Reflections on another gardening year
2018 was a year in which I’ve been lucky to be washed in an overwhelming “go on you can do it” from so many
I have a shed!
When I finally settled on my allotment plan three years ago (here is an updated version) I earmarked a space for a shed. It fe
Pot’s Growing On: experimenting with tender plants outside
Over the last few years I’ve been surprised at the number of tender plants that can survive outside over winter with min
Grow your own, change YOUR world
I was reading the BBC’s seven charts on climate change article and one major thing scientists say will offset increasing
Mossy Rock (part three)
It is with some excitement and a huge amount of pride that I can now show you, a year on from the start of this experiment, Mo
8 tips to demystify growing Begonias as houseplants
When I first started going to garden events like RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the first thing I was drawn to was the begonia displ
Allotment Month 36: sowing garlic, broad beans, peas and my new compost bins
I’ve hit month 36 in my allotment journal which means I’ve now had it, almost unbelievably, for three whole years!
Rearrange: the benefit of a patio of pots!
I’ve come over all Mary Poppins this weekend and not just because gusts of wind keep blowing fallen leaves around the ga
Cassa de Serralves, Porto
Earlier this year Chris and I visited Porto, Portugal and during the trip popped to the Serralves museum of modern art. What w
Crocks in pots: what is the myth, that they do or don’t work?
For decades gardeners around the world have added crocks – broken bits of terracotta pot or polystyrene – to the b
Future Meadow: Autumn One
A seasonal journal of my new experimental planting design I’ve started something that is at one time important and anoth
Last night I had a dream about Himantoglossum hircinum, I woke up worrying and I’m not sure why. The dream was really cl
Pot’s Growing On in November? Hedging my bets
I’ve been thinking for a while that something is up with our small garden and these are the problems: Not enclosed enoug
The gardener who keeps on giving
The first time I met Penny Snell she handed me a glass of wine and a canapé at an evening garden opening to raise money for t
P!ss off fox
Glancing out of the back window I was looking at the border when my eyes zoned in on something out of place. I should have sus
Living on a prairie (part 2)
It’s been two years since I started a prairie experiment in a small border on my allotment and I have to say I’ve
Is this the year we fell in love with Symphyotrichum? Photos from Sussex Prairies
This Autumn everyone I speak to has discovered a love of Symphyotrichum. Or should I say, rediscovered Asters, as they were pr
Power of propagation, Ulting Wick (NGS)
I don’t remember when I first started following Philippa Burrough on Twitter. Philippa is the owner, gardener and plant
Amazing scenes as Porto’s streets are swallowed by Ipomoea
Earlier this year Chris and I visited the cool city of Porto, Portugal. Within the first hour I’d spotted the vivid blue
What’s wrong with Verbena bonariensis?
I was going to write about Verbena bonariensis to sing its praises in long periods of drought and then I heard something odd.
Allotment Month 34: happy herbal, apple disaster, persistent prairie
Often I beat myself up about the state of my allotment, it never quite looks as good as those picture perfect ones I see in ma
Pot’s Growing On: plant indoor bulbs for Christmas(ish) colour
It’s the time of year when you can sit back, put your feet up… and pick up a bulb catalogue cos there’s no r
How established should a newly planted garden design be?
I’ve designed about thirty gardens now of varying sizes and the request from every garden owner is for plants to be as e
Can you ever have too many plants?
Gardeners are all dreamers, I’m sure of it. We look, we imagine and somehow we become responsible for steering our littl
Dahlias and me
For me, dahlias need to look carved from gemstone rock with a richness of colour to match. The ones so deep in colour theyR
Pot’s Growing On: addicted to crazy leaves
Hello loyal reader! (Ignore if first visit or you plan on never returning). In the run up to our September open day I was worr
National Dahlia Society Annual Show 2018, RHS Wisley
Is it just me or are there fewer yellow dahlias at the National Dahlia Society Annual Show this year? “Bryn Terfel”
An inspiring friend (Scampston Hall, Yorkshire)
Reuniting with a friend at Scampston Hall and being inspired by shrubs and views as much as perennials and detail. Recently
Control meadow grass using parasitic yellow rattle, Rhinanthus minor
Many meadows have one problem: overly vigorous grasses. If soil is even a little too rich or too moist, grasses enjoy the cond
Good husbandry goes a long way in small gardens – The Watch House, Broadstairs
A few weeks ago, the day before we jetted off to Portugal, Chris and I hopped on a train to the most easterly point of Kent, S
Outdoor mini aubergines for pots and containers in small spaces
Here I show you the small aubergine plants I’ve been growing in pots at home and in a row on my allotment. I love them!
Video of giant dahlia ‘Emory Paul’
One of the first dahlias we grew was ‘Emory Paul’ and it’s come back every year better than ever. This year
Why I just chopped off every single dahlia flower
Oh no! What have I done?! Just as my dahlia trial beds on my allotment were pulling through from the drought and finally start
The law of limiting factors
Everyone is talking about the weather as though we haven’t only just entered mid-Summer. Don’t allow a few rainy d
Allotment Month 33: today is a good day
This was the best day on the allotment all year, a breeze and drizzle, the air warm, everything quiet and the world relaxed.
From the streets: Porto – city of fusion
Chris and I have been staying in Porto, neither of us having been to Portugal before. An old but very modern city with the riv
Real millennial gardens
Some of my biggest gardening inspiration comes from friends who I wouldn’t have expected to love growing stuff. They lov
Pot’s Growing On: creating space, sunflower for foliage and ornamental aubergine
Stepping out into our garden one morning this week was different. Not least because we had 1.2cm of rain last weekend, literal
Easily multiply your Solenostemon with midsummer cuttings
By July Solenostemon should be growing rapidly and, with the foliage types, it’s often useful to pinch them out to encou
Allotment month 32: cool as a cucurbit, hot as a herbal
2018 will go down as one of the most challenging years for gardeners, the freezing late blast followed by an immediate and tot
Fibrex Nurseries, Warwickshire
If you’re into ferns you’ll certainly have heard of Fibrex Nurseries, they also hold the national collections for
Sir Harold Hillier Arboretum and Gardens
Last week Chris and I popped to the New Forest for a couple of days and on the way back we passed the Sir Harold Hillier Arbor
How to grow Monarda didyma
Monarda didyma ‘Cambridge Scarlet’ can be seen flowering in our garden in the above photo (2015) and below (2018). This ye
Bombay Sapphire Distillery: making gin from herbs and other botanicals amidst jaw dropping design
Chris and I popped to the New Forest for a night and stopped at the new Bombay Sapphire Distillery in Laverstock, Whitchurch.
How to make a micro wildlife pond in a pot
When we open our garden for charity on the National Garden Scheme one thing people always comment on is our micro pond with it
10 no nonsense tips to jazz up your small city garden this summer
Ah, waking up to summer in the city. The sound of sirens and drunk people ringing your doorbell at 5am birds chirping. You rea
Allotment month 31: here come the crops – gherkins, kohlrabi, edible flowers and more
After months of hard work, today the allotment is starting to give up its bounty with lots of produce now finally ready for th
How to grow Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’ from seed
A couple of years ago RHS Chelsea Flower Show was filled with a new flower, Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’.
Come into my world
People have asked me a lot why I write recently and I don’t really know the answer but I think it’s something to do with n