It’s cold in Cold Aston and my two lovely daughters do a wonderful Stella Gibbons act in the same sort of northern accent you get on the Hovis advert – where the young lad pushes the bike up Gold Hill in Shaftesbury in Dorset. I have trouble propelling myself up that steep hill, let alone […]
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Sowing seed is the triumph of hope over experience, especially when seasonal conditions are wildly variable: Getting started takes a knock on the head as spring’s promise turns back to dour winter on a random schedule. Yet, growlights, warming pads, warm sweaters and other scientific advances aimed at greenhouse growing encourages us to get on […]
Here in coastal Rhode Island, I live in the US Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone 7a. This zone has a medium-length growing season and winter temperatures that, at their coldest, can drop to between 0° and 5°F. This makes growing artichokes outdoors difficult. These plants prefer a more temperate climate because most set buds […]
Does a plant of Scarlet Pimpernel by your greenhouse door warn you of incoming bad weather? There was only one way to find out, by growing some and observing. In the trial Anagallis arvensis turned out such a pretty thing I grow a pot or two every year, hanging pots which suit the trailing habit, […]
It doesn’t matter how long you have been gardening there is always time to learn something new or change the way you do things. The greatest thing about gardening (for me anyway) is that there are a hundred and one ways to do the same thing. There may be lots of rules, but you learn […]
One of the exciting things that happens this month in my greenhouse is the blossoming of the nectarine. It always feels too early, blossoming while it feels so wintery out there, and is one of the first bits of blossom in my garden. It is a wonderful harbinger of spring. My ‘tree’ is actually a […]
From February onwards, it is time to sprout (or ‘chit’) new potatoes and the first big sign that the gardening year has started. Put your potatoes in a tray or egg box with the ‘rose’ end, where all the buds are, at the top, keep them at about 7C (45F), then, after four to five […]
We’re in the bleak midwinter in the village of Cold Aston, high in the Cotswolds. And yet, there’s solace in the garden despite the bitter easterly wind and the threat of snow lingering in the pink-tinged clouds. We do snow well in Cold Aston, it falls thick and deep. However, I already have one witch […]
As the climate crisis escalates, we need to garden smarter – and there’s no time to lose. AI could deliver the data to fast-track the right decisions for our natural world. We gardeners need help: heavyweight, ultra-intelligent help that can only come from the smartest – and getting smarter by the second – minds on […]
I was all set to write about the latest Hartley greenhouse that will be gracing Seattle’s Northwest Flower & Garden Festival—next month I will bring you that—but now, life (and the weather) has interfered with my plans. So many parts of the country have been devastated by unprecedented winter storms. Where I live, just outside […]
When you go to a garden center, the plants look wonderfully healthy and vigorous, so you buy lots of them. But upon taking them home and planting them in your greenhouse or garden, they may gradually begin to fade. First their growth may slow; then they may stop flowering; and finally they may start to […]
“Oh Bob, how could you?” said a friend spying this nestling amongst my edible, scented and useful greenhouse specimens. Coral Bead plant does catch the eye, and to all the world looks just as if it’s one of those market stall plant travesties sprayed with paint, glitter or bedaubed with plastic flowers, fruits or bugs. […]