Gardening

Acorn Bank garden - Cumbria

Acorn Bank garden - Cumbria

Small and nice, Acorn Bank walled gardens near Temple Sowerby in Cumbria enjoy a site established by the Templiers, which was bought by the Dalton family in 1543. The house was renewed in the 1930s by the Yorkshire poet Dorothy Una Ratcliffe, then passed to the National Trust. The orchard at Acorn Bank has a fine collection of apple and pear trees including some rare ancient varieties. We’ve visited Acorn Bank garden many times and it continues to be an inspiration.

More photos: Acorn Bank walled gardens, Cumbria

Nerium Oleander flowers

Nerium Oleander flowers

A pleasant surprise on opening my kitchen blinds these mornings: a touch of the Mediterranean in West London! The flowers are Nerium Oleander, commonly known as Oleander. You see these pink flowering shrubs all over the Mediterranean area so they are also called the Mediterranean Rose, although horticulturally Oleander are not at all from the rose family. Note the King of the Pippins apples coming on well.

My garden in Keswick

My garden in Keswick

Plenty to trim after 200mm of rain in May has allowed a lot of growth in my cloud forest garden in Keswick. This is my fourth summer working this garden and the shape is now largely how I want it; so, this time round, it’s trimming new growth only. The hay fever season is well in swing; those masks we all have left over from 2020 turn out to be useful in limiting the hay fever symptoms

More photos: Cloud forest garden update - June 2024

Pond maintenance

Pond maintenance

Plenty of growth in Terry’s garden in Preston Park, Brighton over the past few weeks. And the frogs have been busy in the pond so there are now a smattering of tadpoles swimming around in the mud and muck at the bottom of the pond. A full covering of the water surface with duckweed too, that’s unwanted and doesn’t help to keep the pond in balance. So baling, filtering, and returning any amphibians to the water before distributing the dredged solids over the flowerbeds.
Next time I need some elbow length rubber gloves...

Up-potting my Marseille cactus garden

Up-potting my Marseille cactus garden

It’s been a good spring for the cactus garden on my balcony in Marseille; the new little plants that I was given for Christmas have grown amazingly in size whilst the previous generations have made good progress too. The oldest plants are pot-bound, cacti that I’ve been looking after for ten years or more. So time to get the gloves on and take on the spikes. There’s a handling technique and it’s not as daunting as it maybe looks, though best not to rush, so it took several sessions.

More photos: Up-potting my Marseille cactus garden