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Sarah Ansell's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 8

Re: What are the tiny black flies in flowerheads?

from Sarah Ansell

Valerie, thank you so much for your reply. I have to say, I spent ages on the internet and couldn't find a mention of these and I haven't seen them before. I was surprised that no damage seemed to be happening. They are now all over the garden - not just on yellow flowers (rose is light pink) but certainly my calendula and verbascum have got them. I will now let them get on with their job even though they are a bit unsightly! Sarah

  • Posted: Wed. 7th July 2010 08:47

What are the tiny black flies in flowerheads?

from Sarah Ansell

I have suddenly noticed lots and lots of tiny insects crawling in the petals of my rose, calendula, mums, dianthus and stock (all in the same area), I thought they were flea beetles, but they don't seem to jump - they do fly. They do look like little shiny black beetles maybe a couple of mm. I did try a few brassicas last year which were eaten by pigeons - so maybe they are flea beetles? There is no particular damage yet, although the rose petals seem to be falloing quickly. Help! Do I need to spray? This is my first climbing rose and I want it to look good over summer! Many thanks, Sarah

  • Posted: Sat. 3rd July 2010 13:51
  • Last reply: No timestamp set

Thank You!

from Sarah Ansell

Hi Kathy, thank you so much for the detailed suggestions which must have taken you a while! There are several plants there I don't know and which I'll enjoy looking up. The hollies are a good idea - I considered them in the back garden, but didn't have a place for them.

I think your selection looks as if it has a really good range of plants for different seasons. Also the plants are very different in shape and form so lots of contrast. It could be a month or so before we are cleared, but I will certainly put up are final planting plan. Sarah

  • Posted: Thu. 6th May 2010 22:43

Planting suggestions for new bed

from Sarah Ansell

I am getting our front bed by the drive dug out, a new top layer of soil put in (it's very poor quality clay with stone/rubbly bits), and new planting. Can't do it ourselves, and we hope the person who does it will do a planting scheme, but I would appreciate suggestions.

The plot is backed by a fence, about 1.3m by 6m, ending in a triangle with a beloved cotinus which is staying. It's west facing and gets sun from mid pm. Behind it is a path and strip of trees and the far end especially can be a bit dark. We are at the end of a close which tends to funnel wind and is a frost pocket in the winter.

We need very easy maintenance as I have poor health, although I will probably get someone in to prune. May put in a membrane and mulch to supress weeds. I need all year round interest with colour and some scent. Must be hardy. Wildlife friendly too if possible. With a lot of fence we could do with some climbers, possibly everygreen and probably not roses. There is a path behind the fence so we have to keep climbers under control.

Before this we had some ancient plants: forsythia which we might keep, viburnum (always full of holes), photinia (not v healthy), a wrongly placed buddleja - we might go for another - a sick ceanothus, woody hebe and some ill-advised and rampant cotoneaster!

Any suggestions gratefully received - I'm getting better at plants but hopeless at planning!


  • Posted: Sun. 2nd May 2010 17:27
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Thank you

from Sarah Ansell

Thank you very much for your replies. I will follow the techniques and plants suggested. Feel quite excited about doing this, rather than always buying plugs!


  • Posted: Sun. 7th February 2010 17:25

Heated propagators - what to grow?

from Sarah Ansell

My husband has just brought me two heated propagators for the windowsill of our new conservatory. It's north facing and gets very little direct sun, although is glass and quite bright. I'm worried plants will get leggy.

I've only grown from plugs in cold frames before, so need to know more about what sort of seeds need to go in them? Complete beginner at this so any tips gratefully received.

I'd like suggestions for plants I can grow to put in containers. My garden ranges from very shady to hot and sunny at the front, but we can get frost until quite late. I'm interested in plants for insects, smell and also to brighten the darker part of the back terrace.

Many thanks, Sarah

  • Posted: Fri. 5th February 2010 16:36
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Thank you so much!

from Sarah Ansell

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions and sorry I didn't reply sooner! Both sound like distinct possibilities, so I will do some more research. In fact we may be able to grow one at the back, as we now need to take down a large conifer by the fence which has become diseased (not the fence!). I will certainly use the forum again!

  • Posted: Sun. 3rd May 2009 17:18

Suggestions for climbing roses?

from Sarah Ansell

I have an unexpected gap in my front border (due to my son sliding his car into it!): basically west to north west facing, frost hollow, but relatively warm in the summer, partial shade, clay but relatively neglected (I will need to mulch etc).

I would like to put a climbing rose on the fence - repeat flowering, fragrant, smallish blooms, not too rampant or thorny (public path on other side), colour not too important but not keen on pink. Any suggestions as I'm clueless and most roses seem to want full sun? Many thanks, Sarah

  • Posted: Fri. 24th April 2009 15:12
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