Consider the global air pollution crisis alongside the desperate need to conserve resources and there’s only one possible conclusion: it’s time to extinguish the tradition of the garden bonfire. As a boy, I was pretty whiffy. Out in the garden until dark, I would eventually come indoors, a noxious plume in my wake. A bath […]
If you need to be inspired by the power of composting all over again, just take a look at the figures; the quantity of ‘waste’ that an ordinary bin can divert from landfill is quite remarkable. I stopped, teetering on the bin’s rim, about to make a terrible, albeit colourful, mistake. The first post-Christmas hoovering […]
2020 has been set as the target for completely peat-free gardening – but we need clear directions if we’re to get there in time. There are four years to go. Sixteen of our increasingly blurring, juddery seasons left. And then we gardeners – and the businesses that profit handsomely from us – will together make […]
A readily available mulch will put the heart back into your soil – without you needing to put your back into it. It’s dragged on for long enough. That great day when I make, find or buy the time to push up my sleeves and ‘get on with it’ isn’t going to arrive any time […]
The concept of ‘beneficial insects’ overlooks the fact that in the greenhouse, some of our most important allies are of the eight-legged persuasion. They tend to startle rather than dazzle, and have us recoiling rather than rejoicing. They’re upstaged and outshone by their six-legged, airborne cousins, and they frequently make us jump out of our […]
Sow no harm: if you grow insect-attracting flowers from seed, you will reap nothing but delight. I love you, my dearest dahlias – I really do. And it’s on hot, comforting days like this, when we’re lulled by echoes of ebbing summer, that I adore you more than ever. Today you brought an airborne frenzy of […]
The facts are incontrovertible, the consequences are devastating, and the alternatives are effective and easily available – so the continued use of peat compost brings shame on us all. This could end up being one of the most ill-tempered, unforgiving and shame-flinging pieces I have ever written. I’m not happy about it, but it must […]
Could plants tagged ‘perfect for pollinators’ actually be poisoning them? A new crowdfunded project is aiming to find out. Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at Sussex University, is a scientist on a mission. After a childhood spent chasing butterflies and collecting birds’ eggs, he went on to study biology, did a PhD in butterfly ecology, […]
No garden is an island: a thriving diversity of natives, neighbours and migrants will result in a healthy, vibrant growing community. Right now the air is buzzing. It’s alive with chants for ‘Brexit!’, calls for ‘Remain!’, and voices mulling whether to leave, or whether to stay. Are we better off in, working side by side […]
Quality peat-free compost doesn’t need to come out of a bag, and it certainly isn’t sterile and sanitised. It’s time to rip up the rule book. My idea of an adventure doesn’t require me to jet off on some adrenaline-fuelled, round-the-planet jaunt. Although I’m inherently curious – I love exploring new places – I don’t […]
The peat-free message is finally being broadcast far and wide – but it’s gardeners and growers, rather than the gardening media, who are doing the telling.
Self-seeders are nature’s great opportunists – but earth-friendly gardening can improve their odds.