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in your hand. Quite a few young apples drop off naturally - a process known as the 'June drop' - at the start of the summer, but rarely enough to make a difference, and rarely in the right places. I really enjoy thinning apples; it's one of those lovely
I've been madly planting brassicas as if they're going out of fashion. Perhaps Brussels sprouts have never actually been in fashion - but they are with me. I greatly missed harvesting my own sprouts for Christmas lunch.This year, to make sure I don
in the past but always worry about catching and harming wildlife unintentionally, so this year I tried making do without.Well, I've learned the hard way. Until the birds in this country learn the real meaning of sharing I'll be forced to resort to netting next
to buy plants, I will make sure none of us buys snapdragons again. I've strong suspicions that they harboured the infection when we bought them. Now, in my household, 'rust patrol' has become a regular feature of daily life. With secateurs and a hand
'doing the rounds' only at certain times of the year. Almost certainly they have distinct seasonal patterns, but, of course, it's also because they make their patrols each day according to sun-up and -down, and this only coincides with my alarm clock on a
for such work.Surely I'm not the only one who makes mistakes when gardening. Admitting them in public is very therapeutic, I promise! Any takers?
of the dahlia is a copper ring which, designed to deflect slugs and snails. The copper creates a sort of electrical frisson which makes the gastropods shy away and head for the hills.Imagine my distress this morning when I discover my dahlia de-nuded of most
always makes me feel better - I know if Ron's crops are bad it must be a seasonal thing and not a cock-up on my part! Oh well, as Ron says, there's always next year!
in pots. It's the nearest you can get to instant gardening, buying or growing a range of plants then immediately making them feel at home in a pot. They're versatile, too, and can be moved around as the mood takes you. It's rather like rearranging
irises.I digress; my favourite roses at the moment are the Hybrid Musk roses. They were mostly bred by the Rev. Joseph Pemberton in the early 20th Century and make great shrubs and small climbers. They are soft coloured, like cowrie pink 'Penelope', clean