There must be something odd about me, because autumn is my favourite season. Ask most people and they will say spring, or summer – or even around Christmastime, but autumn is definitely the season of my choice.
There is so much going for autumn. The misty mornings that overnight have highlighted every spider’s web with moist diamonds, or that typical smell of leaves just starting to fall. This year there has …Read More
I think there must be something seriously wrong with me, because when I wake up to the sound of rain on the plants beneath the open bedroom window, it gives me far greater joy than the sun streaming in the same east-facing casement. Maybe it’s because I know the garden will receive adequate moisture today and the rainwater butts will be full once more, but it’s more likely the smell …Read More
Those of us who are old enough will always remember 1976 as the year of the long, hot summer. Similarly, we will no doubt remember 2013 as the summer that never was. The temperature in our garden this morning (Midsummer’s Day) is a mere 16°C, well below the average, but we must at least be thankful for the fact that yesterday’s icy, howling gale has died down, so it feels …Read More
We waste an awful lot of perfectly useful plants in the name of bedding. This thought occurred to me as I started taking down my winter/spring baskets and looked for something suitable in the greenhouse to replace them with.
First of all, tuberous begonias. These are now often obtained as plug plants; they grow rapidly to make a magnificent summer display, then are put on the compost heap like most of …Read More
Our veg patch is running about six weeks behind at present. First there was a week of torrential rain in March, then more than a fortnight of searingly cold east winds, and even if I’d had the motivation to rush out and plant things, there would have been no benefit as seeds would rot and early potatoes would sit and sulk in the ground.
Then, this morning, everything changed. One of …Read More
Every garden should have water in one form or another. I hadn’t intended to have a pond when I moved here over thirty years ago. I’d moved house rather a lot until then and my previous two homes didn’t have one, or any form of water feature; because I wasn’t likely to stay long in either, it didn’t seem worth the bother. This garden really didn’t seem big enough to …Read More
You can tell that spring is on its way without even going out of the house if you have houseplants. Suddenly they seem to shake off their tired, dusty demeanour and show new promise, and if you’ve been longing for weeks to give them some attention, now is the time.
Houseplants are no different from those grown in the garden – they start into new life in spring, grow during the …Read More
This is the Year of the Sweet Pea, so if you didn’t sow the seed in the autumn, now is the time to do it. Early in the month, sow in a greenhouse, conservatory, cold frame, or cool, light windowsill. Later on, if the weather has been mild, you can sow directly into the ground as you would with edible peas. If giving the plants an early start by starting …Read More
Are you intending to save money and grow your own bedding plants from seed this year? While many can be sown up to the middle of April and still give a good show, some types are fairly slow to germinate and grow on, and should be sown as soon as possible so they are ready for planting out in late May and early June. Pelargoniums (bedding geraniums), begonias and lobelia are …Read More
I confess I always heave a sigh of relief when the prolonged disruptions of Christmas are safely behind us for another ten months or so, and I don’t make New Resolutions as such, but this year there is going to be one change to my gardening practices.
For years I have convinced myself that, where we live, at any rate, with potatoes at around £4 – £5 for a 25kg bag, …Read More