How To Use Horse Manure In Your Garden

No good gardener ever turns down the offer of a load of well-composted horse manure. Some may even go weak at the knees at the very mention of muck. Why? Because horse manure is a fantastic natural fertiliser, soil conditioner and promoter of earthworms. For leafy plants, always hungry for nitrogen, there really is nothing […]

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A Change of Landscape

I always imagined that if I were made redundant from my job there would be one hundred and one things I’d rather do than retailing. At school my careers advisor suggested that I should study to be a fashion designer or an architect. I paid some heed, studied to be a landscape architect and didn’t […]

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A Little Solstice Solace

Perhaps it’s just me, but 2021 has felt like a serious test of our endurance both in general and as gardeners. We started the year in strict lockdown, having had our Christmas plans curtailed at the eleventh hour. Now it seems not impossible that 2022 might begin the same way. At times we have allowed […]

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A Change Is As Good As A Rest

‘A change is as good as a rest’, or so the proverb goes. As one who is ill at ease when relaxing and always on the go, I can only hope this Victorian sagacity continues to prove correct as I embark upon the greatest challenge of my life. For the last 26 years, I have […]

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The Great Chrysanthemum Comeback

Chrysanthemums are making a comeback. You heard it here first. How do I know? I’ll tell you; because it’s inevitable. Flowers are like clothing when it comes to the whims of fashion. Just as there’s an inevitability that we’ll all be lusting after flares and ponchos at some point in the future, so it goes […]

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Our Top 10 Dahlias of 2021

As the dahlia season draws to a close, it’s time to celebrate those that dazzled during this uniquely cool and wet year. We ended the last growing season by lifting all of our tubers from our allotment – over seventy cultivars. This back-breaking task was left until the days immediately preceeding New Year, when all […]

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Creating An Autumn Pumpkin Arrangement

It’s mid-October. The nights are drawing in and Halloween is fast approaching. Farmers here in East Kent are already opening their field gates for local folk to go and pick their own pumpkins. Provided you’ve got a fine day and decent wellies, choosing you own pumpkin is great fun to do …. and why stop […]

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Dahlia Disaster Averted – The National Dahlia Collection Finds A New Home

When the National Dahlia Collection announced its closure in September 2020 The Beau and I were bereft. This little patch of dahlia heaven was not only what brought us together, but was also the home of a dahlia The Beau had named after his late husband, the beautiful white ‘Johnnie Ellis’. Apart from that, it […]

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Has The Chelsea Flower Show Lost Its Mojo?

I’ve grown a little bored of the Chelsea Flower Show. There, I’ve said it. Once upon a time I used to love the anticipation, researching the show gardens, planning my visit, watching the television coverage and reviewing the event afterwards. Now I find I that I can scarcely be bothered. Could it be that I’ve […]

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Planting A Container for Autumn Colour

By mid-September, many summer-flowering annuals have started to burn themselves out. They’ve given their all, and their natural instinct is now to produce seed before the weather gets colder and they die. This can leave pots and containers planted in late spring looking rather forlorn. If you’re not ready to resign yourself to the onset […]

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