2014 update: A spade door knocker is available from Selections. Sadly Plantstuff seems to have gone out of business.
My gardening wish list:
Bright red secateurs that I can’t lose in the undergrowth
A year’s supply of twine
There, it doesn’t have to be pretty to be appreciated. But sometimes you want to be frivolous. Plantstuff.com, based in Somerset, offer items that you won’t find easily on the high street. And in their Sale section last week, I couldn’t resist the door knocker pictured. It has 75% “knocked” off (sorry!), and postage is £5.95, so the whole purchase was £8.95.
The saleswoman was friendly and my frivolous purchase arrived two days later, well wrapped. Who’s it for? Well, me, actually. It’s going on the door of the garden shed. And, whatever my husband says, that has nothing to do with the fact that I never had a Wendy house. What’s on your gardening wish list?
NB This site has now disappeared from the web. It refers to ButterflyGarden.co.uk, which was a super resource. Sad to see it go.
You’d think it would be easy. But…
The difficulty of identifying butterflies became apparent when a friend and I “did” the local (and prolific) Lepidoptera of South Africa on holiday. Not only were our subjects never still, but we found that many looked very alike, especially those named Greater and Lesser. Our fervour for self-education lasted—ooh, half an hour.
But if you find yourself staring at one that isn’t white and sitting on a cabbage (no problem identifying those!) and wondering what it is, the charming Butterfly Garden can help.
Illustrated with beautiful photos taken by Linda Walls in her Gloucestershire garden, it contains information on each of the fifty-eight resident British butterfly species and on forty-five plants to attract butterflies.
She also gives a month-by-month breakdown of which butterflies are on the wing, tips on photography and help with identification.
It’s poignant viewing because Linda died in 2006 after fighting leukaemia. Her husband honoured her wish that the site remain available and it’s an attractive and helpful resource that stands as a lovely memorial to Linda.
Can any veg grower resist a peek at someone else’s plot? Not me. I actually grazed the underside of my nose last year, straining to poke it over a fence for an eyeful of a stranger’s asparagus.
If you have an allotment, you have ample opportunity to ogle the competition, but for those of us who don’t and who find that Next Door is a desert of lawn and plastic toys, it can be difficult to work out if it’s you, or if this really is a bad year for leeks.
BBC Gardener’s World comes in for a lot of stick these days. The problem is that there really isn’t much else on TV. Unlike the internet, where there’s a complete smorgasboard of gardening radio and TV.
Want to visit an Australian garden? Or wondering if gardening would be quite the same if you moved to Oz?
Far more of us are holidaying in Britain this year, so we’re told.
If you’re off to the seaside it’s a great chance to see how people garden in the extreme conditions. If you’re trying to identify any of the plants you’ve seen then look at Gardening by the Sea for a plant database dedicated to salt-tolerant plants.
Bumblebees are easy to characterise: all portly geniality, humming quietly, like Pooh.
But there is a sting in the tail (sorry). Three species of bumblebee are already extinct, and nine more under threat. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust was created to combat the “plight of the bumblebee”, and they want our help.
Their site a hive of information (OK, I’ll stop)—offers advice on bumblebee-friendly gardening (including a list of flowers to grow throughout the year), an explanation of the problems and lots of lovely photos.
Not the pleasantest of subjects, but something for dog owners to contemplate.
I remember the less enjoyable moments of ownership being trailing round the garden with a shovel, looking for our terrier’s little “offerings”. I used to flush them down the loo (luckily we had one just inside the garden door).
But if you’re fed up with burying yours or wrapping them in newspaper for the bin, how about this? The Pet Poo Loo from Original Organics.