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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I’ve lost the losetto

Suspiciously similar seedlings In hindsight, I should have known that putting two types of tomato seedling (the tumbling “Losetto”and the climbing “Magic Mountain” in case you’re interested) together in a large pot separated only by a seedling tray was a mistake. It was perhaps inevitable that a cat would jolt the pot onto the floor […]

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Argh! Aphids!

Vile pulsating aphids – look how many there were! The other day I was busily getting ready to plant out a few tumbling cherry tomatoes when a greenfly landed on my hand. I absent-mindedly swiped it off and suddenly focused. A greenfly! Where had it come from? A quick glance around the garden revealed two […]

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Leave the spinach be

Like millions of people my age, I remember the magical boost that spinach gave Popeye. Although we’ve since learned that it’s not quite the powerhouse that the illustrators would have us believe, it’s still extremely good for us and is something I regularly add to our everyday meals.  It’s such an easy thing to stir […]

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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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Wall, I have good news and bad news

Some time ago I planted up some vertical garden planting bags with mint and strawberries with the intention of fastening the bags to the only empty wall space in the garden. However it turns out that the bags, once planted, are far too heavy to hang on the wall properly, and the bags rip when […]

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Counting (on) strawberries and pineberries

I’ve toyed with gardening for years but lately I find myself obsessed with my garden. I wander the patio, chatting with the seedlings and glorying in every extra centimetre that my plants grow. Extra leaves are cause for jubilation and I drag my poor husband into the garden and demand that he admire every emerging […]

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