneaster hedge?


I have a healthy Swiss cheese plant, but the leaves have started weeping. Looks like little drops of water, but when it falls on my wooden floor it leaves a permanent stain. I know the leaves are poisonous and I have a cat. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?


Can I divide primulas in August?


This is my first year growing parsnips. Is it true that parsnip canker shows itself on the leaves first as a redish brown colour then a yellowing of its leaves as this is whats happening to mine.


Purple sprouting brocoli should be ready to eat next April, why is it producing sprouts now?


I have young strawberry plants growing indoors in pots.


my minature apple tree in pot is not doing well


Regarding my hedge which was badly damaged by frost, but it is now showing regrowth. I asked should I cut it down. feed it or leave it alone.


Setting up a small wildflower patch in my city garden….thought it was pink cow parsley but might be pink hogweed. Very pretty…should I encourage it in my wildflower garden or get rid of ? How can I be sure it is hogweed ?


i have a large bed full of perennials that as they’ve grown i’ve realised are not in the correct positions i.e. taller ones in the front and colour combinations not working.. when could i take them all out and reposition them? i would also like to divide some of them while i have them out … read more


I intend to plant a new shrub border in an area that has not been previously cultivated. I have sprayed the grass etc with weed killer and that is now brown. Can I avoid digging by covering the area with a thick layer of farmyard manure and leaving over the winter before planting in spring? … read more


Just wondering what veg I can now sow in my polytunnel for the winter ??? I would like to grow broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot, peas, carrots, lettuce, rocket, sprouts,-any problem with these ? Rgds John.


I recently planted trees and used woodchips that had been used as cattle bedding and used clean woodchips to suppress the weeds above the surface. I am now told woodchips will rob the trees of nitrogen? If so how can a compensate for or rectify this?


We planted an orchard of 27 trees, 5 years ago with a variety of native old Irish varieties native to the West of Ireland sourced from the Irish seed savers. The trees look well have plenty of leaves, have been pruned and fed, however apart from a small number of tiny apples on two of … read more


I got a couple of green hollies. They are quite tall but a bit thin. If i prune them will they bush out a bit more? And how much can you take off them?


My blackcurrant bushes are looking very sick. The leaves have been discolouring and dying off for some weeks, and some fruiting shoots are now dead. The bushes cropped reasonably well, but they’re under attack from something. The question is, what?


I have a Griselinia hedge about 6ft high and 60ft long!!! I thought it was killed by frost as all the leaves have fallen off and there was just bare branches. However now there is a good bit of growth comming from the bottom of the plant!! Should I cut down the hedge? Feed it? … read more


I am wondering how to propogate an old wild rose bush and when is the right time to do so. They are very common and seem to be very vigorous. I have seen them in a variety of pink shades, a small rose, on very thorny branches.


Could you recommend a plant/small tree that could be planted in a pot for a gravestone over the autumn/winter months. Have been planting various heathers for years but need something different.


1.How should I store and bring on Plum stones to maximise their chances of germination? 2.What would cause carrots to grow like a bunch of gnarled up tree roots?


My apple tree Discovery usually has a good apple crop and again this year has lots of apples. However they seem to be splitting/cracking. Is this a virus or weather- related or pest-related?The other tree Elstar’s apples are not affected.I recently had to cut down a Bramley apple tree badly affected by canker and prune … read more


I’v bought some lawn feed and moss killer to improve my 18 month old lawn (it has some weeds). The directions say not to compost the cuttings for 12 months. What do I do with these cuttings? can they be composted at all, even after a period of time or do they have to be … read more


The pear tree in our garden seems to be attacked by a beetle which bores holes into it. There are exit holes from the larvae and plenty of saw dust around it (see photos). As a result the leaves turn brown and curl up. (The bark of the tree appears white in the photos because … read more


Mixed hedge planted 2 years ago. Clipped back last Februray, grew great this year. Over the last month however leaves on whitethorns plants only have gone white and some of the trees are starting to look dead. Do you have any idea what it is and can it be cured.


I’m new to gardening, so this may be an obvious one. My cos was doing beautifully and all the sudden in the past week, the leaves are degrading into sludge. I can’t find any evidence of slugs or other insects. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.


My back garden willow (which I aggressively pruned in the Spring) is massively infested with black aphids, and in the last couple of weeks, their honeydew has been attracting wasps. The wasps make it difficult to be in the garden, plus, I need to prune the willow, but risk being stung. Is there anyway I … read more


My Sweet Pea have grown over 7ft tall and are difficult to manage, is it possible to cut them by 1/3 and will this encourage new growth


For the second year my sprout plants have all bolted grown really large and the young sprouts have all bursted open what could be the cause?


i have just bought a red gooseberry plant and have repotted it into a bigger pot rather than putting it straight into the ground as in the next month or 2 i will be moving and would like to take my gooseberry bush with me i have also tied it to a stake as the … read more


Where can I get organically grown herbs in pots for my balcony?


I live in an appartment and I have rose bushes growing in containers. The problem I’m having, each year for the past 3 years, is that the leaves on each of the 3 rose bushes I have planted are being decimated by something that doesn’t seem to hang around. It also seems to fancy the … read more


I hope this photo is clear enough to identify – a sweet little plant that I think is in the wrong place but it bravely struggles on every year; if I know what it is maybe I can take better care of it. Thanks.


The second-last plant to identify in this garden, can you help?


This is a tree, Salix matsudana tortuosa, I’ve been told, that is suffering this year and wonder if you can help me to help it, thanks! could it be in too dry a spot?


how.do.i.get.laurels.to.grow.from.cuttings?


I have 3 plum trees. All have varying degrees of the following disease. These photos are the worst. What do they have?


We have been growing Hollyhocks for a number of years and they are a sight to behold , however, every year they get this horrible rust on the leaves – starting lower down and moving up, we usually remove the bad leaves, but can you tell us what we should do to get rid of … read more


I have problems with my greenhouse container grown (from seed) cucumbers. The plants sort of shriveled up when transplanted from the seed tray and while not dead are very sick looking, mottled crisp leaves and very slow growth. I had this trouble last year as well so this year tried using growbags but the problem … read more


I’ve inherited some blackcurrant bushes which had a very poor yield this year. The branches are 5-6 feet long & very mature. How do I get control of the bushes & increase yield & still have a crop next year?


I have a herbaceous paeonia that does not flower. It is planted in a sunny well drained spot. The leaves are shrivelled with brown spots. Can you advise me please?


For some reason my septic tank is slap bang in the middle of my back lawn. i’d like to hide it but not sure if i can plant directly over it. what do you think? a few Taxus Summergold maybe and a tall conifer?


can hosta be divided in autumn?


My peony has finished blooming – its early August- and i wonder if it should be tidied up/pruned or should i leave it?


I planted a magnolia Susan this spring in the garden and it was full of flowers in May but after they were gone no leaves appeared. What do you think happened?


4 weeks ago we planted mature (10ft) Portuguese Laurel which were transported from Italy. In the past week a lot of the leaves have turned yellow. They are watered every second day for about 20 mins per tree – are they getting too little or too much?


Could you recommend some fast growing plants to form an arch in a south facing, very sunny garden? We’d prefer evergreen so it doesnt look too ugly in the winter.


Can you id this plant for me please! I didn’t plant it, but we got top soil from a garden centre last year and presume there was a seed there that’s settled in well! It’s about 4 ft tall now and popping seeds all over the place!


This young apple tree’s trunk looks pretty sick, but it still has green leaves – is it apple canker? There are other apple, cherry and plum trees nearby – should i remove the tree, roots and all? and will i be able to plant another fruit tree in that location. Thanks for your advice.


I planted a Phlox paniculata ‘White Admiral’ not so long ago, it looked healthy and started to flower lovely white flowers but then gradually and suddenly the flowers shriveled up and fell off. Some of the leaves also started to get a lot of black spots around their edge. Not all the flowers have died,…yet, … read more


Would you recommend a name of a fast growing hedge and one that would stand up against the winters we are having of late?


I have cauliflower that has been bolting all summer. Is the bolting due to temperature or lack of watering?


what is the best feed or fertiziler to feed leilenda hedge is there a time limit before you see results months or year and do you mix into soil should i cut or leave it now


I have a boston ivy, young plant, growing up trellis on my balcony. There seems to be these clear tiny globular things on the plants. I have brushed most of them off as my first thought was insect larvae (am hoping it’s not a vine weevle) and was just wondering what it could be. Any … read more


For the second consecutive year my carrot crop has been destroyed by root fly (not grown in the same area of the vegetable garden this year). Adjacent rows of parsnips were unaffected last year, but I’m not sure if they are affected this year. Does the pest persist in the soil ? I don’t plan … read more


my beetroot are all leaves and very little bulb.can you help please?


I have a 20 year old umbrella plant that has taken over an entire side of a bedroom! The top has now hit ceiling and bent over by about three feet. It has seven branches already coming out from the base. The main stem looks like the bark of a tree as it has turned … read more


I have recently planted climbing roses at the back wall in my garden and have feed the soil around the roses with organic farmyard manure, can you please tell me how often I should do this and at what time of year.


Beech hedge planted three years…about a hundred metres long. Is there a weedkiller that can safely be used to control weeds around the hedge?


I have green fly problem for a few month’s now in the glass house, I think i did’nt spray enough times to get rid of them.. I think my peppers and chillies will not produce any fruit now because they are all over the flowers…. But yesterday a hoverfly got in and starting to lay … read more


What is the best way to treat this plant to help it flower again next season. It has such a gorgeous intricate tiny flower and really lovely foliage that I’d love to keep it growing. At the moment the one stem is lovely and thick and solid. I am not watering it since the flowers … read more


what could I grow in front of these plants both are part of an informal hedge?


I harvested my little crop of beetroot the other day. I left about 3-4 cms of stalk and the roots intact, washed and boiled gently for about 2.5 hours. After cooling, I peeled gently with my fingers before going to slice and pickle them. However half of them are soft and perfect and half of … read more


I thought my 18ft Cordyline had survived the bad winter as it continued to grow and flowered recently but this week I noticed the bark is falling off about a foot from the bottom of all three trunks… Assuming that this tree is now dead I am going to cut it down and let the … read more


The past two very cold winters have taken a considerable toll on our eucalyptus tree. Apart from some recent new growth at the base, the entire tree looks dead and at times smells of rotting timber. , many Thanks for any help.


I have a young philodendron xanadu plant which is not doing so well. Some of the leaves are a bit yellow at the edges and distorted. I fed it and watered it and gave it a slow release fertilizer tablet. I had it indoors but put it outside in a shady sheltered spot in the … read more


I was thinking of planting a Fagus sylvatica dawyck either side of steps leading from the patio onto the lawn-i wonder how it responds to pruning i dont want it to get too wide or too tall. can it be kept to about 4foot diameter by pruning.? if the top is pruned will it bush … read more


Mowed lawn yesterday today there are some holes about 2″ diameter and 4″ deep with grass pulled up and left on side. A neighbour has had the same problem already with alot of damage. What might it be and how to stop it please.


I am in the process of taking cuttings from perennials but am unsure how to care for them during the winter, especially as I live in Carlow which gets just about the coldest weather.


My greenhouse plum tomato plants leaves are going black, stretching from the outsides of the leaves into the centre, also they are curling, there are fruit on the plant but they are small yet. am i doing something wrong and when should i expect the fruit to ripen?


Can you advise how I can protect a tree fern next winter in case we get same very cold weather. I also had ferns in ground around tree but there are no leves coming on them. Any suggestions?


My question is a very general one and I would imagine a lot of perople have noticed this and that is that the leaves of many deciduous trees are almost gone and we’re still in July. Sycamores and horsechestnuts for example are all looking the worst for wear. Some have observed that the west side … read more


I wrote to you last April asking how to save my 30 yr old Cordyline in which I really thought had died from our harsh winter, I cut all the side branches and the top off, and just left it standing at 12ft tall. This week I’ve noticed 4 new shoots appearing around the base … read more


Just wondering if you can tell me how to go about reseeding my lawn. It’s completely neglected. It hadn’t been cut in over a year and half. I have strimmed it last night, but it’s very uneven. Clumps of grass growing in places, there seems to be cherry blossoms springing up in the lawn. Do … read more


Hi Gerry, Thanks so much for the advice on the straggly rubus! This is a photo of the last plant to identify in our ‘inherited’ 4 acre garden, a long process! It’s flowers have a really sweet fragrance and it’s about 5 foot high.


I was given a cooking apple tree which had its main trunk broken in the garden centre…it’s always fruited v well but i would like to raise its canopy up…can i cut off the bottom branches now in july even though they have fruit or should i let them ripen, harvest them and do it … read more


I have a lonicera nitida hedge which is 60 years old and was in excellent condition until this year. The entire hedge (about 200 feet) is now withering (I have attached a phot). I think the snow earlier in the year may have caused the problem. I have tried treating the headge with Miracle Grow … read more


I purchased a yellow butterfly bush and i want to protect it through the winter, i have it in a tunnel in a pot do i plant it outside in the ground or keep it in the tunnel?


Please help. I have roses in containers in a tunnel an there is something eating the leaves it like you would take a snap out of an apple! What could it be? I know its not a snail!


The hedge in my front garden recently died due to the bad frost and I have recently taken it out. I have a lovely “pieris” in the back garden about 1.5mtrs high and i am thinking of moving it to the front garden to start my new front garden. Firstly is this a good idea … read more


Can I still use a bag I bought a couple of years ago and left out in the garden (unopened)? I want to lay it around a load of lavender I just planted. When I opened the bag its, not surprisingly, quite wet and has white bits on the bark. Is this the way it’s … read more


I sowed peas and they have grown very well they are about 2ft high now but they never flowered hence no pods so what went wrong this never happened before


A Rubus benenden which has been in the garden for over 15 years is now looking very scraggly, with ony a few branches with leaves, the rest bare. Any suggestions?


I have a little patch of lawn at the side of my drive that i would love just to grow ground cover plants in. do i need to take up the existing lawn or can i sow the plants on top of it or will the grass just grow up through the plants.


I live in the countryside & the farmer in the field beside my house planted wheat crop this year. All my flowers/fruit & fruit bushes have hundreds upon hundreds of greenfly. I have planted flowers which help to attract insects to kill the greenfly, these flowers have been consumed by the greenfly. I spayed with … read more


I am just beginning to make a garden after building-work destroyed all of our previous garden. I would like to grow some fruit or vegetables to encourage the interest of my kids. The garden is north facing but long. I will need to buy soil or peat or some mixture. What is the best combination?


I have planted about six hydrangea plants approx two years ago and none of them are flowering. They are all doing well with leaves and growing but wont flower.


I have a very big area which in Spring has Snowdrops and Fritillaria.. It is really lovely, but is gradually being gobbled up by ivy. There is way too much to remove manually.. How can I kill it without damage to the Spring bulbs? I should say that there are also lots of narcissi.


Over the years as I dig my vegetable plot I have found bits and pieces of old household waste, i.e. pieces of old china, glass, small chunks of burnt coal, etc. Once I found a small scrap of lead. The property used to belong to a house dating from about 1830 and I think my … read more


My wife and I recently took an allotment for the 1st time this year. I was just wondering about the types of Winter vegetables we could grow and what time of year to plant them.


I have pots filled with marigolds and violas. Some insect is eating the buds of the violas, can you suggest a spray to prevent this happening. I keep slug pellets around the edge of the pot.


Along west facing side of garden, Colour all year , non poisonous not thorny, backing unto line of trees ?


My delphinium flowers are currently dying off and small green shoots are coming out of the fading flowers. It isn’t the most attractive look but I am unsure whether it needs to be left alone or cut back, should i be expecting more flowers?


I am looking for advice on what trees and shrubs to plant in a bleak, wild, windswept garden on the coast in northern Donegal. Anything that has been planted there has been badly burned by the harsh cold winter winds.


I bought several cigar shaped 7 cm tubers at Bloom this year. They have produced great lush foliage but no flowers yet. Can you identify them for me please? Regards Michele


I’ve collected some seed from geranium/cranesbill plants – how would you recommend I go about getting plants from these: should I sow them now in trays/pods and leave them outside; should I germinate them indoors on a sill; should I hold off and sow them next spring.


This cacti plant produces lovely orange flowers. It has never been re-potted and the roots are beginning to come through the end of the pot. Can you tell me how to do this without breaking the plant?


I have mildew on most of my roses some gardeners say not enough water others say too much water can you tell me the cause?


I attach this cactus plant which has four different growths. At the tip of it the colour is a light brown and looks a bit like mould. Can you enlighten me as to what it is and if the plant is dying? I put in into a bigger pot last year and this is the … read more


Are there any vegetables that can be planted outside with no protection ,in the next month?


Our bungalow has a blank south-east facing end wall. Any suggestions as to what we could grow there? I’d love some sort of fruit tree. We would have to remove some of the concrete path. The wall is quite exposed.


We are a small garden centre in Ferns and we try to accommodate our customers 100%, but we have met a brick wall in sourcing Tetrapanax papyrifera Rex on Page 10 of July issue. Can you advice?


I have some silver birch that have been doing very well. They are 2-3 years old approx. All of a sudden the leaves on one or two of them are turning yellow and another one is wilting. It is drooping quite badly – about 1/3 of the tree is hanging low. I watered it but … read more


My two new golden weeping willows are showing all the signs of willow canker. The leaves went black canker on the stems die back. Is it worth trying to spray them with fungicide or am I wasting my time?


A recently purchased gentian has some white flowers, is this unusual?


I have 4 tomato plants growing indoor, Shirley, Moneymaker x 2, and Shipsaint. One growing outdoor Tomatoberry. The plants seem weaker than other years and the leaves are all getting a heavy brown spotting. All are forming fruits but I think there should be more. They were planted in the first week of May. Is … read more


Can you please tell me what might be causing my araila to be discoloring as seen in picture. Leaves drop off when you touch the discolored ones. It is shaded from sun up to 1 pm then in full sun. It is sheltered from east and north wind but does get south westerly breeze. I … read more


Can you eat rhubarb the first year of planting?


Would you please give me instructions for growing a willow arch – from scratch?


I have laurel that were potted and planted 8/10 weeks ago. the leaves are going yellow and falling off. are they dying. please advise what i can give them (any fertilizer etc ) they are weed free and have been watered. some have new growth( the green laurels) but alot are going yellow.


there is something eating my seedlings in the green house can you tell me what it might be,and how to control it


This time of year when in the Phoenix park and some town parks I get a lovely scent from a large deciduous tree, its can be the size of a mature beech tree and the flowering part is a lighter green than the leaf, not very conspicuous but one can get a lovely scent wafting … read more


Planted a few years, ground not wet, 10% of leaves are yellowing and turning rusty. Remaining leaves are perfect. Can you please identify what may be causing this. Photo attached showing the discolouration.


Where can I buy willow obelisk?


bad frost damage to griissalinia hedge any suggestions? do you think if i cut it out hedge will recover? It looks very brown and dead in parts. thank you for any advice you may have.


What would you plant in this area ?.


I have a lovely angel wings plant which is green and turns red as it get a lot of sun. it also has small pinks flowers. It is growing great but I think there are too many big leaves on it. Can I remove the bigger leaves so that small leaves can have room to … read more


just got one plant aim to grow it in a large pot my question is where should i grow it glassshouse or outside??


I have been growing apple cucumbers this season. Could you please tell me how to save the seeds for next season?


I planted several hanging baskets with Surfinas and Petunias. The plants were all growing well but in one basket plants suddenly started to die off one after the other. I replaced some of the dead plants but after a few weeks the replacements began to die off too. All other baskets seem to be doing … read more


I have planted a variety of onions and scallions in a raised bed, the tips of some are going yellow, plus some bulbs are coming out of the earth. I pulled a few yesterday and it looks as though, if I leave the rest any longer the stem will grow even bigger and grow down … read more


I have few cauliflower plants. Only one plant, though it is not as big as other plants has a head (all planted at the same time)Few of them have loads of leaves but no heads,but looks healthy.What should i do?


I’m living in Dublin, can you let me know where I can buy this plant


Can you recommend a hedging /trees for a boundry. I already have golden leylandi around some of the boundry which goes around the house. There is a piece of land behind where our percolation area is. The general area is marshy so can you recommend something that likes the wet.


I’ve planters,round and rectangle type,the plannix range,10ft polys also.their well set up with a good mixture of quality home compost and bought compost along with perlite.what veg could I start or what well started veg could I plant, bought type. I have some courgette, peas, rocket, lettuce, tomatoes all well established.


Planted Nantes seed about 3 weeks ago just a few coming up. Had already done same middle of May, a few came up and have disappeared since. What is happening? I had prepared ground well and sowed in drills.


My beech hedge 12′ high 10′ wide v. healthy but not maintained I need to bring it back to 5′ high 4’wide. When is the best time to cut back so severely, July/Aug or when dormant.A local garden centre advised to reduce the height in July/Aug and reduce the width one side this winter and … read more


I have a fatsia for several years but find that something always eats the leaves. I dont think it is slugs or snails. Have you any suggestions, Please


Can you tell me how you can tell the difference from cotinus grace and cotinus royal purple this time of the year. I am after cotinus grace and in one garden centre there is no label and the staff thinks its grace but not sure!


I got a black seedless grape and have it in the glass house,it has what looks like tiny grapes but now seems to be growing little shoots from the grape and are just falling off, i have it in a container as the floor is cement,do they need plenty of room for the roots?


I want to move some roses. Is it best to wait until the dormant season. do i prune before re-planting and what is the best soil?


I have planted these Heucheras in 3s and it seems that one or two in each group fade away to one or two tiny leaves. Soil is well drained and limey. Have recently fed the garden with good compost. What else can I do to revive them?


If I re plant the swede thinnings will they mature and produce a normal vegetable ?


We are planning to put in an Oak-tree lined driveway. The drive itself is 37m long up hill. The drive is south facing and is fairly exposed to both wind and distant sea spray. Could you please recommend suitable Oak species with appropriate spacing? Is it better to opt for younger trees or semi-mature? i … read more


when to harvest runner beans?


I dug some of my early potatoes (Leager) today and found some that were really soft and smelled. Do you know what this could be? There was no blight and stalk looked healthy if a little wind battered.


I am new to growing i planted tomatoes in plastic greengouse. i have just read that i should have pulled off some new growth is it to late to do so now ?


About 8 weeks ago i planted about 180 potted laurel to replace my dead escallonia hedge. I have watered them , i think sufficiently. Now about 1 in 6/7 are turning yellow and the leaves are falling off. Some I can see are sprouting new shoots but the yellowish ones are not. do you think … read more


I’ve just noticed that a healthy calibrachoa I have in a window box is quite limp and wilted. The culprit is probably the white fly I noticed at the base of the plant. I’m wondering what’s the best way to get rid of these pests and will the poor plant come back to itself again. … read more


There’s some beautifully scented wild honeysuckle growing in the hedgerow beside our house. I’d love to take a cutting of it to see if it would grow in our own garden and wonder when and how would be the best way to go about it.


Hi Gerry, Could you please take a look at the pictures attached and let me know what you think they are? This plant is growing in the dog run part of my garden next to a flowering crab apple and I just want to see how big it’s going to get, it’s over 5ft at … read more


We have put a pond in our garden. I want to plant primulas around the pond ,do i need to dig out the soil and line with polythene or just plant them around the pond?


We have a copper beech hedge which did not grow any leaves this year. It is just over a year old and was quite mature when planted (4 ft high). The buds appeared this Spring but the leaves never grew, and many of the buds appear to have died off. In most cases the plants … read more