Winter in the polytunnel

Winter in the poly tunnel should be a time of leaves and carefully staggered late crops of things but mine looks a bit like the half price sale at a garden centre that’s going out of business. We’ve been so very busy lately that we haven’t been able to find the time to get some […]

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Winter in the kitchen garden: planting a future

The arrival of winter should surely herald hedgehog-like behaviour in all of us. We no longer shuttle too and fro from the kitchen garden to the house laden with gluts that we don’t know how to process fast enough, but rather wish to laze by the fire with a good book. Most flowers fade and […]

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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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Leaf my trees alone, grass!

Help, the trees are being eaten by the grass! When we bought our little homestead, it came complete with a small herd of alpacas to keep the grass down in our back paddocks. I now see why. We’re a month away from getting our small flock of edible sheep and the grass has just exploded. […]

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Watering worries: garden irrigation

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink (if you’re the trees in our orchard) because frankly I’m getting tired of having to haul entire bins full of water up a steep hill to water in excess of 30 trees, 120 raspberry canes and 20+bushes. I’m fed up. It’s back-breaking.¬†And this leads me to […]

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Tree-mendous change is afoot

I’ve written before about becoming obsessed by our little orchard and how it’s progressing, and I wonder if everyone peers at every new bud with this much enthusiasm. It’s beginning to feel a bit like vanity actually, the way in which I march every visitor up to our orchard and point them at the trees, […]

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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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Deforestation on a tiny scale

Watching trees being felled makes me very uncomfortable. Not so my oldest son, for whom the sight of chaps in high vis vests skimming 20 feet into the air to whizz about with chainsaws is second only to the circus, but I really dislike it. We recently felled a number of trees from our new […]

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