Just like I imagined

Bakker’s Top 10 for Spring 2018!

Who wouldn’t want some extraordinary bulbs ready to spice up your spring?
Here we have our top ten, chosen for a long display of colour, vigour and fun!
Every bulb offers something different! They will certainly stand out in the spring sunshine. With a wide variety of colour, shapes and sizes, they really are perfect to be planted in your borders, patio pots and homes!
There are so many spring bulbs to choose …Read More

Holly, but not as you know it

How are your balls? Box balls, that is. If, like many gardeners across the country, your box trees are looking a bit poorly then read on.

Over recent years, three new nasties have started attacking our most beloved of topiary plants. Two kinds of fungus (both known as ‘box blight’) and the box tree caterpillar have begun conspiring to pretty much seal the fate of a plant we’ve been growing in …Read More

Lawnmower man

Autumn’s colourful cloak diminishes with every chilly gust, sending blazing leaves swirling on the breeze, while down below, diamond lilies sparkle and spring bulbs begin their slow march to glory, sending out roots into the cold earth.
 

It may feel like the year is drawing to a close, but there’s still one or two really worthwhile jobs to be doing in the garden. Those autumn leaves make a wonderful addition to …Read More

The Chickens and The Egg

Today was a milestone in my little world of allotment chicken keeping. We’ve gone full circle, my girls and I – from egg to egg.

 

Regular readers of this blog may remember that when Itchy, the last of my ex-battery hens, started looking a bit peaky back in the spring, it coincided with a very determined spell of broodiness from Marian, my gorgeous Black Rock. So, doing the maths (one about …Read More

How to tame a Robin - Birds - Bakker Holland

How to tame a robin in half an hour

Last weekend I realised a long-held dream: taming a genuinely wild creature to eat out of my hand. I’d like to say it was a carefully thought-out process, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve always seen robins around on the allotment. I love them for their beady-eyed, inquisitive nature – looking at you as if bemused, cocking their heads to one side, as if to say “are you …Read More

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What to do this week

Ah the joys of spring – seedlings bursting forth, bulbs flowering and a cacophony of birdsong – all of which for me tends to bring a mix of heady optimism and mild panic. It’s such a busy time of year –  I always wish April was twice as long! Where to start? Based on past experience (both successes and regrets), here’s my April ‘bucket list’:

Plant summer bulbs – …Read More

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From root to fruit!

Whether you have acres and acres of countryside, or a high-rise balcony, we all have space to grow our own strawberries! As the nation’s favourite fruit to grow, you really are missing a trick if you haven’t given them a go!
I inherited mature strawberry plants in my little village garden, they are now hardy enough to withstand the snow and take no maintenance at all. I have decided that this …Read More

New chooks on the block

The memorial service was short – just a couple of dozen well-wishers and a brief eulogy from a local Archbishop. RIP Battina the ex-battery hen. Joking aside, I was really quite surprised how attached I’d grown to ‘Batty’ as she was called for short. For creatures without much brain, chickens have rather a lot of character. Batty was queen bee of my trio of hens that were rescued from the dog …Read More

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Happy Christmas Everyone from Bakker Spalding

Just a few days to go and here’s hoping that everyone wherever you are have a lovey Christmas. My tree is decked – the Santas are back on the fireplace and I’m almost ready. My Grandchildren are growing up and the festivities take on a slightly different aspect – where once it was up at the crack of dawn, it’s now a more reasonable hour that the festivities begin – …Read More

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A long wait for a kiss

Funny, isn’t it, how some plants overwhelm you with their abundance of growth, while others are so slow they make you wonder whether they’re still alive.

My home-grown mistletoe is a case in point. Back in January, I gleefully ‘sowed’ lots of mistletoe berries all over my apple trees, squishing their disgusting slime into almost every crevice I could find.

It was not one of my most resounding successes, to …Read More