September 30, 2015

Helping us manage water and heat in towns and cities: A vital role for Green Space

Water shortages and floods as well as heat build up are becoming more common; partly because of climate change that is resulting in more extreme weather patterns but also, because of the way we use and manage the land. As hedges, woodlands and natural wetlands have been removed the countryside has become far less absorbent.…

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March 29, 2015

Our Kitchen garden extension (The Boutique Allotment Plus)

  Ha Ha, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for! You may recall my previous blogs about my love of kitchen gardens, both designing them and managing them! This passion includes advising clients and designing their kitchen gardens. You may also recall my award-winning show garden at Grand Designs Live with the…

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July 11, 2013

Wildlife needs your help! -Create a home for nature in your garden

The recent news that our wildlife is struggling, revealed following a study of UK wildlife which suggested that 60% of all species are in decline is worrying.  This comes at a time when the EU have recently voted to ban the use of neonicotinoids on crops that are pollinated by bees following concerns over the decline…

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June 24, 2013

Why the grass isn’t always greener- Alternatives to lawn

Perfect green lawns are an English obsession and have been so for centuries- the sweeping green lawns of Capability Brown in the 17th Century are iconic statements and without the lawnmower, cricket, football, ruby & tennis would not have become the games they are today.  But are traditional lawns always appropriate in our gardens? Will…

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June 17, 2013

Our Boutique Allotment-Support and protection

Its that time of year when many of our crops, or even our ornamental planting, need stakes and supports if they are to stay upright or climb & clamber.  It is also that time where our crops need protection from a variety of garden pests if they are to survive birds; slugs; insects etc. and…

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May 18, 2013

Our boutique allotment: Sustainable approaches to growing food

“We have not inherited the land from our ancestors; we have borrowed it from our children …”
   by Dennis J. Hall
 Office of Land Use   To me, this statement helps to define the very essence of why we need to ensure that we preserve and effectively manage the environment in which we live.…

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April 30, 2013

Bee Cool or Buzz off….

I have never been actively drawn to our crawling and buzzing friends but, as an organic allotmenter & gardener with hives but a stone’s throw from our plot, an avid watcher of the likes of Countryfile, and a ‘Greenie’ at heart, I have been following with sadness, the story related to the plight of our…

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April 11, 2013

Our boutique allotment: Seeds, setts and chitting potatoes

Since my last blog about the plot: finishing the raised beds and constructing the polytunnel (as illustrated below!), things have been pretty busy deciding what to grow, getting seeds germinating and creating some key elements of our organic plot including a bug hotel seat and a compost area.  This blog is going to focus on…

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February 25, 2013

Our boutique allotment: The growing environments: Polytunnels & raised beds

It’s been a cold but busy few weeks on our plot in North Manchester & we have been putting the building blocks in place for our first growing season on our Boutique allotment.  We have been busy doing two things: Constructing our Polytunnel on an area of hardstand –indoor growing areas for bringing on seeds…

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January 14, 2013

Our boutique allotment Plot: Boards, bow saws and beds

Well, it’s not as easy as it looks this bed-building lark. As New Year hit, we could not contain ourselves any longer and headed to the allotment, spades and forks to hand.  Our plan was to dig over our small plot, to ‘level it’ a bit before covering in geotextile membrane and placing our raised…

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