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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.
Last year blossom went into overdrive following a hard and prolonged winter. It will be interesting to see how it performs this year given that it’s been so damn wet and mild – practically the opposite conditions. April is prime Read more »
I really don’t know what to say. Every year is different, to state the bleedin’ obvious, but I think this has been the vilest few weeks that I can remember in all the fourteen or so years that I’ve lived Read more »
Oh to new beginnings—and now is, allegedly, the time to ‘turn over new leaves’ etc. If I was starting gardening for the first time what would I do? I think I’d keep it simple and, following on from last month’s Read more »
According to past statistics February is often colder than January. This winter so far has been very mild, especially when compared with 2010/11, so a cold snap this month would actually go some way to evening things up a bit. The fantastic flowering and fruiting last year demonstrated that plants perform best with a hard winter and warm spring. I’m worried that if we do not have a spell of sub-zero temperatures then pests and diseases will get the upper hand in 2012 and plants won’t have had a decent period of winter rest to gear up for brilliant blooming.
Remember the very early and steep dive into winter which occurred last year? I’ve taken extra precautions this year, starting by adding extra bubble-wrap insulation in the greenhouse which is easily fixed with plastic clips against the aluminium framework.
It seems like a pretty standard descent into winter so far. It’s easy to forget that the newly bare stems will remain that way for almost six months because it is well into May before the leaf canopy is fully reinstated. A lot of weather can happen between now and then – remember the ‘big freeze’ last winter – so invest in some horticultural fleece and keep it on standby.
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 »