Gardening Blog

« Previous | Main | Next »

Garden news

Post categories:

Sally Nex Sally Nex | 07:00 UK time, Saturday, 18 June 2011

In the news...
Magnifying glasses at the ready: it's time to get down on your knees for a squint at all things small.

Two major surveys are calling on your help: first is the Bugs Count from OPAL (that's Open Air Laboratories, brainchild of the Natural History Museum, among others).

They want you to count the minibeasts you see in various habitats, watching out for six key species. It's worth doing just to learn to identify a leopard slug – the only one you shouldn't squash (it eats other slugs).

A leopard slug

A leopard slug

Then there's the Big Pond Dip, from Pond Conservation, the third year they've had us delving into our garden ponds. Just one in ten ponds were in 'excellent' condition last year, with the full quota of dragonflies, breeding frogs and toads, water beetles and pond skaters. Most ponds scoring top marks were larger: as good an argument as any to expand the water in your garden.

Bizarre clip of the week is the vegetarians' cucumber-eating contest in Berlin to restore the good reputation of a vegetable wrongly accused of spreading E-coli through Europe (the culprit was in fact beansprouts). Eating 14 cucumbers in a row is clearly more difficult than you'd think.

Elsewhere on the web...
Been to BBC Gardeners' World Live yet? Then you probably own one of those boxy plastic trolleys trundling around overloaded with plant purchases (or you're wondering whether you should).

Helen – aka The Patient Gardener – makes an impassioned plea for restraint. 'Simply awful' and in 'sickly colours', she bewails their tendency to crush toes and bash ankles. The internet has resonated with gardeners shouting 'hear, hear' ever since. The redoubtable Arabella Sock is a lone voice for the defence - though she helpfully recommends manservants as alternatives.

We've known gardening is cool for a while, though it's taken a while for Noel Gallagher, ex Oasis bad boy, to catch on. Gossip of the week: he's taken up the trowel and is moving to a house with a garden.

But, I can exclusively reveal, he's been secretly gardening for ages. Last year he made a wildflower meadow and thatched summerhouse at his Buckinghamshire mansion. Seems the story is morning glory, after all... (sorry, couldn't resist)

This week's good watch: BBC4's 'Botany: A Blooming History' on BBC4 leads us through the maze of plant genetics.

Out and about...
It's Father's Day tomorrow – so here's a big thank you to all those dads out there who taught their offspring everything they know about gardening.

Loads of gardens offer free entry to fathers: Barnsdale Gardens in Rutland, formerly home to the nation's best-loved gardening dad, Geoff Hamilton, is holding a Father's Day barbecue (free beer is involved), while the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire has live music.

In Essex, dads can enjoy a fine collection of classic cars alongside spectacular organic kitchen gardens at Audley End; and RHS Rosemoor, Devon, offers your dad the chance to use his traditional Father's Day socks in a very untraditional way.

Meanwhile at the RHS Lindley Library, in Westminster, landscape architect and historian Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, gives an insight into that most royal of gardens, Hampton Court: the perfect appetiser if you're planning to go to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show next month.

And at the Victoria and Albert Museum, on Tuesday legendary garden designer Dan Pearson is talking about his work on the extraordinary Tokachi Millennium Forest in Japan. Book early: it's this week's hot ticket.

Sally Nex is a garden writer and blogger and part of the BBC Gardening team.

Read Sally Nex's Gardening Blog posts.


Be the first to comment

More from this blog...


These are some of the popular topics this blog covers.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.