30 December 2011
Nick tends to talk about 'the Eighties' as though it's an ancient time. To me it isn't, but on a country estate which was still clinging to the old ways, the Eighties marked the end of the Edwardian era. A team of gardeners who took three months to rake every leaf, has been replaced gradually by three efficient humans and a minimal collection of machinery.
24 December 2011
see Garden Clichés 1a). It seemed happy enough but may have been more smug if the scene wasn't so autumnal. Hee hee.
18 December 2011
On the subject of Propagating
When making cuttings, carry dug-up plants like oriental poppies as a cat would carry a kitten, ie by the scruff of the neck. It's more important to protect the precious undercarriage than the replaceable foliage.
A pot with root cuttings should not be patted down and neatened and covered with finger marks. It should look as though it has just dropped from the sky.
13 December 2011
...via the Outdoor Toilet
12 December 2011
The Bowser (above). Admired by many though hated by some, due to its phenomenal weight when full. A sloped allotment is useful here: it is important to pull a full bowser down, and an empty bowser up. It's a water butt on wheels.
Barr's Bulb Dibber. Originally intended for tulips etc., allotmenteers could also put it to use in the dedicated potato bed. Designed to be used standing up, with a servile helper at ground level dropping bulbs or seed potatoes into the neat hole created by the dibber.
The glass cloche. Works best in a row. Doesn't look as though it should transport easily but the handle and wire arrangement is fine. Putting it down again and not crashing into another glass cloche is important here.
Pointy spade, or perennial spade. It is smaller and shorter than a border spade and is designed for people who don't mind getting close to the earth. (warning: may be heavy).
A handy peg and line. The weight, length and narrowness of the iron peg is part of the appeal, as is the vertical 'brake' at the top to prevent the thing unravelling. Old painted metal pegs just get better with age.
Lead sink. This one at Holkham Hall in Norfolk comes with a tap: it's a perfect receptacle for watering cans.
useful? The brambles are a giveaway for this lovely lawn roller.