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…

Catalogue of desire

Catalogue time is here again.  All through the summer they have been thumping through the letter box.  A dusty pile has grown in the corner.  In and out of a pink basket and to Edinburgh and the seaside and back.  Unread but then August is like that:  a month of neglect.  It is either too…

Hot baths and the quest for the best tomato ever

Aqui Terme.  Town  of roses and water.   Show-off fountains and sparkling expanses of wet marble.  Sulpherous water gushes out of two rusty pipes in the best piazza in town:  Piazza delle bollente.     Steam rises up and a smell of rotting eggs.  It is for drinking – a purgative.  Magnolia grandiflora as street…