Glut Instinct

“Growing your own produce is great if you want no food, then 400 tomatoes, then nothing, then 120 cucumbers, then nothing, then 3 carrots that weren’t eaten by the local wildlife, then 40 weird looking courgettes, of which only 3 are edible.” This quote pretty accurately describes where we are right now with our allotment. We […]

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And So It Begins…

It is official, we won’t go hungry this summer! Harvesting on the allotment has well and truly begun, especially the crop of courgettes, and we are eating more of our home-grown produce every day. Previously I mentioned our salad crops and I can most definitely confirm that we are now eating plenty of fresh leaves. […]

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Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January

January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners to take stock, plan ahead, or simply take a break […]

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Whatever the Weather

        The elements just keep on giving this year. In the space of three months we’ve had record cold and record heat; now record rainfall, at least in some parts of the country. As for East Kent, we’ve largely swerved the dramatic thunderstorms that have squatted like sumo wrestlers over parts of […]

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The Plight of the Bumblebee

  I like bees, but I love bumblebees more. The sight of their comedically cumbersome bodies ambling across an umbel, or alighting delicately on a gossamer-thin petal never fails to amuse me. Bumblebees are amiable little creatures, disinclined to harass or sting humans, unlike some of their close relatives. They live in small colonies and tend not […]

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To Fly Another Day

I was in the garden early this morning, the very best time to be out there, enjoying the collared doves’ soft cooing between bursts of raucous squealing from the circling herring gulls. Whilst ducking down into the entrance of our undercroft for tools I spied an enormous bumble bee clinging pathetically to a pile of black plastic pots. At first it seemed she, surely a […]

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Hampton Court Flower Show 2014: Vestra Wealth’s Vista

I had never heard of Vestra Wealth before this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and that’s for one very good reason – I have no wealth to manage. Should I come up trumps in the lottery, I would have no hesitation in beating a path to Vestra’s door, based purely on the strength of […]

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Happy Hostas

A cool, wet start to May has been just what the hostas ordered. Plants in our London garden are emerging lush and leafy, so far untroubled by slugs and snails. The latter are notable by their absence, but I refrain from commenting too loudly lest they hear me and come slithering back. I believe it […]

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Up on the Roof

Just two flights of stairs away from one of Britain’s busiest retail floors, six storeys above Oxford Street, lies London’s newest urban green space. The Frustrated Gardener visited today, just a few days after it was revealed to the public. In honour of 150 years trading on London’s Oxford Street, John Lewis has created a vibrant new garden on the roof of […]

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Bursting Forth on Boxing Day

This Christmas our friends Travis and Beth at Trevoole sent us a copy of ‘Dear Friend and Gardener’, a collection of correspondence between distinguished gardeners Beth Chatto and the late, great Christopher Lloyd.  I got stuck in immediately, relishing the robust exchange of opinions on such matters as organic gardening, whether to water during a […]

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