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Blog: Olly Buckle

I have been a bit under the weather for some time, and it has made me ignore the garden a bit, it seems that I am feeling quite a bit better recently and have been putting things in order a bit more. Having cleaned out the greenhouse and re-instated the staging I put all my tender pots under it...
I have been told that rhubarb becomes poisonous in summer, by more than one person. One of them added ‘Something to do with the oxalic acid content I think’. I was pretty sure it was not true, and when I checked none of the reputable sources made any mention of it, but what they all agree on is...
Someone did an experiment where they captured some small birds just before they made a North-South migratory flight of over a thousand miles, put them in closed boxes, and transported them East-West, sideways the same sort of distance. Not a very nice thing to do I thought, but it worked out...
I have been potting on pelargonium cuttings and planting out sweet peas. Spring is here at last and some decent weather, though things could still turn again, I have runner beans in the greenhouse I think I am also going to take a chance on planting out. If the weather stays reasonable they will...
I have a permanent bird table, three short planks joined by a couple of pieces across the bottom, edged with baton, then nailed to the top of a chestnut spile, not too fancy :) There are feeders that hang from it as well, for peanuts, fat balls, and seeds that I mix with mealworms. We get a...
What do the ‘Second Jungle book’ and Gregor Mendel have in common? Well I found a particular sort of inspiration in both. For those who only know the movie, there is a scene to the end of the Second Jungle Book where the red dogs arrive; they are enemies of the wolves, who kill everything...
A friend gave me a slip from her calla lily some time ago, it is quite unusual, small with a variegated leaf. This year it flowered, there are six flowers to date. They are small and slim for a calla, with a very delicate pale yellow spathe; that’s the bit that wraps around like a cloak and...
Radio four was asking people to phone in and tell them which sort of person they were; the sort who spent their money on things, or the sort who spent it on experiences. This is a question for the consumers of our age. No-one was phoning in saying, ‘Actually I spend every penny on the bare...
I have been cutting back a very overgrown hedge overcome by brambles on one side, quite hard work, but I have made a considerable impression. In the thicker part of the hedge I keep finding bird’s nests, abandoned this time of year I hasten to add. Most of them are blackbird nests, one a wren...
New plants, seedlings, it is all happening, and every year some of it goes right and some of it goes wrong, even for the most experienced gardener, but some things can help. Not planting the whole packet of seed is usually a good idea. Some special, expensive to produce, seeds don’t have...
I was potting on some seedlings and had gathered together a mix of compost, some pots, and seedlings broken off from the seed tray. When I had filled the pots I found there were twelve of them, the compost I had mixed up in my tray was exactly the right amount to fill them, and there were twelve...
I finally got to clear the back corner of the strawberry patch. It made me think of doing an edit; I started off by eliminating all the obvious, easily moved, stuff, mostly dead leaves. Then I took out all the obvious weeds, followed by the strawberry runners, and exposed the main plants...
It is Spring; time for preparation. I was digging over a piece of my garden the other day and I could hear the chap a couple of doors down doing his with a rotavator, he must have gone over his whole garden in the time it took me to clean up and plant a patch with a couple of rows of beans I had...
There is an old avenue of mature trees along the bottom of our garden, and the flock of jackdaws that lives in the village often comes and sits in them. People confuse various members of the crow family. Carrion crows, jackdaws, and rooks can look similar at a distance, but the jackdaw has an...
There was a program about ‘Capability’ Brown on the television, visiting various of his landscape gardens. I am unsure which, but one of them had a ‘Summer house’. Of course it was no wooden shack at the bottom of the garden, but an imposing building with spires and French windows, probably...
The rats are back. A bit quick, but I knew it was just a matter of time, there is no solution, they will outlive us all in the end. It is strange how so many people recognise this fact without quite understanding why it is so certain. Sure they realise that they are omnivorous, reproduce...
Last time I said, ‘That is another story’, it was like this... As a twenty-twenty one year old I worked on the beach in Mallorca, where I taught sailing, hired out boats, and worked with a Spanish boy who owned a speed boat to teach water skiing. When people came and asked if they could hire...
The weather has been cold in this part of the world, with some strong North winds, up to 50mph we were told. They have dropped now and it is cold, but it is clear, so the urge to get outside is strong, to stay there, maybe not quite so strong. There is plenty needs doing before the garden comes...
Someone I know coming the other way flashed their lights at me, and the chap in front stuck to the speed limit all the way through the village, were these two events related? Probably. I came across the phrase ‘He thinks he is a teacher, but he is only an instructor’. Now who does that remind...

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Author
Olly Buckle
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