Dangerous new beginnings

Dangerous new beginnings

The problem with this glorious semi-retired state in which I now exist is that there is a temptation sometimes to try to rush ahead with gardening jobs that are in truth best left until the year unfolds a bit further. The past winter — and yes, I know its not over yet — has been […]

Death and disease

Death and disease

Gardening is like that. One minute you are pottering contentedly in the midst of your healthy and happy patch and then from nowhere comes a nasty to knock you off your perch. In my case its Phytophthora ramorum, a disease that has apparently been responsible for the virtual elimination of native oak species in California. […]

Dorothy’s legacy

Dorothy’s legacy

What does a manic gardener do with himself when the year draws towards its end and the demands on your time diminish a bit? Having planted my bulbs and tidied the shed, I decided to have a go at making a video telling the story so far. After working for many years with a hugely […]

Show us your quirky bits

Show us your quirky bits

NOT so much a blog this time as an invitation to share your quirky bits. No, that’s not an improper suggestion but a polite invitation to send me pics of the more unusual aspects of your garden. Silly signs, unlikely containers, funny ornaments. Or maybe something you treasure that has come down through your family. […]

Escape from East Enders into the night

Escape from East Enders into the night

As the nights start to draw in and East Enders occupies our lounge, you will often find me sitting peacefully in the garden. Sometimes I just enjoy the quiet of the  darkness. But this autumn I will also be able to press a button that adds some subtle lighting. The winding pathway that otherwise carries the hazard of […]

Using tech to protect your plant investment

Using tech to protect  your plant investment

One of the great things about gardening is that it gets you away from the pesky screens that nowadays tend to rule our lives. Who needs tech when you have fresh air? Well I do actually! Until the day comes when you know everything there is to know about gardening (and that never happens), the […]

Relaxing with the thorny issue of an obsessively tidy garden 

Relaxing with the thorny issue of an obsessively tidy garden 

It hasn’t been easy but I may today have started relaxing with the idea that a garden doesn’t always have to be neat and tidy.   I think it may have been my Dad’s fault as I can vividly recall him weeding beneath a beech hedge (which he trimmed using a spirit level) at our home at Brightwalton […]

Sharing gardeners are a breed apart

Sharing gardeners are a breed apart

Last week, I pedalled excitedly home from the lottie with my biggest ever cabbage. So big that it filled the basket on the back of my shiny new “Vertigo” bike! I presented it to the much impressed catering department with a glow of pride — a job well done. A joy that was certainly worthy […]

Stunning iris can fill your garden gap

Stunning iris can fill your garden gap

One of the fundamentals of gardening is that it is a long-term exercise. If you want to make changes, the ideal time to do the planning is often as much as a year ahead. So June is a good time to reflect on May, a month that in my view belongs to the glorious iris. May is […]