• Cornish beauties

    For the past week, I have been office and desk-bound, with not a moment spent in my own garden, or anyone else's. Now that's tough!

    So for today's blog I'm forced to wind the clock back a couple of months to my first ever visit to The Lizard in Cornwall, but what happy memories.

    I've long known about the place, and how the serpentine rock allows plants to grow that are either very rare or indeed are…

    • 30 Nov 2012
  • Honesty is the best policy

    It's pretty lifeless out in my woodland garden at the moment, but there's one thing that brightens it up:

    It's the closest thing to 'money growing on trees' - the silvery coin seedpods of last spring's Honesty flowers. With even just a little bit of light behind them, it adds a bit of frosty sparkle in the gloom, matched only by the trunk of my Silver Birch stump beyond.

    This is a plant found…

    • 23 Nov 2012
  • Resisting the urge of the real Twiggy!

    On my recent trip to the subtropical gardens on Tresco, Isles of Scilly, one creature I was eager to see was this fella:

    Now I had heard that stick-insects were living wild on the islands, but I hadn't twigged (groan!) that they would be so big. This is the Prickly Stick-insect from New Zealand, and those that I found were almost the length and thickness of a pencil. They were groovy!

    What I also didn't know was…

    • 16 Nov 2012
  • Of roses, seed thieves and mystery plants

    I don't know if you have favourite bolt-holes, places that get you right away from all worries and cares, but mine is the Scilly Islands off the tip of Cornwall.

    This autumn, I grabbed the opportunity to escape yet again. But I'm very happy to escape AND still think about gardening for wildlife.

    For instance, one day, I was walking across the main island of St Mary's, and a flock of Greenfinches sprang from…

    • 9 Nov 2012
  • Ashes - and the art of taking things for granted

    Much has of course been written in the past week about Ash trees, and the shock news that the fungal disease which has killed up to 90% of trees across large part of Europe has found its way here.

    You can read the views of our Conservation Director, Martin Harper, here.

    From a gardening perspective, this is such a common tree that there will be plenty of people out there who will have an Ash tree in their garden and…

    • 2 Nov 2012