More veg plotting

Wonders will never cease. Looking out of the window I can see a few drops of rain – the first we have seen in Sussex for about a month! Every evening I have been going out and watering our new veg patch by hand, eagerly awaiting the first signs of the seeds we planted over the Easter…

Easter in Virginia Woolf’s garden

I have lived just down the road from Monk’s House, Virginia Woolf’s country cottage and garden, for nearly seven years, but only visited it for the first time this Easter weekend and was utterly enchanted. What put me off visiting before was the prospect of taking young children around a small National Trust property, but the…

Making a garden our own

It is 10 months since we moved into our new garden (there is a house attached), but I still feel as though I am trespassing on someone else’s territory. Most of the trees, shrubs and plants have been chosen by others. Some I adore such as the gigantic fig tree my children love to climb and have…

Take Comfrey

‘Knitbone’, ‘bruisewort’, ‘boneset’ and ‘knit back’; these are just some of the folk names given to Comfrey, hinting at its long history as a medicinal herb. It was widely used to promote the healing of wounds and fractures, hence its common name, which is a corruption of the Latin ‘con firma’, alluding to the plant’s ability to…

A veg plot in an hour (or two)

Oh how I envy all those allotment bloggers out there who have dug over large symmetrical beds ready to sow this year’s goodies. Although I dream of one day joining their hallowed ranks, this year I have neither the space nor time. My bog roll broad beans have been sitting on the kitchen windowsill growing leggier…

Shed heaven

Now that Spring is here it will soon be time for a job we have been putting off all winter: clearing out the shed. We have a large, but extremely tumbledown shed at the end of our garden. When we moved in, it was already a quarter full with detritus left by previous occupants, old…

Zippedy-doo-da

My oh my what a beautiful day.    Spring has sprung and this year it is extra sweet because it is our first in our new garden. Every time a plant comes into flower it feels like a gift: purple crocuses, cheery narcissi, heavenly hellebores, pretty snowdrops, zingy Mahonia zipping through the fig tree, bright…

The first cut is the sweetest

It’s Harry Potter mania in our house at the moment. Little Weed#1 and Middle Weed can’t get enough of all things Hogwarts and for a while I thought that was why I had selected a variety of sweet pea called ‘Nimbus’ this year (after Harry’s broomstick, the Nimbus 2000). Then I remembered visiting the Gold…

Front garden flâneur

I have a confession to make: I am a front garden flâneur. That’s the fancy French term for it, you may prefer the plain English nosy parker. It comes from the best part of a decade spent pushing a buggy along urban streets, trying to soothe a baby or toddler to sleep, or merely escaping…

Bog roll beans

What to do with all those toilet roll tubes? As a family of five we produce a lot of them, so I have been meaning to re-use them as biodegradable seed pots for some time, and this weekend I finally got round to it. The first step was to clean out my mini-outdoor greenhouse after…

Seedy weekends

So far February has been a month of work deadlines and half term (aaaagh) limiting my ability to get going in the garden. But my appetite has been whetted by the appearance of a solitary flower on one of the three hellebores I planted last autumn;  By palest purple crocuses appearing in the lawn behind…