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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January 31, 2015

The legacy of Beth Chatto: Ecology and Aesthetics: a powerful association

At a Society of Garden Designers ceremony in London to celebrate the best of garden design and garden designers last night, the well known plants woman Beth Chatto was awarded the John Brookes Lifetime achievement award!- Hip hip hurrah for such a fitting tribute to a lady that has given so much to the profession and our approach…

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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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May 25, 2013

Chelsea flower show 2013-My impressions mark 2: My top themes from Chelsea

  As ever with remarkable RHS shows such as Chelsea, there is a huge amount to see and take in: its rather like being in a favourite perfume or clothes shop!.  Despite the mass of things to experience, from show gardens to stalls to plant displays in the Great Pavilion, there were a number of…

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May 24, 2013

Chelsea flower show 2013-My impressions mark 1: Favourite gardens

  This week I was fortunate enough to attend the 100th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea flower show and not surprisingly, much has changed in that 100 years.  Moreover, I have not visited the show for 10 years and in that time I have seen a marked shift in focus; whilst good…

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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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May 8, 2013

Up the garden path-why visiting other people’s gardens rocks

What is it about garden visiting that is so engaging, so fascinating and so inspiring?  Is it that we just want to have a nose at what others are doing on their plots so that we can ‘keep up with the Joneses’?  Engage with aspects of art, design & gardening? Get a bit of exercise?…

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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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