BNC Text J3Y

Gardeners' Question Time: radio programme. Sample containing about 6618 words speech recorded in leisure context

8 speakers recorded by respondent number C472

PS3R1 X m (Stefan, age unknown, radio presenter and gardening expert) unspecified
PS3R2 X f (No name, age unknown, radio presenter) unspecified
PS3R3 X m (Fred, age unknown, gardening expert) unspecified
PS3R4 X f (Daphne, age unknown, gardening expert) unspecified
PS3R5 X m (Walter, age unknown, gardening expert) unspecified
PS3R6 X m (Frank, age unknown, gardening expert) unspecified
J3YPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J3YPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 110401 recorded on 1993-12-19. LocationUnknown ( studio ) Activity: recording a radio programme recording

Undivided text

(PS3R2) [1] twenty two miles, a thousand and six rising slowly, Ronald's Way, west seven, sixteen miles nine nine three, rising quickly.
[2] Mallin Head, North West by West eight, recently hale, eleven miles, nine nine three, rising very rapidly.
[3] That's the end of the shipping forecast but just to remind you that Radio Four long wave in Northern Scotland, Orkney and Shetland is off the air as the bulkhead transmitter has been affected by the bad weather but as soon as it's repaired we will repeat the shipping forecast for the areas affected that'll be on long wave only and F M will continue with scheduled programmes.
[4] Now just after two, Gardeners' Question Time introduced by Doctor Stefan .
Stefan (PS3R1) [5] Hello, well this week it's the turn of those listeners who've sent in their queries by post and we'll try and help as many of you as we can.
[6] Our team is Daphne from Spalding, Fred from Lancaster and Walter from East Kilbride and our first card this week is er, [laughing] goes back into [] our own experiences because it's from Gill of West Yorkshire.
[7] Some of you may remember her because we stayed at her hotel er a little while ago and [laugh] she has a lovely horse chestnut tree er outside her hotel and since we went [laughing] it stopped producing conkers [] .
[8] She says has it turned gay or homosexual, has it changed sex, is it the micro-climate or did one of us fix it?
[9] Just to remind us the tree is five hundred feet above sea level.
[10] It's always the first tree to leaf and it's also the first one to shed its leaves in the area and all the neighbouring horse chestnut trees, which presumably we didn't tamper with [laugh] have stayed prolific.
[11] Fred did you knob all the conkers?
Fred (PS3R3) [12] No I didn't Stefan, we've been blamed for some things in our time, haven't we but
Stefan (PS3R1) [laugh]
Fred (PS3R3) [13] nothing like this I don't think.
[14] If I remember rightly this erm hotel is on a hill, isn't it?
Stefan (PS3R1) [15] Certainly, five hundred feet up, yes.
Fred (PS3R3) [16] But it's on a hill in the, in the, in the [...] , it's a long way down from there to walk and, and if I remember rightly it was on the outside of the hotel, on a bank and that to me means that erm if we had had some weather, which we had at that time, then the roots could have suffered but the other clue I think is that erm it comes into leaf first and it drops its leaves first in the autumn so maybe it's a different tree than the other, different variety, because there are several horse chestnuts aren't there?
Stefan (PS3R1) [17] Yes, there's the normal horse chestnut which is aesculus hippocastanum that's
Fred (PS3R3) [18] Yes.
Stefan (PS3R1) [19] the one with the big [...] on but then there's pavia isn't there
Fred (PS3R3) [20] Yes.
Stefan (PS3R1) [21] which is the red flowered one
Fred (PS3R3) [22] And some of these are a bit tender, more tender than the others aren't they as well?
[23] But they don't actually produce as many conkers.
[24] So I'm just wondering whether this is a different variety and because it was two years ago, I [...] three years ago now I think.
[25] That year I can remember was a good year wasn't it?
[26] We had a good spring and we had a good set in year.
[27] We got a cold gust of er icy winds when that I think was out in blossom then there wouldn't be many conkers.
Stefan (PS3R1) [28] Well, no, there wouldn't but what's so odd is that the other horse chestnut trees in the area seem alright.
[29] [...] Walter, I know you weren't there Walter so we can't blame you for whatever's happened but have you got a theory about it?
Walter (PS3R5) [30] Well er you know it seems such a mystery er to me, conker not shy.
[31] There are all sorts of situations that can occur, I've heard of electrical er and soil impulses that er cause shock and well might put it out to flower.
[32] Again er even frosting blast when even other trees er specific trees are erm alright, it may have been caught in that draught and set it back a little, you never know.
Stefan (PS3R1) [33] No, it's er d Gill er goes on actually to ask, she says do d do these trees have to cross pollinate?
[34] Well they don't in fact Gill , in fact horse chestnuts are rather interesting, that technically what's called andromonetius which means they have male flowers and hermaphrodite flowers on the same, so it's hedging its bets all ways round.
Fred (PS3R3) [35] Er yeah it is Stefan but because you know it's the first one to come into leaf and [...] the first one to shed, then possibly it will flower at a different time as well I would think and that may be the clue.
Stefan (PS3R1) [36] Yes perhaps you're right Fred.
[37] Well we don't have a definite answer erm Gill but we think it may have experienced a shock of some sort during that season and of course when this happens to fruit trees they can go into bi-annual cropping and then they come back again, it may be that this horse chestnut's experienced something very similar.
[38] I think the answer is we must come and stay with you again and then we can [laugh]
Fred (PS3R3) [39] And the other thing of course Stefan is it lives in Yorkshire.
Stefan (PS3R1) [40] Well I [...] that lives in Ilkley.
Fred (PS3R3) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [41] On Ilkley Moor bar conkers.
[42] Anyway, we'll tr we'll come back and see your tree again Gill .
[43] Thank you for the question.
[44] We go to London now and to, to erm, sorry I'm j see what sex this [...] honest we don't know what sex it's from M , could be Mr Mrs Ms. M of London has been told that their plum tomatoes have got T M V.
[45] Fred will tell you in a moment what T M V is but the symptoms are the plants have brown blotches on the stems, fallen leaves all round where th where the plants are growing erm and he's done all he can to get rid of it.
[46] He's got rid of the old plants, he's, but he's kept the seeds, this is interesting, he's kept the seeds from apparently unaffected plants.
[47] The fruit itself seem to be alright and the bottom line of the question, is it safe to replant the seeds from this plant next season?
[48] So it's your question, Fred.
[49] First of all, what is T M V?
Fred (PS3R3) [50] Well it's tomato mosaic virus int it, erm but what really is significant about it is that the leaves are mottled with yellow and it quite often go fern like, they go very very thin.
[51] Er and this erm virus actually will er stay in the seed, it will stay in the soil, it will stay in the soil for years and [...] plant other varieties, or other er plants in there.
[52] So I think I would do away with my plum tomatoes for a start with something else.
[53] We all think it's going to stay there for a long time and, and there are varieties now, bred specially to be immune from er T M V and er, we use things like Counter or Curabell, or one of my favourites of course Shirley.
Stefan (PS3R1) [54] Yes, yeah it is one of the most infectious of all plant viruses
Fred (PS3R3) [55] Yeah.
Stefan (PS3R1) [56] er it spreads as you say by contact and in the seed, this is the point, so I wouldn't save seeds from any plants that have been anywhere near
Fred (PS3R3) [57] No because even the ones that aren't showing the symptoms, they could have the virus in it, cos it just may not have come out.
Stefan (PS3R1) [58] Yes.
Fred (PS3R3) [59] So I wouldn't save it at all I would do away with the lot.
Stefan (PS3R1) [60] Yeah, just as a, as a side issue, I am interested that they've been growing plum tomatoes because each year I hear of more and more people growing plum tomatoes successfully in this country and while we are just on the subject of diseases and things to control them, you may remember that a few weeks ago we were giving advice on how we should dispose of waste garden chemicals and, and we said you ought to pour it down an outside drain.
[61] Well, apparently that used to be the official advice er and, and we were correct in that but the authorities have now changed their minds and they no longer want us to pour waste chemical down the drains and I gather that the official advice now is that surplus diluted chemical should be poured, and I'm quoting here, [reading] on to more or less level and bare soil in the garden or on to level gravelled paths, avoid disposal in areas around ponds, erm water courses and so forth, dishes and, and what have you [] and as far as undiluted chemicals are concerned, that's stuff still in the bottle, the advice there is to talk to your local authority cos they have different regulations in different areas.
[62] If anyone wants chapter and verse on this the erm address of the British Agro-chemicals Association who put out this literature will be on our fact sheet.
[63] Right we move on to er the West Country now and Owen of Wareham in Dorset.
[64] Er now Owen has a large summer house and collects rain water from the roof and the roof's been covered recently with a good quality, he says, mineralized felt.
[65] Now remember some years ago, and I remember this, that we said that it would inadvisable to collect rain water off a new felt roof.
[66] What he wants to know Daphne is, for how long should he wait?
Daphne (PS3R4) [67] Well theoretically I would wait as long as it took to wash the mess off the roof.
[68] Now of course it would depend very much on and whether you were in a drought situation as we were until last year or whether it's like we've been over this last summer and early winter which is that virtually not a day has passed without we've had some rain, in which case obviously the roof is going to get cleaned up very much quicker but I have to say that although I've always been under the impression that it's not a good idea to save water off a new felt roof er because of deposits that come off the mineral felt.
[69] I have actually used water that's come off it and I've also had er sheds with plants growing underneath and I can't honestly remember, I mean I have obviously not used it on really sensitive plants like tomatoes which I think would show signs of stress.
[70] Now I've used it elsewhere in the garden and I've never really had any problem with it except it is inclined to make the water very alkaline because the chippings that are quite often used on a flat roof and they've got a very high P H and therefore you've got to be aware that the water that comes off is not likely to be soft it's more likely to be fair fairly hard but for reasonably tough plants I don't think I would waste it, especially in times of water shortage.
Stefan (PS3R1) [71] Well Walter, have you experienced this as a problem?
Walter (PS3R5) [72] Well up in Scotland of course we don't need to save our rain water we get plenty of it coming from the [laughing] unclear [] , but er one thing I would say would be that erm if we have a warm spell and the sun is beating on a bitumen roof and then of course suddenly a shower and that er goes into the water bucket or water barrel then it does give you maybe you know a few problems.
[73] I remember having a problem like that where we were erm we had a, a load of erm [...] we were watering that material it was warmed, we thought of course would be alright but they did er, they were quite sensitive to it and they looked quite miserable.
Stefan (PS3R1) [74] Yes Fred do you, would you, how long would you wait to collect the [...] ?
Fred (PS3R3) [75] Well I think I would wait Stefan until the oily film had gone off the top of the water for tender plants but then I am one of these people that would always tender plants with tap water anyway because you never know what's in do you in rain water, anything can congregate in a pot, it can be infected with all sorts of things and I would just use this water on the garden in the first twelve months or so or use it on shrubs and things like that if it was required and then go on to er things like perennials but [...] then you could use it on almost anything but with the proviso that you may have contamination in that water if it's from Water Board.
Stefan (PS3R1) [76] But let's just remind people that, yes, water should be saved, water should be conserved.
[77] You may not need to do it in Scotland as well to the [...] in England.
[78] Many areas, yes, let's everybody have water butts and use them to, to save the rain water during next summer, next summer being when it's going to rain.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [79] We go to Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire now and Mrs Jennifer 's written to us er with a puzzle because she's found what she thought was an interesting plant growing amongst a raspberry bush in her garden.
[80] Her mother identified it as a wayfaring tree and she'd been cutting it back during the summer and it didn't seem to mind but she'd be very grateful for any information about the wayfaring tree which presumably she'd like to keep and continue to grow in her garden.
[81] Walter, what, what is a wayfaring tree?
Walter (PS3R5) [82] Well Jennifer I think it's er viburnum lanterna and it's quite an interesting er bush because it was in the sixteenth century a [...] er gave the tree its poetic name as he frequently come across it in old drove roads er over and across the old drove roads in the chalk downs of er from Winchester to Epsom and London but sorry about this it can grow to fifteen feet and in May it opens up its cluster of white flowers and it's really quite an attractive thing but the berries I don't think are so attractive so I think erm
Stefan (PS3R1) [83] Des describe them why in what way they're not attractive one.
Walter (PS3R5) [84] Well they, they grow from this er green to white to red and then finally black, don't like black berries Stefan so [laughing] that would be a no no as far as I was concerned in my garden [] .
Stefan (PS3R1) [85] Oh alright well it's a no no for Walter's garden.
Walter (PS3R5) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [86] Daphne, is it a yes yes for your garden?
Daphne (PS3R4) [87] Well it's not a yes yes for the garden because I wouldn't have room for it but it's certainly a yes yes in my shelter delt because the birds love the berries and it really encourages them to use that shelter delt but it isn't as, as easy to grow, it's, one tends to think of the nature plant as a tough plant but I've been trying to establish about thirty of these in the shelter delt and I've found they object to any form of total weedkiller round the root, so all the, the weedkillers that you would use for the first couple of years maybe to, to keep the, the weeds from growing round the stems, they tend to get chlorotic and die.
[88] They also don't like wind rock so in a, an exposed position young plants do really need more staking than you'd probably give a bush because they tend to rot off at the roots if they grow around a lot.
[89] I, I think it's quite a, an interestingly pretty plant in the right sort of situation but it is a wild plant, it is a native plant and it gets big.
Stefan (PS3R1) [90] I am intrigued if it doesn't like wind rock, how it manages to survive on the drove roads over the downs that where Gerard [...] .
Daphne (PS3R4) [91] Well I think, I think that the difference is that if you're, they were obviously establishing themselves from seed and they picked the right spot and they got themselves anchored.
[92] If you're buying them as young plants which are probably a foot fifteen inches high then it takes them a couple of years to get the roots established.
[93] When they get big there's no problem at all, it's just that couple of years getting them settled down.
Stefan (PS3R1) [94] Yeah, you, yes.
[95] Fred you presumably know this plant.
Fred (PS3R3) [96] Yeah I do Stefan, I mean i it's very vigorous int it, when it gets established and it grows very upright as well and of course it's deciduous erm some people call it a shrub, some people call it a tree but I, I will think that er Mrs is doing the right thing by cutting it back, especially if it's a small garden, it would make a better bush in the garden I think if she does that and the these little white flowers really in [...] are nice aren't they?
[97] I would grow it, yeah.
Stefan (PS3R1) [98] Mm.
[99] I think ideally what we're saying er Mrs is that it's er, it's an interesting plant and being a native plant of course there'll be wild life that feeds on it which is to the good but it's probably a plant for a, a larger wilder garden really.
Fred (PS3R3) [100] Yeah, didn't it used to [...] called twistwood Stefan or something?
[101] If I remember rightly.
Stefan (PS3R1) [102] You could be right Fred I don't, I've not heard that one.
Fred (PS3R3) [103] Whe where it came from I don't know but
Stefan (PS3R1) [104] Twistwood?
Fred (PS3R3) [105] Yeah.
Stefan (PS3R1) [106] Oh well if anybody knows perhaps they'll write and tell us, is, is twistwood another name for the wayfaring tree?
[107] Anyway a plant, we think, for bigger gardens but if you can get away with growing it in a small space where cutting it back by all means do because it is quite a pretty thing.
[108] Next card is from Birmingham, Sally in Birmingham and R S has written to us and, oh this looks right up your street Fred.
[109] Would the team please comment on the effect of water supply and type of soil on the cooking properties of potatoes er Mr finds that all the maincrop varieties that he grows seem to boil into the water but the same variety grown commercially it says, doesn't.
[110] That's interesting, only the very waxy first early potatoes seem immune from this problem.
[111] Well this is something that comes up time and again Fred.
[112] We recommend varieties and people write to us and say that's no good it disappears into the water and stays hard.
Daphne (PS3R4) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [113] Now I know you probably grown every variety of potato known to man and cooked most of them, so let's have some information from you.
Fred (PS3R3) [114] Well I'm sure that soil does have some effect on potatoes Stefan, I mean if you get erm potatoes from down Lincolnshire, somewhere like that where it's er quite hard soil then, then you'll find that they will stay longer in the water before they boil away.
[115] I if you get them off some of the mosses up our way, then they boil away far quicker but the other thing I think is mainly variety.
[116] Now things like erm, well one of my old favourites Arran Pilot i if you dig it out when it's young, then of course it stays as it should, cos it's a very very waxy potato but, but I can remember growing varieties like Majestic and things like that and I mean they would never fall, they would never fall in the water but [...] they make good chips er of the modern varieties I think I'd go for er Kondor with a K er which is a very very good potato and does stay as it is i in the ground but one other thing I think also comes into it.
[117] Maybe these potatoes have been lifted too early.
[118] Now if you think about commercial potatoes and the ones that keep, the late ones, they are always harvested after the [...] have died down, a long time after, in fact some of them are still digging up potatoes now.
[119] So the skins of those potatoes are very very ripe and so is the flesh.
[120] A lot of people in the garden are digging them round about August September time ... really which is too early to keep potatoes and then the flesh is far softer.
Stefan (PS3R1) [121] Yes, I've got to come back to you in a minute Fred and I'll just give you time to think about this.
[122] I'd like your recommendations for the best boiling, baking, roasting, chipping potatoes, three or four for different purposes but I'm going to ask Walter to comment on the question first of all?
Walter (PS3R5) [123] Yes, well up here in Scotland er where I live erm the maincrop variety Golden Wonder tends to certainly need a par boiling and a par boiling only er when cooking so it needs about what five to six minutes or something like that but erm any more and the tatties go to mash and er that's why I think a lot of the Golden Wonders er in Scotland are cooked in their skins but erm if I was to go for a variety that er I enjoy would be one called Pentland Ivory, it's a, a nice flowery spud er and you get quite a plentiful supply of them too so it's quite a good variety but you know the old Kerr's Pink used to be called I think Henry's Seedling, I remember rightly and then it changed its name to Kerr's Pink because Kerr was a seedsman up in [...] who really introduced it and er that was just after the first world war and that's a good one, that's a very good one and it's got that waxy skin as well you see so it might be quite useful.
Stefan (PS3R1) [124] Right, Daphne, Lincolnshire where you come from that's potato country.
Daphne (PS3R4) [125] Well it certainly is but er I've grown potatoes myself for years and never had any trouble with them boiling into the water but this year I cannot get a good potato, all of my usual favourites like Estima which I've found is a usually good all round potato, it it's a monkey for boiling into the water and one thing I can only assume is that the weather's had a lot to do with it, my ground's been waterlogged most of the season.
[126] I lifted them early because I didn't want to leave them any longer because they were going to get damaged and they were, they were a wet potato when they came up and they've cooked wet, so I think that the amount of rainfall you have has a lot to do with it.
[127] The other thing that I wonder might have some bearing is that I know parts of Sally Park and Sally Oak and they're very acid, they can grow rhododendrons and azaleas and things very well.
Stefan (PS3R1) [128] Yes that's
Daphne (PS3R4) [129] I'm wondering if, if it's too acid for a good crop of potatoes without liming.
Stefan (PS3R1) [130] Yes it certainly is, I, as you say the streets round Sally Oak are lined with erm gardens with rhododendrons in aren't they?
[131] I must say I've only grown two maincrop this year, I've been clearing some new ground and I've just grown King Edward and Pink Fir Apple, I've got the biggest biggest Pink Fir Apples you have ever seen bar none but I'm coming back to you now Fred, I put to you a few minutes ago, your personal recommendations for the best three or four or five potatoes for the different cooking purposes.
Fred (PS3R3) [132] Well I think as an early potato Stefan, I would chose from Rocket for the earliest, I would grow I think for as well as that I would go for Foremost but if you want a real waxy potato it would still be Arran Pilot cos now whenever you eat it it [...] got a strong taste, whether it's young or whether it's old.
[133] As a late potato, as a keeping potato I always grow Wilger Now I grow Wilger because it, it browns well when it's roasted.
[134] It makes good chips or if it's dry fried.
[135] We, very seldom that we have boiled potatoes but if I wanted a potato I think to cover all the needs to keep, I would go for Desiree because that one will fit almost any bill at all, it'll do everything, it's the best all round potato, late potato that I have ever grown and eaten.
Stefan (PS3R1) [136] Okay thank you very much indeed Fred.
[137] We move to Croydon in Surrey now, Mrs E has written to us from Croydon, Elizabeth .
[138] She says her neighbour's garden, always is a mystery here, her neighbour's garden has been attacked by some kind of animal, she thinks nocturnal, there are small areas dug up from the garden, they are about three to four inches in diameter and about the same in depth, so it's, it's, it's a little hole rather than the end of a tunnel it seems.
[139] Small clods of soil are thrown on the surface and also small quantities of animal excreta around the holes.
[140] She's obviously examined the animal excreta very closely because she says it's black and it appears to contain berries.
[141] What is it and how can it be stopped?
[142] That's the digging the holes not the excreta, I imagine.
[143] Walter, what do you think?
Walter (PS3R5) [144] I never thought er Mrs that I'd be seeing, I'd like to see the excreta first [laughing] but er [] could it be, could it be a dormouse because they enjoy the insects and berries and they make similar type holes.
[145] Now in Victorian times they were kept as pets and just like hamsters are today and there are still one or two around that er might just give you [laughing] that impression [] but I may be really off the, the level here.
Stefan (PS3R1) [146] Well I don't know, we had, not so long ago we had National Dormouse Week didn't we [...] further in the autumn
Walter (PS3R5) [...]
Stefan (PS3R1) [147] erm what do you think Fred, dormice?
Fred (PS3R3) [148] I think, oh I think the holes are a bit big aren't they for a dormouse?
Stefan (PS3R1) [149] I don't think I've ever seen a dormouse [...] I must be honest
Fred (PS3R3) [150] Well it's like a square hole isn't it?
[151] Three or four inches across.
[152] Seems like they could be big.
Walter (PS3R5) [153] I, I just wonder whether it's voles.
Stefan (PS3R1) [154] Voles?
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [155] Yeah, erm, yeah.
Frank (PS3R6) [156] I think I would come down on voles really and they do actually dig a hole like that they go for erm small boulders and things like that in the garden or roots and they will send out clods as well cos they can uproot quite, quite a fair piece of er soil and of course they would eat berries as well, but again I'm with Walter, I would like to see the end product.
Stefan (PS3R1) [157] I think you've probably let us in for it now Frank cos she's almost certainly going to send us some.
[158] Daphne do you think it's a vole?
Daphne (PS3R4) [159] It could be, or I'm just wondering if it's actually squirrels, because although the, the excreta contains berries erm a squirrel will eat berries, it will also eat nuts and of course they do bury their nuts and I've actually seen squirrels in other parts of the country digging holes and starting a bit of a larder and of course there are a lot of, of erm squirrels in Croydon so I think unless you actually see the animal you can only speculate that it is something small like a vole or, or a squirrel.
Stefan (PS3R1) [160] Alright, well let's suppose it's some something small like a vole or a squirrel.
[161] The end bottom line to all this is ho can it be stopped?
Daphne (PS3R4) [162] Not if it's a squirrel.
[163] I have never found anything yet that will stop a squirrel doing precisely what it wants to do when it wants to do it, whatever that is what it wants to do.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [164] And there we rest our case.
[165] Fred could you do anything about it?
Fred (PS3R3) [166] [...] not with squirrels, no er I don't think so but I mean you, you might be able to do something with a vole, or something like that and trap them but I'm just wondering Stefan could it also be a fox?
Stefan (PS3R1) [167] A fox!
Fred (PS3R3) [168] Yeah
Stefan (PS3R1) [laugh]
Fred (PS3R3) [169] now I, I have seen foxes and I mean they are they are now in built up areas aren't they?
[170] Do they ea do they eat berries?
Stefan (PS3R1) [171] Well they don't have s yes they'd eat anything but a fox [...]
Fred (PS3R3) [172] Yeah yeah.
Stefan (PS3R1) [173] doesn't have small black excreta, Fred, fox droppings are like
Fred (PS3R3) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [174] [laughing] I was going to say like nobody's business [...] [] .
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Frank (PS3R6) [175] Like an Alsatian's.
Stefan (PS3R1) [176] Well they are.
Fred (PS3R3) [177] Well it depends what, you know, what people call small doesn't it?
[178] I mean to compare with an elephant dropping, it's small.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [179] Yeah, hang on, just a minute, let's keep, let's keep this thing within bounds of credibility will you, this is Croydon not the Engoran gorn craza
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [180] Let's get to the to Mrs 's problem.
[181] We think it might be voles, we think it could be squirrels, we don't seriously think it's anything bigger but I'm afraid we don't think there's anything you can do about it but if you want further investigation then if you send these objects to Fred care of the programme, he will give you a personal diagnosis.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [182] And very swiftly from that [laughing] I'm going to [] I'm going to move to your part of the world Fred, I'm going to go to Preston in Lancashire.
[183] Erm Mrs Lynne who's got a well established peach tree which is in an old greenhouse, I should think that's the best place for it in Lancashire in, in the shelter of a greenhouse.
[184] It produces a good number of peaches every August but the greenhouse is in desperate need of replacement and she doesn't have to, want to have to put another one in that position so is there anything cheap, she says, that she could do to help the tree to survive and fruit in a large open garden in Preston in Lancashire without the greenhouse, Walter?
Walter (PS3R5) [185] Well I wonder Lynne if it would look odd because you know the position of the greenhouse just now I mean is it a lean-to, or is it sitting out there in the lawn, where is it?
[186] And would it look odd if you had a tent or wigwam type of frame that could be covered in with a protective polythene and well ven ventilated at the, at the base and as it's only really to give protection, you know, January, late April sort of thing, round about that period, er to prevent the fungal peach leaf curl and fungal spores being splashed on the branches wherein.
[187] It really is quite difficult, you know, trying to visualize what the [laughing] thing would like [] but er
Stefan (PS3R1) [188] I think it'd look pretty awful actually.
[189] L l
Walter (PS3R5) [190] Well it may, it may stand out like a sore thumb, yeah.
Stefan (PS3R1) [191] L l let me ask Fred, it's your county Fred.
[192] Is the main need for this greenhouse for protection against the weather or simply against peach leaf curl?
Fred (PS3R3) [193] Well both I think Stefan, especially when the flowers are out because erm in our area, I mean peaches flower early and that time of the year are quite susceptible to frost.
[194] I mean Preston is about twenty miles south of er where we are but I know that there are gardens north of where we are that do grow good peaches but what they do they cover the er plants during the early spring round about February time and they cover it with very fine ne net, that's all they need to do with it just cover it up when the flowers are out, make sure that they lift it off every now and again to do the pollinating, get them set and then when the frosts have gone take the net off.
[195] And if they use green netting, I mean it won't be a nuisance, it won't look er very disfiguring will it?
[196] And it will work.
Stefan (PS3R1) [197] Is that what you do Daphne?
Daphne (PS3R4) [198] Well the problem as I see it is that you don't know what the variety of this peach is, if it was bought out of greenhouse variety and is reasonably tender then I don't think whatever you do with it in Preston it's going to make any difference.
[199] If it was, for instance, Peregrine, which south of Pes Preston, certainly in my area, will grow quite well on a wall outside, then I think you'll get away with netting but I think without knowing whether it's an indoor peach or an outdoor peach, you're on a bit of a loser.
Stefan (PS3R1) [200] Yes, that's a good point.
[201] Well the advice Mrs then is if you know what variety it is and you know it's a variety tough enough to grow outdoors like er Peregrine, then send protection at the susceptible time of the year when the blossom's out, otherwise er if it is a tend a more tender variety we don't think er the thing is going to survive and certainly not going to fruit.
[202] And we go finally to Rosemary of Cambridge and she would like to plant two nice shrub rose bushes.
[203] I'm delighted to hear it cos there is no lovelier plant in the garden.
[204] I'm going to ask each one of you for two suggestions.
[205] Bearing in mind that Rosemary says she does not like red and scent is the most important thing.
[206] So Fred first of all two recommendations from you please.
Fred (PS3R3) [207] You're drooling aren't you Stefan?
Stefan (PS3R1) [208] Oh I am, I am, yes you can see it.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [...]
Fred (PS3R3) [209] Well we don't know how big this garden is, do we?
Stefan (PS3R1) [210] Yes, she does say looking at her card again Fred, she says, a small garden.
Fred (PS3R3) [211] Ah, then we don't want some big ones, do we, cos some of the shrub roses do get quite er quite tall and quite wide as well.
[212] So I would give her Penelope, she's one of the [...] moss, er it's pink, it's er repeat flowering, it flowers all season which some of the others don't and a yellow one Graham Thomas I think would be my other choice.
[213] Again it's only about four foot high and about four foot wide and a beautiful flower, a beautiful old fashioned type flower and a new, new variety of er of shrub rose and of course again it's repeat flowering so they go on right through the season and both of them their fragrance is beautiful.
Stefan (PS3R1) [214] Good choice, Penelope and Graham Thomas from Fred.
[215] Daphne?
Daphne (PS3R4) [216] Well Fred's got my Graham Thomas because it really is a superb rose but as well as that I would go for hybrid musk and I think of all the hybrid musk, my favourite is Felicia because of that silvery pink, lovely double shaped flower and that is very very heavily scented and I would have to have [...] the bourbon rose the th the double white creamy white bourbon rose, if, you could almost eat that, that won't get more than about six foot and you can prune it to keep it in shape a bit if it begins to get too straggly.
Stefan (PS3R1) [217] Yes I think it's perhaps worth making the point erm to Rosemary that although, as you say,i it's six feet high, that it doesn't spread all that wide and it's, it's a mistake in a small garden to think that you can't have things that are on the tall side.
[218] What you think, what you don't want is things that spread very widely.
[219] Erm Walter what about you for two shrub roses?
Walter (PS3R5) [220] Well my favourite shrub is, er must be the Charles Austin which is a rather nice one, it's a cream well scented modern English shrub rose and it grows to about [...] , well up here anyway in Scotland where I am it grows something like erm four to six feet and another one well, erm Aloha, it's a delicious scented pink and a strong growing rose er fairly upright but erm quite a good one and again it grows to be about five to six feet with us.
Fred (PS3R3) [221] Because these are your favourite roses Stefan what about your choice?
Walter (PS3R5) [222] Yeah, what about you Stefan?
Stefan (PS3R1) [223] Oh I thought you'd never ask.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [laugh]
Stefan (PS3R1) [224] Yes, I, I'd give you two, one is my favourite of all shrub roses which is Fantan la tour which has what one can only describe as loosened sort of shaggy shell pink flowers with the most exquisite perfume, it's a, it's an untidy flower like the old shrub roses really should be the best of them erm and a very pale shell pink, a wonderful variety, not particularly repeat flowering, relatively short flowering season but so wonderful when it is in flower and the other one, er she says she doesn't like red, now isn't really red, it's a very very deep reddish purple and it's a variety called Tuscany Superb and I grow Tuscany Superb in my garden alongside er some fennel, a foliage fennel plant and the feathery fennel together with, almost the aniseed aroma of the fennel together with these deep deep purple flowers of Tuscany Superb is absolutely wonderful, it's actually on the edge of my herb garden.
Daphne (PS3R4) [225] And you can use it in pot pourri as well can't you Stefan?
Stefan (PS3R1) [226] You can indeed Daphne, so there you are Rosemary do plant some shrub roses and even if you haven't got room for all of our suggestions I hope you'll find room for two or three of them.
[227] And that must be our last question for today so can I ask the team for some topical tips Walter?
Walter (PS3R5) [228] Well this week has the shortest day before the end of the year so light is at the premium and erm I would wash the glass quite often now of the glasshouse and greenhouse because er especially the outside to remove any of that winter grime that's collected and let some light into those plants.
Stefan (PS3R1) [229] We shall certainly do that and Fred?
Fred (PS3R3) [230] I'm gonna lift a few mint roots Stefan and er plant them in a box of compost and put them in the warm greenhouse so they give me nice sprigs of fresh mint in a few months' time.
Stefan (PS3R1) [231] Thank you Fred and Daphne?
Daphne (PS3R4) [232] Well the flowering house plants, we hope you're going to be given for Christmas, things like cyclamen and indoor azaleas and also your indoor bowls of course will last much longer if you give them the coolest, lightest position you can.
[233] Warm central heating is bad news for indoor plants.
Stefan (PS3R1) [234] Good news for us but bad for them and that'll have to be all for today, we've been answering some of the queries that have reached us by post.
[235] Next week we shall be in Scotland with the Helensborough and Gerloch Horticultural Society so I hope we can cultivate your interest again then but for now from Daphne , Fred Walter and from me Stefan goodbye and may I wish a joyous and peaceful Christmas to all of our gardening friends everywhere.
Unknown speaker (J3YPSUNK) [236] Gardeners' Question Time is produced at Manchester by Amanda if you'd like a fact sheet on the programme, please send us a stamped addressed envelope, marked fifty one stroke ninety three to Gardeners' Question Time B B C, P O Box twenty nine, Manchester M twelve six A D.
[237] This is Radio Four.