urban gardening

  • Urban gardening: Cities with a soft fruit centre

     

    Country hedges have been full of fruit this year,
    but where are the berries in our cities?

    London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, wonders why there aren't more berries in city centres...

    Towns and cities of Britain, why aren't we cultivating more soft fruits?

    Over the last the two weeks I have planted thousands of bulbs. But why (London, I'm talking to you especially) am I not planting soft fruits? It is the perfect time to put in berries and currants.

    As I write our native flora is abound with fruit. I have never seen our hedgerows so stocked. Clusters of red fruits weigh down hawthorn branches. Rose hips wreath their way through the arms of blackthorn, with their sloes ready to bring the best out of gin.

    And although the elderberries are long gone they deserve a mention. Often slightly sour, this year they were sweet enough to be eaten by the handful.
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  • Urban gardening: Introducing the 'False Widow'

     

    The 'False Widow' spider is spreading through
    Southern England – this is a female Steatoda nobilis
    (Image: Wikimedia Creative Commons)

    London-based urban gardener, Dan Combes, tells us of his close encounter of the eight-legged kind...

    Introducing the False Widow! Britain's deadly spider... or is it?

    Recently both London and National media has been littered with articles documenting the rapid rise of the False Widow, labelling it "Britain's most deadly spider."

    The Daily Star reports '...a plague of 10 million False Widow spiders.' Both The Independent and The Guardian discuss the potentially lethal bite of this small yet dangerous looking arachnid.

    As a London gardener the only bite or sting I am likely to endure is that of a nettle or a wasp. Has this all changed?
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