A berry silly decision; or how we killed our fruit bushes

Or, plant in haste, repent at leisure. As part of our whirlwind first dormant period on our smallholding, we planted more than 120 raspberry canes and more than 30 fruit bushes up in our new orchard. Amongst them were redcurrants, blackcurrants, white currants and many gooseberries. The idea was sound in principle. We would lure […]

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Problems in the orchard: peach curl and aphids, oh my!

Our beloved, if somewhat immature orchard, has had its share of teething issues. Only about half the trees had pollinated fruit (although frankly given that they all survived our utterly naive planting at all meant we really didn’t care). But of more concern since then has been the things that have gone wrong. Our peach […]

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Weeds and glass and disappointment

This whole move from London to the countryside in search of the good life was a massive gamble for us. We moved to an area where we knew nobody, leaving behind our friends and the town we loved. In truth, we’ve never been happier and it was definitely the right thing to do but it’s […]

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The fox got our chickens

Death came to the farm last night proving that nature is indeed red in tooth and claw in the form of some mangy, vicious foxes. We were appalled to find that all six of our chickens were slaughtered last night. We found two, headless but otherwise whole, and some entrails by our fence. The other […]

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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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Planning (more) fruit futures

The weather is dank and dark, the heating still isn’t working and the dog refuses to recall but I find I drift easily away from all of these petty everyday issues when I think of summer and the bumper soft fruit crops I hope we’re going to get. I’ve become increasingly irritated by supermarket soft […]

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Review of 2017: garden successes and failures

I’ve learnt a lot about gardening this year. I’ve filled my 44 hanging and wall baskets to bursting, as well as my four raised beds. Some things have worked well (I’ve grown more than £150 of organic produce and haven’t bought tomatoes all summer!) and some less well (one measly squash from six plants?). So […]

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