NOVEMBER 2020 | English monsoons?

NOVEMBER 2020 | English monsoons?

Hello and welcome back to my blog for urban gardeners in south east London.  Is there anything specific garden-wise about our particular area of London?  The major thing that springs to mind, as we are in the London basin, is that we are all mainly gardening on heavy clay and this month I start posts that focus, amongst other things, on building a soil.  The big picture this month is a fleeting shot I captured of a mackerel sky that lasted…

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October 2020 | What use grow your own without great recipes?

October 2020 | What use grow your own without great recipes?

Welcome back to my blog for suburban gardeners of south east London (and beyond).  The “big picture” this month is of my dessert apples on steroids that this year grew to the size of grapefruits despite having always been normal-sized apples up until now.  The harvest marks the end of the growing season and I am going to miss that lovely feeling of plenty when I arrive at the allotment to do my usual work stint and before leaving gather…

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SEPTEMBER 2020 | Late summer

SEPTEMBER 2020 | Late summer

Plant of the month| Trees for small gardens| Below is my garden’s Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) with it’s crinkled, dark and interesting leaves that make for strong impact in a green space.  I have trained it to go along the fence for some seven years or so now and not without difficulty as it is programmed to reach for the sky and grow directly upwards.  I am not taken with the very dark, dense tree that would be the natural growing habit…

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August 2020 | Height of summer

August 2020 | Height of summer

You Must See This | At the Allotment | As the sweet corn plants developed, seemingly healthily and robustly, first I saw one, then more and in the group I had sown of sixteen corn seeds about one-third seemed to be oddly affected.  I did a bit of research.  I had never worried about F1 seeds – apart from the issue that such seeds in developing countries would, by needing to be re-purchased every year, possibly put an insupportable burden on struggling…

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July 2020 | Soil Life

July 2020 | Soil Life

Big picture” this month is my Geranium x oxanium ‘Wargrave Pink’.  I have two areas of this easy to care for and all round excellent plant that fills the low-down areas of my garden with colour and keeps the weeds at bay although it is the only Geranium I currently have.   This is an old cultivar, from around 1850, and is a real garden stalwart.  I only realised just how useful it is when a couple of weeks ago, talking with a…

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JUNE 2020 | 3 Great Tips for allotment or vegetable garden

JUNE 2020 | 3 Great Tips for allotment or vegetable garden

Hi Everyone – welcome back, first of the month and here we are again.  The “big picture” this month is of a couple of roses that are just about to open from my garden – and I’ll add a few more.  June is the rose month and I did plan this year to go to a rose garden and see lots more but life hasn’t gone back to normal yet – I’m still limited to supermarket, pharmacy and allotment for exercise….

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May 2020 | Ne’er cast a clout . . .

May 2020 | Ne’er cast a clout . . .

  Hi Everyone! I always thought that the folk saying of this month’s title referred to there being a danger from frost until the month of May had passed.  Not so, the word “clout” that has been in use since the 15th century, apparently not only means a blow to the head but also used to mean clothing.  This bit of folk wisdom then is telling us not to discard our winter clothes until May has passed.  Wisdom indeed – after a…

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April 2020 | New Season New Life

April 2020 | New Season New Life

  Hello again everyone – I wanted a cheering “big picture” this month – always try to get the new blog out on the 1st – so you have the lovely glass-like berries of Viburnum opulus although you won’t really see them until the autumn. Are you getting used to the strange new world we are living in?  No doubt you have found, as I have, that there are difficulties but plusses as well.  Have you been able to get…

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March 2020 | Berries and flowers and first signs of garden colour

March 2020 | Berries and flowers and first signs of garden colour

Coronaria coping | At the time of writing this in mid-March we are in the throes of the corona virus confusion and I have to confess, as an older person, to currently not knowing quite what to do.  I listen regularly to world news and, taking what I hear there into account as well as what our own government is saying, my feeling is to stay in the house and limit going out to only the essential trips, food shopping,…

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February 2020 | Fragrances, bees and buds in your garden

February 2020 | Fragrances, bees and buds in your garden

At the Allotment Hello again, welcome back.  The winter so far has not been too bad in London south east but I have been a tad frustrated by constant rain interfering with garden work.  In the preparation for the next growing season – fitted in between the never ending rain showers which, whilst annoying in one way, have been a boon in leaving our heavy clay soil very workable, so long as you don’t stand on it.  In January I…

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