Author Archive | Lee-administrator

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Time for Change? – Petrol vs Electricity in the Garden

Last week I replaced my last remaining petrol-powered garden machine – a strimmer, and with that change, my garden machine system is now free of petrol. This feels significant as, like many, I grew up with the joys and despairs of petrol-driven machines. I do admit to a slight nostalgia for the smell of petrol […]

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Movement is life – the garden in August

‘The flowers talk when the wind blows over them’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson Lammas time, at the beginning of August, is generally the time when I start to cut flower meadows. I begin with a few areas below fruit trees because this is when the first small apples, pears or plums begin to fall to the […]

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10 Garden Tips for July

Efficient, ethical and cost-effective Now that the flush of June has taken place, where gardeners have had to dance in her vigour and beauty, we can now relax a little and reflect on how the year in our garden has been so far, perhaps noting new ways of future working. The expectancy for the first […]

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Plant health – Part 2

How can we help plants heal themselves? In my last article I suggested that in my experience plants don’t get ill very much and that if they do, the first things we can offer are some simple interventions – pruning dead wood, thinning for light and air, watering and feeding the plant and the soil. […]

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Plant health – Part 1

Why we need to recognise plants as sovereign beings. A few weeks ago I was asked by someone starting out in horticulture if I could tell them the main diseases that I have come across whilst gardening. This came as a surprise to me and I had to think hard before answering. This was partly […]

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Weeding Reconsidered

“To the merry man, every weed is a flower; to the afflicted man, every flower is a weed.” – Finnish proverb. 40 years ago, when I first trained as a gardener in the Parks Department of Southampton City Council, weeding was a really important part of my day’s work. Shrub beds were regularly treated with […]

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Rose Pruning – No Pain, No Gain

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, (The Little Prince). The rose, with its tender and beautiful flowers, but surrounded by sharp, harsh thorns appear in accounts from all of the world’s major cultures and religions as a symbol of love at […]

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The Garden in February – the Light Returns

As we move into the month of February with its often bitter and cold weather gardeners might ask the questions: will Winter ever end? will our gardens ever be green again? will it ever change or will it stay dark forever? However, if we look closely at nature, the signs of awakening are all around: […]

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Winter pruning of apple and pear trees

Now that the busy days of autumn tidying are behind us, the month of January is a good time for winter pruning of fruit trees. Without their leaves, the trees in their stark beauty allow us a chance to look closely at their structural form and prune accordingly. This article will concentrate on apple and […]

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Leaves: Summer’s gift, Winter’s hope

During the autumn months leading up to Christmas, one of the main gardening tasks is dealing with leaves. Most of us have appreciated the wonderful colours this year, particularly from the native trees around us – the Birch, the Beech and the Oak. If we are lucky enough to have a large tree in or […]

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Hedges: pruning, planting and making new friends?

Pruning. I generally prune hedges twice a year, once in June very lightly, and again in October/November a little harder. The June cut is light because there are still birds nesting at this time, and any disturbance should be as minimal as possible. A quick light cut with a good, quiet hedge cutter will cause […]

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The Garden as a Place of Contemplation

At this time of year in late summer, gardeners have the chance to rest a little, watch the vegetables ripen and generally take it a little easier. Autumn is coming but it is not yet upon us. Many of us will be on holiday or have a little more time to enjoy the gentle mellow […]

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