So what’s our obsession with Halloween? To state the obvious, it features witches, pumpkins, fangs, lanterns, sweets, pranks and great excitement amongst small people. Basically, it’s a good excuse for a jolly. Dress up on a dark evening, have fun with a bunch of mates and overdose on sugary treats. Hopefully, all supervised by a responsible adult or two. Get into the spooky spirit with some scary plants...Read more
Harvest happiness happens in autumn, which can be an amazing time of year. Trees transform throughout October and the colours everywhere, including within the vegetable garden, turn golden. You can reap what you have sown and those with the time and inclination are researching recipes for preserving. So how can you preserve all that food to make it last as long as possible?
So here we are in spring and early summer, the most glorious growing time of the year! If you are new to the idea of pleasurable gardening, there’s one thing to remember: it’s never too late to learn. Dabbling in soil can be enjoyed by toddlers through to centenarians. It’s known to be good for the mind and body, so if you’ve rarely tried growing things in your past there’s good reason to start growing edibles now! Get the small people out into the garden this month and you could well be fuelling a lifelong interest which will keep them 'grounded'.Read more
The 'no dig method' of gardening is a growing trend, try it before the main vegetable planting season arrives
So, here we are, more than three quarters of the way through January already. Grow your own enthusiasts and those with an allotment will already be champing at the bit, eager to start sowing and growing. Lets look at what you can be getting on with right now. Its a great month for preparing the plot. For some, this means digging. This helps to bury weeds and loosen the soil. Digging the vegetable garden or allotment in order to prepare for spring growing and sowing is the traditional way to go about things, but with the benefit of ecological understanding together with science, it might not be necessary.Read more
In autumn, many things in the garden can be tidied away, cut back and neatened. Or can they - does thismean it's all over for the year? Do we need to see bare soil and pruned back stems?
A few decades ago, this was the aspiration but now it's just not the thing to do. Garden minibeasts and birds love to scratch around and feast upon the stems and seeds that autumn brings. There's so much happening outdoors in October and beyond. It would be a shame to miss it. There is sometimes even an Indian summer which can be one of the best times of year. We Brits are often prepared to let the glory of autumn slip away without even a glance.
Anyone with a kitchen garden or allotment should be enjoying a harvest glut in September. Apples are ripe for plucking, courgettes are still coming, onions are ready for drying, tomatoes are ripening on the vine and potatoes are inviting you to dig for their delicious treasure. There are still runner beans hiding amongst the climbing green foliage, autumn-fruiting raspberries and tayberries are luscious, blackberries taste beautiful and beetroot is bursting from the soil. But how do you cope with a glut of wonderful produce?
Thinking of planting a fruit tree? No doubt you'll consider an apple, a plum or a pear tree.But how about something more exotic? Did you know that you can expect full sized fruit from even tiny, patio-sized fruit trees such as peach, nectarine and apricot? Its all about the variety of tree and the rootstock. Here's a simple guide to get you started, it's a lot easier than you might think.