Gardener’s guide to gluts: Blackberries

I have fond recollections of foraging for blackberries with my maternal grandparents. They lived close to the coast and I remember wandering about in wellies, my fingers purple with the juice of the blackberries my sister and I ate as fast as the others could collect. We’d happily brave the thorns for the delicious berries […]

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Auditing the new orchard

When we planted our small orchard over the winter, we did so with no knowledge of how to do so. Luckily for us, the amazing Monty Don had made a short video on how to plant bare-rooted trees which we watched the morning we decided to make a start. It took us several weekends to […]

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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 (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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Planting an orchard

In our rush to become self-sufficient, we somewhat madly placed an order for 32 bare-rooted fruit trees, 160 raspberry canes, 36 fruit bushes and 10 rhubarb plants the day that we exchanged on our little smallholding and a couple of weeks ago, they arrived. Faced with all these bushy twig things and a finite dormant […]

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