Blog Archives

Growing Nux vomica- The Strychnine Tree

  I need a photograph of a Nux vomica plant, the strychnine tree for the book that I am writing about poisonous plants, ‘Death in the Garden.’ Gerard the herbalist wrote about the medical use of the seeds; the name

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Illegal Mandrake Collecting

I have just read about an online petition that has been set up by the RSPCA to ban the illegal use of dogs to harvest mandrake roots.  Mandrake, Madragora officinarum, has been harvested for millennia for its medicinal properties.  

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GREENS ‘MULTUM IN PARVO’ MOWER RESTORATION

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

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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My Allotment – Brassicas and Leeks

I swear that the cabbage white butterflies followed me from home to the allotment. I had never seen one there before, but no sooner had I unloaded my trays of brassicas from the van and taken them to the allotment;

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The Historic Gardener at Wallington. May 2013

I presented my Roman Gardener display at Wallington Hall in Northumbria, over the Bank Holiday. The display shows Roman gardening tools, plants and related items. I also show the use of plants for medicine, dyes and clothing.

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MY ALLOTMENT- SCYTHING THE GRASS

I have been away at Wallington with my roman display, so I had little chance to do much on my allotment for the week before; other than to check it and notice that the grass and weeds were growing around

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MORE ON THE ALLOTMENT

Having dug the allotment plot over, I have left it to dry out for a few days. The weather has been glorious this week and the sun has dried out the soil very well. A little too well in act,

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