Do Woodchips Make Soil Acidic, or Take Nitrogen from the Soil?

Questions about mulch in general and in particular the effect of woodchips on soil arise with every generation of new gardeners. People know that woodchips in compost need a lot of nitrogen to break down, so they wonder if woodchip mulch could steal nitrogen from the soil underneath? Likewise, the sap-juices of most trees that’re… Continue reading Do Woodchips Make Soil Acidic, or Take Nitrogen from the Soil?

Why John Lord’s Gardening Films Are The Best

More people have taken the plunge into gardening with a floral shirt and a medium pickaxe thanks to John Lord than any other famous plantsman in Ireland’s Ratoath Gardens There is at least an introductory paragraph of reasons why John Lord’s YouTube films are the best before I get to my reason, so let’s ask… Continue reading Why John Lord’s Gardening Films Are The Best

Wine in the garden

Pantone Viva Magenta

We adore colour here at Ashridge. Find us a plant lover who doesn’t. So we’re excited to get on board with Pantone’s Colour of the Year, the energetic-sounding Viva Magenta. Pantone describes its 2023 hero as ‘A shade rooted in nature… brave and fearless.’ Closer examination reveals a rich, saturated wine – or claret if… Continue reading Wine in the garden

Pruning Jobs to do now: Coppicing


Requiring only a sharp saw or secateurs and the courage of your convictions, coppicing is a straightforward and satisfying winter job. This short burst of activity will both warm the body and enhance the garden, with the added benefit of perhaps providing a fresh crop of bean poles or even some of next year’s firewood.… Continue reading Pruning Jobs to do now: Coppicing

Silver Leaved Plants

Silver and white shimmer at Sissinghurst

Why Silver Foliage is a Winning Formula in Your Garden There’s nothing second rate about silver in the garden, whatever the season. In winter that sparkly foliage chimes spectacularly with frost and sub-zero temperatures, creating scenes of dazzling dynamism. In summer, bright sunlight glances off silver leaves, cooling and providing a shimmering foil to the… Continue reading Silver Leaved Plants

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