Tomorrow’s gardeners

November 23, 2015 0 comments

We urgently need ambassadors for a different way of gardening. Could the Royal Horticultural Society’s appointment of a 10-year-old signal a sea change?

Celebrating slate

October 19, 2015 0 comments
By late summer, lizard families bask together on sun-baked blue-grey.

Walls, terraces, paths, steps, soil, compost, wildlife habitats… second-hand and spoil heap slate can give you the makings of an entire garden. Bar the dreaming and hard graft, my garden owes its existence to an ancient and, given its dour… Read More

Silence of the gardeners

September 28, 2015 0 comments
More time spent gardening means less flying through the air on high-carbon gardening holidays…

‘Keep quiet and grow on’ simply isn’t tenable any longer. What we do in our gardens does make a difference to climate change – for better or for worse. It needs a snappier name for sure, but Gardening and Climate… Read More

Bombs that bloom

August 20, 2015 0 comments

There’s an effective response to the savage treatment of roadside verges by local authorities: say it with flowers. Revenge, the saying goes, is a dish best served cold. I’m not the only gardener to have looked on aghast at the… Read More

Red alert

June 29, 2015 0 comments
I’m hoovering up virtually no butterflies – such as this wayward fritillary – now that I’ve swapped glass for mesh in the greenhouse doors.

Earth-friendly plant protection is a finely judged art, but with a little ingenuity you can thwart the pests while providing safe passage for pollinators. Now it begins. Yellow daggers wait poised and patient at the doors. Sharp claws wrench blood-curdling… Read More


May 29, 2015 0 comments
They stopped in a clearing filled with buttercups gleaming in the sunshine.

When neonicotinoid pesticides were developed back at the turn of the 21st century, did nobody realise what would happen to the wildlife that ingested them? ‘Right, Holly – give it a good whack!’ As the tremor shuddered along the oak’s… Read More

Slugs in the greenhouse

May 5, 2015 0 comments

Now here’s a sight to strike fear into the heart of any greenhouse owner. The greenhouse is full to bursting with healthy young plants, all waiting to head out into the allotment. Despite a few false starts and a couple… Read More

‘Ne’r cast a clout till may is out’…

May 1, 2015 0 comments
Image - May 2015 (1 of 1)

Throughout the country, the variable weather continues. Several weeks of hot days and cold nights with a niggling, chilling wind have turned this into a long and beautiful spring for blossom yet low rainfall and cold nights are still affecting… Read More

Rot in peace

April 29, 2015 0 comments
Woodchips, which soon become home to microbial decomposers, play a key role in transforming our bodies into compost.

Earth-friendly gardeners are committed to composting all organic matter – so why not extend the principle to our own remains? An innovative ‘deathcare’ project in Seattle is developing a better way for gardeners to go. Of all the things that… Read More

Greening my greenhouse

March 23, 2015 0 comments
Powered by free and non-polluting sunshine, the first delicious strawberries are just weeks away.

Like every man-made structure, a greenhouse has an embedded ecological cost – the inspiring difference being that with a greenhouse, you get the chance to clear the debt. These days nudging each side of the spring equinox – when day… Read More

Why a Hartley? Hartley Botanic