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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Unusual garden pests: the dog

Canine-human relations are decidedly strained at the moment. Not content with pulling up and eating multiple raspberry canes, a cranberry, umpteen blackberry plants and a whole apricot sapling, the hound has embarked upon a campaign designed to destroy our new long flowerbed before it is even planted. We are slowly accumulating the plants for said […]

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Terrific topiary

Hello, my name is Catherine and I’m a topiary addict. After planting our six foot topiary rabbit for the children, I just keep thinking of different things in our garden that should, if possible, be made of living materials. We really want to make our smallholding a haven for wildlife and one of the easiest […]

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From small acorns, mighty oaks grow

Or rather, from medium-sized oaks, mighty oaks grow. Or they would if we weren’t going to cut the growing tips to get them to focus on becoming bushy instead. As part of our drive to get the basic structure of the formal garden in place, we decided to replace some of the many trees we […]

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How to cheat at gardening

When we bought our much-beloved smallholding, we had great plans for the garden. I’d loved my tiny London patio beyond measure, or so I thought until I arrived here. One of the things I was really keen to do as soon as possible was to prettify the formal garden with flower border in a country […]

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The seedling slaughter, or, death by over-ambition

I am known, amongst those of my close acquaintance, for occasionally over-reaching myself. I’ve always felt that if I’m going to hit a brick wall in any of my endeavours, I’ll do it at a run. Some of the time this attitude has served me well but horticulturally it’s becoming something of a problem. My […]

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Planting an edible boundary hedge

Our little smallholding is surrounded by very appropriate but rather ugly stock fencing. We needed something that would fit in well with the rural nature of our village, but that would keep our livestock safe (and, frankly, would keep other people’s dogs out). However, the stock fencing that was in existence when we moved in […]

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Planning a traditional country garden in the front

We tend to focus on practical (read: food producing) parts of our smallholding when prioritising projects. But one thing I did want to do when we moved in was to fence off the back garden and paddocks from the front. This wasn’t just to make it more secure for the children and various pets that […]

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