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Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs

  • Location: Wisley
  • Occupation: RHS Horticultural Advisor
  • Date Joined: 31 Aug 2005

About Me

I'm project manager for Plants for Bugs and work closely with the Science and Curatorial teams at Wisley


Blog posts

These are blog posts that Helen Bostock Plantsforbugs has made.

  • Wintery finale to first year of Plants for Bugs

    Published on 18 Dec 2009 at 10:01 AM

    Welcome to our new Plants for Bugs blog!


  • Will they survive?

    Published on 07 Jan 2010 at 02:09 PM

    Well, it's 2010 and, like much of the rest of the UK, we are experiencing sub-arctic conditions. As pretty as the snow is, prolonged frosts such as these give me cause for concern over how the plants in our 'exotic' beds will fare. There could be many losses


  • A messy job - first aid for frost damaged plants

    Published on 22 Jan 2010 at 05:24 PM


  • Cakes and ladders!

    Published on 28 Jan 2010 at 02:43 PM



  • Bark mulch for little legs

    Published on 04 Feb 2010 at 02:26 PM



  • Plump green caterpillar

    Published on 24 Feb 2010 at 08:33 AM


  • Supports go in

    Published on 05 Mar 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Linda, Plants for Bugs volunteer writes;
    "On our two trial sites we are growing three climbers; two honeysuckles and a more tender climber known as the Chilean glory vine (Eccremocarpus scaber). In year one a few bamboo canes and string were enough to keep those climbers we had planted off the ground but growth will be much stronger this year and a more permanent solution is needed. Thankfully, the Trials team have offered us some wooden posts and wire netting that were used in a previous climbers trial - nothing like doing a bit of recycling!"  
    Climber supports in 3 steps;
    STEP 1: Putting in the supports. Safety hats in place we wrestled the posts into position using a heavy post driver (we must remember to cancel those gym memberships!).  Wire netting was then attached to the posts.
    STEP 2: Planting the climbers. The first climber planted last July was the 'native' Lonicera periclymenum ('Graham Thomas'). The 'near native' Lonicera tragophylla was planted last week. The final climber, the 'exotic' Eccremocarpus scaber is due to be planted in early May. Judi is shown doing the planting;
    STEP 3: Tying in the climbers.  Here, Helen helps us tie the climbers into the support, using garden twine and carefully avoiding a visiting ladybird! 


  • Will they survive? - an update

    Published on 05 Mar 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Some of you may remember we were on tenterhooks about which plants in the project would make it through the bitter winter. Thanks to everyone who volunteered information about their own plants


  • Pitfall trap peek

    Published on 17 Mar 2010 at 08:10 AM



  • A spring clean

    Published on 26 Mar 2010 at 05:46 PM

    This week we've been tidying up on the plots. With new growth finally pushing through from the base of the perennials, it's time to cut back the dead top growth from last year.

    What we cut back;

    Grasses: deciduous grasses were cut back to base but with evergreens we just combed out the dead material with a gloved hand
    Ferns: dead or blackened fronds removed
    Hardy perennials: all dead growth and old flower stems cut back to new growth at the base
    Tender perennials: removed the insulating bracken mulch from Mirabilis and the remains of the dead stems. Only reduced stems on Verbena bonariensis by half as we may still get more frosts and there is no sign yet of new growth

    Carefully removing dead flower stems

    Given the odd heavy shower yesterday, the volunteers did extremely well to complete the Howard's Field plots. The Deer's Farm site will have to wait another week or so for the same treatment.

    Here are the finished results;