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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Mystery bed

In an effort to be more green I decided that I should use up the plastic plant labels I got as part of a gardening pack. However, disaster has struck! I wrote on them in what I believed to be indelible ink and it all appears to have washed off! This means that I am […]

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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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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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Better beetroots – how to thin beetroot seedlings

Shamefully puny beetroots Last week I thought that I’d be enormously smug and plan a lovely afternoon of cooking with my toddler son. He’s always so happy when he’s perched on his tiny stepladder with his little apron on, cracking eggs or stirring things and tasting everything within reach. What could complete this middle class […]

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How about a Jalapeño?

So far this year I’ve had a couple of horticultural failures, one of which was a cucumber plug. I’d already decided not to use plugs again but rather to grow from seed. I’ve been so disappointed with the quality of the seedlings. I’ve bought them from three of the biggest suppliers in the UK yet […]

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