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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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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A Walk on Walmer’s Wild Side

We needed to blow away the cobwebs today, so settled on a drive down to one of our favourite spots, the stretch of coastline between Kingsdown and Walmer in Kent. The sun was up, the hood was down and the countryside smelt of damp grass and lilac blossom. It was about as good as a May […]

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Spring Flower Candy: Prunus spinosa

I’ll admit I am a little overdue with this one, but 2015 has been one of the latest I can recall for blackthorn blossom (the flowers of Prunus spinosa). In a normal year there could be a clear month between the single white flowers of blackthorn falling and the appearance of hawthorn blossom (lovingly referred to as ‘may’), but this spring the […]

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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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Welcoming Back the Birds

Over the summer, we removed most of our bird feeders for cleaning and to reduce the amount of spilled seed on the terrace.  I know we should probably keep food out year-round, but our neighbours do a very good job of that.  Now bleached and hanging on the bare branches of the fig tree, the […]

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Jobs for October and Early November

I always think good gardening calls for a certain type of ruthlessness. Never is that quality more needed than at this time of year when almost everything has become overblown and top heavy. It’s fine to sedately mow and deadhead your way through summer, but there’s no room for sentimentality when it comes to autumn […]

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