Feast on your greens: winter gardening

December weather lays  bare the bones of the landscape and reminds keen gardeners of the delights of monochrome gardening.  Knock out  colour – except greens –   and think texture, movement, leaf contrast – all those things that design tutors at college chant as a mantra. Last  autumn,  a group of us visited The Laskett…

Tomato horrors: some fell witch has visited my greenhouse

This is a story of how NOT to grow tomatoes. Growing in the greenhouse  began so well.    I am new to protected cropping and took great pride in stringing up my burgeoning plants and weaving them upwards.  The cucumbers got the same treatment.   Watered, fed, shut and open doors and all that and…

Problem planting areas – slopes round ponds

or should I say moats?   In Suffolk, east of England,  moats are ubiquitous .   I have lost count of how many customers I have with the address “Moat House Farm”. The problem is that the banks down to the water are steep.  So what are the options for maintenance and aesthetics?  Lush growth…

This is my mistreated carrot

An extreme example of very poor soil preparation.  The wretched thing is coiled into a scream that stops it taking flight for a Tony Cragg Road Show. We ate it and it was quite tasty. Please do follow us!

Dahlia amazia: why and how to grow dahlias

Dahlias yo-yo in and out of fashion.  Right now the spool is taut and this genus of perennials are spinning high.  Funny to reflect then that the first plants arriving from Mexico 200 years were introduced  as  food  – an alternative to the potato.  James Wong, ethno-botanist and TV presenter,  praises them for a flavour…

Garden workshops in Suffolk to get your garden looking gorgeous

I am running two workshops soon for any keen gardeners who live in Suffolk: HARMONIOUS PLANTING – on  Monday 6th October 9.30 – 11.30 at Lilac Thyme, The Station, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU This is a two hour workshop to get you enthused about where to begin with replanting, or simply dividing up and moving plants…

Go away at your peril

in the summer and you will return to rampaging jungle syndrome.  I had just got it under control – the garden, that is.  Breathed a sigh of relief at the fair degree of man over nature, and went away for 6 days.  Big mistake.  Brambles and nettles have gone into overdrive. Please do follow us!

How to bud a rose

Well why would you?  Its quite simple – roses can be grown by taking cuttings but to graft a bud onto the rootstock of Rosa Laxa means that vigour and sturdiness is engendered in the new rose plants.    And as to can I be bothered?  – what could be more exciting than rescuing a…

So what is this garden coaching malarkey?

Well, one big part of my  garden coaching  is designing gardens.  However a quantum shift has come over me and in the collaborative process, I am keen to get my customers to do the job themselves.  With guidance.   So here are two pictures of a new garden we are working on with views in…