Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Shedding the Shed

After 11 years of sterling service my allotment shed's decided it's time to quit the plot.

Looking at the picture you're probably thinking it doesn't look that different to usual and is fairly presentable. Compared to its relatively new neighbour on the left I think it's making a much better job of blending in with its surroundings and I love its rustic simplicity. However, the view from the side reveals there's a bit of a problem...

... it's probably been like that for a while, but the winter wet kept me from squelching my way down to the bottom of my plot and discovering what happened.

If truth be told, I've been anticipating its demise ever since I took on my allotment in late 2003, though in the intervening years I've come to love its presence on my plot. After all, it was a key factor in my decision to keep this half of the allotment when I gave up having a whole one.

Mr and Mrs Robin have decided to make my shed their home again this year, so whilst they're bringing up their brood, I have some time to think about my ideal replacement...

My ideal shed - a fantasy dreamt up on a wet afternoon

It's still tiny so it fits where the current shed sits today. However, size doesn't matter because it's TARDIS-like on the inside. There's more than enough room to meet my ever expanding needs. It's a shed which solves many problems - it's not just for storage, potting and pottering.

Cicero said:

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

Well, I have the garden but my ever mounting piles of gardening books means I'm in sore need of a library. My shed will come to the rescue, with plenty of wide, shiny shelves to display my books to perfection. There's also a squashy sofa nearby, so I can read them in comfort - and daydream about my perfect plot.

Inside it's always cosy and never damp. There's a warming stove for winter days, a rag rug on the floor and a singing kettle. Because mine is a fantasy shed, it and the allotment have magically attached themselves to my garden, so I can easily go there whenever I want.

There's still room for Mr and Mrs Robin, so much so I no longer need to vacate my shed for a few weeks whilst they bring up their brood. A smart green roof helps with the cosiness and also means there's dinner closer to hand (or should that be claw?) for my red-breasted friends.

There's never any dirt to sweep up, even though I regularly use the potting bench. It's always tidy too, with everything in its rightful place. There's always enough pots, compost and tools to hand and most important of all, I never lose anything.

I have the latest chameleon version, so my shed never looks out of place. This clever feature means I'll never need to apply paint or wood preserver and having the green roof means it'll never blow away.

And just like my old shed, I love my fantasy shed dearly.

You may also like:
  • The Plotting Sheds - contains views of my allotment shed in happier times, as seen on my VPs Open Garden blog
  • Shed Seven - a tour round some of the other sheds on my allotment site
This is my entry in the competition run by Beast Sheds to win a new 5x4 shed. Thanks to Shedworking for alerting me to this, which came at the perfect time. Fingers crossed...

Monday, 28 April 2014

Chelsea Sneak Preview: An Interview with Cleve West

Cleve West returns to RHS Chelsea this year and luckily I've had the opportunity to interview him before the build starts later this week. Cleve is well-known for his bold and successful designs and this year he's chosen to present a contemporary paradise garden for M&G, the show's sponsor. So no pressure then ;)

In the introductory blurb I was given, Cleve says:

"I was inspired by the idea that the ancient gardens of PersiaGreece and Italy still influence the way we create gardens today and I wanted to celebrate that in the M&G Garden. I also enjoy weaving a contemporary dynamic within what might be seen as a traditional context, it can bring a great energy to a garden. Paradise to me is any place where you can lose yourself and where, for a moment at least, time stands still, hopefully this garden will allow people the opportunity to do that.”

Cleve at Horatio's Garden in 2012
Now, let's see what Cleve has to say in response to my questions...

How long will it take from M&G commission to Chelsea Press Day? [19th May - Ed]

Around nine months.

What brief did M&G give you for your design? 

They were reasonably flexible about the brief but we both agreed that it should be a garden that should reflect the values of M&G in standing the test of time. 

A lot of your last show garden for Brewin Dolphin was donated to Horatio's Garden and the one for BUPA was transferred to a care home. Any similar plans for life after Chelsea for this garden? 

The yew hedging is being donated by M&G to a new Maggie's Centre I'm working on that is being planned for the Whitchurch Hospital in Cardiff. 

When does the build commence? 

April 30th. 

And how many are in the build team? 

6 construction and 6-8 planting. 

You've previously introduced Chelsea to the delights of Dianthus cruentus and allotment parsnips in flower. What is your star plant for this year? 

I think my trees are going to be the stars -
Zelkova serrata. Oenothera odorata 'Sulphurea' maybe, hopefully some interesting bulbs like Fritillaria persica 'Dark Purple' and Tulipa acuminata, but much depends on the weather.

I see you're also acting as advisor to the Chelsea Fringe. What does this involve?

I haven't had time to really get involved this year on account of doing Chelsea. 

[NB I hope I can help out a little there as I'm aiming to get Cleve and his team to pose for a Shows of Hands for my Chelsea Fringe project.]

Thanks Cleve and good luck with the build! I look forward to seeing you and the result at Chelsea next month :)

NB Mark and Gaz also interviewed Cleve here. They've delved more deeply into the Paradise Garden aspects of the design - I'm so glad I saw this before I asked some very similar questions.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Book Review: Two From Hillier and a Glimpse of the Garden

I had the good fortune recently to be invited to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire to help them celebrate Hillier's 150th birthday. This took the form of a double book launch, a scrummy lunch and a tour of the gardens, plus a side trip to one of the nurseries.

The latter will feature as part of my Chelsea Sneak Previews in a week or so. Today, it's time to have a look at what I brought home in my goody bag...

 This is a completely updated (paberback) edition of a garden book classic. 1,500 new plants have been added and apparently the authors (John Hillier, Roy Lancaster, plus James Armitage and the botany team at the RHS) had plenty of debate about which new plants merited inclusion.

The original manual was based on Hillier's catalogue and this edition retains that feel because there are no pictures. If you are used to using the RHS Plant Finder, this shouldn't be a problem.

This is the manual to research likely trees and shrubs for the garden, but gardeners like me will probably need to reference other material and visit gardens to see how it would look in our chosen setting.

The opportunity has been taken to resolve discrepancies in taxonomy and naming, plus include Plant Finder information such as which plants have the Award of Garden Merit. Apparently the mother of all spreadsheets was used to pull all of this information together - 13,000 plants.

At first glance, the lack of pictures may make you think this is a dry and dusty volume, made redundant by the information easily found at the click of a computer button. It's not - I've enjoyed diving in at random to find the personal plant descriptions plus the who, where and when a plant was discovered, or how it was bred or discovered via a sport. This kind of information isn't found that easily online.

How I wish I'd known about and consulted the chapter at the end called Trees and Shrubs in Landscape and Design when we moved here as it's is a great starting point for choosing those lasting plants which form the anchor planting for a garden.

A view from the garden - a bit like the manual in physical form as Sir Harold Hillier collected
as many woody plants as he could to bring them together on one site. This is the Magnolia
Walk looking towards Jermyns House. The trees have been crown lifted to emphasise their
form and also to bring in light to enable plants of later seasonal interest to thrive.

This is a work of love, and a detective story lasting for over 10 years. Possibly only a family member (by marriage) would have the staying power to research and travel so widely in order fit all the jigsaw pieces together to tell the story of a 5 generation garden business.

Jean Hillier's starting points were the dusty filing cabinets which housed the Hillier archive and the family tree which traced the family back to the eighteenth century, around a century before Edwin Hillier founded the company in 1864.

From there her researches took her to many places, including here in Chippenham as she consulted the records residing in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.

This is a rich mixture of social history, plantsmanship and how a simple thing like giving a man an education allows him to pull a family out of poverty. I was surprised to learn that education of the poor was very controversial in the 1800s. Today Hillier is a name which dominates the horticultural world, yet it had very humble beginnings 150 years ago. It's also an inspirational story - showing how passion, hard work and ambition can lead to great things.

As well as Jean Hillier's words, there are plenty of photographs and illustrations to help tell the story. I'm finding myself increasingly drawn to the stories of the people behind the plants I see on garden visits or have in my garden, so it's a real pleasure to have this book.

If you love plants, garden history and programmes like Who Do You Think You Are?, then you will enjoy this book too.

The Centenary Border - devised by Sir Harold Hillier for the company's centenary in 1964 and
now in its 3rd season after a redesign. This is possibly the longest border in the country.
It is the length of 11 cricket pitches and the installation of paving makes it more accessible.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Salad Days: New Perennials, Winter Survivors and Early Flowers

This is my 'holding area' in the side garden of plants awaiting the right space up at the plot
New perennials

This year, I've decided to have more perennial salads in the garden/allotment. This is partly inspired by Martin Crawford's book which I reviewed last year and partly though donations I've had from Naomi.

I went to stay with her in early February and she kindly let me loose in her polytunnel to come away with some welsh onions (left), mitsuba aka Japanese parsley (the reddish leaves at the top) and Cardamine raphanifolia (the cressy looking plant on the right, which Naomi describes as 'totally bombproof'). She tells me the latter two came from Edulis if you're interested. I see they both like moist, shady areas, so I'll be locating them next to my wasabi* up at the allotment.

These were plonked in the pictured 'holding bed' at the side of our house awaiting space in one of the raised beds up at the allotment. Their transfer is imminent and whilst I've left them to bulk up ready for their new home over the past 3 months, there's been enough growth in our mild winter for us to nibble on a few leaves and deem them worthy for our salads.

I tried to grow some Agastache from seed last year and failed spectacularly, so I have some plugs on order. These perennials are earmarked for one of the terrace beds in the garden. They're a great plant for bees and their leaves are edible, so they'll be great for our salads too.

* = which has settled very nicely into its new home under the apple trees.

Winter survivors and early flowers

Despite the mild winter I've only just taken off the fleece and cloches from the allotment salads. It's been interesting to see what's fared well over the winter on the lettuce front. The more upstanding cos types like 'Lobjoits' and 'Intred' are very perky, but the looser leaves such as 'Marveille de Quatre Saison' and oak leafed varieties seem to have melted away.

This might be due to the winter wet and resultant lack of airing and it'll be interesting to see if the results are the same next winter. However, we still have plenty of leaves to tide us over until my recent sowings grow large enough for picking.

Another result of the mild winter is the much earlier than usual prevalance of flowers on the mustard, rocket and land cress plants as they've decided it's time to bolt. We're munching on these flowers in our salads as fast as we can, but the pictured rocket is far too prolific for us to stop its bid to make lots of seed. I see my Nepalese allotment neighbour has cut off all the flowering stems in her large bed of mustard, I think I may have to do the same.

How's your salad faring this month?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

VP's VIPs: Tom Mitchell and Evolution Plants Part II

I'm following Tom Mitchell and his exciting nursery, Evolution Plants in its first year of trading. Now read on...

Unlike my previous visits, at last I've managed to visit Evolution Plants in bright sunshine. First impressions of the nursery are how much everything has stirred into life since my last visit. I'm a little early, so I take the opportunity to have a quick peek in some of the polytunnels and take some photos. The Trilliums are doing particularly well.

I find Tom in the large potting shed cum office where his staff are busy propagating plants. We walk up to the other office and I start by asking about how things have progressed since my last visit. "We've been to lots more shows and these on the whole have been very successful, though I really need to clone myself, so that I can attend more of them and make sure customers' questions are answered. This can only get better as  time goes on as my staff are increasing their knowledge of the plants and the seeds I've collected."

The shows have been a success, though I'm concerned Tom is having to travel a lot more than planned. There's been a lull for a couple of weeks, though his next one is soon, on the 27th April at the RHS's new Alpine Garden Show in London.

A delightful discovery in one of the top polytunnels - the label says Tulipa butkow

As a result of Tom's travels, progress on the website has been slow and the plants listed on there now stands at 170 items. "As a result, I'm now changing my strategy with my Open Day" admits Tom, "Everyone is welcome not only to hear Dan Hinkley's talk and tour Belcombe Court, but to also come here and have a thoroughly good look at the full range of plants on offer." NB there will also be cake :)

This seems a sound move to me, but knowing the narrow lane leading to the nursery and the lack of parking there gives me some concern. "It's OK", Tom reassures me, "The golf club next door has agreed we can use their car park on the day." Phew. He's also been busy fashioning display stands from pallets found on site. "The idea is we'll have lots of these to show off what's looking really great on the day. I'm also going to have a massive pricing session as I've realised that when people visit by appointment, having no prices on display puts people off buying."

It's great to hear Tom putting his learning into practice and finding new strategies which will help - I hope - to increase sales going forward. He's also becoming a better nurseryman - seed germination and propagation success are on the up, which also augers well for the future.

Just 2 of the Epimediums on offer - delicate flowers poised above attractive foliage

Our talk turns to what's looking good now as we take a walk around the nursery. "You must photograph the Epimediums, they're looking great." Sadly my camera doesn't do them justice and some much better photos taken by Tom appear on the nursery's Facebook page later that day. I do like their delicate, spidery appearance and from above they look more like stars.

It's good to hear Tom enthusing about his stock. Here is a man who loves what's in season now, rather than being passionate about just one or two types of plant. I joke that having collected all the seed himself, he's the father of many babies. Tom laughs at this and also concedes that the ultimate honour would be if one of his discoveries was named after him. "I can't think of a better lasting legacy" he says.

Tom leaves me to wander around at this point and a I can't resist looking in the polytunnel again with the choice peonies. Isn't that Paronia tenuifolia completely fab?

My next visit to Evolution Plants will be different as I'm going to the Open Day on May 10th. I believe tickets are sold out now, so if you haven't bought one, you'll have to make do with my coverage.

You'll also find Evolution Plants is listed in the new RHS Plant Finder out this month - hurrah.

If you're coming to the Open Day your first view of the nursery will be similar to this

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Thursday, 17 April 2014


It's not often that mine and NAH's interests collide, but I had to show you this amazing picture of the bee Halictus ligatus from his car magazine of all things.

The bee is 7-10mm and the picture is a composite of many photos taken with a macro lens which are then stitched together as only part of the bee is in focus at any one time at this magnification.

The photographer is Sam Droege, an American biologist. He used a camera system originally devised by the US army to help soldiers identify biting insects such as mosquitoes.

This picture forms part of the Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program at the US Geological Survey. The link takes you through to more of Droege's amazing images. You'll find the above picture on Page 2 of the appropriately named Eye Candy set of photos.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

GBBD: Batchelor's Buttons

The most striking feature of the front garden side border at this time of the year is Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' aka Batchelor's buttons, Jew's mallow or Japanese rose. As you can see it's definitely living up to the 'Pleniflora' part of its name.

I chose this shrub because it's tough as old boots and to brighten up a heavily shaded area. It's repelled footballs with aplomb and flowers for a long period. If it flowered later in the year, it would be too yellow as the harsher light of summer - even in shade - would make it too strident. It's classed as spring flowering, though I have known it to start to bloom as early as December.

Kerria is described as a vigorous shrub and whilst it does sucker, the relatively poor land I've planted it into keeps it in check. The younger stems remain green for quite some time, which helps to retain some interest for most of the year. It reminds me a little of bamboo as the stems stand relatively straight post flowering and I've selectively pruned back some of them so the shrub forms more of a curtain-like screen to form a border with the public land next door.

The RHS description (take the above link) says Kerria's good for a woodland setting. I've placed it right next to the line of trees bordering our property, so for once I've got it right!

What's your most striking plant in your garden this April?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Book Launch Party: Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs

Welcome everyone!

I'm delighted to be the latest stop on Emma Cooper's tour for her new book, Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs. Lots of authors have book tours, so why not Emma? I'm glad she's not allowed the publication of an ebook to get in the way of having a party :)

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs is a guide to the world of unusual edible plants. Depending on your experiences some may already be familiar to you like oca or achocha, others will be completely new.

If you've read Mark Diacono's A Taste of the Unexpected or James Wong's Homegrown Revolution, Emma's book makes a superb companion to these volumes. It also stands in its own right as she delves deeper into the history of unusual edibles, the plant hunters who moved them around the world, and today's enthusiasts who are ensuring these crops aren't forgotten.

Pray silence for the author reading *tinks spoon against glass*

It's traditional at these things for the author to give a reading, so this was the element I chose for Veg Plotting. Sit back with a glass of something chilled and a few nibbles to hand and listen to Emma, safe in the knowledge you're having the full book launch experience in the safety of your own home.

Emma's extract ties in neatly with my 52 Week Salad Challenge as her chosen reading is about some unusual salads (take this link for the reading - it opens in a new window, so you won't miss your place here).

Emma mentions Owen Smith - I can thoroughly recommend his blog Radix, which is all about root crop research and ruminations. Like many of the other people we meet in the book, Owen is passionate about his subject and writes a well-informed and witty blog. He even sent me some mashua to try a couple of years ago. I preferred it as a salad leaf rather than a root ;)

Elsewhere at the launch

Traditional book launches usually include reviews and interviews and you'll find these aplenty in the other blogs taking part. Feel free to visit these blogs - this is the mingling bit of the party :)
I'll add the other blogs taking part as and when they happen.

Congratulations Emma, you've written the book I'd love to write. You've inspired me (also tempted by a not-to-be-resisted special offer) to create an edible hedge of chilean guava - one of the Victorian favourites due for revival - on my allotment. Six very healthy plants arrived yesterday :)

Getting hold of your copy

Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs is available from Smashwords, where there is another author interview plus a book preview for you to read prior to purchase. It's available in several formats, including a PDF version if you don't have an e-reader. The price is $2.99 USD, which rises to $3.99 after publication on May 1st.

Readers can pre-order from Nook, or those of you with an iPad or similar shiny stuff can pre-order from the iTunes store (USA or UK).

The Jade Pearls and Alien Eyeballs story is poised to continue via Emma's blog. Another recommended read.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Paint the Town Red... or Gold... or Wild

Our nation's streets are set to look very different this year with 3 key initiatives helping to make it so...

A single red poppy at the Yeo Valley Organic Garden

Anniversary of the start of World War I

Perhaps the most moving display of them all will be the bright red poppies many places will sow (or have sown) to mark the centenary of the start of WWI. Expect to see the most poignant outbreak of them all timed to flower on the exact anniversary, August 4th.

WWI will also be one of the main themes for this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where Birmingham City Council - famed for their innovative displays in the Great Pavilion - will feature 4 foot high poppies.

I'm not expecting to see many of them in and around Chippenham. Our proximity to farmland and the flower's plentiful supply of seeds ready to self-sow themselves are not a match made in heaven. However, a Google search shows many towns and cities will have poppies at the heart of their displays this year - Swansea, Blandford Forum and Maidenhead to name but three.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) has linked with B&Q for the real poppy campaign with £1 donated to RBL for each packet sold. According to their website (take the link), poppies can be sown now for a summer display.

Sunflowers aren't always annuals - here are some Helianthus 'Lemon Queen' from my garden 

50 Years of Britain in Bloom

A host of sunflowers are set to celebrate Britain in Bloom's golden anniversary this year and the RHS has given away 500,000 sunflower seeds to help make it so. There are lots of 'Growing for Gold' events as part of next week's National Gardening Week (14th to 20th April). The link takes you to the website where you can find out what's happening near you - gold or otherwise.

I'll be keeping an eye out for celebratory sunflowers over the summer as part of Out on the Streets and I hope to have my own little celebratory patch of gold up at the allotment as well as the H. 'Lemon Queen' in my garden.

The  cowslips at the entrance to our estate get better and better every year :)

Grow Wild

If you watched Countryfile on Sunday you're aware they had 230,000 packet of wildflower seeds up for grabs courtesy of Grow Wild. Yes, had - they've gone already.

So plenty of our gardens and open spaces are set to Grow Wild later in the year. This 4-year lottery funded project - also supported by Kew - is designed to get more of us growing native wild flowers. In 2014 they're also looking for 107 community spaces in need of transformation. Alongside 4 flagship sites - 1 each for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland - these are set to turn unloved sites into inspirational spaces.

However, it's not just about scattering a few seeds from a packet as they need looking after too. If you're lucky enough to have acquired one of the 230,000 packets of seeds (or some seed via other means), the Grow Wild website has plenty of information to help your new wildflower area thrive.

I have some wildflower mats to trial... and I think I've found the ideal spot. I'll keep you posted.

Is your neighbourhood set to turn red, gold or wild this year? Or perhaps there's something else planned - do let me know in the Comments below.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Edible Masterpieces

Picture courtesy & copyright of Art Fund.
Food styling by Kim Morphew, prop styling
by Lydia Brun, photography by Maja Smend
There's often a heated debate about whether gardens are art, so today I'm pleased to present a new twist on this theme via Art Fund's Edible Masterpieces initiative.

I was particularly taken by their version of Van Gogh's self-portrait, especially as the ploughman's design recipe calls for some salad leaves. I feel I need to issue a further challenge for the 52 Week Salad Challenge - let's create some art with all those leaves! My Tiny Plot has a head start on us already as she's designed a new sunburst layout for her salad garden this year.

Edible Masterpieces is a new fund raising initiative from the Art Fund to encourage art lovers to create edible masterpieces inspired by art. All funds raised go towards helping UK museums and galleries.

Much of our arts heritage has taken a battering in the various rounds of funding cuts over the past few years. Some local authorities have cut their budget entirely.
The Art Fund helps to plug this gap with a host of initiatives. Perhaps you'd like to get together with your friends, family or colleagues on Friday 9th May to see who can make the most amazing edible creation inspired by your favourite work of art or cultural icon, whilst raising money for the Art Fund.

Battenburg lovers should also check out their favourite cake in the style of Mondrian. It looks lush!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Tree Following With Lucy: April

My photo is a little out of synch with Lucy's Tree Following day as I take mine on the 23rd of the month, the day anniversary of when the rest of the tree came crashing down in our garden last December. However, I went out in the rain to inspect my ash tree yesterday and can confirm nothing's changed in the intervening time. Whether the same can be said for April/May remains to be seen.

This time Mr and Mrs pigeon have indeed paired up for the season as I thought they might last month. It's unusual to see them acting as kind of bookends on the tree as they're usually much closer. We've observed pigeon pairs being quite devoted to each other and these two are proving to be no different.

The tree's also been host to some rare visitors to our garden since last month. We don't usually see bullfinches,* but we've had four of them parading around the garden lately - one proud and very fat male plus 3 females. I've tried to find out if bullfinch males have more than one mate, but to no avail. I suspect he was sussing out his 3, to see which one finally took his fancy.

Quite a few of the trees in our neighbourhood are sporting their first of their spring green fuzziness this week. My ash is still resolutely in winter mode; it's large black buds are yet to burst free and I need to check its progress for the annual tree race - my ash versus the oak up at the allotment. More on that next month.

* = unlike my dear friend Threadspider when she lived at the top of the hill - I was convinced she had our share of them as well as her own.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Separated at Birth? Birches

Two plantings of birch I found recently in London - very different in their style and effect
Compare and contrast the birches outside Tate Modern (left) and those close to Regent's Park in St Andrew's Place (next to the Royal College of Physicians).

The idea behind the Tate's birches could be due to the greater footfall this area gets, or to echo the sparseness of the architecture behind it and the modern art the building holds. Or perhaps both?

Apparently there'll be foxgloves and alliums beneath the birches in St Andrew's Place later in the year. A change of scene is something to look forward to.

We also have a line of birches at the entrance to our estate at the top of the hill. Initially it was underplanted with lavender, but these were replaced with grass once they'd become woody. I suppose it's cheaper for the council to look after, but perhaps it's time for an estate-led makeover...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I Love April For...

... growing
Some flowers for you - fresh from my garden this morning

I love the shift from inside to outside April brings. Seeds can be sown in situ and there's enough light after tea to be in the garden. There's lots of fresh green growth showing the promise of the months to come.

It's a short post from me today because I need to be outside to get growing :)

What do you love April for?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

GBMD Butterflies Are...

The recent warm weather has awoken the hibernating butterflies from their slumbers and it's been great to see them a-fluttering by in the garden :)

Those of you who like me wish to encourage more butterflies into your garden will like Butterfly Conservation's great offer for this month:

  • Half price membership
  • A great new book* added to the membership pack (see below)
  • Free seeds to the first 100 who sign up - a random selection from cornflower, pot marigold or phlox. These plants are known to attract butterflies and moths into the garden (including Common Blues, Small Tortoiseshells, Humming-bird Hawk-moths and Painted Ladies)

The book was inspired by Butterfly Conservation's popular gardening tips section in their e-newsletter and shows how to create a butterfly friendly garden. Those of you who've read Kate Bradbury's The Wildlife Gardener will be delighted to see she's the author.

To take advantage of this offer, simply take the link to the Join page on Butterfly Conservation's website and enter the half price discount code GARDEN50 in the payment section. NB offer applies to payment by Direct Debit only.

See you there!

Update: 7th April 2014 * = well it's more of a booklet than a book as it's 35 pages long, but it's very nicely done with lots of information.
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