Blog Archives

The Georgian Surveyor. The equipment that Capability Brown could have used

The Georgian period was a good time for to be a surveyor. At home estates needed mapping to ensure that you could fend off land-grabbers, so you needed to know where your boundaries were. Surveying was needed so that you

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Mascall’s ‘Hare Pipe’ Trap

I was preparing some items to take to Aston Court to give my talk, ‘Those Tempestuous Tudors.’ The talk is about the use of plants during the Tudor period, but it includes poisons and a few other gruesome gardening subjects. I

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Scaring the Birds

Birds have always been a problem for gardeners. Many old gardening books describe the damage that birds caused to the Pleasure Gardens, but the biggest problem was the damage caused in the productive fruit and vegetable gardens. Since at least

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The Witches Flying Broomstick

As it is Halloween, I have decided to put up a suitable post. Witches are meant to fly on their brooms, but why brooms? Every woman would have hada besom broom to sweep the house. If the tales were written

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‘Death in the Garden’

Unlike many garden historians I have worked professionally in both gardening and history, and as a result it is the social history of the gardens and the uses of the plants that prove so fascinating to me. ‘Death Many talks

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Silens Messor Mower Restoration. Cont.

I have mostly completed the restoration of my Greens ‘Silens Messor’ lawn mower. It has an 8 inch cut. The chain is still not fully flexible, even after a couple of months of soaking in diesel, but it is mostly

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I was recently given an old hand mower by my friend, Robert Manton, who no longer has the time to restore it. Both of the handles have writing on them: One has: GREENS Patent No 373955 6 The other handle:

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First Make Your Scythe… There has been much comment recently in the press about maintaining old skills. Here is an article that I wrote for the Professional Gardeners’ Guild, some years ago. It outlines a few thoughts on the use

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Posted in Historic Gardener. Gardening-Horticulture

William Cowpers Summerhouse

I have a day free of Jury Service, so I am researching the letters of William Cowper for a display in June this year. He describes his summer house, which you can still see in the garden of what is

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Propagating Vines: The Roman Method

GROWING VINES USING A ROMAN POT I met Chris Lydamore at Piddington Villa during the Excavation Open Day where I was presenting a Roman Gardening display. He had a few roman flower pots based on the one found at Fishbourne.

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Posted in Historic Gardener. Gardening-Horticulture