Choosing Bulbs

Day in day out, we’re faced with choices. Do I turn left or right? Should I cut the blue wire or the red? Can I get away with trainers or should I switch to a sensible brogue? Continue reading “Choosing Bulbs”

The Garden Magazine

As many of you know, over the past year I’ve been studying at Capel Manor College, Regents Park for my RHS Level 2 certificates in horticulture.

With the courses now finished, I’m nervously waiting to hear whether I’ve qualified or not. However, much to my delight, I was commissioned to write an article for the September issue of The Garden magazine, discussing the challenges of going back to college, juggling work and study, and my experiences of the course itself. Magazine CollageYou can find the article on page 21, and it might be a handy read if you’re considering studying with the RHS, or even if you’re thinking about going back to college to do something else. Who knows, it might inspire you to dust down that old school satchel and study what you love.

Me

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 I’ll keep you posted on those results. (Gulp!)

And We’re Off!

Working with the RHS at Regent’s Park last Thursday, it was clear that spring was now upon us. I was greeted with an oasis of yellow trumpets all heralding in the new season!B_6yN6AWMAA-gGZ

And when I arrived at the plot this weekend, there were two things I was immediately delighted to see: 1) The polytunnel was still standing, and 2) the daffodil bulbs I planted last autumn were now rewarding me with their beauty. Being the old romantic that I am (that’s right folks, inside this withered and battered old gardener beats a young, foolish heart), I saw the opportunity to cut several blooms and present them to Soph.  With the windowsill episode firmly behind us, this was a chance to earn myself some brownie points… and boy did they work! That very evening, the love of my life (not now, Monty) took me out to dinner.  But we’re getting a little off topic with talk of springtime ardour.bra 3

Flowers look wonderful in their natural state, growing happily in borders, woodland or on your allotment. However, with so many daffodils bursting through, I’m sure Mother Nature didn’t mind me cutting several to take home with the excuse of romance.

Flowers cut, I was all too aware that the jobs on the plot are growing week by week. After a freshly made coffee from the stove in my shed and another cheeky treat from the local baker, the daffodils gave me inspiration to do something rash: create a new flower bed. Not only for extra colour and to coax in the wildlife, but those bursting buds could cover up a makeshift windbreaker I erected several weeks ago out of corrugated iron, as although it’s doing it’s job, it’s not the prettiest of things.

Excited by this ‘Eureka’ moment, I made haste and sacrificed one of my bedding paths that runs adjacent to the windbreaker.  Removing the weeds, turning the soil and adding some well rotted organic matter, I got things going and planted thirty plus gladioli bulbs with a little top dressing to finish off. This should do wonders for the late summer season, but I need to think about what to plant for spring and early summer… hmmm, I’ll let you know on that.

Moving on, I turned to the main job: planting my early brassicas – broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. They’re the first thing I’ve planted on the plot this year, and it was a long time coming. I removed the weeds, carried out secondary cultivation and consolidation, added some fertiliser and began planting.  A fresh bed is always pleasing to the eye, but seeing all my early brassicas out on parade wearing their brassica collars and standing to attention filled me with great pride!bra4However, the final lashings of winter aren’t quite done and I’m expecting a few more cold spells, and although brassicas are hardy, they’re always grateful for that extra protection.  As I sit and write my weekend instalment on Plot 23d, there’s a bed full of brassicas tucking down for the night under the cover of their fleecy cloches.

Agents of Field are off and running, let the 2015 growing adventure commence!! AdeSignature