Tag: shrubs

Cotswold Acre Memories

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.

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December miscellany

Narcissi from the florist and twigs from the garden

Narcissi from the florist and
twigs from the garden

As we all rush towards Christmas willy-nilly – or it towards us – it is all too easy to become absorbed in the usual commercial hype, and forget that it is meant to be a time of peace and goodwill. And what better way to take stock than to walk around the garden and mentally note what could be cut and brought indoors to beautify your living space. Truly, it can have a calming influence, as I found when I clipped a spray of hazel to add to this vase of paperwhites.  Normally, I would have had my own already in flower but this year has not gone according to plan and nothing garden-wise is as it should be. So I bought these, to support a newly-opened local florist in town.

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Brittany Observed (or parts of it)

Quintessentially France

Quintessentially France

I have just returned from ten days in Brittany – wonderful weather and over 700 miles of touring, door to door. Camera and journal / sketchbook allowed me to document what I saw; whilst visiting local markets encouraging us to eat “fresh and local’ which was a continual joy.

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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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