In the news...
If you're one of the tens of thousands of would-be veg gardeners waiting for the keys to an allotment, take heart: the National Trust handed over its 1000th plot this week.
The Brown family at Hatchlands (Photo: Professional Images)
The beautifully prepared patch, by a mellow old wall at the Grace and Flavour community garden on the Hatchlands Park estate in Surrey, went to garden blogger Claire Brown, assisted by husband and enthusiastic small boy. Blackcurrants, leeks and spring cabbages are already in place.
The other 999 allotments, available via Landshare, have helped blow a hole in endless council waiting lists. But, the Trust warns, allotment land could be among casualties of the government's new planning proposals. It's joined the CPRE, RSPB and several other conservation groups in fighting the plans.
Plant conservation charity Plantlife is worried the shifting sands of the south Wales coast aren't shifting nearly enough. Artificial dune stabilisation and over-exuberant undergrowth has meant disaster for delicate coastal wildflowers, so they're stripping back the vegetation to get the sand moving again. At stake is the future of the super-rare fen orchid, now down to just 400 individuals.
Finally, more large and unlikely animals in the garden: this week's most bizarre photograph was the Swedish elk who got so drunk on fermenting apples it decided to climb the tree. The apple tree lost almost all its branches during the rescue: now that's what I call a garden pest.
Elsewhere on the web...
With hedgerows groaning under the weight of all those blackberries and sloes, mushroom season approaching and elderberries plumping up, grow-your-own has become more pick-your-own lately.
Not that you need a hedgerow: Alys Fowler went foraging along Regent's Canal in central London for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour (9m50s in) and found most of the above plus fat hen, wild rocket and garlic mustard – picked above waist height only, for as Alys says, 'you do not want to eat dog pee, believe me'. Quite.
You can forage on the web, too. Fruitshare is one of those incredibly useful ideas you wonder why nobody's thought of before. You register your overladen fruit trees, and see if there's any surplus fruit needing collection in your area. It's not just apples, either: there are medlars, plums, and pears to try.
And a feast for the eyes from those talented photographers at Nature UK: the Summerwatch group have been getting up close and personal with the tiniest of beasties, including an utterly extraordinary shot of a bug trapped inside a raindrop.
Out and about...
There's a rare chance to see inside a hidden botanical museum as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew opens the doors of Museum no. 2 next weekend for Open House London. The museum started life as George III's fruit store, then became the world's first Museum of Economic Botany in 1847. Now Kew's School of Horticulture, the collections have been removed, but the museum's interior is still intact.
Others in the Open House scheme include Ham House and Garden in Richmond, though there's a sneak peek tomorrow at an open day for their newly-restored 17th-century kitchen garden, complete with cookery demonstrations, Elizabethan heritage veg and apple bobbing.
The first apple day of the season is upon us already: Audley End in Essex invites you to eat your fill of apple cake, apple chutney and apple pie. Work it off exploring the unmissable Victorian walled kitchen garden, run by Garden Organic and a spectacular demonstration of how it should be done.
And another prod to go buy tickets for the Wisley Flower Show in Surrey and the Harvest at Jimmy's festival in Suffolk where the likes of Monty Don and Kevin Smith are on stage. You have till the end of tomorrow to get yourselves over there and enjoy.
Sally Nex is a garden writer and blogger and part of the BBC Gardening team.