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


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.


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?


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


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


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?


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


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.


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


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


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?


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


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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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?


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 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.


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


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?


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


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


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 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


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.


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?


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


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 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 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.


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.


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


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


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?


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



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?


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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


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.


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


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


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 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


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


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


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?


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.


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


Can you please identify this shrub for me?


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


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


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?


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.


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.


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


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 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 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 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.


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 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


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 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.


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?


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 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?


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?


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 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.


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.


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


Is it safe to put farmyard manure around heathers ?


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.


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.


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


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


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


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?


What kind of trees would grow in marl soil?


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.


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


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


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 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?


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


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 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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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?


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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?


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


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


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.


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’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 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


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?


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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?


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


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 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 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?


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


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


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?


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?


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


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?


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.


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 ?


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 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.


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


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 ?


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


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 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


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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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 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


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


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


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?


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


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


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.


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


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 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?


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


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


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.


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’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


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?


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


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


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?


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?


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


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 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


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


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 .


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?


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?


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?


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)?


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 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?


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 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?


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 .


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?


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 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 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


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 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?


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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 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 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 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


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?


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


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.


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.


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?


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


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 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


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


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


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 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 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?


I planted a Laurel hedge last March, it has grown vigoursly, is now (mid October) a good time to start pruning it ?.


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?


How far from wall of house juniper tree should be planted so it would not damage foundation of house? same about thuja.


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


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


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 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.


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


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


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


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


Drimys. When would be the better time to move this 4ft shrub – autumn or early spring?


Please identify from the attached picture. Can grow very tall. Also recommend how to eradicate.


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


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?


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?


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?


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


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


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?


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?


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


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?


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


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


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?


When is the best time to plant a cistus shrub?


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


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.


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


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?


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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


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?


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?


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


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.


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.


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


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?


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?


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.


Would you recommend a name of a fast growing hedge and one that would stand up against the winters we are having of late?


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


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?


what could I grow in front of these plants both are part of an informal hedge?


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 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


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


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 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?


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


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 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.


Along west facing side of garden, Colour all year , non poisonous not thorny, backing unto line of trees ?


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.


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?


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


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.


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.


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’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.


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!


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


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


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 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


We planted a griselina bareroot hedge in March 2010 it was growing well until April 2011 now half of the hedge has turned brown and lost all the leaves. Are these trees dead. one or two of the remaining trees leaves have started to go yellow lately and i’m afraid they will to go brown … read more


My Prunus Serrulata ‘Kiku-shidare-zakura has been badly attacked by blackfly. A lot of it is dying. What should I do?


Would you tell me what kind of wild shrub this is? The flowers have a nice sweet strong smell. It grows in Kerry, probably in some other parts of Ireland as well.


i have a maple small tree which i have in a large pot ane the leaves are all turning brown and it looks like it is dying, but my daughter has one also and it’s the same kind of plant and her tree is the same is it pot bound?


Laurel hedge planted 11 months ago. Stem on 1 plant has snapped at base but not detached and plant is lying horizontal but is still healthy. Can this be repaired or replanted or will i have to dig up and replace?


This unpruned tree overhangs front garden railing adjoining footpath, is circa 30ft high, across gate to neighbour’s side and higher leaves look different to normal bay. Because of the spread, it seems unlikely it could be restored to conical shape. One tree-surgeon (I’m still getting estimates) suggested it would have to be flat on top. … read more


I planted a five year old tree 10years ago to celebrate the birth of my grandson. The garden runs to the sea in Cobh. It was too exposed and did not fare well so I moved it to a sheltered position in the walled garden about 5 years ago but it has not done well. … read more


Im trying to find out the differences between Cornus Controversa Variagated and Cornus Alternifolia “Argentea” apart from the difference in the size of the leaves?


Can you tell me what this plant is and is it a perennial?


A friend of mine has this strange plant in their garden and nobody knows what it is. They have brought a sample of the plant to a few garden centres and they were unable to identify the plant. I have attached a photo of the plant, I have also photos of the individual leaf and … read more


When is the best time to cut back eucalyptus trees? Ours is c.15m high and hasn’t been cut back in years.


Need to fill gap in boundary hedging – 25 Metres long with tall trees at each end of gap. Although majority of boundary has whitethorn growing wild, I would like to have a more formal, thick, fast growing hedge in this section, with a minimum height, over time, of 2 metres.On my side of boundary … read more


Can I take cuttings from purple beech and if so what way can it be done and will a cutting grow successfully.


I need to hide an ugly wall where I’ve made the terrible mistake of having my plum trees cut to the ground. I was no longer able to maintain the trees as regards thinning etc. Fencing is turning out to be very expensive. Huge quotes have been offered eg. Cottage fencing being very expensive and … read more


I have a side garden at the side of my house and i have nothing to do with it.. weeds are just growing.. it is about 10 meters long and i have no idea of what to do or put in it. can you give me some ideas on what to do?


I have one Laburnum tree for about 8yrs which flowers beautifully ever 2nd yr. It’s stunning looking when in flower. But since we’ve had it I notice that alternate years it will only have 4 or 6 flowers. I don’t do anything different to it any year to cause this, can you tell me why … read more


I planted 3 X 1 foot tall Thuya Rheingold dwarf conifers last spring but I want to move them 2 feet forward. When’s the best time to do so?


I planted a standard flowering cherry tree in late April approx. 3m tall and staked it well. In the last few weeks I have noticed tiny holes in the top leaves and now brown patches on the leaves. What can i do?


Can you give me some information on young FIELD MAPLE whips . How often should i water them ?, how much Fertiliser should i give them? , when would be the best time of the year to prune them?,what kind of soil should they be grown in ?


I have 3 evergreen tree in my front garden and over the last couple of weeks they come burnt or brown in colour. No all of the tree is brown only the SE Faceing section. What should i do to get these to recover, these are 6 ft in hight and about 5-6 years old


I notice that there are signs of life at the base of ny hedge which I thought was killed by last years frost. Is it your advice to cut away all the dead wood in the hope that growth will take off.


Philadelphus 2 year old shrub. Small light green leaf but no flowers. Otherwise healthy looking.


I have a Twisted Lavender Tree and a Lilac Tree, they both flowered well and were looking fine until recently. Now however their leaves have gone very yellow and wizened looking and some leaves on the Lavender tree have brown spots. What can I do? Thank you, Ruth


We recently planted some young beech hedging which has a white substance growing on the back of the leaf can u give us some advice as what is best to do?


The hedge beside the 7th tee at Dundalk Golf Club in Blackrock Co. Louth appears to have been attacked by some kind of insect that has left it festooned with a web like structure reminiscent of a Harry Potter movie scene. There are three sections of hedge like this separated by green live hedge. Could … read more


I have a pieris in the garden for roughly four years and it does not seem to have grown. There is new growth beginning which has bright red leaves. The old leaves are a yellow colour and it has never flowered. It is planted in the front of the garden which gets full sun. I … read more


We have 25 yearold, vigorous, well kept, 200ft long escallonia (macrantha) hedge which is trying to recover from the winter. Its damage differs along its length and we’re getting conflicting advice as to how to best look after it. 1. Where there is inner growth one says to do nothing, that the scrappy dead branches … read more


I planted an acer ORANGE DREAM in a large pot early this month. It is showing withering of the young leaves around the edges.. The bigger green leaves are not affected.. I used John Innes No3 compost and added a little shrub fertiliser when planting.. I have watered in the normal manner for newly planted … read more


Please suggest plants for a slightly northern slope in an exposed area of central Scotland where temperature has been below -18 for several days at a time in the last two winters, add to this fierce wind which can be very desicating or rain snow sodden. I am especially looking for good sturdy hedging plants … read more


I have two Sarcococca plants which are about 4-5 years old. When I bought them, I was told not to prune them, but they are very straggly and I just don’t know what to do with them. They are outside the front door in pots and get sun in the morning only.


I need some good smelling fragrant bushes or trees. I want to surround our septic tank area with good smelling bushes and trees to counter the smell of the tank, preferably ones that can cope with the strong westerly wind here on the coast


a quick follow-up to the q on a lilac i recently posted….do you recommend that i do lift it? also if i were to plant sometthing else in the same place is that ok, maybe an acer


I have a Parrot Plant (indoor) it is infested with white fly .I have sprayed continually and even washed each leaf and stem with the spray but no avail . Its still infected and even the floor around it gets sticky .what causes white fly and how can I get rid of it.


This lilac started to leaf as normal earlier this year but then i noticed that half of it seemed to suffer from curled up brown leaves. then recently i noticed that all its leaves seem to have followed suit. i knicked the bark and part of it is green particularly near the main trunk but … read more


a large branch was broken off an acer during the recent heavy winds. it has left a gaping wound on the main trunk. is there anything i can do or should i just leave it? the broken branch can be seen to the left of the tree in the photo


Do you know of anywhere I can purchase ‘Early York’ cabbage seeds. I cannot locate them online.


I planted 50 bareroot (field maple at the end of march . over 40 of them are thriving but the rest have brown crispy leaves . I scratched the bark on the ones with crispy brown leaves and the bark is still green inside so i know there still alive . What can i do … read more


I have a well kept, healthy, 5ft high, 40yd long, 20yr old Portuguese Laurel hedge. Last autumn the leaves on one plant turned grey/silver, through the winter some branches died. That plant is now growing new silver/grey leaves. The leaves are olive greenish – like eleagnus ebbengei. But, the leaves on three more plants dotted … read more


I have a lovely white hydrangea, soft leaves,starts off acid green,then white.Tiny petals ,heads become quite large,think it may be “Annabelle” looking at internet. How and when do i propagate ?


My whitethorn and beech hedge isinfested with small caterpillars which have made “webs” which look a bit like spiders webs. my question is what are they? and do I need to eliminate them ? The whole hedge 50 metres is infested with them but I would rather not use insectiside unless absolutely necessary


I planted 5 THUJA conifers about 2 years ago as a border at the side of my house. They have grown quite tall but don’t seem to be growing widthways much at all. Somebody told me if I cut the tops off them they would spread out widthways. Do you think that is a good … read more


Im just wondering about my silver birch and acer drummondi trees. they leafed well but now have started to lose some leaves and some have gone brown.


Which would you recommmend for a windy seaside hill in Donegal as archictectual items in garden.?


I have a mahonia and phormium which were doing well until the bad weather. Both plants died off, re-sprouted and died again. Today I’ve noticed a sprout from beneath the soil on the mahonia and two weeks ago the phormium began to sprout. How can I protect them in case of more bad weather?


Had a Acer Sango-Kaku growing in my garden for 4 years (approx 3 ft high)and it did not survive the winter – or so I thought. Just went out to inspect it again, and to my delight there is a little branch growing just at the base of the main tree trunk. I was planning … read more


Plagued with “mare’s tail”. I think it came in with some gravel. It is RAPIDLY spreading EVERYWHERE, through the gravel beds, through wildflower meadow wher opening was created to prevent grass choking out flowers,in flower beds, raised beds, etc. is ther any specific compound that is effective and what safety measure needs to be taken.


I have bought the June edition of The Irish Garden I was wondering where would I be able to get the Kalmia Latifolia in Ireland. It is featured in the plant profile section. It is evergreen and would look great with the rhododendrons.


Leaves on my griselinia hedge are curling and going yellow, then brown. Dug up some and roots are brown and dead. Others still seem ok. Is this damage from frost or could it be caused by recent strong winds? Our site is very exposed.


I need to decide on a hedge for our site I would like a good ever green one that would be able for our frosty winters.. Bearing in mind I will also have to sow this hedging on the road boundary in front of the house.. So I would like a nice hedge. have you … read more


I recently about 5 weeks ago planted a new laurel hedge from pots. I have noticed recently some of the leaves have started to curl up!! Could you please tell me the cause of this? is the laurel dying?


I planted a Philadelphus (I think it’s Virginal) about 3 years ago, in a sunny spot, neutral but good soil. It didn’t flower at all in year 1, last year I got a single flower, and this year there’s just a single cluster of five flowers on the whole shrub. It’s very healthy and growing … read more


A 22 year old laburnum tree (see photo) that was very much the centrepiece of our garden has died from a fungus disease … not sure if it is honey fungus. We will have to get it removed and we are seeking a suitable replacement … can you suggest a suitable replacement tree that would … read more


This large pittospornum has been in our garden since before we built our house on the site. This year the tree seems to be a bit sick, with much less leaves than usual. The leaves that are on it seem to lack vigour also. There have been some limbs cut off about 4 years ago, … read more


Five mature sycamore trees were planted five feet south of my garden wall by the developer on the weekend he put his houses on sale in 2007. They are now twenty feet high, are blocking my garden light completely and roots are invading my space. Charm wont work; with this guy it was always the … read more


I have 2 silver birch trees, probably between 20&30 years old. In the past 2 years they have not leafed very well and their branches have become very brittle. The leaves are green just not nearly as lush as they were. They are about 30 feet tall and planted very closely together in a small … read more


After cutting down hedge and turning it into woodchip I was just wondering is it a good idea to use this fresh wood chip, under a new Laurel hedge where the old hedge existed, for the purpose of weed control?


My neighbour who is 89 years has a beautifull rhododendron tree in her garden some branches have broken off a bit they still bloomed. When is the right time to cut them off?


I have a laburnum 5 years old it is thriving and had lots of blooms this year. Now it is looking wild and I’m wondering can it be pruned and if so when is best time to do this. Will it affect blooms for next year?


.I attach a photo of trees . planted 5 years ago that which were supposed to grow within 2 years to 6′ but have not grown. Please can you advise what I can do to encourage growth or should these be replaced. The site is exposed and near the sea. I require a shelter belt/ … read more


I have a small tree which produces beautiful copper coloured leaves in autumn……. I think the common name for it is Stags Horn and it appears to self seed. Just in the past few weeks, several little seedlings / small plants have appeared around the lawn having come from this tree and I’m wondering can … read more


We planted a 5year old Birch tree about 3 weeks ago and it has been battered by the strong winds for past couple of weeks. Leaves are all burnt, some small signs of greenery. How should I care for it?


I have a hornbeam hedge abouot 6 ft tall that i set last year. Is it ok to trim at this time of the year? or is there a certain time to trim it back


We sowed a magnolia Susan ten years ago. It took a long time to flower but this year it was beautiful. However during the winter a large branch was broken in the wind. It has left the tree very lob-sided. I want to cut off a lower branch to balance it up but not sure … read more


I have a Daphne Mezereum approx 10 years old and about 5 feet high. A lot of the branches are falling over due to the weight of the leaves and berries. Can I hard prune it back to get it back in some sort of shape or any other ideas?


At least 80% of the leaves on my wisteria have withered and fallen off i have been watering it as normal, however the plant has had to endure strong winds for the last month, it is six years old any ideas best regards.


I have a nice size south facing garden in surburbia but need advice on what fast growing, relatively maintenance free trees to plant along back wall to get some privacy. Blanced with the fact I don’t want too much loss of light or risk of fall damage!! Evergreen probably best to ensure year round privacy.


I had a magnolia susan for over two years in a pot , i planted it out in March ,but theres only a few leaves on it ,should i feed it? iv checked the bark and its still green .what would you recommend i do?


I planted laurel hedging last october but i have noticed in the last couple of weeks the tips of the leaves have turned brown. What could be causing this? and some of the new growth have also withered and turned brown. i put 10 10 20 fertiliser on it about 6 weeks ago as i … read more


I have laurel hedge, planted about 4yrs ago, and I just noticed that the new leaves are turning brown/black and curling up and dying. There is plenty of new growth, but this just seems to have appeared lately. I have a LOT of hedge and it seems to have spread. Could you please advise?


Last year I had a lot of Fuchias growing in pots but I lost most of them due to the frost and snow ,I want to replace them as they are my favourite plant and could you advise me on which type and names of Fuchia to get to avoid losing them again if we … read more


I planted boston Ivy rooughly about six to eight weeks ago. I planted a clematis at the same time further away from it. I planted them in the soil, with a trellis support. The area gets some sun and equal amounts of shade. My concern was with the clematis but is growing great but the … read more


When is the best time to take out a mature grisilinia that has been affected by the snow and frost? how far apart should the new plants be & how should we prepare the soil in advance of the new hedge? Finally is there anything we can do to protect it against snow & frost … read more


Is it possible to transplant common Laurel plants approx 6 foot in size this time of year.


I have a number of young fruit trees (Cherry, apple, plum and pear) and an ash in my garden. all were doing great last week. I went away for 4 days, back last night and all are dying, leaves all brown or black. Could the strong wind of the last few days have caused this? … read more


About 10 branches all in a cluster roughly 10 foot each nearly all leaves have now fallen off (this is due to the cold snap from reading other questions) However new stems coming at base of each one. Should i cut the 10 big branches down to size now or just leave nature take its … read more


Is it safe to use bone meal in my composter (to activate) given its alledged connection to BSE/CJD?


I have a 4ft high wire fence running 10m on the boundry of my garden. I would like to screen this for more privacy. I don’t want anything too wide as my garden is small and I would like it to be evergreen and have colour. I would like some height too. Do you have … read more


I have lots of black sooty marks on my camillia leaves would I need to give it a specific treatment e.g. a wash or feed or what would you recommend please? thanks


Escolina hedge that is bare and shows no sign of life at all, is there any hope or point in leaving it until mid summer to give it a chance? Or should i Just cut it down now before over taken with weeds.Also on another point if Laurel was planted is it ok to cut … read more


Is there any herbicide sprays on the market to help control grass and common weeds but not harm a newly planted Noble fir plant? A spray that can be broadcast from a industrial or tractor sprayer?


transferred to container with own soil and now dying


I live in a estate planted with a lot of native Irish trees. There are some Horse Chestnut trees planted approx. 6 feet from my boundary wall and approx 10 feet from the gable end of my house. The trees are approx 10 years old and approx. 20ft high. The crowns are still qiute compact. … read more


I have just moved a camellia from a large pot into the ground . It had flowered beautifully last year but had dropped all its flowers this year and looks a bit wan! Is there anything special I can do to help it settle in its new home. I have placed it in an acid … read more


Is there any general purpose compost suitable for ericaceous plants. i got some conifer and thymus doone valley. how can they be in the same container when one is a lime hater and the other is not


My heather bed (spring heathers) has been badly neglected and is overcome with grass growing right up through it. Some of the heathers have gone woody and brittle. Can I save them at this stage and how do i keep the grass out of it.


I have 2 bay trees outside front door and they appear to have been badly burnt by severe wind….should I cut them back and feed and hope for the best ? Would they have a better chance of recovery if planted in the garden.


Which is better for killing tree stumps, SBK or Roundup? Or it there anything else?


I have flowering plum, camellia, and acer which seem to have withered away once new leaves came on it. Is this die back. what should I do. Will they get a new flush of leaves during summer, or as the term die back suggests are they dying?


I recently planted over 380 ft of laurel hedging approx 2ft high. How often do i need to water them? Even on a showery day do i need to? any other after planting/care advice.


My Clematis Armandii which I planted about 6 weeks ago was doing really well with fabulous glossy leaves. Now i notice they are drooping as if there is no strength in them and they look a little brownish – not at the edges the whole leaves. What can be wrong with it?


Will the gardens in Ireland still be in bloom the first half of June?


Would you be able to tell me where I could an Embothrium Coccineum in Cork? Or anywhere in Ireland? We have searched and searched and can’t find one anywhere, with many centres and suppliers blaming the bad winter for killing a lot of them.


My buxus are a yellowish green and not the deep rich green they once were. The feeds I have treated them with just give growth spurts requiring alot of work trimming but no not restore the deep lush green colour they used to have. A friend suggested iron treatments, Is this correct? What should I … read more


I have a clematis called i believe Comettess de Bouchard .about six weeks ago the lower left side leaves started to turn brown and the buds to droop .The browning has spread to other parts but at the moment the plant has quite an amount of flowers on it although the leaves are not a … read more


looking for some suggestions for plants that like a lot of water and so might do well in wet part of the garden and help ‘soak’ it up


I have a Viburnum tinus growing in my front garden and I want to cover my front wall with it however it is growing outwards instead of side ways how do I trim it to grow the way I want?


I managed to purchse Coronilla Citrina Glauca two years ago but they died over the winter, Again last year I purchased 6 more to replace and again they died this winter. I know the last 2 winters have been cold but can you reccomend another hardier shrub that I can replace it with?


I got an Azaela evergreen red from my 7 year old son in March this year, I planted it in a lime free compost, now the flowers are going brown and the plant looks like its going to die.


I bought a old property. St John wort is rampant is the garden how do i clear it successfully?


Is it beneficial to mulch azaleas/ rhodos with fresh leylandii hedge clippings? our soil is medium loam.


My daughter’s 2-3yr old Salix tree is covered in ants. The aphids are all over the soft new tips of the branches and the ants seemed to be on top of them. Were they eating them do you think? Is there a difference between aphids and greenfly?


I have a boxwood shrub growing in a pot for approx years. However, it has turned completely yellow in the last few weeks. The leaves are not falling off so I’m hoping there might be some hope for it?!


A small beetle is killing of a house plant, can you suggest a treatment after re-potting with new fresh compost.


I had two beautiful Clematis Montana grandiflora (CM Alba) planted three years ago. Up to this year the two of them were growing well with a beautiful fragrance, then this spring one of them didn’t grow any leaves etc, and I think it was because of a dog that moved in next door about 6 … read more


My Jasmine grows in a pot in an outside unheated conservatory. I cut back my jasmine about a month ago and have fed it carefully. There is just brown stems and no new growth appearing. Do you think it will come back to life?


I have a laurel hedge in place since last year,about 300 metres.Some parts of it are thriving but one side which is very open to wind is lagging well behind. I have had a wind breaker in situ since they were planted but does not seem to have worked.The wind really batters the house and … read more


I have 6 sambucus trees planted in a circle. 2 planted in 2006 and 4 planted in 2006. 3 of the 4 have died, one before bud burst and 2 after leaves and flowers have developed. What caused this?


Looking for a small size tree of interest which would be a mature height of 6-7ft. Also looking for a tree that would be happy to stay in a pot.


what is my choice of evergreen climbers? I know there is ivy, cissus, evergreen clematis and an evergreen hydrandea. have I any other choices? Also some climber for a north facing wall


I am looking for advice on what are the best front doors trees to buy that will survive the harsh winters. we had two beautiful bay trees matured and after the first years cold weather we cut them back and they came back but this winter finished them off. we are looking for something that … read more


Suggestions for small shrubs must have shallow roots to go into a bed of just over 1-1 1/2 foot deep (concrete base underneath it appears). must be frost hardy to cope with winters like the last 2, perhaps perenials like sedum?


I planted 300 bare root loral hedge at the end of March, since then the leafs have gone yellow and on some plants most the leafs fell off alot of the plants. I Gave them chicken manure and the new groth is starting on most plants, But should I cut the top off of some … read more


I have a hebe that is overgrowing the other plants near it and I would like to remove it to another part of the garden. When is it possible to do this and what precautions should I take as I’d like to keep the plant just in a different spot! It is quite large . … read more


I love gardening and recently returned from Ireland. In many home gardens (late April) I saw a bushy plant with pink to tangerine orange foliage at the top. I am not sure if there were flowers. It reminded me of poinsettia. Can you help me identify it? This may be a photo of a similar … read more


In a very exposed site, 600m above sea level, in the roundwood area, could you recomend red robin hedging or would you suggest anything quick growing and more suitable to enclose a patio area.


I have a Stags Horn approx 5feet, it has no growth to bottom of plant, how can i prune back to keep at same height


I have hydrangeas and they are very slow i have them sown about 3 yrs and am only getting 5 to 10 flower heads the spread is only about 2ft in that time what can i do to bring them on quicker


I bought a pyracantha last summer which has done really well since then and remained shiny and healthy until a few weeks ago when the leaves became brittle and turned brown. I searched the root for disease but no sign of anything and the root seems healthy. I repotted to a very large pot in … read more


I’ve got vine weevil in my indoor pot plants. I’ve seen some adults & got rid of them. What can I use to control them? I’ve got a lot of indoor plants & don’t want to throw them out especially a Ficus that I’ve had for 10 years. Would it be best to repot everything … read more


Last August I planted 12 Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ as hedging in exposed site, all lost after severe (-17)weather in Dec/Jan. Should I try again with same plant? Or would you suggest another plant? Would prefer something with interest eg flowers/berries and evergreen. Soil not up to much but have access to plenty rotted manure … read more


Our 3 yr old cork screw willow is dying. This spring it put out new leaves all over, in the last 2 weeks they have all turned brown. Why? In early spring, February, we planted Dogwood sapplings near this tree; we punched a small hole, planted and firmed-nothing more than that. Could we have disturbed … read more


I have 2 Bottlebrush shrubs which were badly by the frost.Growth is not visible.Should I cut these out now .


What shrub is named sorbaria or sorbifolia Sem as i have searched all my gardening books and cannot get it?


I have a couple of spruce including a blue spruce i only bought last year,also a holly only maybe two year old potted in decent pots. this year as we came in to spring we started loosing all the pines, the same on the holly. This has continued and the holly is almost leafless. I … read more


Griselinia Hedge about 8 ft high and 6 feet thick 20 yds long May be killed by last winter’s frost. Would like to prune sides by about 1 foot each side on off-chance that it may revive. Should I?


Top portion of my cherry tree did not flower this year. Lower portion was in full bloom. Any reason please.


got this from a friend its woody and flowers in july


We have replaced escallonia with laurel at front. We have Grisalina of bout 400 foot down over 10 years, on clearing all leaves from around it and feeding with fish and bone, seems as if there are tiny shoots at bottom in part. Should we cut the top down alot to give it a chance. … read more


My camelia of many years has a black sooty mould on its leaves. this is the first time this has happened in all the time Ive had it. any help please.


We planted a laurel hedge about 3 years ago now. I must admit we did not weed around it until this year. I would like to know should we take al lthe grass away around and between plants. So we have about 20 metres planted, does all of this need to be grass and weed … read more


Great year for blossom including our mature Paulownia. My wife saw a program on pruning Paulownia for max flowers, but can’t remember the details (BBC?)… can you advise specifics. I have pruned v early spring sometimes, good for giant leaves but flowers seems to dislike pruning.


I have noticed alot of yellow leaves on my Griselinia hedge and am worried that it may be dying. Trimmed and fed it (fish bone and blood) last week. Need I worry


i planted shrubs Myrtus communis ‘variegata’ and Hypercium ‘Hidcote’ last year all of which did well until recently when they’ve started to wilt. the Myrtus leaves have gone brittle and have died and the hidcote leaves are going yellow, i watered and fed them with tomato feed during the recent dry spell but they are … read more


I would like to plant something fast growning in this corner space for privacy and to replace elder tree that died.


I have a problem with my eucalyptus tree which appears to be dying, have given it some water in the last few weeks but no response have seen similar problems in my local golf club can you help


I am planting a hedge on a new build in an open location on the edge of a bog in galway. I am considering laurel, green privet or cypress hedge. Which would give the best coverage, take the best in this particular location and be able to withstand the recent hard winters?


We have a 25 year old Pittosporum, which is 25 to 30 feet high. It is a beautifully shaped tree, normally with dense foliage. Last year we cut and stripped some ivy which was getting quite heavy on the trunk. Since Spring, the foliage is getting thinner and thinner. The tree is currently flowering, small … read more


I have a mature myrtle shrub which does not appear to have growth up the branches. However there is a very slight growth at the base. What should I do to save it? Similarly my bottle brush has some little growth throughout a lot of dead looking branches. What should I do? My common type … read more


My Griselinia hedge has some yellow leaves. Need I worry?


my cistus plants have leaves only on the tips. The plants are approx 3 feet across. I would like to prune them hard back but should I wait??


Can you help? We planted a hedge/shelter belt over 10 yearsago using the above. The Privet has been successful but is very slow growing and is now about 2 mtrs high. I would like to trim same and maintain it at this height. is this possible? Can I take cuttings & how do I propogate … read more


I am about to plant some laurel hedging. would it be ok to set at 2ft apart even though the potted laurel is only 18inch in height or should i go every 18inchs apart? what would be the difference in the hedge getting established?


We have two 30 yr old Cordylines (palm Trees) in our front garden (north facing). One is sheltered but the other one has taken the brunt of our bad winter, it has lost all leaves, and all side branches seems to be dead. A weird looking orange/pink sap oozed out from the bottom of main … read more


I bought a rhododendron approx 2 months ago. It was doing fine for about a fortnight forming buds. It then went downhill. It now looks like its dying. At start leaves and plant started to go brown plus the buds never opened within the two months. I have watered it thoroughly to no avail. I … read more


I am going to set some laurel to replace my old hedge. Could you please advise which is better- to set the potted Laurel soon or wait till winter for the bareroot season?? any tips on maintaining them for their first year?


My Griselinia hedge of 4 yrs is only now starting to go brown in spots (not noticeable unless your beside it). All others in our area have been gone almost 2 years since very bad frost. We have not had frost here in weeks. Is there anything I can do to save it? Should I … read more


My good friend Terry found this beautiful pot plant abondened in a skip. He has lovingly tended to it and we would very much appreciate if you could identify what plant it is.


Is it a good time to prune the top of my laurels which have been frost damaged since December. The were planted in Oct/Nov Last year. There are lots of new buds coming out on the bottom of the hedge but the top of them are just branchy and very dry inside if you break … read more


On a recent journey from Inishowen to Dublin I noticed that most of the whin/gorse (Ulex) along the roadside seem to have died. Would this have been caused by the severe winter or is there a disease on the rampage?


I’m wondering if my yellow barberry is dead. It has dropped its leaves and I see no sign of its yellow flowers this year. Could our -16c winter temps have killed it? My father wants to remove/ dump it, but should we give it another chance? Also, our clematis hasn’t flowered either. Will it benefit … read more


We have a camellia planted about six years ago that has yet to flower. It is located in a spot sheltered by Hebe, has been fed regularly, mulched with peat, and not allowed to dry out. It is also located fairly close to a plastered wall. We propose moving it away from the wall in … read more


Recently purchased magnolia ‘Felix’, I have lime soil and wonder if it will tolerate it?


The olearia hedge which we planted 15 years doesn’t appear to be growing any new leaves this spring. It was cut back in the autumn but new grow is virtually non existent. The leaves are dead and shoots appear woodly and dead. Is there any way to revive it and bring it back. It is … read more


I was just wondering if you have any opinion on Olive varieties to grow in Ireland, and if you have any specific thoughts on the Veronique Olive Tree? Also, would you know where to source veronique olive trees in Ireland?


I live very close to the sea and sometimes get salt laden winds. My question is will Pyracantha grrow well in these conditions or is it inadvisable to plant it.


Can I salvage this plant and if not please suggestions for a replacement.


I was up to recently going to set some gold leylandii but have heard that it too got damaged by frost last winter! which is more frost hardy, laurel or gold leylandii? is it true you have to prune rather that use a hedgeg trimmers for laurel. how far apart would you set both?


is it possible to move a judas tree? its surrounded by golden willows and its not getting much light.


Is cotoneaster franchetti a good hedging plant and is it able to withstand frost


when is the best time or is there any, when planting potted leylandii that are about 2 ft tall? would June be ok?


I am about to set to boundaries of roughly 400ft of gold leylandii at 3foot intervals. my question is can i spray between them to kill weeds? if i get some weedkiller on the stem or leaves of the leylandii will it kill them.


My oleria and grecelinia hedging has been killed, presumably by frost. I live roughly three miles from the sea (atlantic). Should i replant this year or wait.


When would I know for sure that my escallonia hedge is dead. It looks dead but when will I know so I can plant a new hedge. Also what would be a good replacement hedge (one that can withstand the harsh winters we have had)


I planted some prickly heath shrubs last year and the winter has played havoc with them, 2 are dead but the rest are savageable (i think). they may have been too small when i planted them out. can you please recommend something that may encourage revival, some are not too bad but some only have … read more


What are suitable evergreen climbers to cover 6 feet high wall. Could I put in a mixture of evergreen and deciduous plants?


Caterpillars are attacking my euonymus silver queen. there is a white webbing around where the white larvea are in clusters.could you suggest a suitable way to control them as I dont want them to ruin the shrubs apperance and I also have a problem with die back on euonymus microphyllus pulchellus.


Our Hebe Heartbreaker is in a border and has always been beautiful. However this spring it looks leggy and unattracrtive., Could it have died in the harsh winter; can I cut it right back?


Laurels were planted last April, they are in very poor condition, most leaves are yellow or brown as you can see in the picture. Some new buds are coming and also some new leaves at the very bottom but already there are some holes in these, any ideas how to get them growing properly?


I have beech hedge which i planted last year. the weeds are now beginning to grow. my dilemma is thast i want to spray emerging weeds with Round up, put a pre-emergent spray on it to keep all the other weeds down, and also feed it. except that i don’t know what order to do … read more


Can you suggest some evergreen shrubs which are frost hardy. I have an avenue leading to my house and a lot of the shrubs have died because of the very bad winters we have had.


I’m wondering if it’s possible to grow manuka trees (Leptospermum scoparium) in Ireland or England even ? Would there be certain parts of the country that would be better – dryer, milder & less prone to frost & low temperatures. Would there be any regulations about growing an alien species like Manuka in Ireland ?


Leaves are very brown in the lower part of the tree and greener towards the top – bark also peels a lot. In the other eucalyptus tree the leaves are brown in the bottom and its leafless on top. They were both doing very well up to this year.


Is it too late to plant a Laurel Hedge Bare rooted? If not up to when can you plant it and how far should the spacing between be?


A friend gave me a few small cherry blosson trees he didnt want. Anyways i’m just wondering is it possible to graft some of my victoria plum to it?


i have a big lawn but i dont know what i can do with it? and at the side of the house there is like a garden and all weeds are growing and i want to clear it off and put flowers in it what type of flowers can i put in it?


I have brown patches on the underside of 2 white rhododendrons . will i cut all the affected parts out and will this spread to other plants of same family.


Bottle Brush’ didn’t survive the severe frost of last winter. As it appears this is a very tender plant, is it risky replacing it with the same again or,what would be a good alternative and of similar growth habit?


I had a standard Red Robin [Baby Red Robin] that did’t put out new leaves and died, brought another one and now its doing the same the stems are green when scrathed, also the plant is in a pot.


Our 6ft griselinia hedge was destroyed by frost. I am a bit nervous about replanting griselinia and wondered if laurel would be a hardier replacement? If so is it too late to plant a 5 ft laurel hedge which are more than likely going to be bareroot. Does planting them quickly after they have been … read more


We had an escallonia hedge for the past 17 years and needless to say after the past two winters it is dead. We are up high and the hedge is at the front of the house, 200 ft long, and gives good privacy. What would be the best fast growing hedge to plant in its … read more


I planted my new laurel hedge last Sat. My garden centre said Laurel should thrive in my clay soil – is this true, is there anything I can do in the way of feeding looking after it to make sure it does thrive? I put a shovel of compost in with each plant. Also, is … read more


I have a Red Robin hedge which gets the sun very early in the morning and up to midday. It is partly protected with my neighbour’s house and is growing very well. However, the unprotected side has developed black spots and the new red leaves are falling off. Could this be the harsh weather of … read more


I have a clematis montana growing over my oil tank. It produces lovely white/pink flowers and has been growing for the last six years. However, this year there are no leaves on it at all and the branches are a brown/black colour. Would the frost have killed it do you think? I have bought an … read more


i planted golden leylandi’s 5 years ago and they are approx 5 feet high now. this week they have gone a reddish colour and when you scrap the bark it is brown underneath which is a bad sign. are they dead ?


Hedge “silver queem” pittosporum tenuifolium badly effected by cold weather no signs of any growth. should i wait a little longer


Photograph attached to assist in identification. I will send a further picture with a close up of a portion of a branch which has an appearance of ‘barnacles’


i have two flowering quinces that aren’t doing well in the spot they’re in.. when can i move and prune them?


Im replacining my frost burnt griselenia hedge with laurel. I was thinking of trying slips as a cheap option or is this a waste of time?


I am looking for advice on what plant to use. The job I want it to do is hang down and cover a wall from top to bottom. I was going to put planting boxes on a wall and allow a flower to grow down out of the box and eventually cover the wall. The … read more


What hedge would be suitable to Plant in damp/wet soil. Is it to late to plant hedge now?


Im replacing my badly frost damaged grysellania hedge with laurel. Do i need to take up all the roots or can i just cut down to ground level before i plant?


Is it true that copper beech will no longer be available and the strain available will revert back to green beech in the summer?


Last year all leaves went brown and fell off my cameilla. I cut it back very hard but there has been no regrowth. I think it may be dead. It was in a very large pot. Is there anything that can be down to rescue it?


Is it possible to take cuttings from a laurel tree?


I have a few mature plants of st. john’s worth, however they appear to be badly damaged after the winter. There are a few shoots on 2 of them, the rest are just brown. Should i cut them back .


We planted a beech hedge 10 years ago and it was doing really well. About 2/3 years ago the middle section started to look as if it was struggling and the buds got smaller and leaves more scant until now a number of trees are completely dead – but no sign of disease on the … read more


I plan to plant a specimen tree very near the house, approx 15ft from house. The site is exposed out the back of the house with a beautiful view. The tree will add interest to the back of the house as it’s all about the view at the back of the house. I love maple … read more


I planted this hedging about 3 weeks ago and the leaves on a good number of the plants are going white. Is this Box Blight? What would you recommend to do?


we just cut down all our hedging at front of house, it provided great shelter and privacy.. can you suggest what would be good to replace this and maybe be frost resistant. We would like to get privacy back asap also we like the red robin tree/shrub would be advise? its very windy and exposed … read more


I had escallonia hedges that died during the winter i will be replacing these with laurel do you think this is a good hedge for the front of a house ? also is it now too late to be setting it.


What’s the best way to prepare the ground on the lawn for planting a shrubbery? Do I need to kill off the grass first?


I just recently planted a Rhodendron and have noticed it is not doing very well. The leaves are curling inwards plus have noticed some yellow blotches on the underside of the leaf. Could it be iron deficiency related?


Looks like your description of ‘leaf spot’, with black spots on older leaves; but lots of dead leaves under foot, still green but crispy; flurries fall off if it’s touched when passing. Could this be related to the Escallonia virus. New growth seems ok but wondering will it become infected too &/or will we be … read more


looking for your advice on a remedy which i was told about to bring back burnt griselinia hedging. the mixture is called ARMILLATOX. Can you please advise me on the best course of action to repair hedge as i have a lot of it planted around my house and its all burnt.


Griselinia hedging seems to be dying here and all around locality. Stems are a rotting brown colour. The roots seem to be healthy. Is this a disease or frost damage and is there anything we can do to revive the hedge. Varigated variety is completely destroyed


Our ivy leaves have large brown patches, holes in the leaves and look like they are being eaten or withering at the edges. I would really like to know what the problem is please?


I planted new laurel hedge about 2-3 weeks ago about 100 plants all looked good and healthy but 5 -10 of them have started to turn yellow and look like they are dying, some leaves look very limb unhappy. watering several times a week not sure was it the frost or over or under watering … read more


I planted a Laurel hedge 2 weeks using 2 year old potted plants. Some plants are developing yellow leaves. What is cause of this.I did water them when planting and again during the dry spell. I used pelleted poultry manure when planting.


I planted approx.100 privet cuttings almost 2 years ago and they are now well established. I have prepared ground along perimeter wall of my daughters house to transplant the privet saplings hoping to form a hedge .I live some 50 miles from my daughter and want to transport the plants barerooted. Is it now too … read more


I have an area measuring 35 x 6 metres, oval in shape and it on a slope. very open to wind. Just need advice on what to grow on the entire area that will be low mainteance.


This years exterme cold has killed half my garden! Can you please recommend hardy flowering shrubs for shelter on an exposed patio. Also any other native relatively frost resistant plants. Very alkaline soil.


I need to replace a big space occupied by a 30 yr old Griselinia stand alone shrub 10ft across, 10 ft tall that died this winter. Any suggestions on filling this large gap that happens to be located in front of septic tank. South West facing.


Tidying up around base of weeping cherry and found this wound. I think this has opened up quickly and over winter. Thing is its about to burst into blossom, and is otherwise on fine form. Its about 10m away from an apple tree that has canker: which I am trying to sort out. What caused … read more


Im planning to set some castlewellan gold leylandii to replace my dead hedge. i have cut down all the hedge to ground level but left the roots in. can i still plant the leylandii about 1foot in from the roots?


When is the best time to ‘ prune’ or tidy up large damaged branches on a 25yr old cordyline


I have two small box hedges in terracotta pots that are cone shaped. approx 2ft tall, problem is, one of them is starting to discolour a sort of brown pigment. can you help me to sove the problem please.


I have two variagated myrtle shrubs in the garden that have lost all their leaves (except for a little few around the base). Is this a result of the harsh winter? Can anything be done with these? Thanks


Suggestions for shrubs to complement a silver birch tree. It is a small space within a limestone wall at base of birch tree, only tree providing shelter to the space. needs colour, one of the first things seen when parking in front of house. diameter 8ft circumference 16ft Have snowdrops and red tulips planted


I have acer trees and silver birch. they seem to be budding but very slow to leaf also the cherry blossoms. is there anything i can feed them to speed this up?


I have a very mature calliestemon plant on south facing front wall of house. Possibly 8 feet tall badly hit by frost. No evidence yet of any new growth from base, possibly dead. What should I do, haven’t pruned yet at all. How far back can I go. Have taken seeds off also, know they … read more


I have two eucalyptus trees, 3 years of age close to one another at the coast but with good shelter. Both doing fine until about a week/ten days ago. One is fine. The other one looks as if it had been hit by weedkiller but no weedkiller was used near it… All the leaves looking … read more


Where can I find plants native to Ireland that are good for birds and insects? I have a small back garden which is fenced in and would like a border with large shrubs for wildlife as much as is possible in a suburban back garden.


My escallonia hedge appears to have been killed by the severe winter and i am considering replacing it with something more hardy like hornbeam. Has it any advantages/disadvantages verses beech.


I wish to plant a laurel or holly hedge along a post and rail fence, The area is already in grass, What is the best way to prepare the ground for planting?


I have a Laurel Hedge for past 5yrs, some of which have had yellowing leaves and then the plant dies off. I have only half of the plants left and am wondering will they all die? Can they be saved?They are growing on a bank at end of the garden.This happened before the snowy/frosty weather.Any … read more


small oil tank within sight of patio, please suggest plant or shrub grouping to help hide from view without using trellis. soil damp, heavy, sunlight in evening only, small child using garden so child friendly plants only. dont want plants to grow too high or bushy, need to access tank also. tank on raised platform … read more


I’ve completely removed an 86 foot long escallonia hedge. I’ve decided on Laurel as a replacement. Which is the best choice, bare root (2 Euros apx per plant) or potted (3.50 upwards per plant). As I’m investing alot of time and energy on this project, I want to make the right decision. Finally, how far … read more


Would it be possible to move a mahonia now? I was waiting for the soil to heat up and afraid to move it on account of night frosts?


I have noticed the ivy on our back garden wall starting to go brown around the leave edges.Is it some disease.Im worried, i have never seen this before as the ivy was always very healthy.I just dont understand it.The ivy has been there for the last 15 years.It seems to be dying.


I was wondering if there is a spray that I can put on my new griselina hedging that will deter my neighbour’s sheep from munching on it?


How do you kill ivy? I have tried Round up but with no success.


I have aold beech hedge for the last 25 yrs, continuously kept at 5ft. I cut it once a yr. in the last few yrs, there has been poorer and poorer growth and less cutting on it and on the underside of the leaf there are masses of white aphids. I also spray the undergrowth … read more


I want to install a water butt plus pump to water garden – do you have any recommendations? Back garden is about 20 meters long, planted on 3 sides, 2 mature trees at back wall, have planters on all sides of front garden. Have recently renovated so builder will install from downpipe. Garden drains very … read more


Is it too late to plant a hedge, bareroot or pots?


Twenty years ago I planted Oleria all around our summer house by the beach in ballyferriter co Kerry. I cut it every year to maintain as a hedge. I think all the shrubs are dead as all the leaves have fallen off. Anything I can do?


I’ve recently had some tall plum trees uprooted which has left the garden desolate. Could you suggest some low maintenance evergreen shrubs to fill the space. I was thinking of a few small fuschia along one side (how high would a dwarf one grow, if there’s such a thing?). Or alternatively, how high would holly … read more


Have 1/2 acre front garden. Purchased barerooted birch to plant inside an existing beech hedge at the front of garden. The hedge is approximately 2 metres from the road verge. The intention is to create an area to plant woodland bulbs and maybe a walk through environment. Can you please suggest spacing and would you … read more


how do you identify the male viburnum? If a plant has pollen, it has male parts, such as stamens and anthers.


One section of my shrub border is covered in a blanket of moss. Do I scrape it all off – (it’s almost possible to peel it away) and how do I get it to stay away. This particular section is in the shade of the house.


Our roadside hedge escallonia has died after the cold winters.What hedge would you recommend that will withstand the cold,our soil is heavy clay, what would you think of hornbeam.Would it hold its leaves over the winter.Is it ok to plant the new hedge directly in the same spot once our 20 year old hedge is … read more


Wondering how hardy Magnolias are? Lost many plants in last two winters. Tried a Magnolia years ago and lost it. Heard Stellata is the hardiest. Would you recommend that I forget about them in Donegal or give one another go?


I want to replace a frost burnt hedge What is a fast growing replacement? Thinking of a variagated holly!


I want to plant a creeper that will be colourful for most of the year. I have a south-west facing gable end wall. Can you suggest a creeper that will have flowers on it during the summer months please and that will also look well & possibly colourful when not flowering?


Can I prune a Myrtle Tree that is very large, and will this result in growth lower down the plant ?


My brother has 2 Rhododendrons that have budded the last 2 years but never bloomed, they are both growing in tubs, he has other one’s in tubs that bloom no problem, all mine are in tubs and I have no problem, what could be causing this?


The above are growing among unkept shrubbery.I need to remove all and plant fresh shrubs there. Do I need several treatments of Rounup on the weeds, and how soon can I plant new shrubs there after treating and removing the weeds. How long between Rounup treatments on the weeds? All are there for 6/8 years.


Can you help me identify this tree. Its starting to bloom out now 17/march leaves also, sweet scent, is it a cherry tree whats the best way to get cuttings or will it have seeds?


Escalonia hedge completly burned with frost. Approx 5 years old. No leaves just sticks! What can i do because it was a lovely hedge?


Is it possible to keep leylandii under control by cutting it twice a year? i have a half acre site with the boundary on average 35 ft away from my house? im afraid to put hedging in again because of the harsh winters.


I have also planted a beech tree some 6 years ago (fagus sylvatica) about 30 metres away from the house and would like to know: 1. any problems with the roots in the future to foundation or pathway around house?2. I noticed, that the tree has 3 leaders (one would be better?) and should I … read more


I planted a prunus cerasifera nigra about 4 to 5 metres away from the pathway of our house, so ca. 5 to 6 metres from the house itself. my question would be: does prunus cerasifera ‘nigra’ have aggressive roots (which I have read a lot of cherry trees do) or is this tree safe to … read more


My garden is about 40 ft square and I would like to place trees for shelter from neighbouring houses at the back. As I have a shed at the back wall I would only have to cover about 30ft with trees. I would like to buy as mature as possible, but don’t want to have … read more


I have a Holly hedge that is about 12 foot long but in the wrong place, I want to move it. Can I do it now? Its about 3 foot tall.


Does Clematis alpina Frances Riva need regular pruning and if so at what time of year.


Please tell me when and how to prune?


I recently cut all my escalonia hedge (frost damaged)down to the root( left roots in). Could you please advise on a good replacement, that grows fast and survies harsh winters. What about Gold leylandii-Castlewellan Gold ?


I have a rose bush outside my back door and want to move it. It’s about 1.5 metres tall and probably 10 years old. Can I move it at this time of year, early March. Does it need to be pruned first?


This tree / shrub (?) seems to have self sown at the edge of my driveway, I wondered if you could identify what it is, and if so, what the best growing conditions would be for it. I need to move it slightly as it’s on the edge of the driveway gravel and I want … read more


i am planting trees in our garden, the trees are being planted by the roadside for privacy the trees i would like to set are mountain ash and silver birch, how far apart should they be set i would like to set them close so we could have some privacy from the roadside.


I have 2 red robin trees we bought last year potted. they have lost nearly all their leaves and whats left of the leaves are brown. they look to be dead? when i scraped the bark to see its brown underneath.


I have a willow in the back garden not sure what variety, but I my best guess is Goat Willow. I understand these can be aggressively pruned, but if I prune it right now, will it stay bare for the whole summer? It seems top-heavy, but I don’t want an empty trunk until next year. … read more


Is fishblood & bone recommended for griselinia that suffered in the frost?. It looks alive and is only two years old.


Our neighbours have some very tall trees planted right beside the boundary fence between our gardens. There is leylandii, beech and oak – all are very tall at least 30 foot. I was planning on making a flower bed beside this boundary fence, is this possible or will anything grow so no near these trees. … read more


Two right-angled hedges of BrianGold to protect bed of roses in Winter, now seem dead. Will I uproot yet or leave ? Roses are fine!!!


I have an eight foot high black sambucus. i wish to move it to a better position. when should i transplant it and will it affect it? i wish it to have more of a tree shape so should i prune before or after moving?


My Escallonia hedge is dead! I thought I might replace it with rose hedging. Would this be truly hardy should we experience another winter like the last one? If so, which roses would be suitable?


I need to replace 100 ft of dead escallonia hedge. What would you recommend for an exposed site with heavy, clay soil thats relatively easy to maintain? I’d like to maintain it at 5-6 ft high? I was considering variagated holly? Any advice please and thank you.


During the recent bad weather (Think frost was the culprit) the leaves on both my Yucca’s have drooped and bent over. The centre looks a bit soggy. Is there anything i can do to revive them this spring or will i have to dig them up and replace them with something a little more hardy? … read more


I recently got a magnolia susan. I have alkaline soil. Can I still plant it in the garden or I am better off leaving it in the pot?


2 Camelias in pots- about 10 yrs old.No leaves left on either one- just a few buds. Should I cut my losses and get rid of them?


My dog is eating and trampling on my plants what can I do to prevent this?


My laurel hedge has grown too tall.When would be the best time to cut it back 3 or 4 feet?


Can you advise name of suitable tree for village green to be used as permanent christmas tree instead of buying one for christmas lights each year. We would like to plant next week for National Tree Week.


Could you give me the name of a good feed for box edging?


Our camelia had buds some weeks ago but when I touched them (gently) they fell off. It is so sad not to have the abundance of flowers it had up to 2009. The bush looks healthy otherwise. Will it flower again, is there anything I can do?


Which cedars would you recommend as being the most wind resistant? I really like Lebanese Cypress as I have the space for it but I’m afraid that the coastal winds will be too much for it.


I want to plant a climber on a south facing wall but the area is small 12′ long. I had a potato vine there but it got too big and I had to get rid of it. I am looking for something that will cover the wall but not too much maintenance.


Is it too late to move a liquidamber tree now?


Planted this as a hedge from b/r 5yrs ago. Now some plants are stunted and dying back whilst others are thriving. Site is open,exposed. Soil ph – neutral. Can you suggest remedial action(s) I can take to remedy.


Given the snow this winter, I have noticed that my solanum alba which was only planted last year seems to have withered and I fear it is dead. Should I see some life by now?


I now have 4 small pernettya and have read that to have berries on they need a male ….. any ideas where i can find one and how do they differ from the female?


When is the best time to transplant a Japanese maple to a new or bigger pot/container?


How far apart should i plant hornbeam hedging.I will be planting two rows. Also,what is the maximum height a copper beech hedge should be allowed grow to?


I planted 50 laurels in novmeber. they were 3-4ft. they got damaged from the frost and now all the leaves seem to be falling off. some are brown and others are prefectly green that fall off. do i need to prune them yet or could they be dying.65 also do leaves grow back when they … read more


20 year old palm trees have lost most of their leaves in last storms. Will they grow back? is there anything that can be done to help?


Ihave planted Red Robin last year and my question is what fertiliser to use on it can i use 10-10-20 as have this already for my lawn which was also sown last year.


I would like to ask you about clematis .. can i lift and plant it in to different area ..If yes when is the best time .. Just tell you names of the clematis 1.Clematis-Josephine 2.Clematis- Mrs George Jackman


We have a number of yew trees of different ages in need of shaping and pruning. Can this be done without damaging the trees? When is the best time to do this?are there any particular problems in pruning older trees? What is the natural lifespan of a yew tree?


My strawberry tree has been damaged very much from the frost can i do anything to get it healthy again?


I have a large coastal garden, quite exposed that I am trying to build up. Hedging is in and doing well but I am looking for help with getting some colour into the garden. Advice on trees and shrubs would be appreciated also. I am a beginner gardiner and dont know where to start.


Are there any types of hydrangea, besides white ones, that maintain the same colour irrespective of whether the soil is acid or alkaline?


I have laurels for a hedge. But the local dogs use it for a short cut.leaving gaps at the bottom.what thorny bush might i plant to fill out the gaps.


My camellia Donation about 30 years old is covered in a soot like substance. It looks black even from a distance and this substance is now spreading to a nearby euonymus and pittospemum. I have other camellias nearby. Should I dig up the entire shrub?


I would like to grow an evergreen hardy hedge in my garden. I’d like something with a bit of interest like flowers/berries maybe. Have thought about holly but its growth rate is too slow. What would you recommend that would grow at a fairly good pace?


What plants would you recommend for a high wall always in the shade and doesn’t get any sunlight. I have tried a number of plants but they have not grown successfully.


I want to plant some shrubs between my neighbour’s house and mine to act as a screen.Can you recommend some shrub that is hardy, evergreen and will grow tall and wide. I have lost a few shrubs in recent weather so need something that will be hardy.


I bought 4 Viburnum davidii plants last year and I was assured that one of them was male. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is the case as I didn’t get any blue berries. The plants didn’t flower very abundently – the flowers were small and seemed closed. They are in good soil/dappled shade and seem … read more


Can you recommend a tree or large shrub for a corner of our garden which is in full shade all day long and which is very wet throughout the year. We are also located on the coast.


I have potentilla in my polytunnel which i planted from seed last autumn. They were doing quite well but i have now noticed that all the plants are covered with greenfly!! I am afraid to take any chances as the plants are delicate and i wonder what i can do to save my plants!


We have a large house on a large site. Approx 1 acre in front. It is a very open lawn with just a few mountain ash planted and a random shrub rockery. We have access to a mini digger and a carpenter willing to make us any wooden features we like. We also have alot … read more


like every escallonia in the street, my six foot one has been dramatically effected by the dreadful disease. It is standing practically bare for the first time since planting 7 years ago. lots of the tips have no leaves but have dead flowers still on them and it is looking very depressed indeed :(i want … read more


I want to plant two trees outside my west facing sunroom. As they will be approx 2 metres close to the house, can you recommend trees whose roots will not travel and break up the footpath or damage the house in any way? I am looking for something relatively narrow as I don’t want to … read more


Just a quick question – I have this type of Robinia in my garden and there is no sign of it budding at all just yet – should I be worried about this or is it just a late starter?


I have recently just purchased an evergreen clematis to climb up an outdoor metal staircase. I was wondering how to grow it well in a pot, I can not grow it in the ground as it is concrete.


Can you please suggest some plants to grow on a north facing house wall. I currently have euonymus but they has been decimated by vine weevil and mildew. They are in areas seperated from the main garden by a driveway.I also have a hyderangea doing quite well despite the weevil in the area. It is … read more


I always had a little horsetail but last year my property was full of it. It was not affected by the weed Killers I applied on the drive nor did Round up kill it in the beds. My area is too big to tackle it by hand. I want to be prepared this year to … read more


I’m wondering how to improve drainage of my back garden. Would planting trees help and which ones? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


It looked like my Griselinia hedge was a dead duck after losing 95% of it’s leaves following the cold spell. But now I see very small green shoots coming all over the hedge. Is there anything I can feed now to give it a helping hand?


The Grisilinia hedge at the front of my house has succumbed completely to the weather (just like all the others in my area). I’m hoping to replace it with 6 or 7 shrubs. They’ll need to be tough, frost-hardy, decorative if possible, and I’ll need to keep them at about 4 feet high. The site … read more


How can I successfully get rid of a large cordyline and roots?


Wondering what to do with a well established pyracantha that has been damaged by frost, leaves withered and falling off


Is it too late to cut back Potentillas now?


Can i move Heathers that have been planted 6 years, and when is the best time to move them.


I am looking for a colourful summer climber/creeper to climb up the back face of my house, it will have to grow in a pot as there is a path that separates the house from garden.


Can you recommend a clematis that can be used as ground cover and would also be suitable for covering a tree stump? Situation is partial shade.


Do you know where we can source a chemical free weed killer for commercial landscape maintenance company?


Please can you advise the name of a quick growing shelterbelt/ screening for a south coastal garden which is very windswept. I have tried escallonia but without success


6 ft high tree lost all leaves. some shoots appearing about 2 ft from bottom. full size ones also bare. can anything be done ?


Is it possible to move established conifer trees. I have a number of large conifers in my garden which are now blocking my beautiful view and I would like to relocate them in our garden. The trees are mature in that they have been planted for approx 8 years and are now in the region … read more


I’ve a Wollemi Pine about 4 years old now. It grew very well in the first two years. Last winter’s frost seems to have killed it, as the stems went brown and fell off quite easily. The winter before that the tip of the plant died (no wax polar cap formed), so I pruned it … read more


I need to block out neighbours unsightly big shed in my 100ft back garden. I want to plant fast growing leafy hardy trees (cheap too)…..what would be the best tree / trees to plant. I was thinking silver birch and hazel trees.


I have a lovely tree hyderangea which was planted in the wrong place five years ago…can i move it now and do i have to prune it right back before doing so?


Following the bad weather prior to Christmas, both my cissus striata look damaged, withered and even dead in parts. The are 10 feet plus high framing the front door – is there anything I can do to rescue them?


I am doing a project on Soil Types. Is there any electronic database available where areas in Ireland are identified by their soil types (e.g. Latitude, Longitude, Soil Type ). If not, is there any hard copy publication available whcih identifes areas by soil type.


Have been reading through other peoples questions. Our garden has also suffered. My escallonia suffered from a disease last year, I cut it back but I’m afraid this years frost has finished it. We have a boundary is 120 ft made up of olearia, not a leaf left on it. That hedge was planted with … read more


my griselinia hedge destroyed by frost its about 12 years old . will it recover or what do i replace it with.


I planted 4 wisteria last spring do i prune them back hard this month to form a framework


I have a rosemary hedge that was planted about 2 years ago. With the snow, it is now looking really really sick. Alot of the branches look dead and are shedding their needles. However there are still a few green sprigs (granted looking worse for wear) .Do you know how I could revive my rosemary … read more


We are looking forward to planting a bare root hedge in mid march! Laurel or beech seem to keep coming up as suggestions. We would like an evergreen hedge as the road at the front is very busy and so will give some privacy. There is about 470 ft on 3 sides. do you have … read more


I had an escallonia hedge all around the back of my site (1/2 acre) that has died from disease and especially frost/snow. I want to replace it with an evergreen preferably, as I have copper beech in the front. My neighbor has laurel which has suffered quite a bit from frost. Can you recommend a … read more


I’ve just planted 200 bare root hornbeams. The plants seem tall (100-120) compared to the size of their small rootball. Should I prune them now to give them a better chance of survival? If yes by how much (33%, 50%)?


All the bark and base leaves of my Laurel Hedging has been eaten. I’m wondering is it rabbits thats eating the bark and leaves? How do i stop this from happening as it looks very serious. The laurel is close to six feet now and i’m afriad its going to kill them.


We have a number of what we call ” monkey trees”, they look like coconut trees without the nuts. We live in Galway city. They are over 20 years old and have been evergreen until the severe frost. The leaves have fallen off, even the little shoots perished. I suppose I should wait and see … read more


4 years ago we spent a lot on an escallonia hedge running the full perimeter of our site. The frost has killed all the leaves (turned brown) and the branches are brown & brittle. Is there any hope of the roots being ok and it growing back ?


I have a magnificant specimen of Vibernum plicatum Mariesii which I have had for about 20 years and never pruned. It’s now well exceeding its alloted space and more. What can I do to renovate it?


We planted 18-24 inch bare root laurels in November and now find that the top parts of all plants have brown leaves and look scorched (after the recent frosts). However, the base of the plants seem alive as they are green. Should we cut the plants down to the base or what is the best … read more


i recently got a bouquet of flowers for my birthday and this was a piece of greenery that was in it,i really like this plant and was wondering if you could let me know the name of it please??


can I prune trees now eg Copper beech and 3 others do I take off the new growth form last year I live in the Lough Dan area so we get very hard frosts. I also want to move some Hydrangea when is the best time.


There is a lot of frost damage done to our palm tree. Most of the fronds have fallen or will fall. Should i take the tree down or will it grow again.


My clematis cartmanii (avalanche) got greenfly & what looked like blackfly. But they only seem to be on the new growth which happened over Christmas, we brought it indoors during the bad weather for a week & it grew uncontrollably.I sprayed it with suddy water, which didn’t work. I bought a spray & used that, … read more


I have a number of native trees in my garden which are about 10 years old. Some are getting a little large and I want to remove them before it becomes a specialist job. Do I need to dig out the stumps when I have cut the trees down? Also if I leave the smaller … read more


My garden is on heavy clay and produces a large amount of perennial weeds including various grasses and lots of creeping buttercup. Because the soil is wet it is not possible to shake it from the roots of the weeds. So I end up with a big heap of weeds and soil. Is there any … read more


I have a 60m escallonia hedge which is suffering from a fungal disease. I would like to replace it with a mixed native hedge. Can I cut the plants to the base and plant in between or must I dig out the roots? Also, any suggestions for disposal of the old hedging material?


I have acers planted both in the garden and in pots. Over the last year 2 dissectums have started to die. Both were planted about 7 years ago and have grown to over 6 feet. The main branches start to turn black and this progresses up the branches to the stems. Cutting back the branches … read more


hedge made up of many plants but lots dying and many sparse areas from 3ft down. Should i fill the gaps or start again? if so which plant would you suggest for chalky soils


has my purple acacia tree died in the recent weather conditions in Cork? gone dusty/dry looking. New in spring 2010.


whats beech aphid and how to control it


I planted a bare rooted Griselinia Hedge two years ago this March, I am worried about the hard frost we are havingat the moment. It seemed fine during the smow but now I am seeing some leaf dropage and a bit of discoulour with it. Is there any thing I can do to protect it? … read more


I planted my Laurel Hedging a year ago. It is about 5 feet high but the recent frost have burnt alot of the leaves. Some are completely brown and some are are brown with a little bit of green in the centre. What should i do to bring them back to been healthy? Before they … read more


I plan to grow Danish Noble, Providence ‘Bidstrup F545’ I read recently that there is a new disease that is spreading through Fir’s., I can not find the article so I cant not think of the name of this disease.I’m just wondering have you come across it, and if so what would you reccomend against … read more


I am looking at buying some tree plants. Can you explain the following terms please Plugs P2/012-25cm Size Bareroot 2+110-25cm P2/0 = ? 2+1 = 2 years old, 1=?


I have 2 bay trees in pot outside my front door,in the hard frost I covered them,but there are a few brown leaves ,nothing bad( dead liitle stems).I had 2 last year which died in the frost and this year I minded these 2 but still have signs of frost bite,is there anything that I … read more


After cutting a dead Griselinia to the base, can a yew hedge be planted in between the stubs and when is the best time to plant.


A new crab apple tree. How far do I prune back.?


I am looking for some advice on cordylines red star i have two beautiful big ones in pots but they got hit with snow and ice .one is nearly bald and the other is flopping all the top leaves are soggy and facing downwards.should I start again or can I salvage these.


Our 7 year old griselinia hedge seems to have suffered in the frosts before Christmas, nearly all the leaves have fallen off now. Do you think it might be saved? Any suggestions? I was told to try chicken manure? Thanks.


I received a 3 year old goji berry bush before Christmas. When the cold weather hit I took it into my kitchen. The plant seemed to get confused & thought it was spring as it started to grow leaves.I have kept it beside my kitchen window & I noticed that the leaves are looking a … read more


Looks like the the cold spell has killed my 5yr old griselinia hedge. It only has a few leaves left.I’m thinking of cutting it to the ground and planting maybe a Cherry Laurel in between.I’d like a hedge that’ll grow fairly quickly. Is Laurel at good choice? When is the best time to plant and … read more


My 2 metre high mature escollonia screening hedge is badly damaged after the 2 cold winters and also has lost most of its leaf from severe leaf spot. If I cut it back will it resprout or what is the best replacement that will grow fairly fast and can be mantained at a height of … read more


i have 3 cordylines now about 15ft tall for many years, this winter the tops have just fallen down, will they survive or should i have them cut down, im pretty sure its a result of the snow and frost .


I live in Sligo – I had a tree surgeon lined up to prune some trees in November after leaf fall – but then of course we had very cold weather so it has not yet been done. The trees are 22 years old – Birch Jacqmonteii, Beech and a Rowan. I’m wondering how long … read more


I have attached a photo of a strange development on my Autumn Flowering Cherry Tree. Is this a disease. I must mention that since I planted this tree two years ago it has been plagued with disease and while it flowers they are few and far between. I sprayed it regularly thoughout the season last … read more


I have flies in the soil of my house plants and now see small maggots in the soil also. What do I do to get rid of the problem? Will they spread to my orchids?


I planted a new hedge last year and i want to kill off the weeds around it ,what will i use and when should i do it?


I have a conifer tree that started getting brown patches last year and these are getting larger and larger. What could have caused this? My garden is quite exposed. Also, last summer, I made a change to the area where that tree is planted: the whole bed used to be covered in gravel and I … read more


Looks as if I’ll be replacing several plants after the recent weather. Can you suggest any shrubs which can stand up to the -6 to – 15 weather in my East facing, Co. Meath garden.Is there a rule of thumb as Regards the zones in which plants are assumed ‘hardy’, even to the extremes of … read more


We have a large amount of Golden Privet hedging around the front garden. It looks really miserable after the frost & snow. Is it likely that it might be dead? It’s turned completely brown.


I have 4 buxus plants in pots my question one plant is slowly deteriorating it has lost most of its leaves the other 3 are good and healthy can i save it?


I have a weeping willow for the past five years and is doing well but because of the snow it toppled over and has become loose in the ground. I am now thinking of re-planting it in another part of the garden. When is the best time to transplant it and does it prefer shade … read more


I think my Griselinia Hedge has become a victim of the frost. I only sowed it last year and it was doing well. The leaves are gone all brown and musty looking. I know i`m going to have to replace it, so i`m wondering what is good low hedge for on front of a house, … read more


My 30 year old griselinia hedge has been badly damaged with the frost/snow, is there any point of giving it some type of liquid feed to stimulate the regrowth? most of the leaves of all dark brown.


I planted 260 healthy bare root laurel hedge last week,can you please advise, do i need to water and how ofter ?in this harsh, freezing,frost and snow conditions, and advise for coming months, watering,fertilise, strimming.


I want to plant a new boundary hedge I was told laurel would be good. My previous hedge was a gresilia, which died from the snow last Jan. when is the best and latest time to plant a laurel hedge


I planted 5 ft leggy copper beech for retaining hedge last March (late) and then cut back in mid/late july as the plants seemed to flourish. I have mypex down and bark mulch on top. Any risk the frost will kill them. Some neighbours suggested I should not have cut back in year 1


I have ordered new plants; e.g. clematis , cotoneaster, pyracantha, acer ,but with heavy frost forecast should I postpone delivery & planting.? The soil is heavy clay.


Last year my cordyline, phormium and mahonia plants died because of the bad weather but have now re- sprouted again. Can you give my some advice as to how to protect them now from the very cold weather.


I have a Eucalyptus Gunnii nad snow gum to plant, is it safe at the moment to plant them with the frost and snow expected? I was going to heavily mulch around them, I just didnt want to leave them in their pots over the winter.


My Skimmia ‘Rubella’ shrub has not flowered so far this year. The leaves are yellowish and pale green. It is in a container outside my door since last November when I bought it. Can you please advise how i can help this plant? Any hope of a flower at this stage? Thanks…


It’s a tradition in our family to plant a tree for each child, and I want to choose one for my grandchild who has a strong tinge of red in her hair. When at a flower market in Ghent recently I was very taken by Fothergilla Major. I realise that it, like all the brightly … read more


I have planted a new hedgerow of holly and thorn which is been eaten by rabbits.They are gnawing the bark. How can I deter them.


We’ve broken up an old tarmac tennis court but wonder if we can plant on top of the broken pieces ( once top soil has been added ). Will the underlying tarmac kill any plants?


I have a now rather large cherry blossom tree on my front lawn. I am told the roots may, or may have already spread under the house. Should I worry ?


First winter in Ireland as a garden owner…In summer I planted viburnum, olive tree and cherry blossom tree in large pots. After wrapping the plants in farmers fleece, and pots in bubble wrap, do I water them at all during winter? Is it better to keep them in dark shed or on shed porch during … read more


My clematis flowered purple late in the summer, beautiful. It grew upwards and only spread out one side. I trained it up a trellis. Its died off now, brown. I am afraid to cut it back incase it dosnt grow as much next year. if you keep cutting them back each year, where do you … read more


What is the best time of the year to cut copper beech hedging without damaging it? I want to thicken the hedge as it is a boundary hedge.


I have large evergreen trees growing at the end of my garden. I cut the lower branches two years ago and have since put compost and grass seeds down several times but the grass only came back around the edge of the bare area. Could you please give me some advice as to what to … read more


I planted a cherry blossom tree 2 years ago. It’s growing well. The leaves on the top branches are full of holes, lower down they are ok. Wonder does it have a disease. What can I do?


I got an acer for a present recently and I brought it in to the green house it is now shedding all its beautiful coloured leaves is this o.k?


When was Acer platanoides introduced into Ireland? What is the best way to maintain one?


Could you please help me to identify this deciduous shrub. It’s hardy (survived last winter in small pot in a cold frame), tolerates strong winds and seems to be happy in a sunny position in alkaline soil. I planted out a 20cm rooted cutting this spring and it is about 50 cm now.


I am planting a Laurel hedge. when is the best time to plant . is it the best fast growing as I have 40ft to plant as my previous hedge died with the frost. Can I cut back my old greselia hedge in half and plant the new one next to it. what is your … read more


We have a beautiful Staghorn tree in a corner of our garden which is close to a public footpath. It appears to be very happy there. However, the tree is 4 yrs old now and has grown quite a bit, and is growing some low branches which are jutting out in the way of pedestrians … read more


I have two Red Robin trees in pots outside my door which i bought in the summer. What do i need to do with them for winter to protect them from wind and frosts. I’m afraid they will get damaged.


I have some heathers which have overgrown their flower bed. Can I cut them back and, if so, when should this be done?


Can you tell me the best way to make garden compost. We are looking at one of those bins that rotate and make compost in 6 weeks.Are they any good.? We have had no luck with the old type composter.


When is the best time to cut back hydrangeas, i have done so before with a powered hedge cutter and as a result lost some flowers, but i really want to keep my area neat and not to have a hydrangea over populate a space. so, how can i cut it back and when?


I sowed a eucalyptus tree in a border this year. I wondered if i can cut it back to shrub size as someone told me they grow very big and i do not want this to happen as the border is just outside my sitting room window.


Just wondering what is the name of the low red coloured shrub that is planted in a x shape in the formal Shrubs/Trees picture(hedges & shelter belt section). I had a Tom Thumb planted as a low hedge and it died in the hard frost Jan 2010. I am looking for a replacement low hedge … read more


I have a 30yd 7ft high erscollonia screening hedge. During the summer the leaves developed a black spot and turned partially yellow. Leaf drop then occurred and the hedge has now lost about 75% of its leaves. As I wish to mantain the screen, how can I get the leaves growing again?


I have a large deck with a planter running the full length of the decking. What would be a good evergreen shrub to form a secluded and sheltered feel to the decking. Something, which wouldn’t loose leaves. I was wondering would bamboo be a good choice?


I have a lovely mountain ash tree growing in Farm yard, I staked it last year with the intention of moving it to a new area in my lawn.Can i move it now, does it need a partner ie a female tree near by or can it survive on its own.


I am committed to Planting a hedge on both sides of my site, Escalonia macrantha is preferred optionI have prepared ground inside an existing mesh fence 150 feet in length at each side. should i plant potted plants in October/November What can i do to prevent frost damage ?


Could you tell me where I am likely to find a good range of good quality (standard or larger) Brich trees for sale, preferably somewhere near Dublin and ideally around the Castleknock area?


A neighbour of mine has a problem with drainage in her back garden, as the site is situated at the foot of a slope and the previous owner of the site planted alot of ” red stemmed,” willow, she said, there to help soak up the water.It has grown huge and she now wants to … read more


My front house garden is v small, measuring about 14ft deep by 25ft wide. The location is within 4-500 metres of the sea with no screen in between. The builder planted birch trees in some gardens ( in the housing development interior) which are even smaller than mine, so the trees are within 5-10ft of … read more


I’ve recently surrounded my rear garden with a 6ft” high, stone faced, panelled wall. Although it looks very well, I would like to break up the concrete look by planting a number of mixed climbers to grow up onto the panels. Could you suggest what type and/or name of suitable climbers I could use?


We cut off a few branches of a silver birch which was getting too bushy and preventing light entering our dining room and the bedroom upstairs. Should the cuts (up to 8 cm diameter) be sealed with something?


can you recommed plants for a cottage garden?


I have spent the last few months creating a garden around my new house. Therefore this is the first winter I am facing as a gardener. With some forecasts predicting another extremely cold winter what can I do now to prepare my garden for another event like last December January? I have a mix of … read more


I want to do some autumn cuttings in pots. What mixture should I use and when is the best time? How wet should the mixture be?


While clearing some of my borders this last couple of weeks I have come across two or three of these growing. Are they bird-planted, and can you tell me what they are please?


I planted a hydrangea last year. It gets a mix of sun and shade. It is growing well but while there are lots of flower buds I only get sporadic white flowers appearing.The buds look pinkish. I have never pruned it and the soil was fertilized before planting. Any ideas.


I have a magnificent Magnolia Stellata and equally magnificent Rhododendron Sinogrande that, unfortunately, were planted too close to each other over 10 years ago. They are growing in to each other. One of the two is going to need drastic pruning. Decision time. Am I likely to kill off either of them with heavy pruning … read more


I am thinking of planting a new Griselinia hedge. I know that we are coming into the right time of year to plant bare root. I have heard that as a cheaper option that you can get cuttings from existing hedge a plant these. Can you outline the process and tell me if the hedge … read more


Is Oct a good time to take Laurel hedge cuttings . I have about 50 meters of Laurel hedge planted four years ago and growing well, i need another 15/20 meters to finish a boundary. How do i take cuttings and grow them.


I am hoping you can help me with some information. Attached are two photos of plants i have growing in my back yard. Firstly, could you tell me the name of these plants and secondly, i have noticed recently that they are going very brown, i have been feeding them with shrub feed and watering … read more


We have horse chestnut trees growing less than 5 metres from our house. Is this safe? If not,do we need to dig the roots out or just cut them down?


We had approx. 100 poplar trees cut down at our front entrance (I didn’t plant them, just inherited them!), as they were sending roots and shoots everywhere, including under the neighbours’ drives. We need to ensure that these are fully gone and that any shoots are killed off, as they are coming back. I’ve checked … read more


I am getting different advice on how to root cuttings of pitto, i have a empty plastic tunnel, What is the correct method, timing, base mixture, Plugs or trays?I’m hoping to transplant these next year.


I’ve a 7 meter H x 20m L unsightly building/brick wall to cover up. Thinking of planting dense evergreens. The wall runs east/west so conditions are favourable with a sunny south facing location for planting ,though on slightly damp ground. Can you suggest trees that would do the job for this location in Co.Wexford. I’m … read more


Any suggestions for climbers against timber fences which may be grown / taken down while preserving fences? We would also have to grow these in containers.


I have a small garden south facing at back of mews and would like to plant a small interesting tree to replace bush like tree on left of photo. Thank you for any suggestions of what to get and when to plant.


Is there a product that will eradicate roots that enter water drains, as opposed to sewer drains. I have a listed willow tree in my garden and its roots sometimes clog up the drains. I was wondering if there is a product that will help with this problem.


I have recently moved into my new new self build house and have 2 banks of soil either side left over from the initial dig, these banks are also form the borders of the site.however they are very wild and overgrown, I have tackled them this summer with a strimmer and they look fine but … read more


I have a rowan tree for about 10 yrs it flowers every yr but I never get berries. What is wrong?


I have a beautiful thirty feet tall Silver Birch in the wrong location (small back garden). With winter imminent it needs to be removed. Can it be transplanted and do you know where I might find a good home for it ?


My eucalyptus tree has 2 trunks as such, the main trunk is about 2-3 inchs thick but the second is about an inch, Can i cut this second one off? The lady in the garden centre said this “arm” was supporting the main trunk. Its in the ground a year now and is doing brilliantly, … read more


For some years Fir trees in my garden (Dark Green Pines) and had brown areas and areas of no growth. Have cleared back a lot of this part of garden to give more light to these trees however it now appears that I have lost more growth on the trees. About 70% of the tree … read more


When is the right time to prune copper beech hedge? it was only planted this April. I want to thicken it, is there any thing i can do?


I have a hedge of golden privet that was planted about 7/8 years ago. This past year about 3 or 4 of the plants have died, I notice some more starting to die. I had a lovely hedge around the garden but now there are gaps where the plants have died. Any idea what’s causing … read more


I’ve 2 rhodendrums in pots side by side, one is perfect and healthy but on the other one over the past few weeks has slightly lost colour and it’s bottom leaves have gone yellow. They are well fertilized and seaweed extract added regularly. I’ve checked for grubs and there does’nt seem to be any present.


What climbers will grow through leylandi trees that are bare in a shady area facing east to give privacy.


Our escallonia hedge is losing its leaves again this year due to leaf spot, this happened at the end of summer 2009 also. Is there anything we can do to stop this. We have this type of hedge for many years and thought the loss of leaves was due to the wet summer 2009 but … read more


Last Autumn I planted a few climbers e.g clematis etc they all died in the frost. I’ve just bought some acidic plants in Lidl today e.g rhododendren. WORRIED ABOUT LOSING THEM TOO THIS WINTER HOW CAN iPREVENT DAMAGE with the bad weather will i cut them back later on and cover them in dung from … read more


My two bay leaf trees are infested with little insects buried in the underside of the leaves, the leaves are turning black, they are very small, I did’t notice them for a long time. They can be scraped away but there are so many now they are killing my trees. I have talked to a … read more


I wish to plant Holly for privacy but the area to be planted is opposite, an opening (entrance),with hedges on either side thus creating a wind tunnel effect. The site is exposed.


I have a large climetas that i want to be plants from when is the right time to take cuttings fro it it has a white flower and what type of cutting do i take?


I have a clematis tangutica which is wasted in its present position. Can I prune it and move it in the same season? It’s too big and heavy to move unpruned.


I have a variegated poplar tree ( beautiful tree ) It is about 5yrs old. I would like to remove some of the the lower branches as it is resting on the lawn, plus I think it would look nicer with a bit of a trunk. Is it safe to do this and what time … read more


I have two types of Hedera to climb up an arch. They are supposed to reach up to about 3 mtr. but their main growth is at the base in stead of at the top. Would it be effective to prune back that base growth, or would this stimulate more growth at their feet au … read more


I was given a lovely Amaryllis at Christmas, pale pink and white, two flowers emerged. Please advise if it will flower again or is it just a ‘once off’.


I reularly see a hedgehog in my large garden and i would like to set up a place that it might hibernate i am thinking of under a evergreen tree that is close to the ground would this be suitable and how should i make it?


I just wanted to know can i grow plants from clippings. my mum has lovely fuchsia and i wanted to try grow some.. i have a small plastic greenhouse i could put them in .. is there other plants i can grow from clippings?


We have a “Jacquemontii” planted approx. 16 foot from the back of our house. It is planted in a raised bed 4 foot from a boundary wall. The raised brick bed (6 inches in height) is underpinned by a small retaining wall ( 3 inches in height) which has been cracked by one of the … read more


I have some fuschia cuttings that are about four months old, and i was just wondering what is the best way to winter them could you help me please?


Weeping willow tree in front garden has gone to high and wide, is it possible to cut top of and it would resprout? Father did this years ago with his and it came back nicer looking, but it died several yrs later. Its about 12ft high and 6ft wide.


I would like to plant 6 Bay trees in my front garden to make a divide between my garden and my neighbours but I am afraid they will it die in winter due to frost can you do any thing to prevent this?. Or is there any other form of hedging that is thin and … read more


We are celebrating our 40th. wedding aniversary and want to plant a tree in the attached lawn. Can you suggest best location and a suitable tree.Have thought about a Blue Cedar but open to your advice.


At the back of my back garden I have a 40ft concrete brick wall 4ft in height and I have had a strong sunlap fence erected on posts from behind on top of this wall also 4ft in height and it is in a sunny position. Can you advise me what climbers to use for … read more


Is it possible to plant shrubs, plants, in containers for winter colour?.


My fuschia that i planted this year in my garden (was previously in a pot) has black stains on the leaves. It did not flowered as it did the previous years. I would say only 2% of flowers showed up. Is that a disease? any remedy?


I planted a beech hedge this Spring and in most parts the plants have grown ok (approx 3-4ft plants). I’m now wondering if I should feed the hedge before Winter.


We have a problem with trees browning and shedding lots of needles. We have Cypress (i think thats the name) trees on 3 sides of our house,they are probably 25-35ft high and are a great barrier against the weather. I am not sure when they were planted, we moved in 8 years ago and they … read more


need help….side back wall on a busy road,lots of noise and kids hanging around,want to fight this with nature,not fencing…need privacy fast!House detached,wall about 18ft from any buildings and about 22ft long…..sun rises this side in moring and gets sun till about 12,then at about 5ish for an hour in the summer…..on this same side,to … read more


I have a wire fence in my back garden and two feet behind this is mixed hedge belonging to my neighbour. There is a lot of weeds, briars, bindweed etc in the space between the fence and the hedge. I am growing climbers on the fence for coverage and also have cats, so I’m looking … read more


We have recently moved house and there are a number of trees planted around the property. I have attached photos of one in particular and would be greatful if you could identifiy it for me, and give me some tips on how to look after it. Is a variety of apple tree and are the … read more


We have a mountain ash tree in our garden.Its about 14yrs.When planted by previous owners they planted it in its container which we cut away when we found the black plastic around it about 10yrs ago.Its about 6ft tall and never grew since we moved here.We put a new bed with wooden sleepers around the … read more


My friend planted an olive tree in Clane last year. The frost got at it and appeared to kill it, this year new shoots grew out at the base. Should we cut them out and is the rest of the tree dead or what should we do?


I planted 2 cherry bloosoms and 2 bamboo at the end of my garden 2 feet from a 7 foot brick wall and there are neighbours in two homes behind this wall. can roots damage this wall and my neighbours garden behind it. im worried they are 4 years old


How and when to grow willow from cuttings – i.e. ‘wands’ or ‘sallies’ as have heard them called. Location sth Wexford. Available locally but not sure how to go about – people say just take a snip and shove in the ground – is it that simple? Trying to create ‘screen’ along fence.


we just built a house and we are on an acre of land and we just got our grass sorted in our garden and now it is time to gain some privacy, one side of the garden has a ditch with plenty of trees so can you please recommend some everygreen shrubs to plant around … read more


I would be very grateful to receive your advise on how to go about growing a clematis from a cutting.


I would like to buy two topiary plants in nice smart pots to put either side of a front door.Would you know where/how I could purchase these at a reasonable price.


I have an Andromeda Polifolia Compacta which had lovely white/pink flowers in May/June. These are in the pots which I bought them in. Over the past month or two the plants have gone very twiggy and long and have turned a brownish colour. Is this dead do you think? If not should I sow them … read more


I have a magnolia tree well established for the last 7 years and blooms every spring but to my surprise it has now flowered again. Can you tell me why and also when is it a good time to take a cutting and how would i do this?


how far apart should beech be planted to give a good hedge?


Can you advise how to rid my garden of a very invasive plant thats strangling hedging and trees in my garden. I’m not sure what type of plant it is but I’m assuming its some kind of ivy/ creeper. I’ve attached a photo for you. Its found its way from a neighbouring garden and efforts … read more


could you please identify the attached for me?.Also how is it propagated?


This year our 50 year old Scots pine has brown sections of needles. So do others on our road. What do you think may be the problem?


I have an avenue of yew trees planted six years. They are 4m tall now. Two trees in the row have been yellowing on the inside and the new growth looks fine. It leaves these two trees looking sparse and tired. I am told this is a known condition but have been unable to find … read more


our palm tree has reached into the phone lines and we need to cut it down but not sure how to do this and what time of year is best?


Several shrubs and trees have died, slowly, over the last two / three years – viburnum, ornamental plum, mallow, japanese maples, fuschia – photograph shows fungus on the mallow, no sign of honey fungus fungi, bootlaces etc., – other symptom is deep cracking / splitting along branches. All are in the front garden and relatively … read more


I have read that its a good idea to repeat planting a plant in a planting sheme to give some form of harmony. Can you describe how to achieve this and suggest hardy plants for a neat but not too formal or informal beautinful evergreen and varigated mixed hedge of year round intrest to provide … read more


We recently planted some griselinia to form a hedge at the front of our house. We bought some mulch bark to cover the soil to reduce weeds and so the area looks more pleasing to the eye. We purchased the mulch from a local recycling centre. We have been told that the mulch bark may … read more


I have a split cherry blossom with both white and pink flowers,the problem is the pink flowered side is healthy while the white flowered side as the year progresses tends to die back a bit.the tree is around 6 years old.any suggestions as to what can be done to improve it would be grateful.


I have attached a photo of golden cypresses that i have, this year they seem to be not doing too well and of late i have noticed that some of the lower foliage is actually dead,i know this because it flakes away when i touch it, what is the possible problem and remedy?


The leaves and branches on my 20 year old skimmia are yellowing and dying off, also this years berry crop is shrivelling, any idea what the problem could be?


I have a golden Leyandii hedge about 20 yrs old it has grown very wide over a path on the sunny side Last year I cut back the height of it to about six foot or so Now I would like to reduce the width of it I have seen a few hedges which have … read more


I planted a choisya aztec pearl 2 years ago and it has barely grown. I’m a fairly keen gardener and have kept an eye on it. There are some yellowish leaves but they’re not very strong. Soil would be quite dense and we suffer with quite strong coastal winds


I have a very large area that has been severely neglected and has become very overgrown with weeds all of which I have now strimmed to ground level and raked out as many roots as is possible. I am looking for the best / cost effective weed killer and have found one called “Touchdown” which … read more


Are the beautiful red berries on my honeysuckle poisonous?


I have a new garden and would like to start planting evergreen shrubs first. I have a big area, dont like big plants and would like some shrubs that flower.We have a sunny open back garden. Can you tell me when to plant please? Gaye


Last November I planted a mixed natural hedge of whitethorn, blacktorn, carpinus, hazel, guilder rose & spindle. Can you please advise what month is the best to cut back the whitethorn & what height should I cut it to. Also should I cut back the other varieties mentioned above at the same time.


I have 3 rowan trees in a hedge one of which is very healthy.The second,I believe is dead & third looks poorly(yellow leaves on some branches)The dead tree’s bark seems to have peeled off around much of the trunk and wood lice are in abundance -the outer bark has white marks on it-All 3 trees … read more


Third August in a row that 10 yr old boxwood hedge 40ft X 10ft with diamonds in between has got blight or the new boxwood disease. Last year, cut it back, feed it, gave it Fertalive. Recovered a good bit just in time for the August onslaught. (No potatoes in garden btw.) Back again like … read more


Last year we moved into our new home which is located beside our farm on a fairly large site of one acre. the site can be very blustery in winter especially on the right hand side of our home which is surrounded by our field. this is also the main area that we use as … read more


Is the tree(Cedar?)on the right of the att.photo too close to the house .The distance is about 10 meters from the house to the tree trunk.Should or could the lowre branches be removed or would this destroy its form?


I want to grow something up the back of my house to cover unsightly drains etc. I was thinking of Virginia Creaper or varigated Ivy but have been told that they pull the plaster off walls. The house is only four years old. I dont know if this applies to modern houses. Have you any … read more


I dug up my varigated cordyline as it was killed by frost as I thought! there are now shoots growing out of the root ball. Can I just plant the root ball in a pot in fresh compost or what is the best way to save it.


I have a weeping willow tree which is five years old and is doing very well except for the fact that there are caterpillars in it. How do I get rid of them and also there are bumps on some of the leaves.


Our house was built in 1948 so I presume the Scots Pine is approx 60 years old.It had been topped by previous owners (over 10 years ago) but right now seems to be losing its greenery and thinning out. Is it dying? Is there anything we can do to save it?


can i cut back clematis tangutica now in august as it is smothering some other plants like this thuja smaragd in the photo..or will i just wait till spring…i’ve just hoisted it back to expose the other plants


Earlier this week my clematis (‘Avant Garde’, 2 years old in my garden) which was growing in a pot succumbed to clematis wilt. I have cut all stems to soil level. What do I do now in terms of the affected pot: do I change the soil/compost completely and hope that it will recover?


all the leaves on maple tree (common maple) have been eaten by something. Please see attached photos of same. Can you offer any advice on how to solve problem?


I planted pink hydrangea last year.it is now bluey colour.i have all other colours except pink.how can i keep pink


I have a bay tree in the garden which the leaves are all curled and a white fungus on the inside I dont use it for culinary use but dont want to lose it as it provides a most effective screen against my wall -could you please tell me what to treat it with as … read more


i want to disguise a four foot high bank in my lawn.what would you suggest to use.i need something thats frost resistant but pleasant to look at as it is close to the house


I have planted griselinia in a deep raised bed created along a low wall (3ft) to provide screening from neighbours. (Final height of hedge req. 4ft ) I realise it is a vigorous grower and I do not want it bare at the base. Planted last month 18inches high should I cut back now or … read more


When is it best to move a rhododendrum and how do i prune it.


Young patio container wisteria plant grows 5mts, being attacked by a leaf eater badly have treated the plant against weevil but problem still remains, plant however is growing well.


Cherry Blossom (I think!) No leaves or blossoms this year. Appears dead. Has splits from trunk all way up the tree.


I have bought two cissus striata but i am worried about the exposure and shelter thay have. They are planted on a west facing wall with little shelter. Have I planted them in the right place or shoul I be looking at getting a virginia creeper plant instead.


about 3 months ago i started peeling the dirty bark off the whitebarked birch. i peeled too deeply and was left with what is now a cracked brown stem.i’ve often peeled the bark before but never so deeply and to this day i dont know why i din’t stop when i saw i was going … read more


I planted this october glory last autumn as i thought it looked really stunning and thankfully it turned out to be however i just noticed this gash in the trunk. i think the bamboo cane that it was attached to was rubbing against it and caused the gashit hasn’t affected the crown of the tree … read more


I have a pyrantha planted on a bank in a very open situation for a few years. Unfortunately it seems to have lost its leaves and is not thriving,any idea what the problem could be.


Could you tell me what would cause the leaves on a bay laurel to yellow and fall off? the tree is about 10 years old and this is a new thing this year. also not all the leaves are affected.


i planted a mountain ash tree three years ago. the first year it produced red berries but since then it has failed to produced any berries.what is the reason for this?


Hi Gerry, Could you tell me if you should cut back a ‘climbing hydrangea’ and if so, when? Many Thanks.


I have a sort of wild self seeding St Johns wort shrub, grows about 4/5ft or so high with thin wood branches lovely yellow bell fluffy flowers blooming at the moment, new shoots grow all over the place. Dont know what its called. Can you identify? And if so, can you tell me if the … read more


After this hard winter all of our 18 year old Olearialook dead no foliage at all.Will these recover or is it a case of removing all of them.If I cut them down what do you suggest as Regards the stumps as they are large.What would you suggest as a replacement as they lined our drive … read more


When and how can I transplant Skimmia?


We planted some large (10ft) evergreens in April. My husband watered them regularly – maybe too regularly.They are orange now. Are they dead? Can we revive them?


Can I plant Bay laurel directly in the ground. I would prefer not to keep it in a pot. I live in Dublin 6, and we are relatively frost free.


We lost a mature Griselinia hedge due to the extreme cold this winter. We are just about to remove the sad spectacle from our garden and need advice on what to replace it with. The house is detached, in a mature estate on the town side of suburbia. To the front it’s 30ft long and … read more


I was asking advise earlier in the year regarding a corydline tree that I thought was completely finished after the frost. I am now delighted to say that the base is covered with new shoots, brilliant but is it best to thin out the shoots and have just a few remaining?


I bought two White Hydrangea last July. I transplanted both into larger containers earlier this year using John Innes Multi Purpose compost. Now the flowers are becoming reddish around the edges & the leaves also. Should I use John Innes Ericaceous compost? If yes, do I remove all the old compost from around the root … read more


My father lives in balbriggan, co dublin and planted a few holly bushes approx 8/9 years ago . This the first year he had berries or so he recalls . There was a large crop this year but all have seemed to have withered and died . Any idea why this would have happened?


15 yr old Cedrus deodara Aurea has started to lose its needles from lower branches and branches are dying back. It is a lovely specimen tree. The whole tree looks much paler than usual. This condition started during the winter months. Other shrubs in nearby beds are fine and our soil is acidic which I … read more


i put in goja berry s in march they have grown very strongly they now have a lot of branches up to one and half meters but are very thin with lots of leaves should i prune these back now or let them grow on at what age should they start to fruit?


Have you ever heard of a schmacher tree (not sure of spelling) have not being able to find reference to it anywhere. I believe it has variegated leaves.


I am looking at the options for Trees types that i could Plant along the Back wall of my 3 Bed Semi House. The Back Wall is about 3 Meters High, the Lower part is Concrete and the Top meter is Wooden Planks.


I am a fan of heathers and am disabled. i would like to grow a few variations in a limited colour scheme and have some colour over winter and also again in summer. I plant to plant out a few pots of various heights and sizes, maybe six or eight in number. when would i … read more


I have exposed a dividing trellis between self and neighbour, i removed a shed. I would like to grow a dwarf tree or tall rush like screen. immediately in front of the shed that once was is a buddha feature using rocks and shaped screen. my place is TINY! suggestions welcomed.


a friend taking down a big conifer (1 1/2m high) from her garden. can i save it and move it into my garden? will it survive the move? any suggestions as to protecting roots and dehydration?


When is the right time to prune a red robbin plant?


can you tell me how i can get rid of rabbits from my garden.They have all my trees,plants,flowers ate away i tryed everthing i have a big lawn and the have lots of place to run around ,there could be 30 to 40 of them at any one time ,is there something out there that … read more


I am planning on pleaching four Almond Trees in Tipperary. Can you tell me would Almond Trees thrive or indeed survive in Tipperary given the fact that we have pretty severe frost there each winter.


I have some beautiful Lavandula angustifolia blooming in a particular bed in my garden, however it does encroach on a slabbed footpath and tends to get damaged by my ride-on everytime i mow the grass, my intention is to relocate them to a new circular bed in which i planted a ‘Pineapple Broom’ tree just … read more


As the hedge is 35 years old with very dense roots is it practical to just cut the existing hedge and try to plant something between the old stumps. Any recommendations on what is best to plant as a replacement and when is the best time to do so ?


My brother recently bought a house with 4 beautiful palms in the front garden about 8 feet high. They have become very scorched and brown at the edges and generally unhealthy looking. He tried giving them a magnesium feed but it didn’t make much difference. The garden is quite sheltered and west facing.


Could you tell me please the most fragrant honeysuckle to grow up a trellis. Is there one without black berries as I have small children playing in garden?


I have just planted some shrubs on a bank behind the house however I now want to put down weed fabric + cover with bark or decorative stone as the weeds are growing too fast. How could I keep the bark or stone cover on the membrane without it falling down or blowing away? Also … read more


Are rosebay willow herb and bracken resistant to roundup? Would repeat treatments work please?


We have recently reclaimed an area of ground along side an existing native hedge. Basically it was a very wet area so we put in drainage covered over with stones and them top soil on top. I would love to plant up a woodland area with a winding path running down its length but have … read more


My hedge was badly ‘burned’ in the frost earlier this year. I hoped it would come back, but no joy. IS there anything I can do to help it along, or should I just replace it?


We have a large and very old rhododendron and want to remove it and put a greenhouse on the site. We understand that the roots are probably very deep and far-reaching, but a professional gardener friend has said that if we get out as much of the root as possible and then check regularly all … read more


I have a medium size bay tree, and want to move it, when is the right time to move it and how do i go about it?


My question is mainly whether the use of Mypex is compatible with a country style border – I am hoping for an (eventual) country border, where various plants spread to give an overall coverage within the border. If I plant them initially through mypex to minimise the maintenance, does that limit their ‘spreading’ capacity? I … read more


The new box hedging which I started planting last year and finished this year is doing quite poorly compared with the one I planted a few years ago. I have been watering it regularly but wondered if there was any specific feed which would help. I got a feed for topiary at an Ideal Homes … read more


we have a 12 foot leylandi hedge all round a half acre site, which was not cut back and shaped last year. we are having trouble getting somebody to cut it for us this year, what is the best month for cutting such hedges?


I have two white clematis. Both have an abundance of leaves but no sign of flowering.


I moved a bottle washer plant as it was crushed among larger trees in my garden,the sun wasnt getting at it so it turned very brown and withered lots,slowly the tops of the leaves are looking healthy again and ive noticed some new shoots at the very base…do you think i should cut it back … read more


I have a very sick Pineapple Bush,its in a container but the leaves have got very yellow,nearly the same colour as the flowers,last year it was doing really well. i have been giving it Tomato food,but it dont like it.


what weed killer can you recommend for me to put down-I have had the garden completely cleared back to a blank canvas except for 1 beautiful tall “Xmas tree”(whilst builders were in doing a construction job on the house) the weeds (mainly tumble vine) are coming through again including briars,the garden had been completely overgrown … read more


My 4 year old grisilinia hedge was badly damaged last winter but has new growth at the very bottom of each plant now, it’s about 6 feet tall so how much of the old growth do I remove as the new growth so far is on the bottom 6 inches and from there up looks … read more


We live on a high, very windy site 4 miles from the Atlantic coast. Too high a shelter belt would obstruct sea views – though we have hedges (elaeagnus) which have reached 4 to 5 ft in height. Can you suggest plants which would survive in such site? We would like some high plants for … read more


I have an escallonia hedge and its planted with two years it died with the bad frost but thankfully i got it back with feeding it chicken manure for the roots and tomato feed for the leaves and weeding around it but now my problem is its growing high and i have a beautiful pink … read more


I put a fuchsia into a pot to grow as it wasn’t doing well in the ground. its in flower now and outgrown the pot. Can i move it now? into ground or new pot? or should i wait until the flowering stops later in the year?


We have 2 of the above planted either side of a window about 4 feet from the house wall and about 8 feet apart. They are about 23 years old and 12feet tall. The branches currenly meet in the middle and they have gone above the single story roof line against which they are planted. … read more


I planted a Griselinia hedge last year and I would like to know what fertiliser you would recommend for strong, fast growth.


Hi Gerry. I have a well established holly tree (30+ years) but it has widely spaced branches with only light cover of leaves. It appears to be perfectly healthy. I’m wondering if I could grow a climber through it? I don’t want to choke it but I do want to fill the gaps a bit … read more


I have a buxus fence and one is deteriorating. one half of it yellowish/brownish and the other half is on its way to being the same. i dont want it to affect the rest of the hedge. what is it and what can i do to save it? anji


We have built a 1.5ft wall at rear of garden behind which are a cotoneaster, 2 mt ash & 1 azara. Will it suffice to put pipes of some kind around trunks to protect from soil & water or are we going to kill the trees over time by putting 1.5ft of topsoil over existing … read more


I have a very large lawned area of circa 2.5 acreas. Our house is a two story house set back 120 meters from an very quiet road. As you look at the house from the road I have post and rail fence on the from circa 70m accross. On the left boudry ditch I am … read more


This is a photo of my cherry tree. The bottom branches are badly affected but further up they are ok so far. I have sprayed in the last day with rose clear. Will this help or are there other solutions?


prior to going on holiday 2 weeks ago I noticed the leaves on one of my Laurustinus shrubs had holes and saw a brown caterpillar about 2cm length on the underside of the leaves. Now the complete shrub has been eaten and a second shrub 10 feet away is been attacked. The shrubs are 15 … read more


I planted Acer palmatum about 3/4 weeks ago. All the leaves have gone dry and brown, have continued watering, should i give up or might it survive?


My davidia planted 1988 flowered since 2005. It flowers really well but in last 2/3 yrs some branches at east side struggle to produce leaves early in spring and later die back by several feet. What could cause this and what would cure it.! I am afraid it will all die!


what criteria are in place if any to have ones garden open to the public


During this and the past three summers the silver birch in my front garden have been infested with greenfly and seem to ooze sap onto the cars underneath. However there are silver birch in the woodland behind our house and none of these are infected. Is it necessary to treat the trees in the front … read more


I have a laburnum tree which has never flowered I have it about 2 years , any suggestions or does it take a few years for it to flower?


My uncle is a keen gardener, and gave me a Holly standard last year that he trained himself. I didnt get to plant it in the Garden yet, but have noticed all the leaves are brown and dry. Its not looking very healthy and I dont know what it could be or what to do … read more


I have to remove Lonicera nitida ‘Bagessen’s Gold’ as we are building an extension to our house. It has been planted in this spot for 9 years and was in a pot for about 3 yrs before that. Do you think it would transplant well or is it too mature? Would it be deep-rooted? It … read more


There is new shoots appearing on the base of my griselinia which was badly damaged by our cold winter. Will you please advise on what I should do now? do I cut right back on the hedge and how far down to the base and when should I do this.


I have a lonicera japonica in a container and it is climbing well but some of the leaves have spots and there is a blue/grey fungus on one stem. What should I do?


My leptospermums are completly dead this year. will they redevelope flowers if I leave them in the ground


We have a Judas tree in our garden, planted last year. Still young, approximately 10ft high. last year, it prodiced a lot of leaves, but more centrally located , ie the outer branches not fully complete. this year, alas, there are only leaves lower down, stopping about 4ft up the tree. Is this a problem? … read more


When is it safe to say that cordylines and griselinia hedges are really dead after suffering severe frost damage?Can new hedge plants(probably hawthorn or lonicera nitida) be planted between the existing sawn off stumps of dead hedge plants without uprooting the dead ones?Any advice welcome…


cerise flowers ,rubbery to feel ,about 6 ft tall


I have a weed through out my garden I think its called Bine Weed how can I control it. Its very hard to get to the root of it. I can’t spray weed killer as it is attaching itself to my plants and hedge.


One can read it everywhere : When to prune shrub X and when to prune Y, but reasons why are not given. Apart from that I will have less blossom/fruit next year, what harm would it do to a shrub when I prune it at another time of the year then is recommended? Thanks. Fons


I would love to plant a blue spruce in my suburban, south facing front garden. The designated site was previously occupied by a ?korean Pine,with purple cones, which had grown untidy and has been removed. It had reached a height of 15ft approx, the max. this site could take. This tree would have pride of … read more


I have a lovely shrub named above and its flowering at the moment.I would like to move it to a better position as one I saw today seemed to be about 6 ft tall! I want to give mine enough room to do the same, when is the right time to move it and will … read more


I have a leptospermum that was badly hit by the frost and is 95% brown with a tiny section flowering. Presumably its days are numbered?


I recently purchased a white birch which is leaning over at the top quite badly. Is there anything I can do to straighten it upright? I have considered staking it but am afraid of damaging it. It is approx 8ft tall.


I have got an Azalea Augustinia, about ten years old. it has always been leggy and only flowered in the last couple of years, this year poorly. Can I prune it back into old wood in the hope of rejuvenating it.? And how should I feed it ?


I have just noticed a type of fungus on my maple tree that is planted in a 15 inch pot (measured across the top). there is a little brown scab on the trunk and when you scratch it white sticky fungus appears. The tree is aprox 3 foot 8 inches tall and is 2 years … read more


I have a number of sacks of wood shavings (ash and oak) and wonder if I can use it as a mulch and what plants to avoid?


I am putting down a wooden fence & my garden is bordering a field. There is heavily overgrown grass & weeds between the field and my garden so I need to clear it. It is too strong to “pull”.What grass / weed killer would you recommend ?DeniseDenise.What course of action would you recommend ?


I want to try grow cordyline seeds when they ripen whats the best way??


I have 3 Buddleia bushes which appear not to have survived a combination of an untimely pruning by me and the freeze. There is absolutely no growth on them.Can I fairly safely assume that they are dead?


I’ve noticed a couple of the ash trees around my area have only a branch or two which are growing leaves even at this late stage. I’m wondering if there is some disease attacking ash trees as these are not old trees by any means. I have a few ash trees around my site and … read more


I have (maybe had!?) a 40 year old clematis which did very well for years. It was growing up a wall and wandering through the neighbours hedge at the top. This helped to support it and it gave spectacular flowers. Last Oct/Nov we cut it back as we were doing some work on the nearby … read more


Shrub in my garden covered in webbing(not spider) and containing thousands of caterpillars eating most of the leaves. Is this a moth and can anything be done?


I’m looking for help on the most natural way to deal with a parasite on the bark of a magnolia stellata. There are spots like warts appearing on the bark. When i remove them there is a white sticky substance around and in between them, a bit like candy floss – white and fluffy/sticky. What … read more


I plante 2 Laburnums each side of driveway early spring and the problem is as on photo is that the growth on one is minimal. The other is in full bloom and looks great. The problem one has grown dwarf flowers and leaves. Will this have to be replaced or cut back to improve for … read more


An article recommended treating plants affected by cholorosis by using sulphate of iron. I have bought liquid sulphate of iron but need guidance as to the dilution rate.


About 2 months ago I planted 196 potted laurel shrubs to form a hedge. All was well until 2 weeks ago when I noticed the leaves on 5 or 6 plants were being eaten as well as turning yellow then brown. These plants are now under stress. I have clipped any grass around the plants … read more


Two weeks ago I burned a pampas grass (stupidly) and set fire to a thirty year old golden cypress. One section of the tree is now charred to the top but the remaining four fifths seems to be unaffected so far. Will the tree survive the trauma?


i have 2 large spreads of pyracantha firethorn now in white blossom. i want to prune it in hard so as to make it grow horizontally but not at the expense of the season’s berries. when should i prune?


I have a very mature tree in my back garden which was here when I arrived 2 years ago. it now appears to have white circular fungus-like spots appearing on it’s bark. I don’t know what species of tree it is, but the bark is usually a lovely smooth chocolate brown colour, and it flowers … read more


Is it possible to transplant hedging this time of year? what hedges would you recommend for shaded areas?what climbers would you recommend for shaded areas?


I sowed a griselinia hedge last september and now it’s dead, people have said to leave it that it might come back but it’s very unsightly with no growth, what should i do?


I put mulch out and the smell is quite powerful – i think it has gone sour as was bought from DIY chain store – how long will the smell stay and any tips to get rid of the smell?


A few days ago I noticed that the leaves at the tips of the branches of two of my 3-year old cherry trees have curled, and inside the curl are what appear to be black aphids. I have sprayed with an insecticide but of course couldn’t reach the top of the trees. The aphids seem … read more


I have two camelias but as a result of the cold spell all the buds have turned brown. Is there any hope that these will re-sprout and bloom next year. Do I need to cut off the brown buds that exist.?


I’ve got another question about my two acers, having looked more closely I’ve realised they’ve both got grafting marks, how will this effect their growth/eventual size? And also why do people graft them?


Please could you advise on a ten year old sarcococca which has has been having quite a bit of die back in the middle of the shrub. A younger plant which is planted beside it is also showing the same symptoms. They are planted in sandy soil in a bright place. Please can you help … read more


Can you please recommend trees/shrubs for a wind swept seaside garden – in Dingle, Co Kerry?


Is it a good idea to let a closely clipped beech tree (3 metres high, dome shaped) grow into a tree now and forget about closely clipping it?


Can you advise on best feeding for above hedge please ?


I’ve just bought 2 Acers 1 Sango Kaku and the other Sumi Nagashi. Just wondered how far apart I should plant them? The Sango Kaku says it is fast growing but there is no other guidance


I/We are trying to source this plant. We have a sloping bank beside our house (very shady) covered in weeds which we spray and respray. I saw this plant on several similar banks in the USA on a recent trip and thought it would be ideal for us. Any idea of where we could buy … read more


Excavation for foundation for a house and a retaining wall has been done as close as 2 metres from my beech trees which are close to my boundary. The trees are 60 feet high at the moment and I have been advised by my neighbours tree surgeon that the height should be reduced to 15 … read more


The top of our clematis is wilting. it approx 1.2m high planted in a large pot.The rest of the plant is fine .Much obliged for any helpthankPlease could you advise.


I have Sections of Pittosporum established for 5-6 years now,Which is used for as Foliage Fillers.During the cold spell allot of it has been severly damaged, One factor that has not helped is the fact cutting were taken late last year from the trees.a. can I leave courgette plants which are doing very well, peppers,chilly … read more


I want to plant cordyline on an east facing front lawn.


My escallonia hedging got badly damaged by the severe winter weather could you recommend alternative hedging. I live two miles from the sea in a fairly exposed and quite wet site.


I have some Nobilis Abies procera growing for christmas trees and for foliage etc, some areas are a little off colour ‘yellowing of the inside branch’ I am guessing that Nutrient levels are low in these areas. Do you know of where I can get some tree samples tested so I can get the best … read more


I have a wisteria planted near a wooden arch its about 3 years old how and what do i prune to get it to trail up the arch? It has flowered and now its put out pieces like runners!


Can you suggest an ornamental evergreen conifer or shrub that is wind proof and will stand up to salt as i live less than 1 mile from the sea, also It should not grow over 6 foot and not be too wide.


I bought 2 Goji berry bushes today, everyone’s talking about them so I thought I should try. They are about 60 cm high. What type of soil does it need? Sun or shade? How big does it get? Our garden is fairly protected from frost, everything survived last winter


Can an Azalea be moved and if so when is the best time to do this and how?


I have 4 lollypop Bay trees out side my house , since the bad frost at xmas the leaves have turned brown and the trucks have cracked!I have pruned them right back as far as I could go and at the moment they have no leaves on them, and no sign of any new growth … read more


I have a large arrangement of Buxus shrubs that appear to be continually deteriorating after the frost. The leaves are turning yellow/brown and are extremely dry. I have been watering and waiting to see if there is any recovery but the problem seems to be spreading further up through the plants from the roots. Is … read more


I have a driveway with lawsons cypress either side. Not sure of age but would estimate maybe 15 to 20 yrs. On one side, one tree started to deteriorate last year, now completely dead. Symptoms beginning to spread to trees on one same side of drive. I can’t find any sign of pest infestation such … read more


I have a problem with a row of hedging I have had recently planted. I’m by no means a gardening expert but I believe the type of hedging to be prunus laurocerasus. It was planted roughly 16 weeks ago. The leaves on most of the plants have turned yellow are now shedding profusely. The hedge … read more


I’ve had a tree surgeon chop down 17 old evergreen trees at the back of my garden which had grown huge but scraggy. He shredded all the lighter branches and now I have 3 mountains of ‘mulch’ – how long should I wait before using it under trees, shrubs and (newish) hedging? One ‘mountain’ is … read more


I have a 5 yr old Griselinia hedge that got badly damaged by the frost. What can i do ?


I have a 2 yr old beech and white thorn hedge doing well 🙂 The problem is the beech are covered in what i believe to be fluffy aphids. What do you recommend i do ?


Climbing hydrangea planted last Autumn on a south facing wall. It is thriving but something is biting at some of the leaves. Can you help please with solution. I have planted one also on a North facing wall and the leaves are totally healthy and it is also thriving very well indeed.


Can I feed something like tomato food or Miracle Gro to a camelia or what is the best feed to buy for it?


Planted Monkey puzzle tree last November outside in Garden. It is two foot high and the spikes have been steadily turning yellower in colour. Do you have any suggestions of what is wrong and what I should feed it if anything. It has not been overwatered and is planted in quite an open space


I would so love to grow wisteria again (we had a superb one when we lived in Surrey), but have assumed that our location would not be suitable; we are on 3 acres of coastal property, with the house less than 200 mtrs from the cliff, so it’s very windy. If I planted it on … read more


Hi Gerry, My griselenia hedge of 35 years has died. Last winter’s frost burned it. Ant hope of it regenerating this year? Recently I have cut back one of them to see will green shoots sprout. but nothing as yet. If I were to have to replace it is there some similar plant/shrub that would … read more


I have a Pittosporum ‘Tom Thumb’ that is going to get very boxed in between a climbing rose and a geranium. Is it too late to move it and if so when is a good time?


I planted 47 bare root acer trees mid March and they seemed to be doing really well….they all leafed fully but now theres about 3 of them where the leaves seem to be dying. Is there anything i can do? is it just the leafs or the whole tree?


My privet hedge is all burnt I think it may have been due to the snow and cold ? Can it be treated and saved as its my front boundary .


HOW can I discourage/prevent large birds..crows and magpies …from feeding on my bird table,and feeders …..the smaller birds are being hunted away altogether!!


My eucalyptus tree which is approx 6 years old is looking rather poorly have given it some water over the past few weeks . is it suffering from the frost effect like other plants?


I was wondering if you could advise on where to get the long willow branches to make a willow screening. Thank you


I have a conifer tree (potted) on my patio that seems to be suffering very badly. I have been told that the tree needs lots of water and I have given it plenty but with no results. The tree seems to have gotten progressively worse over the last 6 months. I am moving to a … read more


None of my 5 cordylines have produced flowers – so far. Is this as a result of the bad winter, or are they likely to produce them later in the year? Each of them produced at least one in previous years.


contains phots of plant which started growing last year.


I have a very healthy camelia in a pot having already repotted it into a bigger pot but I fear it will eventually die unless I plant it out in my garden.Unfortunately the soil in my garden is not acid soil.The camelia is now five feet tall. Have you any suggestions as to how I … read more


A tree/bush with branches that grew from the base to about 2 metres (I trimmed it here) has not not flowered in a couple of summers, previously it flowered in the summer months a beautiful red clolour, how do i find out why it died and what make it is?


i want to snip off some pieces of existing fushia shrub i have. is it too late to simply stick it in the ground, can i make a hedge out of it, if so, how far apart should it be set?


I recently planted 80 bare root ash trees in a field near my home. When I was looking at them the other day I noticed that the stem (or trunk) of some of them have being chewed half way up. They look like they were cut at a 45 degree angle by secateurs. I presume … read more


How far apart (maximum distance) can I put male and female skimmias to ensure the production of berries? I’m planning to put them at opposite ends of the garden (~7m). Is this ok?


My leylandi hedge was destroyed by frost.I would like to replace it with Escallonia. Is there a hardy type of escallonia which would be suitable.


I have a small bay leaf tree and after the winter there are no leaves at all on it and not a bud to be seen. I did have it covered in a fleece bag. Is it gone for good?


We have a Jelly Palm in our front garden for the past 2 years but since this year’s frost all the leaves have died – do you think it will recover or is there anything we can do. There appears to be no new growth.


I was wondering if there was a good weedkiller that can be used to kill weeds around the base of shrubs and how do I keep them away?


In a previous message I asked if cutting back the top/new growth of a copper beach hedge will help it to thicken at the base. I belive your answer was no. All the other advise I received from garden centres suggested I cut back the new growth in late July to encourage more growth further … read more


when is the best time to plant a butterfly bush/tree and what is it actually called?


What is the best method and time to take cuttings of escallonia hedging?


I have a honeysuckle plant that is 3 years old, it is growing vigorously but has never flowered. It’s in an open space at the edge of a wall and is climbing up the side of the wall. What should I do with it?


I have 3 yr laurel hedge and for the first time some of the plants have sprouted a white flower.Is this something to worry about as some of the affected plants are otherwise healthy while the rest have had their leaves turn yellow.


we drained an area along laurel hedge with shores last year as was water logged but its showing no signs of recovery yet…do you know how long it should take to green up and start new growth again? Its about 4 years old.


we have 3 very very large trees bordering one corner of our garden (2 sycamore, and one maple style tree). our problem is we have planted a red robin around it but it keeps dying. we watered it regular etc. we need a hedge there because we need some screening from road. hedge will essentially … read more


I have an Acer brilliantissimum that I planted 6 years ago. Unfortunately not knowing at the time I planted it too near a wall. Can I move it and if so when is the best time of year? Secondly does it need to be far from the house as I understand this is a small … read more


My neighbour has a tree above growing right against boundary wall. it is 3 feet approx from my house.the pathway has cracks appearing last few years and in wall.moss also on pathway.the tree is approx 30 yrs planted..are roots damaging the foundations?.what should i do.sunlight blocked from garden.


I have about 2 acres, one of which I want to plant with trees. Sort of grow a small forest. Where can I get a lot of trees reasonably cheaply to fill this space,


i have a large heather bed some of it is going out of bloom when can i prune or how much can i prune


I recently planted a laurel hedge as a screen. The plants are 3 – 4 ft high. Should I cut them back/down to promote growth at bottom.


I recently (last week in march) planted a copper beach hedge inside a 3 ft high pariimiter wall. 90% of the trees are showing signs of growth i.e. sprouting or new leaves. I’m hoping the other 10% will come good in the next few weeks. If they dont what should I do. Should I also … read more


my garden has attracted a load of flying midges and not just around plants,causing kids playing out there to scratch.Now only last evening I fed plants with a tomato feed and that is the only real change added to the garden. Is this the reason for attrracting them or what is and what can be … read more


Can you recommend screen planting which will be fast growing, but looks good also? A hedge for the lower area with trees at higher level to screen farm yard and buildings throughout the year.


Is it within the law to burn garden waste in your garden at any time of the year? People here in Donegal say that it is but I want to be sure.


Planted a bare root beech hedge last April 09 and really not much growth has taken place to date. How often should I fertilize to increase growth? and which is best to use? ? There is a weed blocker down but this does not limit interaction.


I have a mahonia which is about five years old. It had lovely leaves and yellow flowers. Since the bad cold spell all the leaves have fallen off and the stalk is the only thing that is left. Is this dead or will it re-sprout again and should I feed it?


I wonder if you could recommend a nice colourful small ever-green tree/shrub that I could plant near a boundary wall at the front of my house. I would like something like ‘red robbin’ plant. Many thanks.


Please can you advise on this problem. This happens every year after flowering when leaves appear, when can we spray the tree to prevent this and with what?


I have two Photinia Red Robin, looking smart and growing nicely but shedding an awful lot of leaves. I have one in the front (east facing) and one in the back (west facing) and clay soil.. There are also spots on the leaves. There is plenty of new red growth and other than that they … read more


I have 2 lilac bushes in my garden about 5 years old which have never flowered. What is the reason for this, am i doing something wrong?


Can you tell me why my Cherry Blossom has branches with just leaves on it? Should these be removed and if so when is the best time to do this?


Some plants on my 5 year old, otherwise vigorous, Griselinia hedge (in city, fairly sheltered, sun in afternoon) have developed pale, irregular spots on leaves, any part of leaf but especially nearer tip. leaf turns yellow, some have brown at tip, then fall. Neighbouring yew, skimmia and box ok just now.I’d be glad of advice … read more


I live in a duplex apartment. It has a large balcony which is surrounded by a wall of about a meter and a half, so it is protected from the wind. I would like to know what types of plants would look best on my balcony and will survive. Also I would like to have … read more


I have recently built a wall and have put lovely flower beds in my garden. I have an ugly green oil tank at the end of my back any suggestions on how to hide it.


I have an oil burner in the middle of my lawn and it can be seen from my kitchen window. I want to put in a small bed of shrubs or plants that will cover or hide the burner. Can you suggest some evergreen shrubs or give me some suggestions to disguise this burner. It … read more


My lavender of about 6 years is gone “all over the place”. It smells nice in Summer but the shape doesn’t vaguely resemble a circle and there’s also tall grass growing up throughit. Is it time to dig it up and replant a new one or is there something I can do to save it?


I live in an estate that is about 10 years old and all of the trees in it have been staked since they went in. I have read in several places that it is best to remove stakes within one to two years and wonder if we should do so now. I would not query … read more


I have a branch of a hawthorn tree covered in ivy which needs to be cut back as it is leaning over my house. I have kept an eye on it and can’t see any activity of birds nesting in it but this does not rule out that they are not. When would it be … read more


We bought a living Christmas Tree in November 2009. It’s been outdoor since and in it’s original pot. It’s now losing it’s green colour and also it’s pines. How best can we care for the tree?? Or is it just now going to die off completely??


Grisselinia hedge – well established – 8 years. No leaves at all at the moment and no sign of growth. Will this hedge recover or is it finished. It is a boundary hedge between our neighbours and I can now see through the hedge into their garden.


I have had a huge plant which has been the centre piece of my garden for about 15 years. I believe it could be called Cordyline indivisa – with seven stems and about 12 -15 feet in height. It seems to have been completely destroyed by frost. Please dont tell me to cut it down. … read more


My beautiful 15 year old Cornus Controversa Variagata has some dead branches on it this spring and other branches are quite sparse with buds growing up instead of laterally. The rest of the branches look quite healthy. Should I cut off the dead branches and the buds that are growing upwards. Do you think I … read more


I planted small conifers 25 years ago. With constant cutting and shaping these grew into a beautiful manicured hedge. This year alot of brown patches have appeared in the hedge. Has it run its course or has the harsh winter effected it? Is there anything I can do now to nurse it back to health?


My two fuschia shrubs are showing no signs of life .Have they been killed by the severe frost over the winter? One is ten years old and is a very large shrub.The other is three years old and is much smaller.


My neighbour cut down a huge leylandii hedge last week.. thank God. The light is fantastic, but the contractors mulched the entire lot and left 2 heaps of it behind. Would it be safe to use in a shrubbery and rose garden as ground cover to keep down weeds ?


I hope you can help me. I have recently planted 120m Holly hedge (IIex aquifolium).The plants came in half litre pots from Coillte Nurseries, Ardattin, Co Carlow and are approx 30-45cm tall.I’ve noticed a substance like a spiders web along the edges of the leaves on my strawberry leaves. I did get some strawberries but … read more


we have a large garden , or should i say a field , its on a hill and so far not much shelter, could you recommend trees that grow quickly and are not too expensive. I hope to spend about 20 euros each week on plants and trees and also i would like to put … read more


About 4 years ago i planted 12 10 yr old Red Birch on a new site along the drive. One of the Trees has been approx a month behind at spring and ahead at autumn. Its lower branches seem to be dead but always have been (possibly damaged in transit) I am afraid it may … read more


Is it possible to plant a dunnes stores Prunus triloba 150cm in a large tub and if so what size should the tub be?


My neighbour has a 50ft pine tree, and the needles are a great nuisance. Nothing I can do about that of course, but can you recommend paving that can disguise the needles? This is for my patio where we enjoy eating out on in the summer. It looks v unsightly with the needles unless I … read more


I have a ceanothus that I planted about 7 -8 years ago. Last summer was the last year it had any foliage. It is now dead with moss/lichens growing on it. I don’t think it was the hard winter as i don’t remember it being healthy last september october.


Will a Laurel hedge survive 2km from the East Coast, My house is fairly exposed to the East wind.


We are trying to clear a bank to replant it. however are fighting a battle against lilac roots which are right through the bank. Is there a way to kill them or remove them in a easy way. so far digging, chain saw and pick axe are not the way.


Hi Gerry attached are some photos of berberis which i have had planted for the past 5 years. They are not looking in great shape and have what appears to be some sort of fungal or moss growing on them. I have attached some photos and would like some advice as there are a number … read more


what type of soil does fuchsia like?


Where would I buy a Yucca tree? Cant find one anywhere.


We live about 1 from the coast in north mayo. we are on top of a hill and the north wind blows straight in our back door. the back garden is split level so our boundry line is 6-7 feet below our footpaths. what type of trees/hedging can we plant , fast growing preferably, about … read more


I have a Cornus florida Rubra for 7 years and it has never flowered.It is sheltered, facing south and looks healthy, fed twice a year. Soil is neutral and I have Cornus Controversa Variegata growing successfully near by. Can you please help as I cannot wait to see these flowers.


I have noticed a lot of dieback on the branches of my Acers.


Just bought 5 Prunus Triloba trees in Dunnes Stores of all places for €9.99 each, couldn’t leave them behind at that price. Anyhow, we plan on putting them along the front boundary of our house over the next week or so along with sowing our lawn. What size can we expect them to grow to … read more


I have a Pieris and a Rhododenron growing for two years but they are not thriving very well, what would be the best feed for them.


I recently started a gardening job in a CE scheme, as I have a keen interest in gardening, just before christmas a colleague came across a seed in a bowl of potpourri that had been there for some time, however he planted it and it has stared to grow, I never seen the seed but … read more


We were given a young douglas fir tree as a present and have nurtured it to about 3 feet tall. We have a suitable area selected for growing this large tree but need to know what is the best way prepare new planting site and what time of year is ideal for the move.


Is there any practical gardening use for turf ash from the firegrate, please? Surely it would be ‘biodegradable’.


I have bought a Star Magnolia tree and on the package is written plant in acidic soil, which I did. But I’ve just read here plant in any ordinary soil. Have I killed my magnolia?


is there any help ican give a griselina hedge that lost alot of leaves this winter a nd is now making a slow recovery


I planted a rosemary last autumn and it seemed to be thriving, but has died, possibly due to the cold weather. I dug it up today to dispose of it and discovered an abundance of yellow balls, about the size of coriander seeds, in the rootball. I squeezed a few and they burst, the insides … read more


I want to plant a hedge on a sloped garden. Because the garden is only 24Ft wide I want a low tight evergreen hedge and want to maintain the hedge at approx 2Ft in height. A tall hedge wouldn’t look right. Can you suggest 2 evergreen plants that would go well together if planted alternatively … read more


I’m a total beginner when it comes to gardening. I planted a lavander shrub last summer and it now looks dead. i have been feeding it for the past few weeks but still no sign of any life, no new shoots just totally brown. Does this plant die back in the winter and come back … read more