Monthly Archives: August 2018

  1. Assessing Your Garden Post Summer

    Assessing Your Garden Post Summer

    Take Stock of Your Garden Successes and Failures

    I know that New Year is the traditional time to stop and re-evaluate everything in your life but I reckon now, as summer ends, is also an ideal time to stop all that weeding, watering and worrying so you can look at your garden and decide what to do better next year. After all, you don’t need to rely on your memory if all your faults and successes are there, straight in front of your eyes.

    Here are my own garden assessments for this summer:

    Parsnip leavesNo more parsnips

    Keen followers of these blogs know the injuries that I’ve sustained in growing some pre

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  2. Death of the Pumpkin

    Death of the Pumpkin

    The pumpkin has gone.

    Not stolen or misplaced (no one could accidently lose that beast) but ...died.

    Everything was going well until two days ago.

    Phil's pumpkin growing on top of his shedThe discovery

    It was early morning and I did the usual round of watering - leaving the hosepipe dripping into the compost heap, home to the roots - followed by a quick check of the leaves and developing fruit. The fruit had been visibly swelling each day for the last few weeks. But two days ago, it hadn’t grown any bigger. This coincided with a drop in temperature so I wasn't too bothered. I reported back to the family.


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  3. A Nasty Allergen Every Veg Grower Needs to Know About

    A Nasty Allergen Every Veg Grower Needs to Know About

    Danger in the Vegetable Plot

    The wonderful thing about gardening is that we all learn something new every day. And for your own safety, my current lesson needs to be heard by all.

    If you grow celery, parsnips, carrots or celeriac, please read on. Forewarned is forearmed. And you don't want to end up with forearms like mine.

    Phil's garden including his parsnip cropHere goes:

    The tale starts with a potential comedic line. ‘I was gardening in my shorts’ which elicits the response ‘strange place to have a garden.’ But seriously, due to the hot weather I was pottering and weeding in the veg garden wearing short

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  4. Growing a Pumpkin - A Tale of Obsession

    Growing a Pumpkin - A Tale of Obsession

    A Tale of Obsession

    What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up? Mine is ‘the pumpkin.’ My family have given up on me; they despair at the time I spend simply staring at the developing fruit. They have actually walked away when I’ve been in conversation about the beast with friends. They are appalled at my ability to turn any conversation, any, to pumpkin growing.

    ‘How are things?’, ‘Keeping well?’ and ‘How’s life treating you?’  are perfect opening questions for me. (My answers: ‘Pumpkin’s growing well’; ‘The pumpkin is’ and ‘Not as good as I am treating that pumpkin.’)

    However, ‘‘What do you think about Brexit?’, ‘Do you think Donald Trump should impose sanctions on Iran?’ and ‘What time is it?’ are slightly trickier opening gambits to steer to pumpkin chat, but I can. (

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  5. Garden Surival Tips After a Heatwave and High Winds

    Garden Surival Tips After a Heatwave and High Winds

    Garden Survival Tips After a Heatwave and High Winds

    The heatwave has done it’s worst (for now) and after the weekend’s rain and wind, the garden needs picking up and putting right. But your outdoor space is resilient, especially with some help from you.

    Dead conifer branchDead Branches

    Some plants have suffered in the heat and will show signs of damage, Trees and shrubs could well have dead branches. This is their natural mechanism for survival. They shut down and sacrifice a twig here or there to save itself.

    Cut such dead branches off where the live growth begins. Trace down a branch, scraping a

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