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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.
November is one of those months when gardening activity is largely dictated by the whims of the weather. In a ‘normal’ year it is the final chance for those activities which depend on the last vestiges of warmth and active Read more »
I finished working for the BBC early this year because I made programmes featuring the ‘RHS’ flower shows and did not work, as I have in previous years, on Gardeners’ World. This has meant that, apart from a month’s return to Birmingham covering for a friend on sick leave, I’ve actually become ‘self-unemployed’ earlier than ever. In theory I should therefore have an immaculate garden and be well ahead on all maintenance issues – err, ‘No’!
hedge trimming so it’s a good place to start this one. In a perfect world I’d have been cutting my various hedges, a section at a time, when the mood took me but, as ever, I’ve let them get away Read more »
We seem to be having a pretty fair summer this year (sorry if, by the time you read this, rains of biblical proportions have returned!) and the hard winter seems to have promoted really good flowering. Recent prolonged sunny weather, Read more »
Time to take stock; what have you got planned for your garden this month? Yew hedges should have had their annual cut by now; summer borders tidied but not necessarily cut back to nothing (this can wait until spring); too early for blanket mulching; too late for taking cuttings from tender perennials; too late for applying herbicides – what can you do?
The last gasp of summer or the first breath of autumn? September keeps you guessing as so much depends on the weather and how benign it turns out to be. Of course the legendary, and these days almost mythical, ‘Indian Summer’ can make this month a real bonus.
Oh dear! I really shouldn’t have tempted fate, last month, by suggesting that July might actually be warm and sunny; cue Biblical deluge. It has meant that I’ve saved loads of time in not having to water my remaining containers so often and everything in the ground has romped away.
The garden show season continues; Last month I was at the ‘Gardeners’ World Live’ show at the NEC in Birmingham. I hadn’t set foot in the place since I’d last filmed there in 1995. To begin with the scale of Read more »
The great thing about writing these articles at the last minute is that it gives me the chance to be a little bit topical. I was at the ‘RHS Chelsea Flower Show’ yesterday and, apart from a surreal moment when Read more »
Recently I met a young head gardener fresh from completing his ‘Kew Diploma’, possibly the most respected horticultural qualification in the country. His enthusiasm and vigour made me wish that I had a set of gardening jump leads to attach to his green fingers to recharge my own plant growing batteries!