Latest posts by steephill

Camera Corner

Posted: 20/01/2016 at 14:19

Our garden is on the north slope of a hill so doesn't get any sun in winter. A few cold days like these means frost can really build up but it can look wonderful. This is a blade of grass overhanging a wooden edging board.

Close up you can see the hexagonal structure of the frost whiskers.


Just like Superman's Arctic cave!


Camera Corner

Posted: 15/01/2016 at 18:56

The A3 round the Devil's Punchbowl was a serious bottleneck for traffic from Portsmouth to London, it was the only stretch of single carriageway on the whole route. A lorry breakdown climbing up the hill or one of the frequent accidents could have tailbacks stretching for miles in both directions. That big bend saw quite a few deaths unfortunately. Putting a bridge over was seriously considered but the land is owned by the National Trust so that didn't happen thankfully. They built tunnels instead after a bit of land swapping with the NT. In Switzerland it would have been a no-brainer but of course in the UK it took decades to get the go-ahead. Some locals still wanted the old road kept for their personal use!

Here is the entrance on the north side, the old road used to run up through the trees on the left.

Camera Corner

Posted: 15/01/2016 at 13:46

Thanks Fairygirl, I never tire of seeing the Cobbler and the Ben. These were my playground when I was young, I think I first climbed Ben Lomond in '69.

Some shots of the Hindhead Alps. Amazing to think that this was once the A3 - one of the major A roads in the country. This was after about a year I think when the soil retention membranes were still visible. The road surface is still under that membrane and thousands of tons of soil.

Eighteen months on and nature is taking over.


You can see London 40 (miles away) on a clear day, the tall spike is the Shard.

Looking east over towards Box Hill.

Solardome Greenhouse

Posted: 09/01/2016 at 21:45

That would be about £15,000 new so I would try using a more upmarket outlet to sell.

Apple Trees

Posted: 08/01/2016 at 11:40

There are lots of good specialist suppliers out there and many offer great advice such as - - .

Personally I would avoid multi-grafted or family trees and just choose a single variety that you really like and would use.

New Gardening TV Show

Posted: 08/01/2016 at 11:28

First step is know your audience or in other words who is it for? As BBC3 has been a "youth oriented" channel and is about to move to online only that would imply a different approach is needed than that used for the more mainstream audience for such shows on main channels.

Everybody has to start somewhere so there may be some mileage in a "Delia - How to Boil an Egg" approach. Simple things like how to choose and use the right tool for the job can make a real difference to getting people hooked on gardening. None of us is born knowing how to do this. Start with the basics like spade and fork - there is a wide choice available but if you don't know how to use them correctly it is easy to pick the wrong tool and make life much harder for yourself and probably give up. That can easily be a running segment in any series as there is a vast array of hardware out there. Maybe try a Mythbusters approach on things like bulb planters (mostly useless).

Perhaps the target audience is the post BBC3 audience - those mythical first time buyers with a small blank patch behind the house. That has been tackled many times before, most recently by Chris Beardshaw in the Beechgrove series.

While that was good I did wonder about the costs involved which are likely to be a major factor for people starting out. For example a lovely stone retaining wall might be the most effective solution to a sloping back garden but £k's for landscape engineering is not something first time buyers have lying around. A favourite topic round here is pallet engineering for garden use - cheap solutions in the Geoff Hamilton style.

Camera Corner

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 17:10

Not sure I could manage the Arrochar Alps now but I can still manage the Hindhead Alps . I think of this area as a bit like the Trossachs but without the water (Frensham Ponds are a bit small!).

Camera Corner

Posted: 02/01/2016 at 16:02

Lovely to see the Arrochar Alps in all their splendour. Here's some old shots of the Cobbler from back when I was a lad - early eighties I think. In the 70's we used to bunk off school in Dumbarton and hitch up to Arrochar for a day in the mountains stopping for a beer or two in Arrochar after the climb before hitching home again.

Above the Buttermilk Burn

 Above the Narnain Boulder on the way up

 Looking up to the North Peak - there are some rock climbers near the top.

Close up of the rock climbers.

Log burner

Posted: 26/12/2015 at 19:57

Most log burners are exempt from smoke control regulations provided they burn the appropriate fuel e.g. wood logs. You can find a list of all exempt log burners here (links to other parts of the UK also included). 


Hazel nut tree

Posted: 20/12/2015 at 12:08

Ashridge Nurseries has several options - common hazel, purple and filberts.

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