Hello and Welcome


This new blog comes to you under the auspices of ‘Dobies of Devon’ by whom I am already engaged to write a monthly e-newsletter, and now weekly postings on this blog. Everyone on the team decided that a single monthly communication could not convey as much useful information as we would like to do, and so this ‘gardening companion’ has come into being. It will incorporate a number of garden-related topics – not just activities within the garden, but out and about, introducing you to places to visit.


ideas and inspiration can be gained when visiting gardens large and small – take a notebook and camera with you; also a sketchbook if you are that way inclined

Apart from gardening topics, we’ll be listing and reviewing some of my long-term favourite gardening books including inspirational new titles as published; and also venturing into the kitchen to offer you mouthwatering recipes from my Cotswold farmhouse collection.

making chutney last Autumn in my Cotswold farmhouse kitchen

Maybe you have ‘happened’ upon this post and are not already a regular Dobies e-newsletter reader; you may not even yet have discovered Dobies of Devon. They have been supplying flower and vegetable seeds direct to gardeners since 1880 and additionally now offer a vast range of excellent quality plants, fruit trees, bulbs and much else besides. Click on the Dobies link above and you can request a free catalogue and find out more about many of their other online services. You can also register for the monthly free e-newsletter, and access past editions. What’s more, Dobies offer substantial discounts to allotment groups and gardening societies plus a similar scheme for schools and colleges; registration is free via the newsletter.

an immaculate Gloucestershire allotment

an immaculate Gloucestershire allotment

So, whether you are an experienced gardener, or new to the gardening community, keen and raring to go – we have much to share with you. And we welcome your comments; indeed we thrive on them! But above all else, we want you to gain the maximum possible enjoyment from your garden, and this blog. So please bookmark us, keep visiting and by all means share our meanderings with your gardening friends.

(This post written by contributor, Ann Somerset Miles.)

  • What a great idea for a blog. I look forward to reading more about gardening. Thank you Ann and thank you Dobies.
    Kind regards

    Laurie Man ton

  • Thanks for following Laurie, and sorry about the gap between post end and comment box: not sure what happened there, but I’ll get it checked before next week’s post. Ann.

  • Lovely blog – lookingn forward to reading it. (I just found your other blog yesterday and now there’s another to read!)

    I’ll be glad when you’ve fixed our comment form as well. 🙂

    Happy new year!

  • Beautiful blog Ann, and I will follow.
    Have a wonderful adventure with this company and have a wonderful and peaceful New Year, Congratulations.

  • What wonderful and inspirational pictures! Lovely thoughts of the spring and summer to come, whilst being cozy by the fireplace.

  • Nan

    Oh, Ann, how wonderful!! I love the notion of a ‘gardening companion.’

  • Thankyou to you all; it will indeed be an adventure for me, working on a team blog – and I guess it’s those kind folks in Devon who seem to have fixed the layout glitches already, even before I asked them to. I look forward to walking together down many garden paths – with everyone who comes our way; for are not gardens the most wonderful, restorative places where one can work, and dream? Ann

  • Kadeeae

    Having just found your other blog, I am so looking forward to seeing this one develop. Just this past year we have turned out little patch to a veg gardena and acquired a greenhouse, so all sorts of information will be welcomed . . . plus I love to cook! 🙂

    Wishing you every success on the new venture!

  • Good luck with this new blog, Ann. I look forward to following you through another growing season. Hopefully, I will have more time to spend growing things from seeds and cuttings this year. The well rotted muck heaps have been added to the raised beds and I`m waiting for warmer days!

  • Oh, it’s so good to talk to you all – spent yesterday (in the cold and damp) taking photos in what I hope will become a new ‘potager’. Swapping our gardening stories will be such a delight for me – and, I hope, for others on the ‘Dobies of Devon’ team. (And, DW, I hope that I will have more time in my beloved garden throughout 2011.)

  • Having you guide us through the seasons will add such dimension to our gardens, Ann. Looking forward to your planting tips, recipes and unparalleled historical insights. I’m eager to join you! Kristi

  • Lovely new blog Anne and even lovelier kitchen, I am very envious!

    Happy New Year to you and best wishes for your new venture.

  • Valerie (acornmoon) – thankyou. (The dresser was made for me by my husband when we first converted the house, around 40 years ago now.)

  • Happy New Year Ann
    I will follow your Dobies blog with interest,I read your articles in gardening magazines with relish. I dug up my small back garden lawn last Autumn and I am now when the weather allows adding loads of compost to some of the beds and then covering them ready for an early start in the Spring….I can’t wait for the new growing season.
    Many thanks from DavidM31

  • DavidM – thankyou so much; it’s kind comments like yours that keep us (me !!) on our toes. And it’s so good to hear what other gardeners are doing. I’m just about to dig up the front lawn – for the second time – to create yet another potager. A week ago it was covered in snow; yesterday I was making plans and taking photos …

  • james

    fantastic! as a very new gardener after 18 months terracing a 150 sqM allotment i have only 1 growing season (wich went rather well im glad to say!) under my belt, so whilst i am full of big plans and ambition i am short on experience so hopefully this will give me some insights and advice on a weekly basis and help me achieve my goals!!
    Like DavidM i too cant wait for the new growing season and have been busy over the christmas break making plans!!
    All the very best for the new year!!

  • James – what a marvellous project you have; we hope our tips and ideas will help you to realise some of your goals. All the best with the allotment.