About me










I  retired in 2008 from a long career in sales and marketing in the housebuilding industry but old habits die hard and I still need to keep my mind and body active, focus on tasks and projects and achieve goals every day. I am an enthusiastic amateur gardener who doesn’t always follow conventional rules. I try lots of things, celebrate my successes, make some mistakes and try to learn from them. I enjoy reading, but not fiction, and subscribe to many gardening journals. I research every day in books and on the internet and I love writing and photography, so this blog serves many purposes for me. It helps to clarify my thoughts and plans, organise my tasks and projects, and has become an outlet for my ideas and thoughts on gardening and to share my experiences with anybody else who cares to read, follow or comment.

I belong to the National Trust, the Cottage Garden Society, the Royal Horticultural Society, the Cheltenham Horticultural Society, the National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens and the Hardy Plant Society. I contribute a monthly review to Garden News, a national weekly garden newspaper, and write occasional articles for various magazines, newsletters and periodicals.

My wife and I moved into our present home in 2009, cleared the garden completely and started again from scratch. The soil is alkaline clay, difficult to work with but very fertile. We add loads of manure and compost every year as both a soil improver and a mulch. We are gradually finding out what thrives and what struggles. I don’t believe in flogging a dead horse!

As well as my garden, I enjoy fly fishing for trout and grayling, golf in the summer, visiting RHS shows, garden open days and National Trust Houses and Gardens. We are very lucky to have many of the best gardens and arboretums in the country within a short drive; Hidcote, Kiftsgate, Mill Dene, Bourton House, Westbury Court, Batsford and Westonbirt Arboretums to name just a few.










I am looking forward to a long, happy and fulfilling retirement enjoying my garden, learning new things every day, travelling to new places, keeping in touch with friends, keeping as fit as possible and loving and caring for my wonderful wife of almost 43 years, our 3 grown up children and family Labradors!

10 thoughts on “About me

  1. Someone sent your blog to me about your experience with biochar. Please check out our web site, that will explain how we started making pellets from overgrown field ag biomass for fuel. We expanded into a fantastic natural mulch and soil enchacement and now have gone into turning these, all natural, pellets into bichar and [although we are not ready to add biochar to the website yet] we have pictures of an amazing experiment we did using it on tomatoes and other veggies. This even in soil that was already fairly furtile from our soil enhancement.

  2. Dear Bloger

    At Straight plc we run the getcomposting.com web sites in association with English Local Authorities. People simply go onto the web site, enter their postcode details, and are taken to a web site in association with their local council promoting composting and associated goods.

    The objective of the site is to demonstrate that composting is an affordable way to turn most kitchen and garden waste into rich compost that wil keep the garden blooming year after year.

    We have come across your blog and have been impressed by the nature and content contained within it.

    We would like to offer you one of our own composters free of charge and would only ask you to blog about your experiences, good or bad, when composting.

    We are a commercial company and would like to sell more of our products however we are also actively committed to the wider environment; promoting composting and its benefits.

    We would like everyone to use our own Compost Converters but are happy as long as the word is being spread and the number of people composting is on the increase.

    If you do want to take up this offer, with absolutely no commitment on your part, please email me with the address details of where you would like your composter delivering (please note we can not deliver to allotments).

    I look forward to hearing from you.



  3. You have a beautiful garden. You have given me so much inspiration. Please let me know if you have any lost souls (seeds) that I can try next year.

  4. 10 years on from your blog about bidens aurea honey drop this was very popular at plant fairs like great dixter as well as solid yellow and ivory seemed at first like a very obedient plant but I’ve learnt with horror what a thug it can become on clay soil I’ve had in both my house gardens I love it but you have to keep it in containers I would say. Even then don’t place it on your soil as it will be in your ground like a flash.

  5. Hi I see from one of your blogs that you have Diascia personata in your garden. I have 2 plants. They get really tall in the border but look amazing. Can I split them and if so when would be the best time to do it. Can’t find any info on this plant much at all.

    • To be honest, I haven’t tried to split them, they seem to have a very small crown. However, they are really easy from cuttings (if you can find any non-flowering side shoots!) I grew 12 plants this way last year. Now is the perfect time to propagate them.

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