• Sneak preview of the RSPB's new Flatford garden

    Just over a week ago, I got the chance to drop in on the RSPB's brand new visitor garden at Flatford in Suffolk. In fact, it isn't even open to the public yet - it's due to fling open its garden gate in June (I'll let you know when it does).

    It is just off the A12 London-Ipswich road, right in the heart of Constable country. Now I'm partial to a bit Constable - his landscapes of the lush British countryside…

    • 30 May 2011
  • Preparations for Gardeners World continue

    Are you following the Chelsea Flower Show? Maybe you've even been and admired the show gardens. What creativity! What plantsmanship! What big budgets!

    Behind the scenes, plans for our own 'feature' at Gardeners World Live continue apace, without the six figure sums but with the same level of love and commitment!.

    This will the the RSPB's tenth year at the event, and you may recall that our stand will be…

    • 27 May 2011
  • Bottoms up!

    Last year, my new Starling nestbox was christened by Great Tits, who successfully raised a brood in what must have seemed to them a palatial mansion.

    This year, it was taken over by those-for-which-it-was-intended, and for the past three weeks I have been entertained by the increasingly frequent feeding visits of the parent Starlings .

    Here is the view I have usually been getting. In comes the parent, to an already…

    • 23 May 2011
  • From Bituwell to Stranvaesia

    As you hopefully gathered, the Blogs and Forums have been ‘down’ for a few days while the RSPB’s techno-bods did some fixes and improvements, hence the lack of my Monday blog.

    So I think it only fair that I offer up two quick stories instead of one. We're going from Bituwell to Stranvaesia, which sounds like a train journey somewhere in eastern Europe but is something very, very different!

      Let…

    • 20 May 2011
  • Now you won’t have seen THIS in a garden before!

    A big date in the RSPB’s gardening calendar is zooming up at alarming speed. No, we’re not at Chelsea this year, but we are as usual taking a ‘feature’ to Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC on 15-19 June.

    Now I hasten to add that I can claim none of the credit for this. Our stand is all put together by a team at The Lodge, and I just go along when it all happens.

     But they’ve sent me a sneak…

    • 13 May 2011
  • Striking gold in the wildlife garden

    Did you catch 'Wildlife Friendly' (Sue) in her inspirational Devon garden on Friday night's BBC Gardeners' World? Congratulation, Sue - you were GREAT.

    It was good to see Carol Klein getting so excited about it all. But a 5-minute slot was just not enough to do it all justice. We want more!

    For today's blog, I said I'd tell more about my sister's garden, which I visited a fortnight ago (and put in some…

    • 9 May 2011
  • STOP PRESS: Watch 'Wildlife Friendly' on BBC Gardeners' World

    Do check out BBC Gardeners' World tonight, where the wonderful 'Wildlife Friendly', who is always contributing to this blog and the RSPB forums, will be visited in her Devon garden by none other than Carol Klein to see all the wildlife she manages to support. Bravo!

    • 7 May 2011
  • The shyest bird plucks up courage

    Family is very handy, don't you find? On my way down from Wales last week, I was able to stay overnight halfway down at my sister's house in Staffordshire.

    Now she only got into gardening about three years ago, and I was very flattered to find that she had enacted almost precisely the plan I had suggested for her garden.

    I repaid the compliment by spending six hours digging for her. Oh, and we had a nice trip…

    • 6 May 2011
  • Of knickerbockers and butlers - gardening in style

     On my Welsh escapade last week, when not tromping across the mountains, I managed to fit in a visit to the renowned Bodnant Garden in the idyllic Conwy Valley. (The photo, left, shows just one small part, the Pin Mill and Lily Pond).

    The 'backyard' of the Aberconwy family, it’s a masterpiece of landscaping and design. Laid out in 1875 by Henry Davis Ponchin, there are dramatic terraces and formal ponds careering down…

    • 2 May 2011