Beth Chatto and choosing the right plant

There is a terrible drawback to gardening called impulse buying.  I only have to walk through a garden centre on a birdseed buying mission, to  find hands have wandered off on auto pilot and gathered up pots or bulbs. For our garden, this is strictly not allowed as we are still in the garden-making stage…

10 tips for indoor seed sowing for the Allotment

The idea behind sowing into pots and the like, is to steal a march on the seasons.  Since outside is  Narnia, it is the only way to garden at all at the moment.  You do not need a greenhouse.  Below are 10 handy tips: Just remember what a seed needs to bring it out of…

Celebrity pin up

WHO?:                       JAMES HITCHMOUGH WHY?                        Because he brings botanical observation from plant communities in  wild places into experimental and successful planting mixes in UK.  This defeats the drear in public spaces:  take the planting…

A visit to Ben Coode-Adams

I am up  in my freezing cold attic,  under self imposed lock down. Not allowed out till the mind, the fingers and the keyboard get going.  Lurking round the cold pool before diving in. So there I was in a sizable sixteenth century barn.  Acres of polished concrete floor, beams like the a crinoline of…

Plantaholic Post

This is an eyeball view of Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’.  I visited two nurseries last week and at both it  threatened to jump off the shelves and run after me.  Waiting to see whether I still love it in high summer when it hides twisty gyrations behind large but oddly drab leaves.  A cracker of a…

How to choose a tree for the diminutive garden

The 21st garden can be a shrinking violet of a patch.   There is practically no room to swing a cat, but you still want a tree.   This is the last of three posts on choosing a tree for the small, smaller and by now diminutive garden. In my mind’s  eye, the plants I…

Best/worst front gardens – series 4

Too long since the front gardens got scrutinised and now once more, the pull is topiary.   I rate this garden *** as long as I can have the house too – or at least a porch and facade as red bricky as this one: Ratings explained: *         call for a…