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 […]

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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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Snow joke: cold weather is for the birds

Life in the UK has recently been brought to a standstill by the revelation that we on this Northern European island have had some snow fall on us. It was admittedly something of a shock for us ex-Londoners to see just how deep snow falls out in the rural countryside and we woke yesterday to […]

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Herb management

Overgrown herbs Scarily shorn herbs I’ve found it so rewarding having a large herb garden outside and have started to plan our weekly menus (because that’s the kind of geek I am) around what might be ready to use in the garden. The herbs have also acted as a lovely lure for all kinds of […]

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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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Set up an urban bird feeding station with a toddler (for picky urban birds)

Garlic towers is ready for our first feathery patrons A rainy weekday afternoon and an overexcited toddler with energy to burn combine brilliantly to mean one thing – bird feeders! We had a birdfeeder outside our sitting room window before we embarked on our harebrained scheme to gut and refurbish our entire house last year. […]

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The leaning tower of seeds(a)

My tiny front garden has always been a problem, not least because it’s been paved over and used as a driveway. Parking in London is a problem, and so having our own driveway does make life much easier. I’ve planted bulbs and wildflowers in large troughs lining the driveway and finally moved the birdfeeder from […]

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