This winter is a bit like a guest that stays a bit too long. We have all had one or two of these over the years. I was pleased to have a study day today because it meant that I was based in the house. The soil is getting too wet to work on and I have plants to go in. Hope spring really hits soon!4D2F56C4-C872-4AC9-A754-843429E68A84


The trick with staking is to do it before it needs to be done. Leave it until the plants actually need support and you may well find that they have lost their shape or, even worse, that you end up damaging the roots and stems with your stake and string. So stake early and stake throughly.



I am very lucky that when people see interesting seed around the world they often think of me and send me what they find.

The lastest lot came  from my friend Donna who is a New Yorker and has a country house where she grows vegetables and so is always on the look out for interesting seed. These ‘Row 7 ‘ seeds are very interesting because are not only organic but they are produced by people who cook. I feel it is so important to grow for flavour over most other things.



After writing this blog for two years I wanted a break from it, I became a little bored by it and felt maybe my readers had too.

I am happy to say after a trip to Israel I feel inspired again and ready to start back on this blog. I have loved seeing all the inner city vegetable growing here in Jerusalem!



21 Christmas’s ago Christopher gave me a five year dairy and told me that while I lived at Great Dixter I had to write in it daily and this past Christmas was the end of my 20th year of doing so. I am so pleased that he got me into the daily routine of doing this and I still very much enjoy it.


Fruit cage

My aim was to have the soft fruit in the fruit cage cleaned and a layer of mulch around it by the new year and I did it. I did had a few small jobs to do after a visit from Tom but it makes me smile to walk past and seeing it all looking tidy.



When you work on your own it is important to make lists and set goals. It can be very hard sometimes to get out there and get on. I have become very good at setting goals for myself. I have a job list for the Christmas period and so far very good. The fruit cage is almost looking loved.



The summer raspberries are now cleaned up and ready for next summer. The wood that fruited last summer is cut down and the new wood cleaned up and tied in. I will compost the base after pruning the rest of the soft fruit in the cage. B0AE739E-2822-4738-BE91-109E4847A396


I am very happy to be at the point that I am in the garden. The winter digging is behind me and now it is time to start to clean up the soft fruit. There is a lot still to do but I am on top of things.


Thank you Sam

After five days helping me in the garden Sam has gone home. Having Sam here gave me the kick start I needed to take on the winter work. It is not always easy to keep going and so always a pleasure to have someone like Sam here. Thank you Sam for everything.