Plant Spotlight - Gorse

Oh the smell of Gorse on a sunny day. That heady coconut waft, reminiscent of suncream and the seaside. This scruffy plant, actually a member of the pea family, is really showing off in Suffolk at the moment. The beautiful Easter weather (which seems an age ago now) yielded a profusion of yellow blooms along roadsides, coastal paths and heathland so I went foraging.

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April Sow Off

This is the month to pack your greenhouse and window sills with seedlings. There’s also a big selection of crops to sow direct outside, and no doubt lots of potting on to do if you have sown your tomatoes already. I’ve been potting on mine this week.

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Plant Spotlight - Dandelion

I’ve been waiting for the right moment to harvest Dandelion flowers. My morning dog walk takes me through a meadow, away from the sprayed wheat and bean fields that is full of golden blooms. The flowers only open when the sun is out so can easily elude you, and as there have been many dull mornings of late I’ve been biding my time. I pounced for a short window on Friday morning. The dogs are getting used to plant related interruptions on walks.

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Nettles = Fine Fettle

If you go down to the woods today…you’ll be lucky if you find any bloody Wild Garlic, but nettles (Urtica dioica) will be abundant. Instagram is dripping with Wild Garlic shots at the moment – every scroll reminds me of what I can’t find! Living in Cornwall I had it on my doorstep, and even in the centre of Oxford there was a magic spot in a churchyard that provided (the ‘bonemeal’ fertiliser must have helped…). But so far in Suffolk it’s alluding me. If you’re like me and it’s giving you the slip, set your sights on nettles. You won’t have to look far.

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Plant Spotlight - Primrose

We should all grow more primroses. Native to Britain, nothing heralds spring to me more than their arrival. Tucked into hedgerows, banks and woodland edges, their pale yellow flowers are a hopeful sight. They have been attracting hoards of sun-dazzled bees in my garden this weekend. This is an edible flower that actually have real flavour! They smell and taste like the delicious sweetness of spring.  For this reason they are perfect in wild salads, coupled with daises, sweet violets and sorrel leaves. Or used as flavourful decoration in all manner of dishes.

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Know Your Seed

Every time I open a packet of seeds, I’m in awe of the transformation about to unfurl. I’ve always felt compelled to grow my garden from seed. I enjoy the mothering - nurturing that helpless little seedling into adulthood. Of course it is more time consuming than buying ready grown plug plants, but who said there needs to be shortcuts in everything we do. The act of home gardening should be unrushed and a valuable lesson in patience.

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