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The Gardening Coach

Catharine Howard is the Gardening Coach. Contact her for gardening advice and visit www.thegardeningcoach.co.uk for more information.
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July 17, 2014 | It is barking dahlia day today

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June 23, 2014 | Pugs dressed for Midsummer Night's Dream

Yesterday we drove up to Norfolk to a pug tea party in the grounds of Wood Hall, Hilgay.   This was laid on by   PDWRA – the charity for rescuing and rehoming pugs.  They run regular Garden parties in the summer months.

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July 5, 2013 | A bee magnet

This morning Phacelia tanacetifolia was furry blue blur in my garden.  Pulling  in the bees and the hover flies too.  Originally from Mexico, it is frequently planted round the headlands  of fields by organic farmers to attract pollinating insects.

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June 6, 2013 | A mole muse

This collage effect is a mole in the dull  shade round the Mere below our castle.  The boot (mine) is in there to show scale.   How do moles (so very small)   manage to throw up such large hills?  They dig like crazy and also make perfect loam.  I wish I knew how to [...]

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January 21, 2013 | Monochrome zone

A Black and White walk round my village today.

I just love it that a in a stride about outside  all bright shades have been erased and noise is muffled and bleached out. Snow glare has sapped  tone and hue from the palette and turned the gaze over to sharp silhouettes.

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January 25, 2012 | Wordless Wednesday: Great Bustard at Norwich Castle

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January 24, 2012 | If you go into the woods today, you're in for a big surprise

young hazel coppice regrowth

not quite fly agaric

Serried timber trees, broad trunked with fly agaric mushrooms poking through dead leaves.  Why is this the popular image  of a wood?  Should we blame Racey Helps or Beatrix Potter?  Apparently not.  According to  Oliver Rackham,  (the historian of the English countryside)  this woodland askew view is to be blamed on [...]

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December 9, 2011 | This tree is so dead it is alive

The blasted trunk, hit by lightening, stands it’s ground in  the middle of a footpath. As a stately thing, the tree rules over young sweet chestnuts.  Though  dead as a dodo and sloughing away its lignified dead cells bit by by, it provides the ultimate wildlife habitat.  A sculpture too, to be coveted  for [...]

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October 5, 2011 | Things I like in Battersea Park

There are many.  It starts before stepping off Chelsea Bridge heading south.  The burger van.  Greasey smell and crumpled paper not-quite-in-the- bin to contrast with  the tai chi. The bicycling, the limber upping, the joggers, runners, the dog walkers.  And just the plain old A to Bers.  Walking in the dappled shade from the avenues [...]

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September 2, 2011 | Friday Creature Feature: can some keen entomologist identify this?

Cross between a teddy bear and a bee.  They move as packs through lavender bushes garnering nectar at high speed.   Spotted in Italy.

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