Grow Your Own Grapes
November 21, 2014
Evidence shows that grapes were first cultivated 6,000 to 8,000 years ago with the oldest winery being discovered in Armenia dating to 4,000 BC. Today about 72 million tonnes of grapes are produced worldwide on 25million acres of land which is being expanded at roughly 2% a year.
Cotswold Acre Memories
October 4, 2014
It’s surprising what will trigger a garden memory, or where an early love of gardening acquired in childhood may lead. For me, it was helping my grandmother deadhead annuals during the war (WWII); and ditto for my great aunt in the 1950s. I learned so much about plants when on my knees – and I wasn’t praying! The gardening bug did not really hit me until years later, and now I have so many memories that they jostle each other for space in my elderly brain. Not a day goes by but something, somewhere, will trigger a gardening memory from the past.
September Gardening Gleanings
September 10, 2014
As my four-year stint writing this blog for Dobies of Devon comes towards its end, I approach the future with a sense of adventure. Harvest in (well most of it) – the perfect time for reflection. Maybe my musings and these September Gardening Gleanings will inspire you to assess your own plot and re-establish its identity. Unlike Spring when all is bustle and busyness, or Summer when the days are insufficiently long to accomplish all the necessary gardening tasks, the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” (Keats) allows you to step back and THINK.
As Andi Clevely says in ‘Your Kitchen Garden Month-by-Month’, you “might want to change the arrangement of beds, plan different crops, or even try challenging new methods such as extending the season by growing under glass or mulching as a labour-saving alternative to heavy digging.” Why not?
August 30, 2014
If you live, as we do, where Winter extends into Summer and we have little or no Spring, and then suddenly Autumn creeps upon us unawares, it seems highly sensible to take advantage of all possible gardening opportunities. By which I do not mean out in the garden on days when you can, and potter in the greenhouse, shed or conservatory when you can’t. I mean open your mind to help from elsewhere. It seems highly sensible to take advantage of online-catalogue offers – seedlings, young plants and potted specialities to fill gaps, or to populate a complete bed.
August 15, 2014
Since I last blogged, it’s been perfect for gardening – neither too hot nor too cold, and with showers to refresh the vegetables. The flower patch has come into its own, too. Dead-heading when appropriate has meant that there is a continual supply of cut flowers for the house. Joy indeed. But as I picked and weeded and made notes of things to do next month, it came to me that gardens – being living entities – do from time to time need resuscitating. A revamp. Gardeners themselves may also feel the need for rejuvenation; it’s all too easy to become set in one’s ways because “that’s how I have always done it.” So garden resuscitation is the order of the day; the thought would never have come to me had I not been tidying ‘The Shed’ – not the one with tools and gardening paraphernalia, but the one in which I store a library-full of BOOKS.