July gardening ideas: mid summer (month eight)

I like to think of midsummer’s eve, the summer solstice, as the top of a mountain…

August gardening ideas: high summer (month nine)

Late-July and August will always be ‘real summer’ to me, with the hottest heatwaves, the driest…

September gardening ideas: end of summer (month ten)

Throughout my life, people have described, without fail, sunny spells in September as an Indian summer.…

October gardening ideas: autumn (month eleven)

There is no denying that autumn is upon us as the shorter days bring colder weather,…

November gardening ideas: start of winter (month twelve)

It’s a tale of two parts to November; the first half can feel a lot like…

December gardening ideas: mid-winter (month one)

You may be wondering why December is ‘month one’ in my calendar when typically it’s seen…

Banning peat composts – the facts

The UK Government is planning to ban the sale of peat based composts to gardeners in…

Atmosphere and wonder at York Gate Garden, Leeds, Yorkshire

Chris and I visited York Gate Garden on the outskirts of Leeds in Yorkshire and were…

Pot’s Growing On: six months in person, twelve in mind

We moved in six months ago but I started thinking about our new garden a year…

What we can learn from the best urban street plantings

Our parks, streets and town centres used to be filled with displays of annual flowers, but…

Review: Stihl HLA 86 telescopic, battery powered hedge trimmer

Earlier this year I was given a battery powered Stihl HLA 86 telescopic hedge trimmer to…

How to grow organic microgreens from seed

Microgreens are young salad crops that are grown from seed and then picked and harvested as…

How to collect and store seeds and why

I find the process of collecting and saving my own seeds increasingly rewarding. In fact it’s…

7 ways high altitude gardening impacts plant growth

Our London garden in Clapham was approximately 20m (66ft) above sea level, our new garden sits…

Midgley Open Gardens, near Hebden Bridge

I’ve been visiting Chris’ family for the past 15 odd years or so near Hebden Bridge…

You say native, I say indigenous?

Let’s discuss racism in gardening and science terminology, what we actually mean by terms like invasive…

Meadow species spotted

I’ve created this page as notes for myself on what species we’ve seen in our meadow…

Listening

It’s been four months since we moved to our little house on a very big hill…

A quick look around our new farm

In late-February 2021 we moved to our new farm and in the few months since we’ve…

5 steps to a floofy patio that controls weeds organically and permanently

Do you have a patio that constantly has weeds coming up between the slabs? Perhaps some…

Why the obsession with lawns?

Let’s break this cycle: the UK is brainwashed about lawns. If you use your lawn that’s…

Review: Henchman 4.2m tripod ladder

Henchman sent me one of their 4.2m tripod ladders to trial for an unbiased review. To…

Meadow (part one)

When we bought our new house there was one feature that jumped out at me more…

Review: Felco No.2 secateurs

Over the last month or so I’ve been trialling the Felco No.2 secateurs, which, until other…

Review: Spear & Jackson traditional garden hand tools – hand trowel, fork and transplanting trowel

Having used Spear & Jackson’s hand tools on my allotment in London for a number of…

Peat free compost trials 2021

Over the last 7 – 8 years I’ve only used peat free compost after I switched…

Review: Stihl RMA 448 TC cordless battery lawn mower with Stihl Connect

I’ve been given a Stihl RMA 448 TC cordless battery operated lawn mower to trial in…

Why do we find botanical plant names hard to learn?

Every day I hear or read someone struggling with how hard botanical plant names are to…

How to grow dahlias organically from seed and save your own dahlia seeds

In the past I’ve grown mountains of dahlia cultivars but over the last two years I’ve…

How to suppress weeds using Mulch Organic’s biodegradable paper weed matting

Mulch Organic gave me a roll of their heavy duty organic paper mulch weed suppressant matting…

We’re moving to Hebden Bridge

I’m excited to share that after twenty years of living in London, Chris, Rumbles and I…

How to grow chillies and peppers from seed organically

Chillies and peppers are a really easy to grow, easy to use and easy to store…

Why must nature always come second?

I’m writing this because discussions online this week have kept me up all night thinking about…

My self-help guide to resisting seed and plant catalogue order overload

It’s around about now that the seed and plant catalogues for the coming year come pouring…

Allotment Month 61: December vegetables with winter salad, kale, roots and squash

My allotment needs a good weeding. It’s looking fairly overgrown in parts because I haven’t been…

10 UK weeds to grow for wildlife

My book Wild about Weeds looks at the wildlife value of many weeds I feel are…

Cornwall: rock and stone

Chris and I feel incredibly lucky to have been away to Cornwall for a week in…

Beware plastic netting in lawn and wildflower turf

One of the biggest problems in designed gardens that I and people I work with come…

Littlebury Road through 2020

This year is a difficult one for all of us in many unexpected ways, through it…

Wild about Weeds Photograph Competition 2020 – winners!

There were loads of entries into the first Wild about Weeds 2020 Photography Competition! Entries were…

17 reasons to avoid fake lawns – how bad is artificial grass for the environment?

I never design gardens with fake grass for aesthetic, experiential and environmental reasons. That said, some…

Late summer in the city

I really like to feel the seasons, feel them with all my senses. That’s why our…

Sarah Raven’s Perch Hill

This is one garden I have wanted to visit for many years, Perch Hill, home to…

Trials and titillations at RHS Wisley after lockdown

I love RHS Wisley. I will always credit the garden and the teams who manage it…

Gardening in southern England’s changed climate

Where are we now, into the fifth summer on my allotment, and despite going into this…

Why don’t we talk more about patterns in gardens?

I find patterns in gardens fascinating (so much so I wrote a book about them) and…

Come back dragonfly

I spent the whole of yesterday writing outside in our garden for a new project and…

Come into my world: haphazard

On my allotment two years ago I started increasing the number of ornamental plants because I…

Allotment Month 55: vigorous legumes, squash and pumpkins, tomatoes

Do you ever have the feeling you’re being left behind in gardening? You think your tomatoes…

Gardening needs diversity

Over the last week I’ve watched what is happening in America in horror and disbelief, largely…