1st March – St David’s Day

Remembering family

 

1871 The Welsh National Library

1871, The National Library

 

My memories of St David’s day throughout my youth are very strong: wearing my daffodil proudly into class (not the little silk charity pins you see today, back then these were giant fresh trumpets – about as subtle as Louis Armstrong’s, too). It was a great day: being special and different made me proud of my Welsh heritage. I confess, I was quite the show off in my youth…

 

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It didn’t strike me as odd until much later that my mother didn’t speak with the same Cardiff accent as my Grandma or ‘the aunts’ (my mother’s cousins). Perhaps it was the influence of my Geordie grandfather (six-year-old boy sliding down the stairs on his Grandma’s silver tea tray), or her Irish grandmother (a Catherine Cookson heroine in 1900s Cardiff, with a dozen children of her own and a dozen more strays that she’d pawn her winter coats every year to feed, and husband who could fix anything), that she ended up non-accented.

There were so many voices in my family growing up – so many feast days and special days, and so many accents from around the isles that none of them seemed out of place, or different… The strong, strange Norwich twang of my Great Grandma on my father’s side (everything a child could dream of, with her pirate’s cackle and her black eye patch and her dramatic flare and glamorous style: red blouses, black pencil skirts and short crepe jackets, well into her nineties, with black tights and lipstick, bright as you can, you’re never too young or too old to turn a head) – her husband spoke with a wasp in his mouth which might once have come out of a plumb, many years ago. Posh-drunk, I’d hazard a guess, they were the sort that had cocktails before dinner and put cloves in their apple pie instead of cinnamon, and everything reeked of TCP…  And none of the menfolk are related by blood on this side…  My Caterham-educated father who pronounces it ‘yesterdee’, and beer as ‘bear’ and still laughs at the memory of his beloved Grandfather farting and burping at the same time at the dinner table, causing his mother to have one of her conniptions…  Her husband, Hassan, the sound of his slippered feet (Egyptian leather, Egyptian cotton, the beautiful inlaid boxes of Pharaohs, queens and reams of unfathomable stories told over cushions, tables, ashtrays – an endless race of chariots through lotus grass…) the Turkish delight coiled in boxes he said were jellied snakes, and the way he pronounced words like Bela Lugosi, giving him the air of a cinematic immortal – accented splendidly by the music of his morning prayers coming from the mysterious room upstairs with the 70’s purple wallpaper…  a place never ventured into, but often imagined.

These strange family things, unique to each of us, might no make others smile the way our same-nesses do, but everyone a hotch-potch of relatives, like a garden of plants from all over the world, come together and somehow making a sort of harmony, even in the discords. These are our relatives, these are our funny memories. Not so much a family tree as a family border.

Time passes, companions and characters leave us, but every year the daffodils come, and there are a mountain of sugar-sparkled welsh cakes, a little blackened, but all the better. Nothing you’ll taste will ever taste as good as these…

 

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I remember my Welsh Grandma today, from whom I got my green fingers and makers’ hands.

 

Family, for better or worse, shapes you and lingers. Something strange happens as you get old, and all of it mingles into a honeyed recollection that doesn’t always preserve the bad quite as well as it does the good. Tears and bitterness fade, but the essence of strong wills remains and gathers admiration, and forgiveness.

Be happy and safe everyone, mind how you go!

 

 

22nd Feb – The Grain and the Punctum – thoughts in the garden

I mix things I’ve read up all the time. It doesn’t help when two ideas come from the same writer, and I jumble them into one concept, then spend a really long time searching my books for a very precise phrase I know I underlined in there somewhere – only to realise the quote was mine, the concepts yanked from several sources…

Anyway, I wanted to write about this thing in Barthes, and this thing in the garden, and how the garden and this thing together help me to better define something I’ve always found very difficult to articulate. It is a passion, a magnetism toward a certain aesthetic or quality in the arts…

That which suddenly pierces you with a sense, (I suppose akin to recognition or familiarity), between the body and substance of a thing… For example, the grain of a voice which connects you to a body and thus becomes dear and wonderful to you, even though it might not be ‘good’ in terms of musical tone. Or a texture, like rust or weathering which speaks of age, time, place, the history of the object which in spite of being an ‘imperfection’ or ‘defect’ is precisely what pricks you with a sense of value or meaning, or sometimes longing – what the Japanese refer to as Wabi-Sabi.

Hands by Axel Mellin

Sometimes I wonder if the drive to be in the garden, to be close to those growing things, the smell of the earth, the velvety tuft of moss, the tightening of the skin as mud dries on cheeks, knuckles, knees – if there isn’t something about the naked whiteness of exposed bulbs, like bones in the ground; the rubbery snap of roots pulled; the violent smash of the first water bursting out of a hose onto the little winding path – if all this isn’t just some strange kind of connection, between a meaningful puncture and the grain of all things…

It’s funny where the mind goes when you don’t get out enough…

18th Feb – Redefining Perfection

Redefining perfection

I’m catching up on some neglected gardening magazines, and it’s interesting to see so many people talking about Wabi-Sabi as a trend for 2018. I remember discovering this Japanese concept when I was an enthusiastic art student nearly twenty years ago, and what an incredible difference it made to me during a time when I was really struggling with my instinct not to let any of my work see the light of day until it was ‘finished’ or ‘perfect’. I’m sure it’s just this instinct which stops most people from expressing their creativity.

One of my favourite works of art of all time was actually one that was destined for deterioration: Eva Hesse’s Contingent, made from latex (a perishing rubber) over cloth, and fibreglass. This is no Waterlilies. It will not hang in the world’s most iconic collections for centuries. But it became extraordinary to me, and was the first time that I began to relate lasting, meaningful ideas to materials, which has been at the very heart of my work and thinking ever since.

 

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Wabi-Sabi and its many related visual and intellectual ideas are something I return to whenever I find myself hesitating to the detriment of my natural productivity. This very blog is likely a reaction to a recent dalliance with creative procrastination. You have to throw yourself at creativity and at making, because if you linger for too long in the foggy precipice of ‘thinking’, you will never find your way back to the path.

Creativity is all about risks, because if it’s not risky or untested, it means it already exists: somebody else already made it. And besides that, I think there are far more valuable considerations to apply to the process of making and creating than whether it is ‘good’ or ‘correct’.

 

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Kintsugi, the art of repairing broken objects with gold. An object’s history adds to its beauty.

 

A garden is a wonderful teacher about how you define perfection, because if you seek a perfect, finished ideal in a garden, you are in for trouble. Everything you finish needs to be constantly maintained if you really want it to stay as you design it. Hedges must be cut and recut. Plants grow, shape and reseed any way they want, basically. If you want to control that, you have to work constantly. Beds must be redefined every season. Weeds must be cleared if that’s your inclination, and whenever one job is complete, it is never long before a dozen others fall into place in the gap you think you’ve made in your to-do list.
A garden is a living thing, not an ideal. It can be an idea, but it must be a fluid, breathing, dynamic idea, or you may find either it, or your own will, failing.

 

Green Box by Act Romegialli

 

But the most wonderful thing about a garden’s imperfections is that there is always beauty to be found – always a reminder that life (sometimes fragile, sometimes bursting into only fleeting beauty) is wonderful and valuable on its own merits. It doesn’t need quantifying or qualifying. Its existence is enough – more than enough. Perfection, if you like.

So, like the Wabi-Sabi artists of Japan who repair their broken vessels with seams of gold, we can celebrate the things which signify uniqueness, singularity, and a very specific moment in time and space which will never come again.

I think it’s a lovely thing to cherish.

 

kiyo hasegawa

Kiyo Hasegawa

Notes for Wabi-Sabi in more depth:

‘In the Wake of Basho: Bestiary in the Rock Garden’ Yury Lobo:
“In one sense wabi-sabi is a training whereby the student of wabi-sabi learns to find the most basic, natural objects interesting, fascinating and beautiful. Fading autumn leaves would be an example. Wabi-sabi can change our perception of the world to the extent that a chip or crack in a vase makes it more interesting and gives the object greater meditative value. Similarly materials that age such as bare wood, paper and fabric become more interesting as they exhibit changes that can be observed over time.”

Writer and designer Margaret Penney beautifully captures Wabi-Sabi:
“Wabi-Sabi actually is a two word combination. Wabi refers to the kind of beauty found in asymmetrical, uneven or unbalanced things. The asymmetry of a ceramic bowl is an example of wabi. Sabi is the beauty of aged things and speaks to the impermanence of life through the passage of time. An example of sabi is the lovely patina found on a rusted old metal wall.”

 


 

If you are interested in Japanese creative concepts in general, I can highly recommend The Art of Japanese Living, a BBC series with Dr James Fox.

 


 

Other Zen principles, relating to Wabi-Sabi:
Fukinsei: asymmetry, irregularity
Kanso: simplicity
Koko: basic, weathered
Shizen: without pretense, natural
Yungen: subtly profound grace, not obvious
Datsuzoku: unbounded by convention, free
Seijaku: tranquillity

I will no doubt write in the future about the Enso – as symbol, concept, philosophy and meditative practice, which has been very important to me over the years…

 

15th Feb 2018

made by nat

Updating your wish list on a cold and unforgiving afternoon.
The crows sit hawing in bare branches, the melancholy buzzards search for blue in the sky, the mice squeeze under the gap in the back door and are swiftly ushered out with brooms before they meet the cat.

It’s not that you want to wish away the chilly season by imagining yourself elsewhere, in another time and climate, but a nice hot drink and a seed catalogue can bring a little relief from the sheer hard work of mud.

Instead of footprints, we leave wells behind us, from which the geese drink happily in the evenings, their keels dropping lower and lower; their interest in long grasses getting keener than their interest in food. We’re all in preparation mode. Endless pots of tea leaves go out onto the roses – not that they seem to need it.

All the roses flowered rambunctiously the whole of last year, so much so that I had a thought when I sat down to contemplate what new things to grow – to see about making the most of what the garden was already happy to give me in absolute abundance.

A note of gratitude to my loyal garden friends before sharing my greedy little wishlist!

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Forget-Me-Not spreads like wild fire, every year a new patch, always popping up in inexplicable places. There’s nothing sweeter than that soft blue cloud, (that dear colour, that celestial center) and because I love them, their rampantness feels like an absolute blessing. I couldn’t be happier.

So I’m imagining entire beds of Forget-Me-Not from Spring right through Summer, too cool tired eyes with soothing pools… and it’s true they might threaten to strangle out the rest of the season’s plants (Forget-Me-Not’s leaves are more or less evergreen as far as I’ve experienced), but I do a bit of thinning, or I pot them up and keep them out of harm’s way, and when the season’s over for the rest of the plants, I pop them back in and let them multiply. Madness, I suspect, but I’ve no quarrel with them at all.

The roses too love our clay, and so I invested hard during the off-season sales (you can still get your hands on some wonderful off-season bargains now), and I am all-in with roses. Standards, climbers, floribundas, shrub, miniature…

Last year, our 3 yr old stock bloomed from the end of spring until the end of the year – without exaggeration, we had white roses and pink superfairies for the Christmas day table!

I’m going to make roses a part of this year’s design, because it would be very rude not to.

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Here’s the view I’m concentrating on first. The all-important view from the kitchen window. If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the view out has got to inspire love – it’s got to keep you ticking. I don’t know exactly why this is so important to me, probably representational of some deeper meaning, but it’s become an obsession.
So here are some of the plants I’ve been investigating:

Carpets of Colour

The moss garden directly under the window (still a little on the bald side as yet) needs to segue naturally into the planting, and given its typically native feel (native holly, damson trees, Ivy, dafodils etc), I want this transition to be both colourful, but also gentle. But I also live with a couple of people who are NOT fans of the cottage garden look. Luckily one of them is obsessed with woodlands, so I have a direction I’m allowed to explore.

My wishlist consists of purpose-plants rather than ones I’ve fallen for in a personal, dreamy way.

Before I show you my current scrapbook, I am well aware these are ‘weedy’: liable to self-seed and (many of them) creep wildly. As I’ve mentioned before, things where we are don’t take much persuading to go feral, so I’m taking a risk introducing these plants. But I have a cunning plan…

For now, I’ll just indulge.

 

Michaelmas daisy, Erigeron Profusion, Centuarea Montana, Clematis Integrifolia, Malva Moschata ‘Snow White’, Cornflower ‘Trailing Blue Carpet’ and Dwarf Blue Midget, Dianthus Deltoides ‘Microchips’, Stachys Byzantina ‘Lamb’s Ears’

Here’s another kind of wish list to cheer a grisly afternoon:

BOOKS

I love it when other bloggers recommend books, my wallet not so much…

  • A Thoughtful Gardener, Jinny Blom
  • Landscape of Dreams: The gardens of Isobel and Julian Bannerman
  • Natural Selection: A Year in the Garden by Dan Pearson
  • The Japanese Garden by Sophie Walker
  • Head Gardeners – Ambra Edwards
  • A Wood of One’s Own by Ruth Pavey

 

For all the cold, it’s still an atmospheric time of year.

The flowers about to bud, green shoots rearing their brave heads above the parapet, a sense that no-one quite wants to be the first, but they just can’t contain themselves anymore.

Although I’ve learnt to go into making yearly seed and book purchases with a VERY strict shopping list, I know I’ll end up with a few adult plants as well. All the preparation in the world can’t help you when you fall head over heels for something.

Discipline, determination, a very strict shopping list… and some paving slabs made of good intentions should do the trick.

8th Feb 2018

Plotting, planning, projecting…

There’s so much to think about.

We look out at the garden in winter and feel a funny sort of ache – and it’s not just a pining for our sleeping plants, or to get out there and back to our beloved work, it’s also because pretty much all there is to see at this time of year are all the things we’ve yet to realise.

A garden in winter looks like 100% potential. Potential is an invitation to dream! And for those of us of a compulsive nature… there’s a lot to think about…

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When I talk about this garden as a challenge, I do not use the term flippantly. There are no small projects here. We are on the edge of wilderness, the wild plants here are old and tenacious. Introduced plants quickly turn feral if you’re not careful. Everything is always hanging on the cusp of going wild, so if you don’t mind your plant choices very carefully, the garden will rise up and eat you. So every season looks rather like nobody ever bothered…

And on the flip side of that is what I’m going to share with you now: the areas I have barely even started on. The places which will look at their absolute worst. I put myself up as a kind of cautionary tale of what might happen when your gardening ideas run up against nature at its most… argumentative.


 

I have 4 very specific projects this year:

1.

What can only be described as a thicket of Buddleja and Snowberry. I regard both these wonderful plants with the greatest respect – the bees and other bugs love them, the birds make nests in the snowberry’s twisted boughs, and in the brown mirage of dullest winter, those pink-white froths of berries make all the difference, and they’re a staple Christmas table decoration. But this particular part is so old and overgrown that the centre of the thicket is in fact quite dead.

This was such a mess last Summer!!

It stands in by far the sunniest patch of the garden, growing fatter and fatter, and taking over precious space.

So, alas, it must be tamed. It’s not going completely, but in its space I want the new vegetable patch, and fruit trees. The sun gets so hot in this little trap that last year I couldn’t work out there in daylight hours. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s quite true.

So my plotting here is first a thorough clearing (I have done this before, and the roots of these two plants are, to put it mildly, tenacious. It’s not quite horseradish scale, but I’d say it took a good three years of re-sprouting each season for me to finally clear the whole lot). I will try to take the healthy stands and replant elsewhere since they make such a wonderful screen, and we are be-neighboured on many sides.

I’m also in the lovely work of plotting a new vegetable and fruit garden for when this plot is cleared.

2.

The Awkward square: this is a rather special patch of the garden. It used to look like this:

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That’s honeysuckle, brambles, a bay tree, a damson tree, all left to wilderness – to the frogs and toads and birds. But it blocked out the light.

This was more than a gardening job, I might write about it one day.

But for now, I’ll tell you the basics. From the kitchen window, you can now see out. The damson trees are still formidable, the bay tree still stands, I cut a path last autumn – rediscovering a winding, lovely old crazy-paving path that was laid by a family friend back when I was a child, who isn’t with us anymore and is deeply missed, now it leads down to a bedraggled bed, and viewed under the arch of the tree’s boughs, framed by its tilting trunk, it makes a nice window view – but none of it’s yet working harmoniously.

I planted daffodil bulbs around the tree’s base, and some plants like foxglove and giant allium under the window so their purple heads will hopeful bob up just into sight, and I’ve rescued the honeysuckle to train, and have other scented climbers in incubation, as it were. But my main ambition for this awkward sunken square is something a little tricky…

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Yes, moss. This will either be a stunning success or an unmitigated disaster, but the vision I’m toying with images of spring bulbs, native wildflowers, summer perennials, scented climbers and a wild moss ground cover. I’ve no idea if it will work because this little square suffers from both flooding AND drought, depending on the season. But I’m going to try…

3.

The compost suite. I can’t even talk about this, It’s been talked about for so long. All the problems in this plot of land have to do with letting nature do as it may, and trying not to be destructive, but the gardener in me is not actually a passive custodian of wild things, because the gardener wants to make things and shape things too. This clay land can be unforgiving, but it can also be an embarrassment of riches, but you must have organic matter, and you must have it on constant supply if you want to make a clay patch work for you. I’m hearing a lot about a no-dig strategy, but I wonder how much money is then spent on top soil or the equivalent, because here, that cost is by far the biggest cost in the garden.

So. Big plans.

4.

The gardener’s retreat.

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This is a complete indulgence, but this old shed which houses machinery, and some old furniture and some very old artwork of mine – and of course two cantankerous geese in the side house, and a log pile and crippled old lean to on the other side – is my little side project. No-one knows what I hope to do with this, but I hope to do it before the summer. The lean to will be a potting hut, and a neatly organised store for pots, recycling materials, any wood I find which I will always find use for. The shed itself would make a wonderful home for a design table…

I’m sure I’ll get caught out before I manage it but winter is all about dreams.

Grab a hot drink, and start dreaming

Such a beautiful moment, a rare gift of pure, guilt-free indulgence, when the garden is sleeping and its barren beds and occasional hardy shrubs offer you something of a virgin spot. It is yours to shape, it is your manufacture of paradise. Whatever you dream of – soft edges, wafting flowers, tall hissing grasses, or bright water – this is one area of your life where you can probably have just about anything you want.

Sometimes plans start with a very specific job, like my list above. That list of must-do’s sits alongside a bigger plan for a more cohesive experience of the space outside, and I suppose that’s where we get into Garden Design territory.

I’ll always be considering these three things when I stat wok again this year:

  • Convenience
  • Views
  • Immersive experience

I want my new veg patch in the sun, and not so far away that I can’t maintain or access it in a daily-use fashion, but I also don’t fancy looking out at it all the time – a veg patch can go through periods of not looking that attractive. I like creating specific views from specific windows in the house, so I’m going to have to think hard about where this veggie patch goes.

This brings me to views. I live with other people who are very into green. They like looking out on calming, shifting shades of it, and don’t want that interrupted with colour. Therefore, I have some very real restraints on my compulsion to plant and grow. This isn’t a bad thing, but it does require planning. I have big plant aspirations this year, but they still have to fit with other people’s experience.

The immersive experience is how I like to be in the garden. I’m a fan of hidden surprises: I cut pathways through hedges, I fashion surprise space you wouldn’t know were there until you explore. I like to plant this way too, with native woodland plants accenting whatever I plant so that you always feel like you’ve wandered into a particularly magical part of the natural landscape. It’s not always been successful – weeds quickly overpower this planting style, things can go wrong and I’ve planted for a design in Spring that looks very odd in Summer, etc etc.

I’m also thinking very carefully about the senses for this immersive experience of the garden– you can’t fight the weather in England, you have to work with it, so for those rainy days, I want broad, robust leaves that describe that gentle drum in a woodland of water falling on greenery. For the windy days, I want grasses, and things that release their scent best when getting a bit of a battering. And for those strangely blistering summer days we’ve been having in recent years, I want shady spots to sit and basking plants to look at – generally cool colours; lavenders, Thyrsiflorus Skylark, alpines (the candy-striped blue Lithodora White Star is a charmer, with its highly visible star shape sprinkling about on a hot day), etc.

There is also the matter of making the most of what you have.


My one top tip:

If there’s one thing that makes ideas easier to realise in a three dimensional space, it’s got to be drawing.

A rough plan is good, but a detailed plan can make the difference between something looking a lot more sparse than you thought it would, and something that flows and settles well. A basic understand of drawing to scale – even i it’s only circles and oblongs – will go such a long way….

Practice drawing

Lots of people don’t bother trying if they already think they can’t, but drawing for function seems to encourage even the most artistically-phobic to put some time in with pen and paper. Sometimes you go into great detail, other times it’s a matter of instructive lines. I think of the act of drawing plants as sharpening observation. When we sit down and really look at a plant, we start to make discoveries, about its seeds, or roots; which insects frequently drop on it; which may be living their microscopic lives within the hairs of its leaves, and all this information comes back to us when we don’t even realise we need it.

Leonardo,_Blumen.JPGLeonardo Da Vinci – the nature detective!

When we observe very closely, we follow the natural inclination towards curiosity, problem solving and attention to detail. These things are exactly the stuff that experienced gardeners are made of. And it’s doubtful I’ll ever absorb the kind of deep, instinctive knowledge from books in the same way that naturally becomes ingrained when I really get to know plants.

So drawing will certainly help visualise a design more accurately – scale, volume, pattern – but drawing will also help the molding of what every gardener probably hopes for:

You graduate from remembering, into knowing.

Drawing your plants is also a very nice way to occupy restless hands during the winter – especially when it’s snowing!

I’m making portraits of my Mystery Iris for posterity, (though my primroses have shown up my rustiness, where the simplicity of irises is a tad more forgiving…)

Does anyone else have any whopping projects waiting for them when the weather lets up?

4th Feb 2018

Just Sunday browsing through gardening blogs, a post on irises reminded me of something.

I had a mystery plant pot left under a table at the end of last year that I couldn’t identify except that it was a bulb, and I thought about laying it to rest, but put it on the table instead. I forgot all about it, then about 2 weeks ago, this stunning, violently blue vision popped open – such a colour it looked superimposed! Stupidly, I didn’t think to take a photograph (sometimes you enjoy life too much to remember to document it!), and it’s changed colour now, though I won’t say it’s lost it’s POW.

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We’ve had tall iris in the garden for years because they do alright in our wet clay, but I’ve no idea where this little mystery came from!

Now it’s gone more purple, I think it’s a dwarf harmony, but it really was a shocker when it first opened.

Lesson learnt – even if you’re feeling a bit cluttered with sleeping pots, sometimes it’s best to just wait and see…

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I do love a surprise…

1st Feb 2018

DIY plastic-free pots
It’s very heartening to see that plastic is a huge public issue in the UK these days – and I daresay most gardeners have at some point or another been struck by just how much plastic there is in the garden now compared with even twenty years ago.

 

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Experienced garden mavens will tell you clay and terracotta pots make better, stronger plants anyway, but for those of us on a more restrictive budget, there’s got to be an alternative to the hundreds and hundreds of plastic pots that stack up.
Here’s one alternative to consider right from the start.

 

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The benefit of making your own seedling pots from recycling newspapers is that not only are individual units easier to dot about your windowsills than great big trays, and when the time comes to harden them off outside and get them into the earth, you can plant the paper in directly. The paper rots away of course, but in the meantime they might get that little extra time before hitting the earth cold.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing in every case for a strong, healthy plant, but I figure there’s no gain from stressing young plants unnecessarily. Plus, I’m still always looking for extra matter to mix in with the nutrient-rich clay.

(I’ll make a note about compost in the future – both for clay gardeners like me who know the whole extra wedge of budget that goes into preparing the earth, unless you have your own rotting organic matter source on hand!- and for regular composters who are looking for the perfect recipe! And I’ll especially focus on peat-free alternatives to mushroom compost etc.)

Now, I do have a specialist tool for these pots. It was given to me as a gift, and it was years before I actually used it. This must save hours of labour overall – and each little pot takes a couple of seconds! Here’s the one I use:

 

 

Useful tips!

  1. Don’t wrap the paper too tight round the barrel – I’ve wrecked a few trying to get them to come off!
  2. Leave enough at the bottom so you’re not left with a gap! I’d leave too much rather than too little – you can always scrunch it right down with the tool!
  3. Remember to put them on something! These are still paper, so watering will get messy… (I know plastic is tempting as a tray base, but ceramics are just as good – and head to a vintage market or charity shops and you have an excuse to get something beautiful!)

Free Gift…

If you gift your own plants for birthdays or Christmas, you can make something really sweet this way with different coloured and textured paper – and be very extravagant with ribbons, jute, string – dried flowers…

 

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Handmade is good for the soul. And the environment, usually.

 

A Note on Tools…

I’m not sure how much this tool would have cost, but  think it’s an investment, and I suspect most gardeners like good tools. Making paper pots without a tool isn’t exactly difficult, so you never have to buy a product to make the change from plastic to recycling.

But if you know you’re better off with the right tool, it’s worth it to make the change over – and it does speed up the process about ten times. Just make sure you don’t buy a plastic one!!

I’m going to make a reference list for myself every time I find a good use for something recycled, (plastic water bottles cut in half make 2 pretty decent cloches for small tender plants!), if you have any ingenious recycling gems, please share, and I’ll put the list together for everyone!