Coronoveg: Fruit

Fruit is great to grow, not least because after the initial faff and outlay there’s virtually nothing to do except harvest and enjoy. I’ll go through each of these in turn in separate posts, but here’s a taster; something to get thinking about. The very best way to buy fruit trees is bare-root, which is…

Coronoveg Project: The Cheat’s Instant Herb Garden

So, as the first in a new occasional series suggested by my friend Liz, today I present our first Coronoveg project: DIY growing herbs that actually grow. Ever wondered why those potted herbs you buy in the supermarket never seem to last long? It’s easy really – they’re grown so intensively, so crowded and in…

Coronoveg Shopping List Part Two: Seeds

So, continuing the request for a shopping list, this is really as broad as it’s long. It depends on the space you have, so I’ll break it down into sections. I like to order online as you get the best choice but there are one or two that are getting close to their sow-by date…

Coronoveg Shopping List Part One: Kit

I’ve had a request for a shopping list so today, let’s look at basics. This is Part One: Equipment. Part two: Seeds will come later today. Growing medium Let’s assume we’re not going in for all that hydroponic stuff where plants are grown in water only. It’s fancy and it works but I don’t really…

Pea Shooters for All

We’ll start the new-look Event Gardener with a brilliant, fast crop that EVERYONE can grow. You don’t need a garden or fancy equipment, just an outside windowsill that gets a reasonable amount of sun. This can be done NOW. Start this morning and you’ll be cropping next Thursday. Pea shoots are served as a side…

Journal of the Plague Year

Shame on me, that it takes a pandemic to get me writing this blog again. I’ll be honest – I stopped for a reason – basically I was seeing a load of ‘gardening blogs’ that didn’t do anything other than show off what their writers had been growing and I began to wonder if I…

The Joy of Strep

It may sound like a throat infection but Streptocarpus is my all-time favourite houseplant. I know some people don’t care for their fleshy, knubbly leaves but I can forgive streps pretty much everything when they come into flower – and, given the right conditions, once they’re in flower they keep on giving for months on…

Temperate House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

When Decimus Burton’s extraordinary Palm House opened at Kew in 1844, the world gasped. Burton’s star, already in the ascendant, had reached dizzying heights. Glory was all very nice, but now he faced a challenge. How on earth could he top innovation on that scale? Kew’s magnificent Temperate House, twice the size of the Palm…

Sheppy’s Cider Farm

Somerset’s rich soil and lush climate cry out for apples. Even the legendary Isle of Avalon, rumoured by some to be Glastonbury, was once known as the Isle of Apples and the county’s most famous product, cider, reaches back at least a thousand years. Cider was vital to the rural economy. Without a good brew…

The Long Haul

I understand William Hill are taking bets on whether or not this bloomin’ hedge of mine will survive. It certainly don’t look good – even worse than before, if that’s even possible. To recap, about a month ago, my gorgeous, 14 year-old hedge looked like this: with its cute little baby sister next to it,…

Events a-go-go

Anyone would think it’s all been doom and gloom on the plot recently. It hasn’t. There have been events a-go-go and if I lost all my strawberries and raspberries to my intruders’ munchie-attacks, at least they’ve clearly been too stoned/busy enabling others to get stoned to take any interest in taking anything that needs actual…

WAR! HUH! What is it good for? Exterminating Caterpillars!

Okay, I went away. I went to the West Country for FOUR DAYS. When I got back, my lovely box hedges had turned from this: had turned into this: Seriously – FOUR BLOOMIN’ DAYS! Just look at these two: At first I thought it was blight but then I recognised the nasty, lacy, cobwebby skeletons…