A good turnout of members of Alnwick Garden Club came with questions for panellists Peter Edge (Wallington), Robert Jamieson (Howick) and yours truly.
First up were some rose leaves with small circular markings, immediately identified as rust disease. Traditional spraying with a fungicide will not cure this or black spot, simply contain it, so remove affected leaves by hand or tolerate it.
Ideas for filling in gaps between flagstones, thus preventing weeds, were asked for and given.
Also, a box hedge in need of trimming and the books say mid-summer is best. Would pruning it now cause irreparable damage? No.
One member asked for a list of shrubs up to one metre high to plant in the shelter of a south-facing drystone wall, with sandy soil, near the sea. Suggestions from the panel followed.
Any ideas how to get rid of ground elder? Yes, keep digging it out.
Several more questions were addressed, then one relating to the use of chemicals; herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. Clearly, this debate is one that will not go away in a hurry.