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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Recipe: Warming spicy squash and lentil soup

We recently harvested our Crown Prince squash. I really enjoyed growing the squashes and pumpkins vertically and I was pleasantly surprised by how well they climbed but I do wonder if the fact that they were growing up rather than out was responsible for their poor crop. That or lack of pollination perhaps? Because I […]

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Give that pumpkin the best seat in the house!

Pumpkin before I’ve been generally pleased by the way that the pumpkins have grown vertically on a cane support in the garden. They actually haven’t fruited that much but that appears to have been down to poor pollination as I’ve had loads of tiny pumpkins develop and simply rot on the vine. Our tiny urban […]

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Recipe: Healthy lemony basil pesto pasta with courgette and broccoli

This is a really easy and tasty seasonal dish using home grown basil from the garden that I often make when I”m short of time. We are ardent carnivores but tend to eat vegetarian food during the week and this dish is absolutely delicious. We eat unholy amounts of garlic and so that sauce packs […]

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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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Harvest time again

I’ve had quite a fruitful few weeks from the garden (if you’ll pardon the pun). Life has been quite busy but I find that I’m starting to weave gardening into my everyday life. I do a tiny bit of weeding every morning whilst I’m cooking breakfast, and then in the evenings I do any tying […]

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How to release ladybirds with a toddler

Ladybird in situ The day the aphids came back was a dark one. There they were, hordes of them swarming and pulsating all over my innocent strawberries and mint. I was beside myself in rage and frustration at their sheer numbers (previously I’ve always pulled aphids off by hand before their populations reach critical levels) […]

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