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

Welcome to wormposting

February 17, 2015 1 comment
One of my wormpost bins  a month after starting up. The worms are already busy below the fresh material that’s just gone in.

There is an easier middle way between the effort of traditional composting and the specialised requirements of a wormery: invite the worms into your regular bin, and let them do the work. Of all the ongoing experiments and trials in… Read More

New year revolutions

January 20, 2015 2 comments
Getting into sync with the wild, natural world is a vital part of quiet, thoughtful gardening.

If reason and persuasion don’t work, we need to start hitting the less ethical elements of the gardening industry where it hurts: below the profit margin. Yes, you read that right: it’s time for us to start revolting. Unless you… Read More

Question time

May 28, 2013 5 comments

As the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere crosses the symbolic 400 ppm mark, it’s time for gardeners – and those who represent us – to answer to their environmental responsibilities.

Stolen spring

April 23, 2013 3 comments

In the mid-20th century the pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson warned of a ‘silent spring’. Today it’s only our elder gardeners who can remember ‘spring’ at all. 

Toxins without borders

March 22, 2013 10 comments

The insidious effects of neonic insecticides are leaving bees and other beneficial insects with no safe place to go. There’s still hope of rescue – but it will only happen with our help.  Any day now I’ll hear a low… Read More

Added values

February 19, 2013 1 comment

The way we garden reveals a lot about our outlook on the world. It comes down to whether we feel gratitude to planet Earth – or think it owes us.

Why a Hartley? Hartley Botanic