Perennial jump

I have said that I will do a sponsored 10,000 feet free fall parachute jump, the money will go to the charity Perennial which does very good work in the horticultural world so I will be looking for sponsorship. There are five of us that are going to do the jump, my friend Adele is doing it and she was the one that talked me into it, two of the other men that are going to jump will be nude, their balls are going to be so cold, I will be in silk. I will be harnessed to a professional, I of course would like to chose who that is but of course that I will not happen. Perry does seem to know a lot about this subject, he said most people land in power lines. When I am about to jump I am not going to look down but forward, this is all going to happen on the 2nd of May.


For your interest.

Thursday 19 March 2015 7pm  London NW3

This month’s talk is going to be our best yet as we are being joined by Kew- trained Aaron Bertelsen, the charming and knowledgeable Gardener-Cook at the renowned Great Dixter House and Gardens.

Aaron grows a wide variety of vegetables, mainly organically and he is going to share his vast knowledge of the best vegetables to plant and how, when and where to grow them.

Join us at 7pm for a glass of wine and some light refreshments, generously hosted by one of the Friends’ Trustees in her home in London NW3.

Tickets cost £25 pp for guests and £20 for members. They are available from Barbara on 020 8238 2779 or

We hope to see you soon!

Friends of Jerusalem Botanical Gardens


Fruit cage

I have now moved from the high garden to the area outside the fruit cage to clean it up and sort out what plants I want to leave, the rest will go on the compost. The area has a large collection of Nerine bowdenii which make a great show from late summer into the winter but are nothing to look at in spring and early summer so I am going to plant up this area with something that will not take over this area but give some interest, maybe something like the sweet little black Viola, I do have a bit of a soft spot for them, and you can get the flowers.


Student weekend

This past weekend we had our student weekend, we had fifteen students come and help us with jobs that help the place look great before we open. I spent the weekend in the house cooking which I enjoy. One of the jobs that Fergus and the students did was the clean up the kitchen yard, and what a great job they did. It made me get out there and clean up my pots and also get the Tulips out of the cold frame, they are ready to face the world, these are the special bulbs that I ordered through ‘Gardens Illustrated’, I am looking forward to seeing how great they are. I gave them a good watering and the extra light will get them moving.


Dutch hybrids

The star of the garden this week is the Crocus versus, they are all growing in the meadows and remind us how important it is to give that second meadow cut in the early winter so that the grass does not become a competitor to them, they need to be able to come up with space to open. Maybe one of the great things about seeing these open flowers is the bees collecting pollen, I did go and have a look at the bees just before I went to Israel. I just lifted the lid and had a smell, the smell was clean so I closed the lid and let them get on with things.


Alpine strawberries

While cleaning around the vegetable garden I have been able to have a good look at my sweet little Alpine strawberries, I did not plant them they just turned up and have really taken over an area that nothing else really does well in, it is along the edge of a replacement yew hedge. I know that these strawberries like a rice soil but they are doing so well that I just want to let them get on with it. For me it is a joy to go up and have a look after lunch for some fruit from them to eat, of course there is not enough to share but I do not mind having them to myself through the summer, they do seem to fruit a long time. They do make a perfect ground cover, and the taste of the fruit is better than those big things others like to show off with.



The soil down in the South East is still cold and wet so there really is no point me getting on it just yet, also it is a little too early to plant, the potatoes that will go in first and the ‘Charlottes’ they are on the windowsill and have started to move but it is a little too early for us to go in. There is still a lot to do in the garden, today I started weeding around the edge, it will make things look tidy.



My trip to Israel has given me a lot of food for thought about the production of food in the form of vegetables in a city such as Jerusalem where land is very tight. My friends that I stayed with are very lucky to have a small park outside there front gate and I hope there will be vegetables produced in it, but a lot of people live in flats on top of each other and so I was able to see some of the work that is carried out to over come this problem in a small way. I really want to follow up on this subject. It is great to come back and see our rich soil.