Category: National Trust

A successful harvest

September Gardening Gleanings

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?

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winding paths and secret corners adorn this lovely find in south Shropshire

Small Scale Gardening

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. 

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Flowers to delight - and available for cutting throughout the summer

Flower Patch Kaleidoscope

No matter what one plans to do in the garden, we are continually subjected to the vagaries of the British weather. So although we had planned to create our new flower patch kaleidoscope during this last week, it is still under construction. Part dug over, part still weed-infested (and none of them edible!) Seedlings were potted on; pots were placed in impervious trays to soak up moisture added from the rain-water barrel. Down came the rain (torrential at times) and they nearly drown! As do I as I rescue them into trays with drainage holes. The kaleidoscope will be a long time coming.

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Winter walks and garden discoveries

My blog story to celebrate 'National Tree Week' is a little different - so I hope you enjoy the change in presentation, relevant to the chosen topic.

My blog story to celebrate ‘National Tree Week’ is a little different – so I
hope you enjoy the change in presentation, relevant to the chosen topic.

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Photography on location

The colours on these Honesty seedpods are perfect for a watercolour sketch

The colours on these Honesty seedpods are perfect for a watercolour sketch

Photography in the garden or when out and about has surely never been so easy, whether using an iPhone or iPad or similar, or a simple digital camera. It depends what you want to use the images for – ‘happy snaps’, slide show on your TV, online in blogs or social media, or to obtain prints. How fortunate we gardeners are to HAVE digital facilities – remember the days when you used film and had to wait for the prints to come back from processing, by which time that beautiful flower had faded and you could not capture it again. Now, you can even check your images as you take them; and you don’t have to pay for poor shots to be processed.

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