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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Dazzling Dahlias

As you know, we both adore dahlias: sadly they don’t adore our garden. Dahlias appreciate a little elbow room and plenty of sunshine to grow well, neither of which they readily find at The Watch House. One recent garden visitor, pointing to Dahlia ‘Firepot’, exclaimed ‘everything looks so healthy …… apart from this poor thing!’. […]

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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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The Plot Thickens…

I have been meaning to write an update on the allotment for a little while now. While reading the previous chapter, I am wondering how on earth I am going to adequately convey everything that has happened at the plot. It has changed almost beyond recognition, mostly due to the unseasonably warm and sunny weather […]

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Plants In Detail – Dahlia ‘Akita’

One aspect of gardening in a small space that I enjoy most is that no detail goes unnoticed. Whilst this counts equally for annoying flaws and moments of near-perfection, there is as much joy for me in the emergence of a new leaf or the opening of a single flower bud as there is in […]

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Last Vestiges

  I returned from China to a garden clinging valiantly on to the glories of summer. It was a heart-warming homecoming, but the gift was short-lived. Last week the weather cooled significantly, sending some plants into terminal decline. Dahlias are blooming their final blooms and my coleus are starting to look decidedly limp and lacklustre. […]

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Plant Profile: Dahlia ‘Nicholas’

  I should have predicted it. I take a holiday, I unwind (sort of), and up creeps the dreaded tonsillitis. It happens every time, without fail. I don’t suffer from many afflictions but this one comes along as regular as clockwork and it’s debilitating. Tonsillitis is one of the few things that changes my cup […]

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The Watch House NGS Open Day 2018

  Over the weekend we welcomed over 300 visitors to The Watch House, breaking records and surprising us all. At times it was a challenge to fit everyone in whilst offering an enjoyable experience in the garden, but there were no complaints, at least that I heard. On both days the sun shone, the birds […]

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Hunting Brook Gardens, County Wicklow

  It was raining as we arrived at Hunting Brook; a light, steady drizzle filtering through opaque air. The lanes leading to the garden were bounded by sullen brambles and parched grasses, begging for relief from the heat and drought. Inside, thalictrums and fennels were spangled with water droplets, bowing gently beneath the unfamiliar weight. […]

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10 Easy Flowering Bulbs to Plant For Summer Colour

  There are few plants as rewarding and foolproof to grow as those that sprout from bulbs, corms, tubers and rhizomes. Among their number we can count favourites such as gladioli, begonias, lilies, dahlias, amaryllis and nerines, alongside lesser known, exotic beauties such as habranthus (Brazilian copperlily), gloriosa (glory lily), eucomis (pineapple lily), eremurus (foxtail […]

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