What March brings!

A quick look at what we will be doing in the garden in March at Ulting Wick, weather permitting, and a few ideas for yourself at home. Sowing seeds, veg gardening and hoping for a bit more sunshine!

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A quick update as to what I’m up to in my garden at home and at work at Ulting Wick. To those of you who are being discouraged by the utterly vile weather we’ve been having I say hold on! In the words of Brandon Lee “It cant rain all the time”. Just a lot of it apparently!

I wrote the words above in the expectation that the weekend would bring more storms but as it turned out, for me at least it was bright and sunny for the most part. I gardened on the bits that werent squelchy, put some primulas I bought into pots, killed a few vine weevil grubs and generally pottered to my hearts content.

Continue reading “What March brings!”

Product Review – Empathy Bulb Starter

The wonders of friendly Fungi! Its taken a year to trial this product and I cant tell you how glad I am that its been such an amazing success having lost so many bulbs in previous years. Find out exactly what I did with the Bulb Starter packs from Empathy…

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In order to be completely transparent about this blog post id like to say up front Empathy did bung me a couple of packets of their mycorrhiza Rootgrow and Bulb Starter for gratis. They haven’t chucked any money at me (not that id object if they did) and they have neither sought nor have I given them any say over what is written here. Right! now we’ve got all that awkwardness out of the way, I’ll begin!

Some of you may remember the absolute trauma I had with some of my Snowdrop bulbs in the spring of 2019. Possibly due to the ridiculous heatwave of 2018 or to be honest any number of reasons I lost around 50% of my special snowdrops including 7 bulbs of Wendy’s gold that I had been treasuring since 2016. One thing I did know wasn’t the problem was Narcissus Bulb Fly.

Continue reading “Product Review – Empathy Bulb Starter”

Snowdrops galore!

What better than a walk through crisp, cold woodlands, your breath coming out in clouds and the tip of your nose tingling, with the added delight of a carpet of pure white flowers shivering in the breeze for as far as the eye can see… come and join the Galanthophiles and learn the joys of snowdrops!

As you may know I’m a bit keen on Snowdrops and I’d like to share some of this joy with you!

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I’ve put together a very short calendar of events and I’m sure I’ve missed more than I’ve found so if you know of somewhere that I haven’t included please do add it in the comments section below!

Continue reading “Snowdrops galore!”

Apple Pruning Workshops 2020

Our Apple pruning workshops are now into their 4th year. We specialise in small personal groups ensuring you receive one on one training whatever level you are.
Perfect for the professional or home gardener looking to extend their skills.

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Myself and Nick Black are now into our 4th year of our Apple pruning workshops, every year they have been growing in popularity and we are now confident we have found the best possible venue for our students to challenge them and also to give you the best experience possible.

We limit the number of places available on each day to ensure you get as much time with us, the tutors, as possible. Giving you ample time to ask questions and become completely confident with techniques. Continue reading “Apple Pruning Workshops 2020”

Trekking for Marie Curie

For the last 2 years I have been raising money for this charity that is close to my heart. They helped us enormously when mum was dying and to give something back has been cathartic. Heres the story of how I and 12 other brave(mad) people trekked Cambodia for Marie Curie!

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As I’m sure a lot of you already know I recently completed my Marie Curie trek No.2, this time in Cambodia.
Much like the first one, where we climbed 3 mountains in 3 days all over 3500 M, I had no concept of what I was asking of myself.
Often people assume it’s a bit of a jolly, having done it twice now I can assure you it’s no holiday. However the people that you walk with are often the most wonderful people you could ever hope to meet, and this group were absolutely amazing from start to finish! Continue reading “Trekking for Marie Curie”

The Cotswold Wildlife Park – The Book!

I was given the opportunity to see the park first hand and a copy of their new book about the gardens… and its brilliant!
A visit to the park is wonderful but how do the gardens staff create this perfect environment for the flora and fauna that live there?
Find out a bit more for yourself!

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I have had the pleasure of visiting and having a tour of the gardens with Tim Miles twice now, yes I am that greedy, but with so much to see its worthwhile to make repeat visits to this wonderful venue.

The most recent visit was to cover the book launch ‘A Celebration of the Gardens’ written in collaboration by Harriet Rycroft and Tim Miles. Now most of you will have heard of Harriet who’s expertise in arranging seasonal floral displays is legendary to say the least. This book is utterly enchanting.

Continue reading “The Cotswold Wildlife Park – The Book!”

Ulting Wick – year to date

An update on Ulting Wick’s garden diary.
What’s been happening here?
Open gardens for NGS and competitions!

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Hi everyone, its been ages since I posted! Apologies for that, since January of this year life has felt relentless and I just haven’t had the energy to write. I have tried, I have 3 unfinished posts in my drafts which I may or may not come back to at some point but I figured if I wasn’t finding it fun to write others may not find it fun to read!

So whats been happening at work? Those of you who follow Team Ulting Wicks twitter accounts of Phillipa, Rachel and Myself will perhaps be up to date on some of the more momentous things that have occurred but lets think back to January when we were still fully into the pruning and the tulips hadn’t even showed their faces!

Continue reading “Ulting Wick – year to date”

Camellias, a very British love affair

What makes you fall in love with a plant? Do you long for acid soil to grow these wonderful, elegant shrubs?
How about trying them in a pot! I fell in love with them whilst working in Kent and I’ve just added one to my garden, I think it won’t be the last…

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Camellias are of course not native to England but the plant has become so firmly embodied in British culture it might as well be our National flower. You probably have it every single day, a cup for breakfast at the very least. Camellia is of course the source of your very British cup of Tea!

We as a nation have been obsessed by tea since its arrival in the 17th century, oddly coffee up until then was more popular but coffee shops were seen as hotspots for political sedition! King Charles II became worried that the intellectuals at the time were becoming too ‘woke’ and banned the sale of coffee in 1675.

But back to camellias! Continue reading “Camellias, a very British love affair”

Snowdrop mania!

Given my disastrous failure this year you would think id be put off spending more money on these ephemeral beauties but not so, I have a cunning plan with fungi!Record breaking prices and galanthophiles abound!

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The interest in these tiny flowers seems to be gaining in popularity in the last 15 or so years, some of them reaching phenomenal prices! I myself have succumbed to their lure and can be found lurking around tables at snowdrop fairs looking wistfully at the ones far out of my budget, scanning for my must haves at a price I can justify to myself. It is not a hobby without heartbreak though, for myself it has been a disastrous spring. My small collection despite all my efforts took a severe beating, maybe due to the prolonged heatwave in the summer, maybe I had the dreaded fungal/viral infection which eats snowdrops alive? Whatever the cause I awaited patiently for them to emerge and when 3 varieties had I finally lost patience waiting on the others and tipped the pots out to investigate only to find either no evidence of them or sad soggy brown husks where once had flourished what I humorously termed my “pension fund”…. not so funny now eh! Continue reading “Snowdrop mania!”

2018 review

Another year has passed in Ulting Wick and what a year! Gardening has never been so challenging with our extremes in weather. That aside, there’s been good things, scary things and exciting unexpected events!
Writing this has given me a chance to go through it all in my head, how has your year been?

 

 

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Just to warn you, this is a picture heavy blog post, I wasn’t sure what I would take from it on a personal level, I thought I was just doing a step by step monthly review, I’ve been surprised. Surprised at what I’d forgotten, surprised at how many emotions which I haven’t talked about either here or on social media I’ve been through. Going through pictures for me is often cathartic, I take pictures every day, its almost my way of diarising my life. I hope you enjoy my year in review and tell me your highlights from yours! Continue reading “2018 review”