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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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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 [...]

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January 16, 2015 | Advice on fruit trees

Fruit trees are magnificent and lovely even without the eating.  Garden designers hunt around for architectural plants and most fruit trees have this this quality in spadefuls.  A few winters ago, I was tasked to renovate a small old orchard and my tree surgeon, who is a trained artist, pruned the old trees.  Out with [...]

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December 21, 2014 | H is for hairy hedges

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December 20, 2014 | Feast on your greens: winter gardening

December weather lays  bare the bones of the landscape and reminds keen gardeners of the delights of monochrome gardening.  Knock out  colour – except greens –   and think texture, movement, leaf contrast – all those things that design tutors at college chant as a mantra.

Last  autumn,  a group of us visited The Laskett in [...]

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October 7, 2014 | Tomato horrors: some fell witch has visited my greenhouse

This is a story of how NOT to grow tomatoes.

Growing in the greenhouse  began so well.    I am new to protected cropping and took great pride in stringing up my burgeoning plants and weaving them upwards.  The cucumbers got the same treatment.   Watered, fed, shut and open doors and all that and  I [...]

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September 29, 2014 | Problem planting areas - slopes round ponds

or should I say moats?   In Suffolk, east of England,  moats are ubiquitous .   I have lost count of how many customers I have with the address “Moat House Farm”.

The problem is that the banks down to the water are steep.  So what are the options for maintenance and aesthetics?  Lush growth of [...]

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September 28, 2014 | This is my mistreated carrot

An extreme example of very poor soil preparation.  The wretched thing is coiled into a scream that stops it taking flight for a Tony Cragg Road Show.

We ate it and it was quite tasty.

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September 27, 2014 | Dahli AMAZIA: Why and how to grow dahlias

Dahlias yo-yo in and out of fashion.  Right now the spool is taut and this genus of perennials are spinning high.  Funny to reflect then that the first plants arriving from Mexico 200 years were introduced  as  food  – an alternative to the potato.  James Wong, ethno-botanist and TV presenter,  praises them for a flavour [...]

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September 9, 2014 | Garden workshops in Suffolk to get your garden looking gorgeous

I am running two workshops soon for any keen gardeners who live in Suffolk:

HARMONIOUS PLANTING – on  Monday 6th October 9.30 – 11.30 at Lilac Thyme, The Station, Woodbridge, IP12 4AU

This is a two hour workshop to get you enthused about where to begin with replanting, or simply dividing up and moving plants around.

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August 4, 2014 | Go away at your peril

in the summer and you will return to rampaging jungle syndrome.  I had just got it under control – the garden, that is.  Breathed a sigh of relief at the fair degree of man over nature, and went away for 6 days.  Big mistake.  Brambles and nettles have gone into overdrive.

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