Perplexed by a vegetable foray into the italian spectrum.

The seed sowing has thrown a barbarous squash bigger than my foot, expanding by eye-widening moment and remorselessly green.  I share the allotment plot and my veggie co-grower  is unimpressed and clearly  bothered by the Medusa  patch of leaves snaking over the ground, spreading like spilt treacle and harbouring no ordinary butternut squash.

10 tips for getting the wedding garden ready

Here in Suffolk we are getting a garden ready for a wedding this September.   It may come behind the cake, the frock and the marquee but any keen gardener will want their patch to look perfect.  The budget for this end of the party will be minimal and so how do you plan for…

Plantaholic POST: Stipa gigantea

Transparency is a major quality in a perennial.  There are plants that are of a certain stature, take the movement of the breeze and are see-through.  They do not need staking and create allure and atmosphere.  The tall grass Stipa gigantea is in that league.

9 or 10 good gardener’s eye reasons to visit Audley End

My last garden visit was to Houghton Hall, Norfolk.   It turned into a wordy splurge.   Now we are in August and life is too hot and short.  Instead I give  you 9 or 10 good gardener’s eye reasons to visit Audley End near Saffron Walden.  The house will still be there another time…

Some advice on green manure crops, please!

In the blink of a few weeks the experimental green manure patch of Phacelia tanacetifolia has gone from this to this: The heat and drought has rushed the crop through to maturity.  So now what do I do with it?  Wait? Chop it up and fork it in? How long before I can sow again?…

Guisachan: a rare old place in the Highlands

The wonder of Guisachan lies in the stone husk of a large house set in  mature parkland.  Mighty specimens of wellingtonia, beeches and limes pepper the fat valley.  The horse chestnuts are free of leaf miners and a heavy crop of lichen

Which to buy? Big v little tree specimens

Larger specimens of trees are tempting to buy for instant impact.  But does the promise translate in more bang for your bucks?  Disease and ill  health are romping through our native trees and ash dieback – Chalara fraxinea and sudden oak death, caused by Phytophthora ramorum – bring a thought that it may be  time…