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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

How to plant out seedlings with a toddler

Planting out seedlings, as long as they’re relatively robust, is something that even young children can get involved in. At two years old GarlicBoy already loves raking the soil smooth and watering it with his little watering can before using a dibbler to make holes and gently lower the seedlings inside and coving them with […]

Read More