One of my (not very subtly requested) presents for Christmas 2019 was ‘The Garden Jungle or Gardening to Save the Planet‘ by Dave Goulson which has now become the first book I have read in 2020. The author is a Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex but don’t let that put you off: this is certainly not a dry scientific treatise. It is instead a heartfelt plea for us all to engage with and appreciate the fascinating eco-system existing right under our noses in our own gardens. Yes, we all love an Attenborough documentary showing us the wonders of the natural world in often remote and exotic locations, but what about the fauna outside the back door?Continue reading
We have now had our allotment for almost six years, and even before that I had been growing edibles in containers in our small back garden for quite some time. Whilst there is a plethora of information online about growing your own produce, you really can’t beat a good book for guiding you through the process. The books highlighted in this blog are those I have found particularly interesting and useful (so far!). Continue reading
Digging. An activity which for many years has been considered an essential feature of gardening, particularly in the vegetable patch. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? This blog is about the pros and cons of digging a plot, and where I am currently at in my own practice. Continue reading
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
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.