25th April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Posts tagged with gardening

In the garden

In the garden

24/07/2009, by in

Running out of space is a chronic complaint in even the largest of gardens, and I have decided to apply William Morris’s house rules, with a twist to my garden: have nothing in your garden that you don’t know to be useful or think beautiful.This isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds,... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

17/07/2009, by in

The pond’s health check is complete, the temperature is still over 18C, perfect for Piscean as well as human swimming, and Paul Featherstone gave me a rundown of the great variety of phyto- and zooplankton he’d found in the water samples he took.Phytoplankton is at the bottom of the food cha... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

03/07/2009, by in

What happened to the June we used to know and hate? The month of fog, tattie blight-inducing sea mist, rain, drizzle, grey skies, chilly winds and unseasonal temperatures, low enough to make all the leeks and kohlrabi bolt?It’s been boiling here of late. In the tropics of Lea Gardens we’re ... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

26/06/2009, by in

The pond is in full recovery now. There’s still blanket weed, but not enough to justify sinking in a bale of organic barley straw, generously donated by Ewan Balfour. It’s stored in the hay loft for next spring.Blanket weed is one of two algae that colonise ponds, especially new ponds withou... Read more...

In the garden 19.06.09

In the garden 19.06.09

19/06/2009, by in

Just two more days to go until the official start to summer and with it the gradual shortening of daylight hours. Perhaps the latter is just as well. Several new plantings beckon, and after the nursery closes at five, the real fun starts. Those light nights are seductive, far too seductive for late ... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

12/06/2009, by in

Pity the poor English gardeners. Their lilacs and columbines were setting seed on 1st June, and their laburnums, rhododendrons and enkianthus – if drought, alkalinity and heat don’t prevent them from growing the latter two – were distant memories.Down there, the show is either over already... Read more...

In the garden 05.06.09

In the garden 05.06.09

05/06/2009, by in

By the time you read this I’ll be back in Shetland after a week in the south of England. So for all I know there might have been a seven-day scor­cher or snow, sleet, hail and howling gales to ruin all our gardens during my absence.What I do know is that the down­pour on 23rd May came not be... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

30/05/2009, by in

Do you remember your first love? Most of us do. Some have married their childhood sweethearts, while others had to kiss a lot of frogs before they found their prince or princess. There’s first love and first love, a register ranging from a crush on a favourite teacher to the first person to make a... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

22/05/2009, by in

That south-westerly gale two weeks ago is still a major topic among Shetland’s gardeners.Tales of woe abound: whole beds of tulips in their prime wiped out in a few hours, bedding plants set out the night before turned to crisps.It is heart-breaking when this happens – every five years o... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

15/05/2009, by in

Now and again, when I have a spare moment, I go through the Lea Gardens chore list, ticking off items that have been accomplished, and circling those still to be done with a red pen.“Lift Gunnera manicata early spring and line planting pit with thick polythene” received a red circle well ove... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

08/05/2009, by in

Today, before we venture into the garden, dear reader, we’ll have a little catharsis. Better have your hanky at the ready.Blackbirds choose the oddest places to build their nest in, and one of ours selected the shelf of a Danish trolley in our “industrial estate” where compost, pots and tr... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

01/05/2009, by in

The hungry gap yawns wide at Lea Gardens this year, as the rabbits gnawed most brassicas down to rotting stumps. These stumps, if left alone, put out an abundance of new shoots – a supply of spring greens that lasts through much of May. There’s nothing for it but to fall back on frozen supplies ... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

24/04/2009, by in

What perfect gardening weather we’ve enjoyed of late, but – dare I say it – we could do with a few nice showers, just enough to water in the newly planted seedlings and to give all the things grown in pots a good soaking.During the spring drought the soil here either turns to dust in no ti... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

17/04/2009, by in

Suddenly it’s all go. The snowdrops and crocuses are a distant memory and the chionodoxas are just starting to go over. Early spring is a thing of the past. April is of course daffodil month. Yellow peril everywhere. Call me a snob, but I just can’t warm to those large hybrids, especially if the... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

10/04/2009, by in

Remember when hostas were all the rage, and whole borders were scrapped to make way for the fashionable plant of the 1980s? I still have quite a few˜Sum and Substance',˜Hadspen Blue',˜Frances Williams', and of course, the inimitable˜Tallboy' with drooping clusters of purple bells, towering above... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

03/04/2009, by in

March, I’m told, used to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb in the good old days, but has since become less obliging, preferring to indulge in leonine behaviour from first to last, rather than succumbing to mildness and meekness at the end, a quality, I’m sure, most gardeners would prefe... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

27/03/2009, by in

And suddenly it’s voar. Spring started a little before the vernal equinox this year – at least for the humans at Lea Gardens.We had our first al-fresco drinks of the year (orange juice with fizzy water) on the 17th, as we sat, bare-armed on a bench, enjoying the warmth of the sun. Having spe... Read more...

In the garden

In the garden

20/03/2009, by in

It seems I’m not the only Shetland gardener disgruntled by rogue mail order nurseries. One of my readers reported receiving tiny plug plants, stuck loosely into larger pots, while another let off steam about the patronising attitude she was met with regarding an unsolicited sub­stitute. Thankfull... Read more...