White currants a-go-go – but what the bloomin’ heck to do with ’em?

I give myself this problem every year. I like white currants; they’re sweeter than their red sisters, less mouth-puckering than their black cousins. You can eat them straight off the bush but, frankly, they’re not so exciting you’d actually want to. I have three white currant Blanka bushes. They crop excellently, give me no trouble…

Wild Strawberries and the Last Chance Saloon…

Just how different is Europe? I have a sneaky suspicion that in one way, at least, not at all, but I am running an experiment to find out… I have one bed remaining that is really not pulling its weight. It’s the only main bed that isn’t terraced, though it is, at least, raised. It…

Cymbidium Challenge

After the glories of Kew, I have a confession. Me and orchids don’t get on. Don’t get me wrong, I love ’em. I just can’t keep them. No matter how much effort I make, they just don’t stay. They eventually get carted off to my sister’s orchid hospital kitchen. She is some kind of miracle-worker…

Giant Autumn Roundup: Sweetcorn

I have one word to describe this year’s crop: Disaster. Perhaps I should have sensed it the moment I tweeted my excitement that I’d found the ‘Ruby Queen’ James Wong had recommended and he had the decency to tell me that it was not Ruby Queen and I’d been sold a pup. I spent ages…

Pumpkin Review

After last year’s successful batch of Crown Prince, which kept me in pumpkins through to May, I thought I’d branch out a little. I may have been a tad overkeen… Of course I stuck with Crown Prince. It is probably the best pumpkin I’ve tasted and it’s not a ridiculous size. It makes fantastic soups…

Mystery ‘Russet’

Here’s an interesting thing. As regular readers will know, I’ve recently been populating my plot with hand-picked carefully-chosen apples. But I have an interloper. I have no idea what it is but I will bet my best gardening boots it ain’t what it says it is on the label… I adore russet apples. I love…

Blackberry Cascade

For years I’ve resisted growing blackberries. Somehow it seems sort of – well, cheating. Surely I should just get off my butt and forage a few? Trouble is, there aren’t that many decent brambles round South East London and what there is either gets picked bare or, tend to grow at, shall we say, ‘dog height.’…

Squeezing a Conservatory…

…into a teeny-tiny space. I live in a traditional Victorian terraced house (on the same steep hill as my allotment) and although I have always dreamed of a conservatory, frankly unless a) I’m happy to lose ten feet of my thirty-foot garden, and b) I win the lottery, it’s not going to happen. What I DO have,…

And the Winner Is…

It’s come to that time of year when I work out which of the – gosh – nine varieties of tomato I tried this year are worth growing again and which – if any – is the winner of best in show. First out of the box is Sweet & Neat, a teeny, compact bush with…

Tumbling Bruschetta, Batman!

After the dreary recognition that 70% of my tomatoes had been lost to blight I found myself looking for plus points. Yay! Good, old fashioned, bog-standard Tumbling Tom has come to the rescue. So far none of the window boxes I planted up with Tumbling Tom have succumbed and they’re producing in profusion. To be…

Blighted!

There are few things to sadden a gardener’s heart more than the sight of this: Every year I know I’m taking a risk with outdoor tomatoes, but I don’t have a greenhouse and if I want toms at all I have to at least try. For the past two years I’ve been growing Ferline F1…

Update: Celery ‘Peppermint Stick’

For the first time this year I am trying my hand at trench celery. It’s always looked a bit of a faff before, to be honest, but I was seduced by Peppermint Stick by The Organic Gardening Catalogue.  Sowing, pricking out and planting went pretty well, as did creating the trenches and the plants are…