It may not appeal to everyone, but a 5 mile walk around parts of the Longleat estate is my idea of heaven. To see the trees in a wonderful setting, the bluebells in the woods and having a pub at about halfway makes for a perfect walk. This means that...
Every year the anticipation mounts. I look out of my bedroom window at the ornamental plum tree on the street, scouring its deep claret branches for signs that the colour is changing, life stirring within. Subtly, from a solid winter opacity to something with just a hint of deepest rose...
Whether you’re thinking of a hedge, wallflowers, fruit trees, climbers, roses, lavender or ornamental garden trees, now is the time to get out there and plant to your hearts’ content. I’ve recently planted broad leafed lime trees to act as a screen to cover up the background of a town...
There’s no escaping it, January is hardly fun packed. After the jollity and cosy indulgences of December, it hits us full on with its chill, dark days and its unreasonable demands to live life more mindfully, more healthily, less lazily. But it’s a brand new year, and – believe it...
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.
Beech turns a wonderful copper colour in winter.
The magnificent beech tree is quintessentially British – and not to mention elegant, flexible, award-winning, reliable, colourful...
Maybe surprisingly, beech is classed only as native to Southern England, and then only from as recently as 4,000BC. Nevertheless, the beech is an important (and much loved) part of our ancient British woodlands.
Whether grown as a beech tree or beech hedging, it helps support a vast array of wildlife – from the bluebells that take advantage of that brief window of warmth and sunlight before the deciduous canopy opens, to the insects, birds and larger mammals that find food and set up home in their boughs and roots. Continue reading
The ten year old wood We went to stay with the in-laws this week-end. They live in Leicestershire, just outside Market Harborough. My father in law is a natural planter - one of those people who looks on themselves as being a custodian (rather than an owner) of the landscape...