• Long grass that looks great

    There seems to be something deeply engrained in the British psyche about having the perfect lawn - the more they’re like a billiard table, the better. Oh, and flowers aren’t permitted. And for greatest kudos it should be striped.

    The idea of leaving bits of it to grow long? Well, what would the neighbours think? It would look like we just don’t care!

    Yet if you go somewhere like the Alps, you find…

    • 31 May 2012
  • Check this out for one classy, yummy insect!

    Now here's a creature I haven't covered on the blog before, and what a beauty. It's not one I've ever had in my garden, but it is a widespread dragonfly and does turn up at some garden ponds. I photographed this one at Walberswick in Suffolk this time last year.

    Dragonfly fans will have identified it immediately, because there is no other in this country that has black spots both middle and end of the…

    • 25 May 2012
  • From Birmingham to South Africa in one garden - and you're invited!

    Each year I like to bring you news of the RSPB’s ‘Garden Feature’ that our national events team prepares for Gardeners World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. The RSPB doesn’t do a ‘show garden’ as such – they cost gazillions of pounds. But the team does bust a gut to make a wonderful RSPB stand with a gardening message.

    This year, they’re creating a truly adventurous affair that…

    • 18 May 2012
  • Red-eyed wing-waving wonder

    On Bank Holiday Monday I had been in the garden most of the day, weeding and pruning and planting and potting-on and all the million other things that need doing at this time of year. It was overcast and cool all day, which was great because there were very few insects to distract me (altough the baby Dunnocks and House Sparrows now visiting the garden and nagging their parents did take up some of my attention!).

    Then…

    • 11 May 2012
  • A meadow of snakes

    Isn't this just the most ravishingly elegant flower?

    And to think that it is quite probably native too. Wow!

    It is the Snake's-head Fritillary which, even if it isn't native, was certainly growing in England's wet meadows by the 16th Century, and was once a widespread sight.

    Nowadays, it is a real rarity, found in just a few special hay meadows, mainly along the M4 corridor and in Suffolk, with 80…

    • 4 May 2012