Top 10 Christmas present ideas for gardeners

All I want for Christmas this year is more time in the garden. Oh the pleasure that can be found in the idle pottering about of a summer evening, or the power harvesting of an autumn morning after the school run. I revert to childlike status, begging my family for “Just five more minutes” as […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

The failure of the peppers

 There are certain foods that I have on hand at all times because I like to add them into whatever I’m cooking whenever I can. Garlic is one; I add at least a whole head whenever I’m cooking 99% of my repertoire. Chilli peppers (capsicum annuum) are another. I never used to enjoy spicy food but […]

Read More

The Polytunnel has finally arrived

In mid-december last year, I answered the door to a harried-looking delivery man who declared (in a rather surly voice) that he had a 37 box delivery for me and that he had to be back on the road in minutes. I was enormously confused, I hadn’t ordered anything recently, and was on the verge […]

Read More

Fountain fripperies

I’ve long agreed with William Morris when he said that “…have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” When I say agree, I mean in a theoretical sense of course. The amount of clutter we appear to own boggles the mind. But I digress. Most of what […]

Read More

Accumulation of courgettes

I’ve been growing courgettes for years but it was only last year that I realised I was doing it all wrong. We were staying at the glorious Pig hotel in the New Forest and wandering around their lovely kitchen garden when I spotted some monster prickly leaves. Intrigued by their similarity to courgettes, I moved […]

Read More

From paddock to kitchen garden

One of the main reasons we’ve always wanted our own smallholding was to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of food. Given that I’ve always loved gardening, it seemed a natural next step. In London I used to grow as much food as I could in our tiny patio garden and so when moved […]

Read More