How to become a Snowdrop collector

Humble, meek and mild the lowly Snowdrop famously illuminates many a woodland setting at this time of year. It’s no wonder that so many people obsess over Snowdrops and choose to collect 100’s of highly sort after named cultivars from all over the World.

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Prickly Holly and the Poison Ivy

Gardeners beware it’s a jungle out there! Hazards exist in every walk of life but if your going to choose Gardening as a career or a hobby then there are a few things you need to be wary of. Dried Ilex or Holly leaves can be a gardeners nightmare, fortunately with leaf suckers and shredders…

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Garden lighting provides night-time treat for gardeners.

Come the early nights and the savvy gardener illuminates any good garden design with a built-in lighting programme. A well thought out subtle lighting system can provide evening and security garden lighting treat throughout the year. Similarly the garden plants need for dormancy, take their lead from the subdued lighting that precedes the Autumn fall. Nature…

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Brighten up an Autumn Border by planting Nerine bowdenii

Keen gardeners will be well aware of the added value of planting seasonal flowering bulbs. Autumn a time when colour in the garden begins to fade to shade of rustic hues, oranges and yellows a plenty, this is when late flowering bulbs like the feminine Nerine takes to the stage.

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European Spindle tree outshines amongst the natives

Hidden amongst the hedgerows of much of the UK and Europe the spindle tree – Euonymus europaea outshines amongst the natives. Coming to life in the autumn, the spindle tree makes a  great robust addition as a native hedgerow, a stand alone shrub or small garden tree. Strangely the versatility of such an understated native tree is largely unknown,…

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A Realistic November 

Novembers Path. To be a pessimist one looks down and looses ones way. But be an optimist with your head held high then sooner or later you are going to loose your footing Try being a realist looking forward and adjusting your strategy, every step you take. Always forward never back, stay focused on the…

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Invasion of Ladybird bugs bring STD’s to the south of England. 

Mild Autumn temperatures have encouraged the invasion of sexual transmitted diseases across the South of England! The victim of this sexual transmitted disease is no other than our beloved ladybird. The fungal disease (Laboulbeniales) responsible has been spread by swarms of Harlequin ladybirds that have invaded the south of England and continue to move northwards, infesting…

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The Great Pumpkin Harvest of Ancient America

The Pumpkin or Squash has to be one of the greatest success stories, originating from ancient Americas where they were likely grown along river beds in a culturally harmonious “Three Sisters” combination with beans and sunflowers, later maize and today sweetcorn. These traditional pumpkins resembled the swan neck gourds or cucurbits we grow today. The river side location…

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What will a mild Autumn 2016 mean for November’s Monthly Gardening Tips

This time last year we were getting ready to adjust our wardrobe for cold winds and damp dreary days! As November approaches we have to ask ourselves! What will a mild Autumn  2016 mean for November’s Monthly Gardening Tips? We have experienced a long, dry autumn and as the temperatures begin to drop it will soon be time…

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How to Collect, Clean, Dry, Store and Enjoy Walnuts

If your lucky enough to have a fruiting Walnut growing in your neighbourhood then you are going to need to learn how to Collect, Clean, Dry and Store fresh Walnuts then you’re in luck. If Walnuts are completely new to you, then not perhaps after reading my article, you will consider planting one? But don’t…

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How to Find and Prepare a Juicy Beefsteak Mushroom

A mushroom that looks, feels, is full of protein and even tastes like meat? Photo Credit: Sam Harris Next time you talk a country walk, keep an eye out for one of Mushrooms best kept secrets! Beefsteak fungi (Fistulina hepatica) or known regionally in the UK as Ox tongue fungi, is a great find when found growing…

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Gardening in October is time to tidy, clean and prepare for Winter

I hate being the bearer of bad news but once October is here it is largely time to accept the inevitable! Prepare for Winter it’s on its way and it is time to get Gardening and prepare ready for cold winds and harsh weather conditions. Before you give up all hope on growing fresh produce at…

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The Silent Kingdom – Foray for Fungi

As Autumn grips the region, rustic hues appear across our beloved landscape and preparations are made for the Winter months ahead. Naturally drawn to giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, we re-joyce to reside in such a rich, fertile land, where nature and agriculture exist in symbiotic harmony. Combing the elements has always been mother…

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20 Tips for a Perfect September Garden

When September arrives it reminds us that Autumn is well on it’s way but it is also one of those months that fly by so fast that if you blink your going to miss it!  Especially true for busy gardeners who won’t have a moment peace until well after September has past. What with the…

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Grow your own Summertime Raspberries 

Sweet sun ripened Raspberries have to be the ultimate Summertime soft fruit. Careful planning of early, mid and late season varieties will ensure you have fresh rich red Raspberries to pick all Summer long. Raspberry canes are one of the easiest fruiting cane crops to grow for yourself at home. Once established the bare rooted…

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August brings a touch of Autumn and a taste of Summer.

August teases us with signs of Autumn, providing an abundance of soft fruits and berries, seeds and ripening vegetables leaving us the taste of Summer that lingers on the tongue. Just as we begin to enjoy the warm Summer’s breeze our senses detect signs of Autumn, all too quickly our sunshine loving perennials and bulbs begin to set seed and prepare…

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Powis Castle Gardens – Trainee to Head Gardener.

Taking a trip down memory lane and re-visiting the past may not be something many of us have time to do! Instead looking to the future the changing of the seasons and our future plans. I wanted to take this opportunity to re-visit and share with you my memories of working, training and learning at…

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Are Horticultural Professionals really in short supply?

I remember days of old when opting for a career in horticulture was frowned upon and recall my career advisor suggesting I apply for a professional career in the Police force, teaching or similar higher paid, more streamline alternatives. How supply and demand for horticultural professionals has changed the marketplace! Today we are crying out for horticultural students…

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Herald the Spring

Before the snow is lost I long for Summer skies Spring flowering bulbs awake To brighten gloomy eyes.   And snowdrops, they awaken With wonders unfortold Seek for the precious lights Midst winters gloom bold And brave varieties,  Seek now, search for gold.

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New Job, Historic City & Fitness Regime for a Prosperous New Year.

While you may still be adjusting to a new year full of positive resolutions? Perhaps you are also planning a new fitness regime and maybe even considering a career move.  Many of us use the start of a new year to evaluate our career prospects, is a new job on the horizon? Wherever that new…

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Firey shades of Autumn turn to golden embers.

Saying farewell is never easy, gardeners regularly welcome seasonal colour and flowers onto their gardens palette. Autumn gives us gardeners the opportunity to say goodbye to cherished plants in triumphant accolades that burn firey glowing embers all autumn long. As realistic gardeners prepare for the inevitable changes that await us in November, we are presented…

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Fight Cold’s and Flu with World Famous Rose Hip Syrup

A keen interest in Foraging has unearthed a new interest in cooking and cookery ingredients, that I never fully realised before and as with all new recipes there are always going to be winners and losers! Generating the most interest during our foraging classes was the internationally favoured Rose Hip syrup. So instead of simply…

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How to Create Designer Winter Hanging Baskets

Having researched this subject for the last few weeks, I could not help but notice there is a lack of articles referring to the creation of Designer Winter hanging baskets for your home and garden. To put this right I have complied a list of plants that if assembled correctly, in the perfect container and…

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6 Reasons to Forage with your Family

Understanding nature, the by laws, rights to roam and how to best prepare your new found harvest all very important aspects of foraging and whilst the internet is an endless supply of data there are however some things you simply cannot learn unless you in the field (excuse the pun) and literally getting your hands…

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Grow your own wild Blackberries or thornless cultivar.

If like me childhood memories of gathering fresh blackberries from wild hedgerows remain firmly in the past. Perhaps it’s time to revive the child in you and whilst your adult lifestyle may have found you miles away from traffic free country lanes and bridlepaths or the removal of hedgerows by stable farmers have created a…

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Test Your Knowledge of Edible or Poisonous Mushrooms?

Learning to identify Mushrooms can only be taught by a professional. So if you are lucky enough to get an invite to go Mushroom hunting, then be sure to grab your coat and boots, basket and knife. There’s nothing nicer on a sunny autumnal day than a spot of mushroom foraging. Unfortunately, finding wild mushrooms…

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How to Make Apple Juice at Home

There is nothing quite like growing produce for your own family, it tastes better, smells fresh and is made with love. Getting the family involved with garden chores is a great way to make light work of those difficult tasks in the garden and when it comes to picking apples you will have several willing…

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Love Colour in your Garden in July

July has been quite a month with Summer flowers in full bloom the garden is a hive of activity! Insects, bees and wildlife busy collecting their own produce, whether it be freshly filled pollen sacs or feeding from the unfurling leaves of your favourite roses. I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of…

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Dexter Cattle and Calving – Diary of an Estate Manager.

My job as Estate Manager means I also get to work closely with our herd of Dexter cattle. Tending to their daily needs is taken care of by our stockman, as manager I get to oversee the herd and ensure they remain in top condition, that they have a safe and secure environment to graze…

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Beetles – Friend or Foe how to identify beneficial predatory bugs. 

The following beetles are becoming prevalent in gardens across Europe and most recently the UK. But would you know how to identify your garden foe from your biological friendly beetles and furthermore how you are best to encourage or control them?    Ladybird larvae can easily be mistaken for a pest. So instead of reaching for the…

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