Category: fruit

Inspiration at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show

Tulips in my Potager - a bright splash of colour in a dull week

Tulips in my Potager – a bright splash of colour in a dull week

Reading Debs’ post from Elephant Farm it seems that the weather is good down in sunny Devon, whereas up here in the north Cotswolds, it is dull, dreary and SO cold, as it has been for weeks on end. The early potatoes are looking good in the allotment-plot, and first batch of veg seed now transplanted into the potager. Albeit with cloches over the mixed lettuce. There’s spinach romping away in readiness for my new hens and one sad climbing bean solitary in the bean bed – rest were a failure and I have sown some more in the greenhouse. The joy has been the bed filled with spring bulbs, perfect blooms in various varieties over the last month – how I love the flamboyance of the parrot tulips.

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Gardening with Children

A school group striding out at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

A school group striding out at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

My topic for this week is self-explanatory – and a subject important in its significance. For if we don’t introduce children to ‘how’ to garden when they are young we will have a generation who not only don’t know where fresh food comes from, but will also be unaware of the joys of hands-in-the-earth, and the sense of achievement gained from raising plants from seed. It may not always be edible plants, for they may come to love flowers, and plants important to bees and pollination.

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When dreams become reality

Clearing some of the wilderness last week

Clearing some of the wilderness last week

Whether you are reclaiming ground, starting from scratch or re-planning an existing garden, turning dreams into reality requires a certain amount of foresight and strategy. But where to begin, particularly if you are new to gardening? I looked back at the blog posts and statistics for all I have written on this Dobies blog over the last two years and noticed that the topic that still attracts the most attention is anything to do with layouts and cropping.

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Progress in our ‘Dobies’ garden plots

Cabbages just showing to the left, perennial herbs and polyanthus right.

Cabbages just showing to the left, perennial herbs and polyanthus right.

We’ve gone from four inches of rain in two days to nights of heavy frost and freezing temperatures. But on the good days in between I was actually able to start on the much-needed reclamation of the pottager. Everything has suffered from my inattention this Summer, but a determined effort, and tackling the job little by little and three of the raised beds are productive again. Cabbages packed close in one bed (protected from the birds with netting) and a change of plan for the other three. Another has been planted with unusual perennial herbs (the rocket self-seeded and has germinated already), and a transplanted feverfew, because it looked so pretty. All the beds have been edged with a rather special primrose – yellow, tinged blue-green, and a joyous mix of polyanthus.

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It’s here – and wildlife time, too!

Dobies 2013 catalogue wallet

Dobies 2013 catalogue wallet

The unexpected arrival just after lunch of the Dobies 2013 catalogue has taken me unawares and out-performed my scheduled topic for this week. Indeed, as I removed it from the postal wrapper, I realised just how clever the package is. For it is so much more than a catalogue – it is a Wallet, into which slot TWO main ‘annual’ brochures incorporating seeds, plants and equipment for 2013: one focusing on fruit and vegetables, and the second on flowers. Then additionally, there are three special leaflets covering ‘bedding, basket and container plants’, special offers, and ‘easy steps to grow ‘potatoes, onions, garlic and shallots’. The latter is packed with recipes produced especially for Dobies by Michelin-starred chef, Simon Hulstone.

 

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