Planning perennial mixed flowerbeds

Sometimes it’s possible to be a bit too practical at the expense of enjoyable frivolities. I’ve always loved flower gardens but my lack of space in our London garden meant that I’ve rarely chosen inedible plants. When we moved to our country house I delighted in planting flowers in our front garden, and also in […]

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Harvest: so much more land, so much less veg

The thought occurs that although we’ve had serious amounts of eggs from our hens so far this year, we haven’t had a single vegetable or fruit. Well, we have had fruit technically I suppose, in that we planted fruit trees and I harvested tiny fruits to stop them developing but obviously tiny immature apples etc […]

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Leaf my trees alone, grass!

Help, the trees are being eaten by the grass! When we bought our little homestead, it came complete with a small herd of alpacas to keep the grass down in our back paddocks. I now see why. We’re a month away from getting our small flock of edible sheep and the grass has just exploded. […]

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Building a smallholding

I’m becoming increasingly impatient about this smallholding lark. We have the property, why don’t we have the immediate self-sufficient homestead? The answer, of course, is that this is a significantly larger project than either of us thought. We’ve lived here for over six months now and we’re not even close to having it running as […]

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Round two: keeping chickens for beginners

“Watch out for Doris” warned the friendly chap showing us around the chicken smallholding at Suzie Baldwin’s Happy Healthy Hens in Hampshire. Alarmed, I pulled out oldest son (who had his hand outstretched to pet the turkey bustling around after us) away. “Why, will she peck him?” I asked. ” Oh no” He replied in a […]

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Watering worries: garden irrigation

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink (if you’re the trees in our orchard) because frankly I’m getting tired of having to haul entire bins full of water up a steep hill to water in excess of 30 trees, 120 raspberry canes and 20+bushes. I’m fed up. It’s back-breaking. And this leads me to […]

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