Top 10 Christmas present ideas for gardeners

All I want for Christmas this year is more time in the garden. Oh the pleasure that can be found in the idle pottering about of a summer evening, or the power harvesting of an autumn morning after the school run. I revert to childlike status, begging my family for “Just five more minutes” as […]

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Fountain fripperies

I’ve long agreed with William Morris when he said that “…have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” When I say agree, I mean in a theoretical sense of course. The amount of clutter we appear to own boggles the mind. But I digress. Most of what […]

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From paddock to kitchen garden

One of the main reasons we’ve always wanted our own smallholding was to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of food. Given that I’ve always loved gardening, it seemed a natural next step. In London I used to grow as much food as I could in our tiny patio garden and so when moved […]

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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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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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