Category: blog posts

Return to the wilderness!


After three weeks away working on the continent, I could not really believe the transformation that had taken place in the garden. Not so much weeds, but the sheer entanglement of growth. Some areas have become an impenetrable thicket; in others crops have failed miserably. If it were not for my passion for old roses and their splash of purples and mauves (at their best at the end of June and the beginning of July), one could say that our whole acre was over-green – but so many shades of green that had I the time, I would be rushing to capture it in paint. Out with the camera instead.

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Garden Visits and E-News/Blog Plans

sunshine in walled vegetable garden at Knightshayes Court

Winter sunshine in the walled vegetable garden at Knightshayes Court, Devon

Having just returned from a business trip to Devon in the last couple of days, I want to share the usefulness of visiting gardens for inspiration, ideas and even growing tips. This was not the purpose of my visit down to the southwest, but with a few hours to spare, I was able to enjoy the spectacular National Trust kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court, just outside Tiverton. I had read that “the restored and fully productive kitchen garden is a treat for everyone who enjoys local produce.” Yes indeed, but so much more, even in winter – and this was a good example of what can be gained from many of the National Trust properties that are presently bringing their former kitchen gardens back into use. This one just happens to be more developed than most.

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Progress in the Potager

It’s been quite a summer here in my new potager – remember those images back in mid-February of the tangled space which I set out to convert into a square-metre plot of four raised beds to grow vegetables, herbs, salads and edible flowers – and all surrounded by a wildlife friendly shrubbery? Click here if you would like to remind yourself of the task I faced exactly five months ago. It’s come a long way since then and has proved to be the most enjoyable and productive of all the six potagers I have created over the last 20 years – the others all still exist in one form or another, but this has become my favourite, and the most easily managed.

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