Big’uns & Little’uns!

Sweet Peas showing difference between cordon and bush

Just taken this photo for my next piece in Garden News and thought I would post it to show the difference between bush grown sweet peas on the left and cordon grown ones on the right. The bush grown ones are grandifloras which have more flowers and a stronger scent and I just let them scramble up pea netting and obelisks in various parts of the garden. They get no attention other than watering, feeding and cutting. The cordons are all frilly Spencer varieties used mainly for competitions and have less scent and less flowers but they are much, much bigger! Some stems are 18″ long and the flowers are at least twice as big as the grandifloras. However, they involve a lot more work and I have been tying them in every day for weeks, nipping out the side shoots, cutting off the tendrils and pinching out the flower buds to force them to put all their energy into making tall strong plants. Fingers crossed for a first time success at the local show next week!

First Anniversary

Tomorrow, 11 September 2012, I celebrate my first year writing monthly pieces for Garden News and I have loved every minute. A big thank you to Jackie Whittaker and the team at Bauer Media for giving me the opportunity.

David's Garden Diary

In September 2011, the popular weekly gardening newspaper, ‘Garden News’, appealed for a regular correspondent based in the South West of England and I thought I would have a go as I love my garden, love writing and love garden photography; all the basic requirements they were looking for. I sent them a brief personal profile and a description of my garden with a couple of photos and to my astonishment they replied immediately confirming my appointment!

My first contribution was published on 11 October 2011. It took several days to write and re-write my first 500 words and agonise over which 5 of the 150 photos I had taken should accompany them! However, I needn’t have worried; the editorial staff shortened a couple of sentences and changed the odd word but, by and large, they seemed happy with it and asked me to continue to write for the “Over…

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‘Garden News’

In September 2011, the popular weekly gardening newspaper, ‘Garden News’, appealed for a regular correspondent based in the South West of England and I thought I would have a go as I love my garden, love writing and love garden photography; all the basic requirements they were looking for. I sent them a brief personal profile and a description of my garden with a couple of photos and to my astonishment they replied immediately confirming my appointment!

My first contribution was published on 11 October 2011. It took several days to write and re-write my first 500 words and agonise over which 5 of the 150 photos I had taken should accompany them! However, I needn’t have worried; the editorial staff shortened a couple of sentences and changed the odd word but, by and large, they seemed happy with it and asked me to continue to write for the “Over the Fence” pages every four weeks along with three other regular readers from different parts of the country. Research has shown a high interest in real amateur gardens and a week by week analysis of what other GN readers were doing.

Since then I have written 11 more articles, the latest of which was published this week. Before I started this blog, it was a good discipline to have to sit down and review what I had done, what was looking good, what had gone well, what had gone badly and what I planned to do in the coming week. It also made sure I took lots of photographs throughout the year and this is now an almost daily feature ensuring that I catch plants and flowers at their peak.

I have always enjoyed writing but in my working life this was mostly business letters, reports and presentations. However, I was lucky to have worked for a company which cared about such things and helped to improve my spelling, grammar and style. This has enabled me to continue writing with confidence and has now become a hobby I enjoy which has a tangible result and exercises the brain cells! It is a bit like the garden I suppose; you spend a few hours thinking, planning and executing something and then stand back and, hopefully, like what you see.

I am hoping to archive my articles in this blog to provide a permanent record.