Summer time ….

….. and despite the largely cool, cloudy and damp weather the garden is singing to me.

Hinomaki red gooseberries

We have eaten the offerings of the berry and currant bushes.


The tree fruits are ripening on their as yet slender boughs.

apple Sunset ripening


the first and so far the only, very lovely, mirabelle ripening


damson Abergwyngregyn bearing its first fruits and surrounded by marjoram, oca, tree onions and more


Jerusalem artichokes and mashua are rocketing skywards and oca is fast expanding outwards and upwards.

oca thriving in deep, fertile soil

When the sun comes out bees, butterflies and an assortment of other flying insects are attending closely to the thousands of blossoms on the cardoons, mint, catnip, marjoram, budleia and hyssop.

cardoon flower plus bee


Swiss mint (I think) – the flowers are super attractive to honey bees and another species I cannot identify yet. They flew away when I took out the camera.


red admiral and peacock butterflies were swarming around these alliums



skirret in flower


tree onions ripening beside marjoram, elder bush and fennel behind

The birds (blackbirds I think, but I wasn’t here to see) ate the aronia (chokeberry) berries.

aronia (chokeberry)


Californian poppy attracts a particular fly to its gorgeous flowers

In contrast to all this wildlife activity I am doing very little – nothing in fact – just enjoying it all.  By this time of year I am always let go completely.  The plants in the polycultures are growing together so closely that there is a general surge of growth and loveliness which I just want to spend time gazing at.

looking down the garden from fourth polyculture bed in front


second polyculture bed, currently dominated by nasturtium, alliums and fennel with berries and roots behind


first polyculture bed


‘triangle bed’

I want to look at the flowers …

views across two valleys to the hills beyond

… and the views.  After all, winter is only round the corner.

29th November 2016




Posted in Borderland Garden, Fruit, Polycultures | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What to do about slugs?

I love this post from Carol about slugs in her garden.


I walked out the other day to find this: Endives seedlings munched to bare soil, despite being carefully tucked up in a pot with copper tape around the edge. I chose endives, rather than lettuce, because I thought it would be tougher and less attractive to molluscs. Not so. I spent the rest of the […]

via Slugs – three strategies for acceptance — iSustainability Project

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One School, One Planet – design challenge

The permaculture organisation Sector 39 in conjunction with Llanfyllin High School are rising to the huge challenge of climate change in a very pro-active and committed way.  There is this design challenge that they have recently issued and much more of interest on their website.

Enjoy – Anni x



Deadline for Submissions: 11am 7th September 2017! Help us communicate our critical message… Since September 2016 we have been working with the aim to find the leaders of the future, creating exciting new opportunities for work, play and learning. Our goal is to build an inclusive vision for schools and communities that recognises and understands…

via Design Competition – Calling All Creatives! — One School One Planet

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Sweet cicely seeds available

I have just harvested ripe seeds from my sweet cicely plants.  If anyone would like some please email me on  I won’t be charging for them.

Sweet cicely is a herbaceous perennial reaching up to two or three feet in height and up to two feet across.  They prefer damp and shady conditions, come up and flower early in the year nd attract early bumblebees.

The leaves can be used to sweeten tart dishes such as gooseberries and the seeds have a pleasant aniseed flavour whilst they are still green and chewable.  A very nice plant all round.  I grow mine close to fruit bushes and kales which works well.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Sweet cicely

Posted in Herbs, Seeds and seed saving | Tagged | 4 Comments

Tiny fruit trees – summer 2017

I am growing the fruit trees in my garden as ‘tiny fruit trees’ according the to method of Anne Ralph and as described in previous posts here and here.

All these fruit trees are planted in polycultures of other fruits, herbs, flowers and vegetables.  Apart from the brown leaves on the quince they all look very healthy.

Just after the solstice I did the pruning rounds – some needed quite a lot taken off, but most of the trees required only a very light prune or nothing.  I lost one tree over the winter – gage Reine Claude de Bavay.  I am not sure why, but it may have been the unusually dry conditions.

Neither of the pear trees needed much taken off and you can hardly tell the difference in the before and after pictures – these are the ‘after’ ones:

pear concorde


pear invincible

The quince did not need pruning when I did the others and I forgot to take pictures when I did it a few weeks later.  This is it today, as in previous years many of the leaves have gone brown but I don’t know why.  I have been watering it and it has produced new, green growth.

qunice Vranja

The mirabelle has a very tall, straight habit and had grown upwards  a fair bit, I took some height off it.

Mirabelle before pruning

It is slowly sending out more branches lower down and gradually expanding sideways.  It has a few fruit on this year.

Mirabelle after pruning

The morello cherry had not grown much and I did not prune it at all.

cherry morello

The other cherry, cariad, had also not grown much and I have not pruned it yet.  Last year it produced lots of suckers below the graft line some of which had roots on.  I cut them off and planted them in the hedge and two are growing – presumably into wild cherries.  This cherry had a few fruit, more than last year but they split in the dry conditions and the ants and birds have been nibbling.  We salvaged a few and they tasted lovely.

cherry cariad

The damson has still not made much growth since having a drastic prune two years ago, but it is starting to send out some more shoots, it is still less than waist high.

damson Abergwyngregyn

The Denbigh plum is very vigorous, but again I omitted to take before and after pictures and this is it today.  For the first time it has some fruit on.

plum Denbigh

Another vigorous one is the apple trwyn mochyn (Welsh for pig’s snout).  It has started to produce side spurs so maybe there will be flowers and fruit next year.

apple trwyn mochyn before pruning

I cut it back vigorously!

apple trwyn mochyn after pruning

And lastly the apple sunset had a moderate prune and this is it today.  It is bearing more apples than last year – about 18 at my last count.

apple sunset


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Enjoying a summer’s day

It is 16th July and the sun has come out after a dull morning. I would have liked rain as it has been incredibly dry for this part of the world, but despite that most plants are doing well (and I have only watered the new fruit trees, shrubs and some other new herbaceous plants).

Gooseberries are ripening,

one of the new apple trees is bearing some fruit,

the tree onions are forming lots of baby bulbils on their tops,

we have been eating as much kale as we want since the winter and giving lots away and it is still going strong.

I have picked a kilo of blackcurrants from a single bush and a lot of jostaberries too, the whitecurrants are ripening,

as are the redcurrants

Meanwhile the bees, butterflies and many other flying insects are loving all the flowers that abound in the borders, especially the parsley and

the marjoram.

I have just made two batches of jam using previously frozen damsons we were given and cherries we foraged on holiday.  I wandered round the garden taking pictures and filling my apron pocket with fat pea pods to go with our evening meal.




Posted in Borderland Garden, Fruit, Fruit trees | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

London Glades: Forest Garden Solutions For Urban Spaces at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Here is a wonderful forest garden – created for the recent RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – a beautiful and inspiring space that hopefully will lead to the creation of many, many more such gardens.

Source: London Glades: Forest Garden Solutions For Urban Spaces at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

Posted in Events, Forest Gardening | Tagged | 2 Comments