• Life begins to stir

    The sun came out today here on the south coast. Only briefly, you understand, but enough to gladden the heart.

    I set about some weeding - plants with tap roots such as Alexanders and Cow Parsley were coming up quite well in my chalky soil, although I realise that for anyone on clay the idea of weeding in gloop is out of the question.

    As I crawled around on hands and knees, it was lovely to see the unfurling shoots of…

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Here comes the biggie...

    You all will be aware of the big dates on the calendar, I'm sure. And we've had some huge ones lately, as I'm sure you are aware.

    Last week, of course, it was the international Winnie the Pooh Day, for which I ceremonially ate some honey. Ten days ago, I know you will all have been active participants in National Dress Up Your Pet Day. I jest not.

    But I like to think that they all pale into insignificance…

    • 24 Jan 2014
  • Monitoring the health of gardens - your chance to play your part

    When we give nature a home, we all want it to be a healthy home. So, while the subject of wildlife disease isn't perhaps top of your list of pleasant reading material, as responsible gardeners it is good to know what the problems and risks are out there.
    So it was good news that, yesterday, Britain's biggest public-led investigation into the health of native wildlife began - the national Garden Wildlife Health…
    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Apologies to the lovely Lilac

    Once you are into your gardening, have you noticed that every day, even in the midst of winter, seems to throw up something garden-related to think about.

    Yesterday it was a seed catalogue that fell onto my mat.

    The day before it was a gorgeous red sky at dawn telling me that more rain was due - can my garden cope? (My water butts certainly can't!)

    And at the weekend there was a short dry spell in which I was…

    • 10 Jan 2014
  • How about something fruity for the New Year?

    Have you noticed that, by the turn of the New Year, there's barely a berry or fruit left on garden bushes and trees for any Fieldfare, Redwing or (we should be so lucky) Waxwing that comes a-calling?

    So what garden plants will hang onto their fruits as a post-Christmas feast for the birds?

    Well, here are my top tips, plus a photo I took this Christmas to prove just how fruity things can be at this time of year…

    • 3 Jan 2014