Christmas presents can be an emotive subject for gardeners. There are always so many things a gardener wants to find under the tree on Christmas morning. But, please, not another fork and trowel set (with obligatory floral design). And no more gardeners’ soaps or hand creams. I have a pile...
I’m sure that you, like all good gardeners, have been constantly looking at the weather forecast for your local area, and this week it seems as though it’s getting colder. The trees are losing their leaves which have turned into beautiful hues of yellow, orange, rust and red. This is...
We get many people enquiring about specific things at certain times of the year, and here are some of the most frequent ones and some helpful answers: Question 1: When will my order be delivered? Answer: Current deliveries for bare root plants should arrive by mid-November depending on what...
When it comes to plants at Halloween, it's about
much more than pumpkins...
The origins of Halloween are thought to be rooted in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, a festival to mark the season of bringing in the harvests in preparation for winter.
It was thought that on this day, the 31 October, the boundaries between the worlds became blurred.
The dead returned to haunt the living, causing terrible catastrophe and illness.
Many myths and legends surround this day, with various rituals being performed in order to protect people from wandering evil spirits, as well as to predict fortunes and destinies.
It took a trip to an Italian supermarket to fully appreciate the merit of greengages. To wit, a house full of sixteen hungry (and often hungover) souls presented with an array of nectarines, white peaches and melons first thing in the morning and guess which fruit disappeared fastest? Yes...
The blossom on the cherry trees is one of the true delights of spring. In April and May clouds of beautiful delicate flowers ranging from the purest white to the most intense coral pinks adorn the trees in vast numbers, a truly magical and breathtaking sight.
Their beauty has much cultural significance the world over, but is perhaps most commonly associated with the rich cultural heritage of Japan.
The resurgence of cider as a drink has led to more UK apple tree orchards being restored and planted, and ancient rituals like wassailing performed.
Wassailing is an ancient practice dating back as far as the 11th century, and is a ritual still performed in cider orchards today at this time of year.
A native autumn harvest – an extra special
treat when it's from your own trees
As the leaves start to colour and fall from the trees and the cooling air is heavy with the smell of wood smoke there is nothing more gratifying than getting wrapped up and going out to gather the season's harvests.
Autumn is a most plentiful time of year. Along the hedgerows and verges plump ripe fruits hang from wayward trees and nuts crunch underfoot.
And it's possible to create that natural bounty in your own garden, giving you the benefit of having wonderful ingredients for all manner of culinary delights right on your doorstep – and it's fantastic for wildlife too!
With a little preparation this stockpile of preserved fruits and nuts will provide throughout the winter when little else is growing in the garden.
Looking just as rich and luscious as it tastes, your
damson vodka could be ready for Christmas
2013 has been a bumper year for damsons.
A hot summer, with just enough rain to swell the fruit is best for damsons and results in branches that are groaning under the weight of all that fruit
And while you can of course make damson jam, damson cheese, damson chutney and damson sauce, there is nothing quite like damson vodka.
Decanted into decorative bottles this rich, syrupy liquor makes a perfect Christmas gift – and if you hurry, you might just be in time for this year's festivities. Give this a go, and we're sure that your friends and family will be glad you did!
If you already have your damson harvest, great – if not, hopefully you will find some still on the trees. Failing that, try your local orchard or farm shop! So grab a bag and get picking.