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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New Year, New Garden | January 2020

New Year, New Garden | January 2020

  Happy New Year to everyone and welcome back to the blog after the festivities.  The big picture this month is of the Levens Hall topiary garden with a dusting of snow – picture courtesy of Chris Crowder and the gardening team there – more of this later.  In my blog you will usually find me looking for solutions to gardening problems, both vegetable and ornamental, based on my garden and allotment plot and ten years of running a gardening…

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December 2019 | Vegetable Garden and Allotment Gardening: No Chemicals Solution

December 2019 | Vegetable Garden and Allotment Gardening: No Chemicals Solution

Hello again south east London readers in this the horticultural dormant season as our year draws to a close.  My focus this month will be a solution to replacing the use of chemicals in the garden plus a visit to the newly refurbished Beckenham Place Park – the Mansion house pictured above is now host to numerous activities – more about this later.   All gardeners know this is the time of year when the bulk of the work is done…

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End of Season Thoughts | November 2019

End of Season Thoughts | November 2019

  The “big picture” this month may be colourful but I’ll be talking about the opposite! At the Allotment – Having decided to go over to the no-dig system last year with a couple of beds would now like to extend this to the whole plot.  Now at the end of the first season the transformation is not yet complete.  I had to “mine” internet articles a bit to get information that suited my situation.  Finally I found it in…

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October 2019 | Autumn Tilt

October 2019 | Autumn Tilt

Who would have thought to see a rural craft in action on the way home from a shopping trip to Croydon. I was more than surprised recently to see, from the bus, a house roof being thatched. I just had to go back later with the camera. The thatched roof, once in common usage all over the UK, was replaced in the 19th century by Welsh slate a cheaper form of roofing. Today thatched roofs have become something to be…

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