Her Outdoors: April flowers, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: April flowers

We were up in North Yorkshire at the weekend. Every morning, a heavy mist hung over the Howardian Hills, refusing to budge until well after lunch. In the morning, it was chilly enough for coats and fleeces, but when the sun broke through it felt as though there was a 10 degree increase in temperature. [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Wednesday, 2 April 2014 at 4:49 pm

Her Outdoors: planting potatoes, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: planting potatoes

I’ve been on holiday, but the allotment isn’t taking any down time at the moment – despite some very chilly days last week, buds are bursting on the fruit trees, the spring cabbages under nets are swelling and tiny radish seedlings are getting bigger by the day.
The weeds are also flourishing – my plot is [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Monday, 31 March 2014 at 9:31 am

Her Outdoors: March round-up, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: March round-up

Last weekend it was hard to believe it was still March, with the temperature as high as 18C (although it felt much warmer on the allotment site, as we are sheltered on one side by trees and the other by houses. The warmth has triggered an explosion of buds on the fruit trees and bushes, [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at 10:23 pm

Her Outdoors: It’s all about the soil, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: It’s all about the soil

When I started gardening seriously, about ten years ago, my main interest was growing great vegetables and flowers – mainly from seed, because it’s cheaper and, although more time-consuming, more rewarding. I spent ages on selecting varieties, on watering, on positioning, but ignoring the most important thing: the soil – just sowing straight into the [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 13 March 2014 at 9:58 pm

Her Outdoors: Leek Inquiry, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Leek Inquiry

We paid an early visit to Plot 35a on Sunday morning to take parts of a wooden playhouse I have bought for my daughter to play in while I get on with gardening. Tomorrow, with the help of a handyman (because we are hopeless at DIY and I want it to be safe), it will [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 10:29 pm

Her Outdoors: The sweet smell of spring, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: The sweet smell of spring

Yes, it’s March! It may be chilly but the sky is still light at nearly 6pm and shoots in the garden and allotment are getting taller. Birds are singing louder and building nests. I always feel a sense of excitement that the real gardening season is upon us now, mixed with a mild panic that [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Sunday, 2 March 2014 at 6:05 pm

Her Outdoors: Step changes, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Step changes

No sooner than we impatient gardeners, spurred on by a bit of sunshine and buds on the trees, get ready for the growing season outside – rather than fiddle with propagators and potting on indoors – than there is snow forecast this weekend. With our capricious British weather, the absurd timing is perfect, coinciding with [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Thursday, 27 February 2014 at 10:38 pm

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Tomato catch-up

Whether you’re intending to grow tomatoes in a greenhouse or outdoors (like me), it is a good idea to start planning the sowing of this wonderful crop that can, if you get it right, keep you going until Christmas.
There are some gardening wimps out there who say you can’t grow tomatoes outdoors in Britain, firstly [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Monday, 24 February 2014 at 9:00 am

Her Outdoors: Time to plant a fruit tree, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: Time to plant a fruit tree

Every allotment needs fruit  bushes and trees. Compared to vegetables, fruit is fairly low maintenance – once you sort out the pruning, nourishing with well-rotted manure and netting your harvest to keep the birds off.
I got my first allotment nearly four years ago – actually, about a week before I gave birth to my daughter. [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Tuesday, 18 February 2014 at 10:38 pm

Her Outdoors: High on horseradish, Her Outdoors

Her Outdoors: High on horseradish

The other day, while covering the Wythenshawe by-election, I went to visit my friend Kate, who lives in Manchester with her husband Mike and their two sons. I took the traditional bottle of wine as a gift, but also, stuffed in my overnight bag, was a knobbly root of horseradish, freshly yanked out of my [...]

By | Her Outdoors, Notebook | Saturday, 15 February 2014 at 7:37 pm

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