Tuesday, 02 April 2013 18:23

A Place in the Sun & the EGJs

It feels rather perverse to be writing a summer-themed blog while we're suffering a Siberian start to Spring but I live in hope that we'll get a proper summer this year. Along that vein I've been perusing t'internet for a summer house. Sadly budgetary constraints mean it will be more of a tarted up shed, than the kind of thatched folly or shepherds hut that you might see gracing a show garden at Chelsea and that often features in my daydreams. I suppose we could be patient and save up for something fancy but given our location on the east…
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 21:32

The RHS (really...happy....stuff)

I've been a card-carrying member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) for a number of years. The RHS offers a number of rather lovely benefits that make the 50 quid or so it costs for a year quite palatable. First the monthly magazine that drops through my letterbox – The Garden. Although occasionally the columnists are a little too fusty for my modern sensibilities, I generally get a lot out of the magazine. It's a great mix of news, plant profiles, and in-depth garden features showcasing the talents of a wide-range of experts. This month's issue (March 2013) has pieces…
Tuesday, 26 February 2013 21:42

Foibles, fancies and foxgloves

I have no will power….sad but true.  Whether it’s dark chocolate digestives, trashy magazines at the hairdressers, unwanted packets of seed looking for a new home (I am a self-confessed seedaholic) or plant porn – glossy catalogues bursting with plants laden with lush foliage and blousy flowers, I have a hard time saying ‘no’.  I’ve found the easiest thing to do is to avoid the offending items and thus remove the temptation…so there are no choccie biscuits in the house, I take my own edifying horticultural magazines to the hairdressers and my office is full of unopened plant catalogues still…
Thursday, 21 February 2013 12:44

Don't Fence Me In

"Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, don't fence me in". So croons Bing Crosby in his version of Cole Porter's classic, and such is the refrain that's been echoing around the gardens of Craignish for the last few weeks. 'Pour quoi' you may ask... well because it may have taken two years for me to strike up the gumption-courage-strength-motivation but I've finally tackled the fences in the garden and the results are making me sing. The desire to remove the wire & post fences that dominated much of the garden was prompted by the construction last…
Before I get into the topic of this month’s blog post, I’d like to share a cautionary tale…..it goes without saying that it’s not advisable to compose a blog while watching TV, but doing so while watching Peter Kay on TV is quite simply insanity.  I had no intention of writing this post in front of the TV but went into the study to fetch my laptop, stopped for a moment (just to see his opening salvo, so to speak) and ended up staying there for 2 hours, at one point trying not to spray the Prof with a mouthful…
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 08:23

Woodruff, Weeds and Weather

I was going to call this blog ‘When Stickywilly Goes Wild’ but quickly realised I would be attracting the wrong kind of reader….and those in the blogosphere expecting ‘cleavage’ rather than ‘cleavers’ would be left rather disappointed (and besides I’m just not that kind of blog). Without wanting to bore everyone to death with more talk of the awful weather and the damage it’s done to the garden, I’m going to do just that anyway.  The weather has been AWFUL.  The cold of May followed by the rain of June has neither been conducive to happy plants at The Little…
Sunday, 24 June 2012 20:41

Je ne regrette rien

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 weeks since I left the corporate world behind for a life playing in the dirt.  I’ve been so busy that it’s equally hard to believe that over the last year or so I managed to work full-time, tend the garden and grow The Little Herb Farm.  And I'm happy to report that thus far - and in the words of Edith Piaf - 'Je ne regrette rien'. So here’s a quick review of some of the highs (and the very occasional lows) of my new life (MNL). I find myself to be…
Monday, 11 June 2012 21:21

Goodbye Griselinia and Hello Heron

There aren't many plants that I can't abide but Griselinia littoralis is one.  I can't put my finger on why, but this glossy evergreen shrub does absolutely nothing for me.  This is an unfortunate aversion, as Griselinia is a perfect plant for a wind-swept garden and The Little Herb Farm's coastal position means we experience many a gale.  Today however, the Griselinia had to go.  It's been bugging me for some time and I'd asked the Prof to take a chainsaw to it, but in the end I went at it with my loppers and pruning saw. Hello.... Goodbye... The Griselinia has been dominating the…
Friday, 01 June 2012 09:40

Experimenting with Alpines

While wandering around the Chelsea Flower Show last week, I chanced upon the Alpine Garden Society's trade stand.  My interest in alpines was piqued last year while hiking through the high pastures of the Swiss Alps.  The wild flowers were so abundant, so tiny and perfectly formed, and so jaw-droppingly beautiful that I spent a fair amount of time lying on my stomach taking countless close-ups....much to the impatience of the Prof and Minkey who were itching to finish the walk (and get back to the hot-tub at the apartment). Although many of the plants I saw were herbs, to…
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