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

Container Gardening: Autumn 2017

For many people gardening in small urban spaces, containers will almost certainly form a key part of their planting space, and may be the only option if there is no open ground available.  In my own garden I have two small beds either side of a paved area but I have always supplemented these with the use of containers to provide an opportunity for temporary planting including edibles and seasonal displays.  This blog post is focussed on some recent Autumn planting I have undertaken in my own garden. Continue reading

Up on the Roof: a visit to the Barbican Beech Gardens

A few weeks ago while in London for the weekend, primarily to watch the World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium, I took the chance to make a pilgrimage to see the Beech Gardens at the Barbican Estate, which have recently been redesigned by Nigel Dunnett. Continue reading