Small Scale Gardening
July 2, 2014
I so frequently advocate gaining inspiration for one’s own garden from visits to ‘stately homes’ that it is all too easy to forget what is on one’s own doorstep. Actually, the notion sprang into my head when I was a considerable distance from home. This last weekend, I was participating by invitation in a ‘Garden and Book-Arts Festival’ on the English/Welsh border just outside Knighton, Powys – though on the other side of the River Teme, in Shropshire. My kind hosts took me to a couple of open gardens “in the middle of nowhere”. I suddenly realised that here were examples of small scale gardening at its very best, and an opportunity to talk to owners about the nature of the soil, difficulties or otherwise of climate or location (steep hillsides for example) under which they toiled.
Mixed Perennial Plantings
April 28, 2014
I returned from the RHS Cardiff Flower Show and then a few days in Shropshire over Easter and in my postbox was such a welcome package. Mixed perennial plantings indeed – the latest Dobies A4 ‘Perennial Plant Catalogue’ along with other smaller brochures, that I am still working my way through them! Even the free envelope for orders reminds me that Dobies of Devon flower seed is 42% cheaper than all other major seed suppliers – 49% for veg seed. I’ve always known that seed quality is excellent; savings are made by avoiding pretty pictures on the seed packets. Also included was a ‘Flower and Vegetable PLANT Catalogue’ for last minute decorative displays and catch crops plus another devoted to ‘Spring 2014 Garden Equipment’. A leaflet on grafted tomato plants for bumper crops, and a sachet of super food for super tomatoes.
Ephemeral Perennial Delights
April 15, 2014
In the course of a year, I visit many gardening shows and am always amazed at the ingenuity and beauty of the Show Gardens. I have come to think of them as ephemeral perennial delights – created for but a few days, yet clearly gardens that in the real world would be intended to last. So much can be learned from these show gardens, if you look beneath the surface; if you interpret the name of the garden, and start to ask yourself questions: “what, why and how?” Thus it was for me at the end of last week on my first ever visit to the RHS Cardiff Flower Show. Situated in the tree-enclosed haven of Bute Park, right in the centre of Cardiff, I discovered that this Show is very different to those of RHS Malvern, Hampton Court and Tatton Park. And this year, RHS Cardiff celebrated its 10th anniversary, so I was doubly-pleased to be there at last.
Autumn is here – and with it a Catalogue Trawl
October 26, 2013
I’m now back from my travels and busy in the garden whenever I can, taking advantage of the warm weather despite blustery showers. And with impending gale force winds over the next few days, I’ve been checking structures to ensure they aren’t uprooted and sent bowling down the garden or over the neighbour’s fence. The willow wigwam that had supported my honeysuckle had finally disintegrated – it was a question of pruning, and supporting temporarily with iron stakes.
May 26, 2013
Sunshine at last here in the north Cotswolds (second day running!) and, according to the Met Office weather chart, it’s pretty much stable over the whole of England and Wales. High pressure of 1024 millibars over the whole country, so not much damaging wind either. The sunshine is much needed to encourage my young seedlings to put on a growth spurt. It’s been far too cold for newly sown veg to thrice, except the lettuce under cloches. And the high winds a couple of days ago have destroyed any chance of a crop of walnuts this year – all the male catkins were blown off before pollinating the female flowers.