Reflections on the Veg Garden 2017

It’s a lovely autumn day, and the garden is beautiful, productive and organised, despite several plants having passed their best. Time for a stock take and reflection on what went well (or not) this year… Continue reading


Dealing with Mussel Scale infestations on an apple tree

One of my apples (a triple cordon ‘Fiesta’) has suffered for a few years with infestations of Mussel Scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi). You can see them attached to the surface of the fruit in the photo above. These sap suckers do little damage to the fruit, but they are unsightly. It’s not a big deal as they can just be wiped off before eating. I tend to ignore most minor pest problems as many of them naturally resolve without intervention.

However, last year (2016) I noticed that the Mussel scales were covering the bark of the trunk and twigs as you can see in the picture below. I hadn’t realised this problem was building up, but they had infested two of the three cordons, so I could compare how the bark was supposed to look. Continue reading

Outdoor kitchen (new)

The new outdoor kitchen with gas BBQ, sink and tap is finished and christened. (Well, nearly finished: there’s still the cupboard to finish, but it’s pretty well there!)

We have had a couple of meals outdoors using it, and hope to have many more. With the vegetable garden close by this is the perfect area for cooking al fresco.

I’ve added a page detailing the design and construction here.

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How to prune dwarf box hedging

The neat lines of well trimmed box hedging contribute so much to a garden. By contrast they seem to emphasise the form of adjacent plants whilst providing a direct link to the formal lines of nearby paving and brickwork. The architectural quality of clipped hedging connects the garden to the house geometrically.

Here’s how to get your clipping perfecting… Continue reading