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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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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Is this over the top(iary)?

We’ve divided our little smallholding into four distinct areas: formal garden, kitchen / cutting garden, woodland garden and playground and livestock paddocks. Whilst this is a working smallholding and I want to keep the property functional in that respect, we do have two small children and I want them to grow up in a large […]

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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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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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Monday harvest

It astounds me that even my tiny little garden is providing quite this much produce. I harvest at least one “thing” a day, whether it’s a small handful of strawberries or a bunch of herbs. In fact, it’s only because I hadn’t realised how much was ready to eat that I haven’t been working out […]

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Taking one fence at a time

Space in London is at a premium and we guard it jealously. When we first bought Garlic Towers, we were shocked to find that our rotting and decrepit (and for some reason, bright blue) fence wasn’t actually standing on our boundary but that we’d lost almost a foot (or about 30cm) from the back of […]

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