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My slippery descent into gardening began by taking ‘Prickly Pear’ cuttings, from Kew Gardens, while I was still at prep school. After a horticulture degree, with placements in historic gardens, and two decades making gardening telly, I’ve come full circle and returned to being a West Dorset sole gardener.
Carrying on this month where I left off last one : “Let Battle Commence!” March is well named as it’s this month when ‘Mother Nature’ begins hitching up her skirts, stepping up from a slow amble, towards a more forceful Read more »
Gardening is a funny mix of certainty and uncertainty—if I were feeling glib I’d add “much like life in general”. Some tasks are firmly fixed in the schedule, like doing the second shortening of wisteria shoots (round about now, I Read more »
Well, Dear Reader, assuming you’ve come through the ‘Festive Season’ relatively unscathed, January is a month more suited to armchair gardening than ‘full on’, outside in the cold, hairy-chested, tasks. If, like me, you are not as young as you Read more »
Looking at photos I took of autumn colour last year, compared to the same scene this year, I think that it’s got colder sooner, to lower temperatures, this year compared to last. There are also more berries on my hollies, Read more »
As the number of plants in bloom reduces, the further into autumn we travel, the more we notice other, subtler, ways in which plants add colour to the garden. Autumn colour is chief amongst these now, although the equinoctial gales Read more »
“Season of mellow fruitfulness, close bosom friend of the maturing sun, conspiring with him how to load and bless and fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.” I originally used that opening, for this October’s article, a decade ago. Read more »
Last year we had some of the hottest ‘summer’ weather in September, although, seasonally speaking, we have now entered ‘autumn’. September keeps you guessing as so much depends on the weather and how benign it turns out to be. It Read more »
If June was ‘flaming’ then there’s every chance that July could be ‘scorching’. Hot and dry weather brings with it the hassle of having to keep everything watered. With increased concern, about using this precious resource, it makes sense to Read more »
I was just dipping into Marjery Fish’s ‘A Flower for Every Day’ and the doyenne of cottage gardening sums up June pretty nicely; “June is the month that takes care of itself. Even the dullest garden can’t help being colourful Read more »
With April, so far, having been peculiarly dry and bright, I am loathed to second guess how May will behave. Apparently, we’ve just had the driest winter for many years so, if this month proves hotter and drier than normal, Read more »