Gardener goes on a busmans holiday!

One thing common to all gardeners is they love to talk about their favorite subject, even if they're on another topic they always end up talking about plants and gardening!

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The Gardening Highlight which changed my life

Back in June 2001 I wrote an article which was published in the Cottage Garden Society magazine.  I thought i'd put it on my blog because it still applies as much today as it did when I first wrote it and it also relates to my last blog entry on a career in gardening.

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Gardening obsession

My blog has gone to pot over the passed few months.  Unfortunately my father died in November and life seems to have just stood still while I try to keep mum on an even keel.  My father was an obsessive gardener, he was probably a plant hunter in a previous life, he didn't believe in right plant right place, if he liked a plant (usually something not hardy) he would grow it, that was the challenge he needed, to give it the conditions in order to keep it alive.  More often than not he got it right and he'd get this bit smug grin on his face.  Gardening is an obsession.  My father had hundreds of hellebores, not because he particularly liked them, just because every time they seeded everywhere he would pot up the seedlings in case there was something special, even though he had to wait 3 years for them to flower to find good colours.  Surplus plants ended up at plant sales or with me.  Several years ago he gave me two echiums, because I liked them.  I wouldn't buy them because they are not hardy  here.  How ironic that they waited until he had died for them to flower.  It is now I who has that  Smug grin!

Pruning established shrubs & a lesson in potatoes

Gardening isn't rocket science, a large part of it can be picked up as you go along, a large part of it is common sense.  If you've got a plant that's out grown its space don't be afraid to chop it back, if its got to big its got to go, so if you chop it back and it dies you really haven't lost anything because it had to go!  If you do prune anything back hard the most important thing is to give it a good drink of water afterwards.

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Mulching pays off

It's difficult to know what to do in the garden at the moment.  We're in drought conditions with more rain in such a short space of time than we have seen in many years.  There's nothing you can do except keep off the soil.  Any digging that was done in the spring will be a waste of time if you go and walk all over it now.  If you really have to sow seeds or harvest crops do it from a board, this will spread your weight more and do less damage.

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