Caterpillars and camping gear

I was helping out at the children’s gardening club at a National Trust property this week. It’s an organic vegetable garden created to give children a taste of ‘grow-your-own’ gardening, and it’s amazingly prolific. Rows of tomatoes, courgettes, potatoes, salads, soft fruit and herbs, all in raised beds. Children come along with their parents and have a go at planting… Read more →

All creatures great and small

Working from my office at home today, I had time to observe the pesky little grey squirrel that lives in the mulberry tree making inroads on my spring bulbs. I had noticed the other day that one of my Iris reticulata bulbs had been dug up, but as it had been left lying on the soil, I had hoped that… Read more →

Practice what you preach…

There’s an old saying that the shoemaker’s children are never shod, and looking around my garden this week I have started to suspect that it is suffering from Shoemaker’s Children syndrome. It isn’t a particularly large space, so there’s really no room for plants that don’t pull their weight, but somehow they seem to creep in anyway. For a start,… Read more →

Be careful what you ask for

Back when I was an engineer working on construction sites, I always hoped that we would come across an exciting archaeological find when the foundations were being dug – Roman remains, perhaps, or a buried stash of gold coins. Disastrous for the project programme, I know, but it would have been fun. Anyway, today I had my own little archaeological… Read more →

Mud, mud, glorious mud…

I am covered in mud. My tools are covered in mud. My boots have so much mud on them that the soles are an inch thicker than usual. I have spent most of the past week planting in the rain – 650 plants in three days! (There were three of us doing it, I hasten to add – I’m not… Read more →