Archive for October, 2016


The ‘Five Estates’ were a figment of Southwark Council’s imagination. That’s not to say that the five estates – wedged between Peckham High Street and Burgess Park – didn’t exist but rather that they were artificially combined for a £60m bid for Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) funding in 1994. That bid required a single narrative […]

via The Five Estates, Peckham, Part I: ‘Planning is for people’ — Municipal Dreams

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky. December 2008. Most of us know that gardens and nature are good for us. And good for our children, too. Dirt is healthy for kids, but forcing them outdoors does not work the way it once did. Baby boomers, as youngsters, got kicked out of the house…

via Are You Afraid of Gardens and Nature? by Allen Bush — Garden Rant

By Wayne Kett In the past I have written blogs about iconic Norwich companies and famous people from our fine city, but this blog is about an ordinary Norwich man called W.H Everitt. The images below show an upholsterers tool box and assorted tools, they are from the Museum of Norwich‘s reserve collection. The label on the […]

via The Life of William Henry Everitt — Shine A Light Project

Government proposals to tackle air pollution in five UK cities could see electric vehicle drivers using bus lanes and getting priority at traffic lights Source: Electric vehicles could go first at traffic lights under UK clean air zone plans | Environment | The Guardian

via Electric vehicles could go first at traffic lights under UK clean air zone plans — GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Learn how to beat pesky pests, wave goodbye to the weeds and plant perfect plants with our step-by-step guides from the garden team at Winterbourne

via Monthly Masterclass: October — Digging for Dirt

Bees forage on fall-blooming winter savory (Satureja montana). Worldwide, there’s a growing awareness of the value of pollinators, which is heartening for those of us who love food and biological diversity. However, pollinator populations continue their noticeable decline, and recently several bee species have been listed or proposed as federal endangered species. Individual gardeners and…

via Common Gardening Practices That Hurt Bees by Evelyn Hadden — Garden Rant

wp_20161013_15_48_01_proThis week it was a concerted effort to cut back and tidy up the hedge that runs along the ‘ha ha’ on the northern boundary of the gardens at Blickling.

The hedges that run along the ha ha, backed by a wire fence for security, are a bit of a bone of contention. Some are pretty consistent (like the one that was cut back this week- it’s mainly Beech), but others are a real mixture of different hedge plants and hedge plants that want to grow into trees (especially Sycamore). And in some places the hedge has grown out to reduce the space between it and the fence which makes it almost impossible to get in alongside with a strimmer to keep the undergrowth down.

If I had my way I think it would be worth spending time to grub them out completely, as they perform no useful security role, but take  a lot of maintenance if they are to be kept in a reasonably tidy state. Of course they are of value to nature (as nesting sites and food sources for birds) and I must say gardeners Ed and Rob did make a nice job of cutting back the northern hedge so that it should, hopefully sprout forth with new life next spring.

wp_20161013_11_55_59_pro

After cut..looking a bit of a mess….?

Anyway, our session involved finishing off cutting back the hedge and its immediate surrounds and then ‘feeding the wolf’ that is the industrial scale shredder. By the end of the morning, having brought up all the brashings from the hedge to the path above the ha ha the shredder had finished its first pass.

After lunch we tidied up the last few cuttings and then moved on to finish off the hedge at its steepest descent from the path. An earlier attempt at cutting this area had been halted as a wasp’s nest had been discovered. Despite the wasps still being active, gardener Rob proceeded to cut the remaining hedge back…only to disturb the wasps and get attacked for his efforts! A few stings later (one on the head seemed to be especially painful), Rob paused for thought…and we gingerly tidied up as much as we could, but staying well away from the wasps, until the nest can be properly dealt with.

All told it had taken Gardeners Ed, Rob, Rebecca and Jane plus half a dozen volunteers virtually all day to complete the job. But it does look tidy, if bare- the hedge has been drastically reduced in height and girth, and hopefully is back to a manageable size. Now will the next stage be to tackle the east and southern boundaries, or would that be a hedge too far….?!

Further Information:

Blickling Hall website

Blickling Hall Facebook page

A 360 degree tour of Blickling Hall

Old School Gardener

Britain’s largest nature organisations have today launched their joint vision for a post-Brexit environment, farming and rural policy. WWF-UK, National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and RSPB are calling for: A new policy for the countryside – UK Governments to work together to replace the CAP with policies that deliver high environmental standards for land management […]

via Conservationists call on Government to grasp a better future for the countryside — National Trust Press Office

When we were young, every September our family ate fried eels that came from Murtosa, a small town in the estuary of the Vouga river. The eels were marinated in “escabeche,” a sauce made with olive oil, white wine, onions, paprika, laurel, and vinegar. These ingredients were combined according to ancient rules of alchemy so that when […]

via Eels from Murtosa — Salt of Portugal

An active lunch hour at Reepham High School and College Allotment Project

An active lunch hour at Reepham High School and College Allotment Project

I’ve written a little about this Allotment Project before. Headed up by enthusiastic teacher Matt Willer, it provides pupils of all ages at Reepham High School and College with some extra curricular ‘outside classroom’ experience of growing food. I’ve offered to provide some help and the other day I spent an hour with them.

A lot of older boys turned up and Matt set them to shifting bark across the surrounds to some raised beds. Matt had also brought in two old car tyres he’d found, and these were duly filled with soil ready for planting up; another example of Matt’s creative approach to recycling in the project.

How many boys does it take to shift a pile of bark....

How many boys does it take to shift a pile of bark….

I was pleased to see some faces that I recognised from a few years ago, when I was providing help at nearby Cawston Primary School; it was good to see these youngsters had retained their interest in growing. It was also nice that they also recognised me!

Another good thing was to see that Matt had taken my ideas of sowing some green manure on a couple of large raised beds, and that the mustard seeds had germinated and hopefully will go on to cover the ground and be ready to dig in early next spring.

Apart from the many boys, some other teachers (one of whom I’d worked with on gardening at the school a couple of years ago)  brought a group of girls down who are part of an extra curricuar group interested in science and technology. I worked with them to sow some broad beans in four raised beds, explaining why we sow now, the benefits of broad beans (apart from the delicious flavour) and we prepared the soil, measured out rows, sowed and labelled each row. We even had a few seeds left so that they could take a personal plant home in a pot and see how their’s grows in comparison with those put in at the Allotment.

For once, a picture of me talking to the girls about broad beans...yawn

For once, a picture of me talking to the girls about broad beans…yawn

It was good fun and I look forward to my next session there.

Old School Gardener

Finding Nature

Nature Connectedness Research Blog by Prof. Miles Richardson

Norfolk Green Care Network

Connecting People with Nature

Discover

A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, photography and a creative life

Daniel Greenwood

Unlocking landscapes

Alphabet Ravine

Lydia Rae Bush Poetry

TIME GENTS

Australian Pub Project

Vanha Talo Suomi

a harrowing journey of home improvement & garden renovation

How I Killed Betty!

Mad as a box of frogs? Most probably ... but if I can’t be perfect, then I’ll happily be fabulously imperfect!

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 :)

%d bloggers like this: