General Gardening chat

General gardening chatter!

I am in Gensac 33890 and I am hoping to create a gardening club.

Members would meet, perhaps once a month to discuss garden tips, problems and share afternoon tea, pimms or whatever.

We could go on visits to special secret gardens and do vegie/fruit swops even

create fund raising events for bees or cats/dogs.Whatever grows.

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The last dahlias of the year.

Speaking of which, can anyone tell me why, when we replant them next year, most of them will produce white flowers instead of the reds, yellows and variegated colours we bought and which flowered as described on the packet this year?

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I spent yesterday afternoon cutting back vines. We have Phylloxera.

Some of you may know that the phylloxera epidemic destroyed most of the vineyards for wine grapes in Europe, especially in France, in the late nineteenth century. 70% of all vines here in France died. It was introduced to Europe by botanists from England who collected specimens of American vines in the 1850s. Because the infestation is native to North America, native grapes are partially resistant.

It laid waste to vineyards in Britain, which is why many of us may consider them appearing a recent thing. In fact there were many in England and Wales. It moved to the European mainland, where French wine production all but ceased, between 60% and 90% of all European vineyards were destroyed.

Some areas, particularly in parts of Italy and Spain, never had the problem for unknown reasons, possibly rootstock resistance. There is no cure for phylloxera unlike other diseases such as powdery or downy mildew and no chemical control or response to what has been tried thus far. The only successful control but not cure is grafting on to phylloxera resistant American rootstock. Buying vines with American rootstock details on labels is the best bet.

I took some leaves with the 'growths' to a local pépinière on Saturday morning where the proprietor took the leaf, bundled it in paper and burned it on the spot. Then he told me what to do. He said to cut off each infested limb, remove and burn to ashes. Keep and eye on the leaves henceforth and repeat. Then cross my fingers and hope.

If we have it then other places here in the SW have it. It has never left France since arriving and is one of the reasons the old system of having vines for even centuries died out and vinestocks are uprooted and replaced every few years. Once in the roots a whole vineyard is doomed.

So, people I just wanted to warn people in case we have an epidemic. I just hope it is local and that it can be contained and controlled.

This is a picture of the infestation:

Have a look at these two sites (first in French, second is Canada but the same information as anywhere else) to find out more.

Our dog has had two tocks on her face near her eyes. The way to get them off is to put her body under a chair and then hold her head and use the removal gadget witha twisting movement.
Of course she has had her tick medication which kilss the beasties straight away, but they still need to be removed.
I am sorry that you have Lyme’s. You have the perfect excuse to sit back and watch Wimbledon!

You are all probably aware of this but for those who aren't. Ticks 3 weeks ago i got a tick removed it completely but the surrounding area on my chest started to go red about a 6 inch diameter around the bite off to the docs and i have Lyme's disease and a course of antibiotics no sun exposure and boy do i feel worn out walking up and down stairs brings me out in a sweat and leaves me breathless, a lecture from the Doc about checking my clothes and body after working in the garden

Nope, not my seventh heaven - now Victoria Plums !!!!!!!

and that's for the info

No accounting for tastes, his disgusting may be George's seventh heaven. Spitting is part of fruit harvesting anyway ;-)

If that's what it is, and not doubting your pépiniériste's diagnosis for one moment, Brian, it's not only edible but good for you! See and and many more sites.

I cheated by asking somebody at the local pépinière who immediately said it is cornouiller mâle or cornouiller sauvage known in English as cornelian cherry, European cornel or dogwood (cornus mas in Latin) which is a species of flowering plant of the dogwood family that is native to southern Europe extending from France to the southern Ukraine. The fruit is pretty disgusting but apparently eaten in some places. His recommendation was do not try - I suspect he has at some stage. As soon as I opened up your picture on my tablet he responded. I had never heard of it before, but then there is always something new to learn.

Now, that saves you a few bob joining the RHS.

It's gtowing wild on our riverbank and the area next to it has never been cultivated for gardening. The fruit is smaller than a golf ball, just, and circular rather than the traditional plum shape. It does, however, have a plum style stone.

I did try the RHS whose answer was join and then we'll look at it.

My wife's reaction was also that it was some kind of plum based on the leaves, but she doesn't know whether it's a hybrid developed for decoration or just a wild plum. If no one is sure I have a tame Kew botanist friend who may be able to help!

I looked at the leaves, went out to get leaves from a cherry, plum, crab apple and normal apple. The leaves in your shot are far more like cherry than plums, but then the domestic cherry is prunus avium so of that family. They are not leaves of any malus, so not apple family. So yes, Véro is close but I reckon it is one of those darned imported East Asian ornamentals of one part or another of the prunus family that was imported by a toilet paper manufacturer wishing to up his profits a tad!

OF some sort of ornamental prunus

They are the fruit some sort of ornamental prunus, I'd say. Edible but not really worth it as the flavour is mediocre and they are likely to send you off to the loo sharpish, I'm saying this as my prunus produces something fairly similar and obviously my children ate the fruit...

Too small and wrong shape for crab apples. We have loads hereabouts. Jelly at the end of August every year. What they are?


I know the fruit from the Clyde Valley orchards and most of the mainstream fruit here (dept 17) but don't recognise this.

The key shot was late April/early May, the rest this week. I am sure someone here will be able to identify it (crab apple?). I don't want to try eating it and becoming ill!

And does anyone know of a source of compost and/or topsoil around Jonzac (17)


Thanks Brian,Ah, yes, looks a bit Rhubarby! It is a fantastic plant and the bigger it gets the happier I will be. I just love big Jungly plants. I also have a Gunnera but the ground it not quite damp enough for it so it struggles-I am envious of yours.

Beverley, it look like rheum palmatum, Chinese or Ornamental Rhubarb, which having green leaves because it is young is not yet in its glory when the undersides of leaves, the stalks and young shoots begin to be a rich dark red. So I guess it is the one called Tanguticum. It can get massive, but then I have some young Gunnera manicata in a damp area which gets leaves of at least two metres across that you can stand under in the rain!