Category: seeds and plants

Garden Upwards …. above ground

Growbags provide a quick  Garden Upwards solution on poor ground

Garden upwards – above ground – by first covering the surface with a tarpaulin and then planting in grow bags.

Taking stock of our plot – and oh how it has suffered over the last few months from overmuch wet – I decided to take advantage of my garden upwards technique. Basically, this excludes all digging, or even utilizing the ground at all, other than as a surface upon which to place containers of various types. From growbags to terracotta pots to table-top planters, garden upwards techniques are perfect when facing a post-flood scenario or indeed when you have ground to clear and can’t wait to get cropping. Here are some ideas to point you towards ‘above ground’ gardening.

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Plans and Dreams

My 'Courtyard Potager' earlier this Summer

My ‘Courtyard Potager’ earlier this Summer

Christmas festivities are over; the New Year approaches – almost a time in limbo, but perfect for making plans, allowing oneself to dream. I write so often about planning that you might consider it is a fetish of mine; but over the years I have come to realise that it is crucial to good gardening practice, and that any plot – large or small, rural or urban, – is not created overnight.  And after a year of terrible weather and lack of attention to our own outdoor space through travelling abroad and subsequently illness, I know that nothing goes as expected and contingency plans are essential.

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A Sneak Preview

A touch of nostalgia

A touch of nostalgia – read on

Despite the rain (again!) it’s Showtime; and this sneak preview is coming to you live from Malvern as exhibitors are putting the final touches to their show gardens, displays and stands. It’s a hectic time, and one truly feels for everyone struggling to cope with the vagaries of the English weather. Dobies – exhibiting at Malvern for the first time – have created a feeling of nostalgia, and yet are totally in line with increasing trends to grow your own food. Steeped in the past, with plants for the future, the circular raised beds spiral in a swirl of purple pan-choi, offset with green; or lush oak leaf lettuce tinged with red and bronze. The central pots await tomorrow’s surprises, kept under wraps as the team unloaded and sorted packets of Dobies seed, in the well-known simple livery of brown text on white packets. They’ll be on special offer, too, so come along to Stand OS564 in the Plant Pavilions opposite the Wye Hall.

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The Crafty Gardener

living willow 'fedge'

a living willow ‘fedge’ – a cross between a fence and a hedge and easily grown from willow cuttings; dense and impenetrable once in full leaf, the crafty gardener can easily create one as a barrier around even a small plot

Living plants are by their very nature, ephemeral; never remaining in a static condition – their one aim to reproduce, to multiply. We prolong the usefulness edible crops in many ways, preserving or freezing fruit and vegetables, but for aeons of time, mankind has also made use of the properties of flowers and woody materials.

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‘Doing the Continental’

Twelve - a Tuscan Cookbook

‘Twelve – a Tuscan Cookbook’

My mention in last week’s e-newsletter of ‘Twelve – a Tuscan Cookbook’ – had me thinking of food, and reorganizing my potager plan to include ‘Continentals’. Some, already ordered (potatoes), are now planted; or sown in the greenhouse (peas). Others are awaiting their turn to be sown in my raised beds, as yet to be assembled – when I’ve finished preparing the 8ft x 8ft (2.5metre-squared) patch where they are to be installed. I’ve ordered seeds: french beans, sugar pod peas, courgette, pumpkin, corn salad, rocket, artichoke and edible flowers; and plants of fennel, squash, climbing french beans, aubergine and asparagus crowns, to regain time lost over my belated start.

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