The treacle berry is looking fantastic – it’s finally finished flowering, and its ripe with these dark brown berries. They have a treacly taste at first, followed by a weirdly bitter flavour. But the birds seem to like them.
I want to plant a new rose bed for next year. We’ll make it in the spot where we let the lawn grow long by the back door.
My lovely husband has cut back the grass, and I’ll plant bare root roses here this winter. There’s an offer at David Austin that expires next week so I’d better get my skates on and place an order. It does seem weird paying upwards of £20 for a big spiky stick, but all the David Austin roses I’ve bought over the years have done pretty well, and it’s a much cheaper and more sustainable option than buying potted roses in flower – often bringing plastic and peat into the garden.
When we first left London, about five years ago the plan was spend more time in the garden, and less in the office. We sold up and quit the city, hoping for a bit less of the rat race and more of the good life. The plan has evolved a little bit, I’ve ended up working part time from home at a sustainable timber business, and volunteering with a forest school.
The ‘plan’ at the moment is to create a lovely garden without costing the earth.
Yesterday, Gardeners’s Question time on radio 4 was a special about the environmental impact of how we garden in the UK.
It talked about the carbon costs of power tools and heated greenhouses, pollution from petrol mowers, and the impact of plastic and peat and our environment. One suggestion that I liked, and we’ve used here, is to repair and resuse old handtools. They’re great for smaller jobs, and I kinda like the aesthetic too. Old tools often turn up at vintage markets and junk shops, and some of them are really effective and were built to last.
There is a tiny splash of colour from this snapdragon. It’s raggedy but resilient.
I took the cover off the bench this morning, for a little sit down to watch the birds.
Recently I’ve seen robins, blue tits and a jay eating from these feeders. And I don’t have a decent photo of any of them!
Finally, I’m bringing my work life into my garden blog once again.
During COP26 there’s been lots of talk about tree planting, and how it is not a simple answer to the problem of global warming.
If you have a few minutes, please watch both these films – the first from Ros Atkins looks at the global issues, and the film posted below it from Vastern Timber (which I helped to make) shows ideas from people working with trees about how to help Britain’s forests grow.
I’ve given myself the onerous task of writing a blog post for each of the 12 suggestions in our film, wood for the trees.
I’ve posted five so far, with two more scheduled and five more to do. My boss asked if I was regretting this plan, and the answer was yes, but I’m still glad to have done it. It would be even better if a few more people read them.
PS- I forgot to mention my other ‘thing’ which is forest school and tree planting plans. I’m part of the team at Shared Earth Learning, and we’re putting on two tree planting sessions this month to restore hedgerow along the Mendip Way. Join us on 13th and 27th November. More info on our blog!