Author: Christine

Wildlife Diary

Sept 15th.  Very excited to see two nut hatches on the bird feeder today again. They are beautifully coloured with a silver grey back, buff underneath and a black stripe through the eyes. The beak is pointed and sharp. They are feeding on the fat balls and giving the little blue tits short shrift.  They move up and down a tree trunk with ease. Lovely to see...

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Radio Show August 2013

Paul and I were featured on Radio Four’s What’s the Point of’? programme on August 8. The series takes a light hearted look at various British Institutions and this particular episode was on Lawns. Quentin Letts, the Presenter, and Producer Phil came out to interview us about Paul’s prize winning lawns. They were both really nice and put us totally at ease. We huddled into our little summerhouse and chatted about the lawn – it’s appearance, upkeep and importance in the garden setting. We were a bit worried that we might come over as eccentric ( or worse) but in fact it was fine and I think was quite amusing. It is accessible on I Player if anyone would like to hear it....

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Gardens Visited this year – June 2013

In the middle of June we had a weeks’ holiday and decided to use our time visiting gardens and having nice meals! We often visit gardens which are basically ornamental in nature and whose main aim is to attract as many visitors as possible. On this trip we decided to visit gardens/venues which had more practical aims. Our first stop was at Jekka’s Herb Farm, outside Bristol. Jekka McVicar, the owner, is well known for her organic herbs and regularly shows at Chelsea. She has decided to create a Herboretum at her herb farm (which is in essence a herb nursery) and has created two main areas of raised beds filled with different plant families, with each bed containing a number of herb varieties. It was very interesting and well done. We then went on to visit two Botanic Gardens. Bristol and Oxford Botanic Gardens It was very nice to visit these Botanic Gardens, who also aim to research, educate and record the various aspects of our plant heritage. Bristol Botanic Gardens are tucked away in the suburbs and a bit tricky to find. I think it was worth it though. Judy, who was a volunteer in the shop, was very helpful and welcoming and the gardens were of a high standard. There were a number of different ‘gardens’ all of which were very interesting. There was a Medicinal...

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Visits to Bristol and Oxford Botanic Gardens June 2013

As I have a particular interest in herbs and a growing interest in plant families, we decided that we would visit some Botanic Gardens this year; so Paul and I visited Bristol and Oxford Botanic Gardens. Our own nearby Botanic Gardens at Ness is much bigger than these and so I enjoyed visiting two gardens which are smaller in scale, highly labelled and less commercial in nature. Bristol Botanic Gardens Bristol Botanic Garden is in the suburbs of Bristol close to the University Halls of Residence. It is quite small at 1.77 hectares, but contains a variety of collections – Evolution, Mediterranean, Local Flora and Rare Natives, Useful Plants (including Chinese Medical Plants). Paul was very interested in the Evolution of Plants, and I spent a long time in the Useful Plants, looking particularly at the medical herbs. The glasshouses were also interesting and it was good to see this wonderful resource being a part of University life. Also, the lady in the shop was really friendly and helpful – so nice to find nowadays! I also bought a gigantic pot of Aloe Vera for £1, yes £1 !!! I have divided the plant up into a number of smaller pots, which was quite a prickly undertaking. Oxford Botanic Gardens A few days later we visited Oxford Botanic Gardens. These gardens are very much in the City Centre and so it is quite tricky to park. Again the gardens...

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This Week… 22 March 2013

The snow has gone, the winds have died down so it’s time to take stock of what needs doing in the garden. The weeds are coming up so it really is time to get some mulch (cover) onto the soil. I ordered some manure and some bark chippings form a local charitable organisation (Dale Farm Heswall). We still need to sort out some of the borders though, so we’ll have to get going. We have daffodils, but not many tulips. We went on a long anticipated trip to Amsterdam last weekend, but sadly no tulips. I’m getting a bit fed up of them now as they are quite expensive to buy and usually last only one year before they go downhill. They are so lovely though!! Wildlife issues are starting too. We have jays nesting in the garden again, but are not happy as they will be happy helping themselves to the eggs and babies of our garden birds. Should we get rid of the nest before they lay their eggs? Hmm…. We’ve added ourselves to We’ve also added ourselves to Garden Directory The UK’s most exclusive garden directory only containing hand picked quality...

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