Category Archives: green gardening

It’s Time For Gardeners to Break Their Silence on Climate Breakdown. What we Do in Our Gardens and Allotments Does Affect the World Around us

‘Keep quiet and grow on’ simply isn’t tenable any longer. What we do in our gardens does make a difference to the chaos of climate change – for better or for worse. By John Walker. Originally published on the Hartley Botanic website as … Continue reading

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Add Water, Add Life: How to Make a Simple DIY Wildlife-attracting Pond in Your Garden, Allotment, Greenhouse or Polytunnel Using Free and Found Materials

Outdoors in a garden or allotment, or under cover in a greenhouse or polytunnel, adding even a small pond is the surest way to bring myriad wild life – and all its year-round benefits – into your growing space, whatever its … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: TEASEL – A Striking and Spiky Wild Plant That Benefits Bees and Butterflies in Summer, then Seed-eating Birds During Autumn and Winter

Teasel Dipsacus fullonum Other names: brushes and combs; Venus’ basin. Life cycle: Biennial Only treat teasel as a ‘weed’ if it interferes with your gardening as it has many positive benefits. In late summer plants reach 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) tall and are topped … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: CHICKWEED – A Sign of a Rich and Fertile Garden Soil, This Prolific and Edible Wild Plant Can be Added to Your Salads All Year Round

Chickweed Stellaria media Other names: chickwittle, cluckenweed, mischievous Jack. Life cycle: Annual/ephemeral Dense green clumps of chickweed, up to 30cm (1ft) tall indicate rich, fertile soil, but it will grow virtually anywhere in the garden, including the cracks in paving. The … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: BORAGE – A Prolific Self-seeding Plant Which Can Swamp its Neighbours, But is a Big Hit With Bees and Other Insects

Borage Borago officinalis Life cycle: annual/biennial Grown as a herb, this prolific self-seeder has escaped in many gardens and should be treated as a weed, except for any plants which you want to allow to develop and flower throughout the summer. … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: DANDELION – Let Some Wet-a-Beds Bloom to Provide Vital Food for Bees and Insects in Early Spring

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Other names: pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, blow balls Life cycle: perennial Dandelion’s deep taproot must be dug or forked out and older plants, with very deep roots, may need several attempts. However, dandelion doesn’t spread sideways, so I let a few … Continue reading

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Wonderful Weeds: HOGWEED or COW PARSNIP – A Big, Tall Weed Whose Flowers Are a Magnet for Bees, Hoverflies and Other Beneficial Garden Insects

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium Other names: cow parsnip, keck, limberscrimps Life cycle: biennial/perennial Often seen on roadsides, this tough, taprooted weed can be difficult to remove if it gets a foothold in beds or borders. Leafy rosettes of deeply lobed leaves … Continue reading

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Make Your Own Easy, Cost-free Biodiversity-Boosting ‘Insect Hotels’ For Your Garden or Allotment and Encourage Wild Solitary Bees and Pest-eating Wasps to Live and Nest There

Media buzz about bee conservation can have a real and positive effect, but virtual wildlife gardening only goes so far. I wanted a more immediate way of boosting wild bee (and wasp) populations on my own, real-life patch, so I … Continue reading

Posted in allotments, bees & other insects, eco gardening, food & kitchen gardening, green gardening, nature & the natural world, neonicotinoids or 'neonics', pesticides in the garden, published articles, wildlife gardening | Leave a comment

How Free and Plentiful Woodchips can Help Your Organic, Earth-friendly – and Peat-free – Garden Grow

Mounds of woodchips are everywhere nowadays, they’re free for the taking – and they can help you go peat-free. Inspired by a pioneering vegan-organic vegetable grower, I’m now coveting every fresh mound of chips I find. By John Walker. Published in The … Continue reading

Posted in climate- & earth-friendly gardening, ecological sustainability, environment, freegardening, garden compost, garden compost & composting, green gardening, organic gardening, peat & peat-free compost, published articles, soil, woodchips | 4 Comments

Is Gardening Really ‘Green’?

Exploring the reality behind gardening’s widely touted but increasingly unconvincing claim that ‘gardening is green!’ By John Walker. First published in The Garden, magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society, December 2015 Writing about gardening is a solitary game. But using the pen to place gardening … Continue reading

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