Garden Adventures

  1. Fake News! Read All About It!

    Fake News! Read All About It!

    Fake news is in the news again. Or is the news. Or isn’t. Oh, I don't know what to believe anymore. So-and-so is manipulating some other person's social media account; one country is being really naughty when it comes to hacking into other countries bits and bobs; and everyone is denying everything.

    So, in the spirit of topicality and sticking to the maxim, ‘if you can’t beat them there’s a good chance the eggs have gone off, I can exclusively reveal my own list of gardening fake news stories.


    fallen-ladderGardening is good for you. All that gree

    Read more »
  2. Time Well Spent?

    Time Well Spent?

    I’ve found another survey to read. I do like a ‘on average’ type statistic, even though I know full well it probably isn’t backed by any scientific rigour or indeed, value. They are fun and somehow worm their way into becoming fact. Often quoted and usually referred to when supporting an argument.

    gardening statistics

    According to this particular survey I was reading, on average a gardener in the UK spends six and a half hours a year raking leaves. That same average gardener spends just over two days watering, solidly, for a year. He or she only spends half a day maintaining t

    Read more »
  3. Quattro Stagioni

    Quattro Stagioni

    Yep, my garden at the moment could be described as that classic Italian pizza, the quattro stagioni.

    quattro-stagioni-pizzaThere are sections that represent each of the four seasons of the year. But obviously the patio isn’t fringed with a stuffed crust and no one sidles up to me, armed with a badly tuned guitar and a bucket of flaccid, imported flowers, suggesting a ‘rose for the lady’ or enquiring about my need for ‘black pepper?’ or ‘Parmesan?’ Well, not recently and definitely not whilst I’m turning the compost heap.

    A little like the quattro stagioni pizza’s

    Read more »
  4. O Fiona, Fiona! Wherefore art thou, Fiona?

    O Fiona, Fiona! Wherefore art thou, Fiona?

    There comes a time in every gardener’s life when the spade comes out and a bit of digging is the order of the day. Even no-dig gardeners need a spade when constructing a pathway, or extending a current one. And I’m doing just that. 

    concreteUsually whenever doing DIY or GIY, you find the previous owner has bodged the job and done things on the cheap. Not with my garden path. Tonnes, and I mean tonnes (or do I mean tons?) of concrete have been used to haunch in the rope edging. Getting them out has been tortuous. Armed with a spade, lump hammer, bolster and bucket, I set about removing a massive three feet of the stuff. An afternoon of blo

    Read more »
  5. Stickability

    Stickability

    Like discarded chewing gum on a pavement, some plants are hard to get rid of. Whatever you do, however careful you are when cleaning up the dead blooms… they still seem to pop up the following year. Or month, or week, or - in the case of marigolds - the next day. And I’m learning a lot about them.

    calendula-in-cracksmarigold-by-wallFirst of all, marigolds and in particular English marigolds ar

    Read more »
  6. Neither Here Nor There

    Neither Here Nor There

    When cooking, I obviously ignore all instructions and guidelines. ‘Heat to 200C for an hour then reduce to 180C for two hours’ kind of instruction translates in my head to ‘max power for three hours’. ‘Iron on a delicate setting’ = ‘nuclear heat’. Dimmer switches? What are they?

    So, when it comes to the seasons I find myself marooned between moods.

    I love summer, when we have one. The heat, the watering, the leaving the greenhouse door open all day and night are all what makes the summer great.

    summer-trio

    Read more »
  7. Sown Alone

    Sown Alone

    Everything in our lives can be divided into my new traffic light system. It’s a simple to follow scheme and one that applies to everything in our lives.

    It goes like this. Green means ‘easy’, amber is ‘great results with a little effort’ and red is ‘high maintenance, lots of input and unpredictable results’.


    red-lightFor example, some cars breakdown incessantly, develop faults overnight, are devils to get started and stop but my, oh, my, how good do they look? That has to be a red.

    Read more »
  8. Serendipity

    Serendipity

    serendipity

    /ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti/

    Noun: The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

    ‘a fortunate stroke of serendipity’


    serendipity4pic

    Post-It notes, microwave ovens, Sri Lanka and penicillin all have something in common with a weed in my garden. Do you know what it is? Of course you don’t, unless you skulk around near the door

    Read more »
  9. Operation Garden

    Operation Garden

    There was some kind of documentary on the telly the other night and the narrator referred to the action as being part of ‘Operation Eagle’. Intriguing. Our police force does it as well. ‘Operation Buzzard was highly successful with three being detained for further questioning,’ type of statement being frequently issued to reporters. But for me all this ‘operation’ referencing raises two questions. Firstly, who makes up the names and, secondly, can I be more forensic in my own garden by adopting such nomenclature?

    stakeoutRight - the first question answered. I’m reliably informed that there is a centrally generated list of operation c

    Read more »
  10. A Letter to Summer

    A Letter to Summer

    Dear Summer,

    It is upsetting to have to put my thoughts down in words, but I haven’t see you face-to-face to talk things through. If only.

    1976Over the years you have been a bright light in my life. How things sizzled in 76 when you were all I thought of. Did we really fry eggs on the pavement? Did railway lines really buckle? How we enjoyed drinking those reservoirs dry. Stand by those pipes boys and girls. Did Tizer really taste that

    Read more »