Get Garden Updates by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.

April 28, 2017 | No camera? No excuse

This is a blog post about pulling  my socks up.  I must have one of the worst websites around – a sort of Mickey-mouse-pasted-together affair.  A friend looked at it a few weeks ago and was polite enough not to shudder.  However she offered a swap of planting design for techi sharpening up.

I was very glad.  ”Photos” she said, “You must have photos”.  I knew this was a weak point but today trawled through what was there in the right bit of my computer.  It was not encouraging :  just a collection of pictures conveying  simply nothing: Continue reading No camera? No excuse for bad website pics.

Share

Read more...

April 26, 2017 | My terrible meadow sowing attempts

There is a patch of ground in my garden that has definitely got the upper hand.  It started as a sulking vegetable plot full of stones and rampant sun flowers.  That era over, the next was a green manure crop of Phacelia tanacetifolia.  Budding up, I failed to cut off the flowers and the next thing was a zinging blanket of metallic blue flowers pulling in bees from all round the neighbourhood.

Continue reading My terrible meadow sowing attempts

Share

Read more...

April 20, 2017 | Review of Deckchair Gardening by Anne Wareham

In “The Deckchair Gardener”  Anne and her mischievous and irreverent Gnome make it plain that all of us gardeners out there have been had, utterly had by the gardening nonsense that we have been reading over the years.    What was  gospel truth is taken by the collar  and shaken to show up some crazy ideas being peddled by the experts as advice.

Continue reading Review of Deckchair Gardening by Anne Wareham

Share

Read more...

April 8, 2017 | Dig your soil? Or then again, do not

Earlier this year I went to the Garden Press Event buried in the depths of the  Barbican.  Humming and hawing over whether to go, it seemed a long jump from home.    Wrong wrong wrong.  On arrival, a bright pink cupcake got pressed into my hand and spluttering, I fell into the hands of the soil magicians.  What bliss – how often does the nerdy opportunity to talk soil structure for several hours on end with a range of enthusiasts?

Continue reading Dig your soil? Or then again, do not

Share

Read more...

March 31, 2017 | Why I do not want to plant lilies at all

I do not want to plant lilies at all.  I hate to think how those bright red lily beetles can zone in. Living  in the back of beyond well away from all human contact  they still arrive.  Do they travel about in prototype drones?

Continue reading Why I do not want to plant lilies at all (plus random garnish of pics)

Share

Read more...

March 9, 2017 | My 10 top tips for a successful PLANTING PLAN

This week I have mostly been spending time on  planting plans and fending off the breath of chaos breathing  down the back of my collar as I juggle with 6 or 7 different projects.  It’s worth sharing some knowledge.

THERMOMETER:  Plant choice is worked out with my customers who can have as little or as much input as they want.  The temperature of the mind’s desire is teased out so I can put expectation together with the strictures of site and soil.  Set up a joint Pinterest Board – really handy in the thermometer department.

Continue reading My 10 top tips for a successful PLANTING PLAN

Share

Read more...

March 6, 2017 | Bulbs - try out the dolly mixture planting style

Bulbs are opportunists.  Most come from the far Eastern end of the Mediterranean, from rocky scree where early  snow melt gives a source of water before summer drought.  The busting into leaf and flower comes from energy suppled by a modified root and shoot system stored in their fleshy cells. Photosynthesis and pollination accomplished, they retreat below ground before a hungry goat munches them.

Continue reading Bulbs – try out the dolly mixture planting style

Share

Read more...

February 21, 2017 | Pennisetum Red Buttons runs away with me

I have been having a love-in with Fountain grasses for quite a while.   Pictured here is the one that I have run away with in my not so big garden.  It is Pennisetum massaicum ‘Red Buttons’. First eye-balled it at the Chelsea launch in 2010 on Neil Lucas’s Knoll stand.  Stalked after that,  including  a visit to his Dorset garden, 8 or so plants went into the borders here in Spring 2015.

Continue reading Pennisetum Red Buttons runs away with me

Share

Read more...

February 17, 2017 | How was it for you? 2017 Garden Press Event

How was it for you? I am about to ring my PR mate and ask her about  yesterday’s Garden Press Event.  Actually I tried to call her for directions  as I blundered round windy walkways that skylined past St Giles Cripplegate church, urban lunchers and chunks  of Roman Wall.  The Barbican Exhibition hall was not easy to find. Three people confidently pointed me in completely the wrong direction.

Finally made it and plunged into a horticultural whirlpool; a kind of man-made heaven with  astonishing cupcakes endorsed by the Bosch machinery people.  Heaven because there are all too few places where an enthusiasm for the state of soil can be mulled over and talked about at any length.

Continue reading How was it for you? 2017 Garden Press Event

Share

Read more...

February 9, 2017 | Greening the grey with High Line

Every twenty years or so landscape design puts something truly revolutionary into the public domain.    For instance  The Landschaftspark  in Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany, designed in 1991 by Latz + Partners.  Set in an abandoned  coal and steel production plant, the concept  for this site was to embrace the industrial past and preserve as much of it as possible.  The living green walls of Japan and Paris are another,  as is the climbing-plant-draped massive  pergola of Zurich’s MFO Park.

In the way that the rag trade leaps on a Gualtier  catwalk design and deconstructs and re-sews for shallower pockets, these landscape  influences percolate down.  They affect the way we look at things, the plantings we choose and our approach to nature.  All of us garden makers are moulded by change and it is a good idea to keep a close eye on innovation and  the High Line is my choice of the day.  It has spurred much copycat action and makes wannabe town planners foam at the mouth.

Continue reading Greening the grey with High Line

Share

Read more...