Winter Inspiration: A Visit to Dunham Massey

In an effort to get out of the house on a grey day in the middle of January we decided to make a visit to Dunham Massey.  January is not normally considered the best time of year for garden visits, but a focus on winter interest at this garden provides great inspiration.   Continue reading

Allotment Harvest 2017: the winners and losers

During 2017 I took part in a research project being conducted by staff at University of Sheffield, under the banner of MY Harvest, into the impact of home grown produce on UK food production.  The project involved enlisting domestic gardeners who grow their own fruit and vegetables, either on an allotment or at home, to submit data about their crop yields throughout the year.  This blog post is about what the data for my own plot has revealed about this year’s harvest and has been written in conjunction with Datawoj (otherwise known as my husband!) who did some snazzy data visualisation for me. Continue reading

Making the most of small outdoor spaces

Gardening magazines and programmes often depict gardening in expansive country settings where all manner of styles and features can be accommodated.  However for many people living in towns and cities outdoor space is at a premium, sometimes awkwardly shaped, and often enclosed with extremes of sun or shade.  Much as I love visiting and reading about beautiful gardens in impressive estates, there is something fascinating about the challenge of accommodating greenery in much more limited spaces.  This blog focusses on ways to make the most of small outdoor spaces. Continue reading

Allotments: what is their role in the 21st Century?

We have had an allotment for the past 5 years.  As well as enjoying the fruits of our labour in terms of the produce we have grown, I have also been an active member of the allotment colony’s association committee which has provided some insight into the issues associated with managing an allotment site.  This blog is a reflection on the role of allotments in modern life and why, in my view, they continue to be an important feature of our national culture in the UK.

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New Planting Scheme: Part 1

After almost a decade in our current home, in which modifications to the permanent planting have happened in piecemeal fashion, I have decided that the time has come to take a more planned approach.  This blog is about what’s wrong with the current planting (in my view) and what I hope to achieve by redesigning it (if I ever get the chance!). Continue reading