Sitting out on the decking with a mug of coffee, I found myself thinking about the true joys of gardening. Beyond the obvious ones of harvesting home-grown produce (and eating it!). Beyond the pleasure in seeing flowers bloom, plants grow. Those truly are major joys of gardening, but they aren’t the only ones… Look up … Continue reading True joys of gardening
Willow catkins keep fallin' on my head But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red Cryin's not for me… Actually, while I (thankfully) have never suffered from hay fever otherwise, there is something about willow catkins that does trigger mild symptoms if I sweep them up. I suspect it’s simply the sheer … Continue reading Cascades of willow catkins
The seed blizzards have well and truly begun! The annual dandelion seed blizzard started here about ten days ago. It’s the second of the quartet of natural nuisances here each spring. I love this time of year. The days are getting longer, the bluebells are flowering, so are azaleas – and all sorts of fruit … Continue reading Annual seed blizzards
Ash seedlings are a menace. Admittedly, not in the same league as Japanese knotweed, or giant hogweed. And the trees are native (to the UK), and in the right place, perfectly pleasant. But every spring, they are the first of a trio of nuisances for gardeners. The second being the annual dandelion blizzard, and the … Continue reading Ash seedlings, an annual nightmare!
If you are looking for a shrub that is showy, evergreen, thrives in acid soil, needs very little attention, and gives you double 'wow' for your money, try pieris. I say 'a shrub,' but in fact there are a wealth of pieris to choose from, from compact varieties to some which are really trees rather … Continue reading In praise of pieris
Tulips – and all plants grown from bulbs – are perhaps the best example of Nature at work. And they are also like a children’s surprise treat. It’s amazing watching deciduous plants show buds, then blossom and/or leaves. But they been there for all to see all winter. With bulbs, there is something magical about … Continue reading Magical tulips
We’ve all been there. Planted out bedding plants or veg seedlings, only to find what we’ve done is put out slug food.... Having this week planted out my broad beans from the greenhouse, here is part 2 of my experiences trying out all the supposed ways to tackle the pesky pests that like to munch … Continue reading Slugs – more ways to deter them
There are many, many suggestions on how to deal with slugs and snails. But how successful are these? I think I've tried most of them! So, here's a list of some of them, and my experience. 200 slugs per metre Let’s start with a few facts about slugs and snails. Humans are inclined to forget … Continue reading Hosta la vista to slugs and snails?
You see something unfamiliar at the garden centre, look at the label to see what it is, and read: ‘plant in well-drained soil.’ If you’re me, you put it back down again. And then repeat, and repeat. Because plant labels never say anything else. I’m sure it’s an ‘insurance policy’ on the growers’ part, so … Continue reading ‘Plant in well-drained soil’ – the frustration of plant labels
In the USA, tomorrow is the start of Festival of Camellias month. I've only just heard of it, but sounds cool to me. In the UK, I think February should be Festival of Crocuses month. After a prolonged spell of downpours, showers, drizzle, raining cats and dogs, and deluges, it’s back this week to warnings … Continue reading February is Festival of Camellias month