Making Good Compost

worms in good rich compost

good rich compost, full of worms, made in my makeshift ‘bin’

I’m not talking here about the bags of compost you buy in the garden centre, but the rich crumbly stuff you make yourself. It adds richness to your raised beds, or – if in short supply – is useful for mulching. Good compost is not difficult to make, though it takes time. Left to itself, something magical happens; nature doing its own thing turns waste into goodness; no need for those green council wheely bins – why give away something precious.

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Creating garden boundaries

new potager saladlings ready

my new potager, picture taken this morning – the beetroot and carrots are slow, but saladings ready for snipping

Back from Malvern and my four ‘Blogathon’ show posts, and then down to Devon to meet the Dobies team (discussions on the next few months – we’ll tell you about our plans in due course), I am relieved to see that the new potager has not suffered in my absence. A little weeding, the addition of some bamboo towers to support climbing French beans (‘Cobra’), the planting out of same, including the dwarf variety ‘Ferrari’, and I’m ready to turn my attention to the plot boundaries.

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So much variety at Malvern

gardening in shade

gardening in shade

From show gardens to plant stalls – and much else besides; there has been so much to see at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show. A quick glance at any one exhibit, and you may miss the subtlety. It’s taken me almost four days and I still have not covered it all. I loved the way some garden designers tackled a tricky subject – what to do with a plot that is shady for most of the day. Alex Bell’s ‘Fade to Shade’ (above) presented a range of ideas and solutions for such difficult corners. Somewhere to sit and relax without overmuch hard landscaping, softened by lush and soft planting.

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Malvern: Garden Designers of the Future

garden designers of the future?

Designers of the future – who will be selected for this year’s CBMS scholarship?

Everyone reading the Dobies of Devon blog is a keen gardener; but how many of us aspire to becoming a garden designer, with all that such a career entails? Well, enter for the Chris Beardshaw Mentoring Scholarship at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show and you could be on the way to becoming one of the “untapped source” that the world of horticulture is looking for. Somebody who can “create gardens that can compete on a world stage,” in the words of Chris Beardshaw himself, who set up the scheme in conjunction with TCAS (Three Counties Agricultural Society) a few years back, with the generous sponsorship of Bradstone.

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Gold medal garden – with a twist

an inspiration for all who want to grow vegetables in a small garden

an inspiration for all who want to grow vegetables in a small garden

A well-known politician once said, “on your bike!” or words to that effect; and that’s just what garden-designer, Hanna Genders, did to source all the plants and materials for her enchanting garden at this year’s Malvern Show. Everything that she utilised in ‘My Very Local Veg Garden’, from plants to the wooden palings which formed the perfect backdrop, and the stone chippings along the paths, were located within cycling distance of her Worcestershire home. It well deserved Gold Medal status.

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