Gardening: Your horticultural headaches solved by Brian Kidd
Brian dips into his inbox to answer your questions.
Q: Something has happened to a branch on my five-year-old camellia Debbie. The whole bush is green with lots of buds swelling but one large branch is wilting. LM, Bedhampton.
A: Look carefully and you will see a thread of wire is buried in the bark of the weeping branch. Using a tiny pair of nips, cut through the wire in three places and this will allow the sap to circulate. If you can pull out the wire do, but take your time and choose a pleasant day. This makes a job a lot easier.
Q: My winter-flowering pansies seem to be getting smaller rather than spreading. BV, Southsea.
A: Using a hand fork prick over the entire bed. This allows the soil to dry out a fair bit. The problem is compaction caused by the rain. The soil is so wet it has put pressure on the pansy roots. You will notice an improvement in about three weeks.
Q: I have a fir cone. How can I get the seeds out? DH, Havant.
A: Put the cone in a dry saucer on a warm windowsill. After a few weeks the cone will open naturally and you will be able to sow the seeds in April.
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