Archive for October, 2016


We welcomed record numbers of visitors last year, our membership is growing, and our income also increased. As a result, we are spending more money than ever before on funding our conservation work. As a charity, we don’t make money for its own sake, but use it to look after the 300 historic houses, 250,000 […]

via Trust spends record levels on conservation as visitor numbers and memberships hit new high — National Trust Press Office

Advertisements

Originally published in The Telegraph on 05 October 2016. By GORDON CONWAY When recently appointed Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom suggested that young Britons could take over post-Brexit fruit-picking and farm labour, her comments were met with derision. Speaking at a Conservative Party conference fringe event in Birmingham, she said she hoped that more young people […]

via Andrea Leadsom is right – we need to get more young people into farming — One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

To Walter de Grasse

wp_20161028_09_44_58_proDear Walter,

I heard the other day that the Met Office is saying that the growing season here has been extended by a month, due to global warming. Certainly, as I walked around Felmingham and North Walsham the other morning it was amazing to see how few trees are anywhere near bare of leaves, and there’s still so much green around!

I guess that I’m feeling as though I’m in a false sense of security, as it doesn’t seem at all urgent that I get on with planting bulbs and the perennials I’ve been nurturing in pots, sowing Broad Beans and onion sets or transplanting tender plants into the greenhouse. Of course I’m probably going to fall prey to a sharp frost anytime now and I’ll be shocked into the reality that it’s winter..well, it will be soon, as the clocks go back an hour tonight.

I look back and once more think about all that hasn’t been done in Old School Garden this month. Still I suppose a few important jobs have been ticked off- like putting in a new fence post and mending and creocoting the fence, gate posts and garden gate, cutting the grass and gathering leaves, putting out the first lot of bird food, weeding around the leeks and continuing to gather produce, especially apples and carrots. I’ve also cleared the front border (just below where we had the paint removed from the house flintwork) , levelled the edging, started to top up the soil and will eventually plant out a row of English Lavenders I’ve been growing on in pots, together with some Scabious grown from seed and some bulbs for spring colour. This will eventually be a Lavender hedge which should grow go well on this south-facing (if part shaded) wall.

I’ve also had a plant exchange with my friend Mandy; she’s given me some Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’ and Euphorbia seguieriana. The former is a hardy perennial with pale lilac flower spikes that become ‘fasciated’ (the stems and flower spikes flatten and twist into strange shapes) and so are rather curious to look at. I love Veronicastrum and look forward to growing this- perhaps alongside the two tall pale yellow Scabious I’ve grown from seed this year and which are also ready to plant out.

Image result for images veronicastrum fascination

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Fascination’

Image result for images Euphorbia seguieriana

Euphorbia seguieriana

I gave Mandy a few Candelabra Primulas (also grown from seed) in return. I have rather a lot of these and have been thinking about where to put them; apart from around the pond garden that is, where they were initially intended to go. I think I’ll try a few in the triangular raised beds we have next to the terrace, perhaps mixed in with the Achillea nobilis ‘Neilreichii’ I’ve grown on from runners harvested at Blickling along with some more spring bulbs. I also think I’ll try some in the ‘plant theatre’ in the courtyard garden, in advance of the pelargoniums that normally make for the summer show.

Candelabra Primulas and Achillea ready to plant out

Candelabra Primulas and Achillea ready to plant out

As you may have seen I’ve been active on other fronts gardening-wise. A spent the first of what I hope will be regular sessions at the local high School Allotment Project, where the enthusiastic Mr. Willer is getting great results from the garden and pupils. I’m also drawing up a design for the ‘The Grow Organisation’ near Norwich, which is providing gardening and food growing opportunities for people with various needs, including some with mental health issues. This is exciting, the first bit of garden design I’ve done for a while! finally, the ‘Friends of Haveringland Parish Church’  have just about completed the first stage of turning over the churchyard to a managed conservation area with mown paths, easy access to still-tended graves and to provide a wildlife haven that’s also somewhere beautiful for humans to sit and reflect.

Haveringland Parish Churchyard- after its latest mow and ‘rake off’

Finally, my regular (well, pretty irregular recently) sessions at Blickling continue and apart from the practical gardening work I’ve begun to research the information for the new Tree Trail I’m designing there. this is throwing up some fascinating information; e.g. did you know that the ‘Monkey Puzzle’ Tree (Araucaria araucana, beloved of Victorian gardens) gets its common name from a chance remark made back in 1850?  Sir Willaim Molesworth, the proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow garden near Bodmin, Cornwall, was showing it to a group of friends, when one of them (the noted barrister Charles Austin), remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”. As the species had no existing popular name, first “monkey puzzler”, then “monkey puzzle” stuck!

Image result for araucaria monkey puzzle tree

Araucaria araucana- the ‘Monkey Puzzle’ tree

Though I haven’t yet had another go at that shredder, it has at least been a month of some progress in Old School Garden and beyond. I must quicken the pace to make sure all those late autumn/early winter jobs are completed soon, before the weather finally breaks..or will it be early autumn well into November?

Old School Gardener

It was so hard to travel in old times! There were no hotels or restaurants. Some towns had modest inns where guests could rest and eat a simple meal. But on many nights, travelers slept under the stars hoping they would find a village in the morning where they could buy some food. The only way to […]

via Portuguese pousadas — Salt of Portugal

Last week’s post looked at the diverse origins of Southwark’s so-called ‘Five Estates’ and the ideals which inspired them. This week, I’ll examine how those ideals failed or rather, perhaps, how they were betrayed by wider society. That also gives us a chance to assess some of the broader charges levelled against much of the mass […]

via The Five Estates, Peckham, Part II: ‘It wasn’t all bad’ — Municipal Dreams

NATIONAL TRUST rangers on the Felbrigg Estate have this week been helping to ensuring the survival of Norfolk’s rare beech trees. Rangers are using rope lassos to collect ten kilogrammes of beech mast (seed) for Kew Gardens’ Millennium Seed Bank at the organisation’s Wakehurst estate in West Sussex. Once collected, the seeds will be stored […]

via National Trust rangers LASSO rare Norfolk beech seeds for the nation — National Trust Press Office

Last Saturday we went to our friend’s wedding, it was at a beautiful old hotel in the Forest of Bowland surrounded by glorious countryside, the weather couldn’t have been better it was calm, sunny and mild, the surrounding trees were looking at their best in stunning shades of gold, amber and red – it was […]

via Grow trees for the future — Gardening with Children

wp_20161020_09_34_22_proI could only manage a couple of hours at Blickling this week. But it proved to be a rewarding time…

Arriving earlier than  the other volunteers (for once), I saw Assistant Head Gardener, Steve and set about digging over the remainder of the border where the Penstemons had been lifted a day or two earlier. This border, overlooking the Parterre and with the classic Blickling view towards the lake, has a splendid position, and it was still and peaceful as I made my way along the border, pausing occasionally to soak up the surroundings and watching a friendly Robin on the prowl for grubs.

Dug over, ready for Hyacinths

Dug over, ready for Hyacinths

This border is now being readied for the annual planting of masses of blue Hyacinths which make a glorious show in spring time. Soon I was joined by fellow volunteer Rory, a relative newcomer, who I had yet to properly meet. It proved to be an interesting chat as he turns out to be a local artist and art teacher (he shared some lovely pictures of his work on his phone)..and then I twigged…..asking his surname it all became clear- we have a couple of his lovely watercolours on our walls at home! These must have been bought 25 years ago! As we dug and chatted on a rainbow briefly appeared over the house and just added to the calm beauty of the place…

wp_20161020_09_33_57_pro

Rory digging from the other end...

Rory digging from the other end…

About an hour later we had finished and were asked to work with the ‘two Peters’ on clearing up some rubble and subsoil dug out and piled alongside the refurbished pump house near the lake- all part of the works for the Lake-source heat system being installed here.

Clearing the rubble...

Clearing the rubble…

It was a brief, if heavy-going, task as it involved piling rubble (mainly broken brick) into a barrow and shifting this uphill to the open trailer…I was glad to leave the boys to it after about 40 minutes…not sure what else they got up to!

And another shot of that rainbow...

And another shot of that rainbow…

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

Originally posted on Rethinking Childhood: This weekend’s New York Times has a major feature and profile on Mike Lanza and his Playborhood campaign to make neighbourhoods more play-friendly. And it’s whipping up a storm. In this piece, I give my take on the campaign and my response to the key criticisms. First, some background. Lanza’s…

via What’s so bad about a father trying to make the world a more play-friendly place? — PlayGroundology

Here we are – with the tenth post in my very occasional series looking at my collection of photographs of garden seats we discover as we explore the gardens we enjoy visiting so much. We have many seats in our own garden to allow us to sit and enjoy it. Equally we look for seats […]

via Are you sitting comfortably? – part ten of a very occasional series — greenbenchramblings

PushUP24

Health, Fitness, and Relationships is a great way to start living again.

TIME GENTS

Australian Pub Project

Vanha Talo Suomi

a harrowing journey of home improvement

How I Killed Betty!

The Diary and blog on How to Tackle Depression and Anxiety!

Bits & Tidbits

RANDOM BITS & MORE TIDBITS

Rambling in the Garden

.....and nurturing my soul

The Interpretation Game

Cultural Heritage and the Digital Economy

pbmGarden

Sense of place, purpose, rejuvenation and joy

SISSINGHURST GARDEN

Notes from the Gardeners...

Deep Green Permaculture

Connecting People to Nature, Empowering People to Live Sustainably

BloominBootiful

A girl and her garden :)

gwenniesworld

ABOUT MY GARDEN, MY TRAVELS AND ART

Salt of Portugal

all that is glorious about Portugal

The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

Cooking, gardening, fishing, living, laughing.

aristonorganic

"The Best of the Best"

PetalPushin

Thoughts from a professional Petal Pusher

Free Spirit Publishing Blog

An idea exchange for kids' education

%d bloggers like this: