Euphorbias: the Dave or Boris dilemma

Summer’s arrived and it’s hard to believe that two weeks ago we were battling through driving snow in Scotland. It’s been grisly and if I was wondering quite why I was lifting turf to create a new shady bed  in nose-drippingly awful temperatures last month, the new plants were even more distraught. They spent the next four weeks  literally horizontal, fighting for their lives – all apart from the plucky Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Robbiae’ – which remained stalwartly unbowed throughout it all. What fabulous plants euphorbias are, and a bigger selection of them than there is of gin – and that’s saying something these

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We’re slugging it out with garden pests

Middle sister Laura kicks off:   So, we know sowing seeds immeasurably improves your sense of well-being but we now need to consider the dark forces that can descend as you sleep and rob you of all this self satisfaction in a few strategic rasps their radulas.I am referring of course to slugs.There are many bizarre substances said to deter them: eggshell  coffee grounds, beer traps, wool ..(and no doubt the eye of newt and toe of frog) They are said to be averse to copper so I have tried surrounding particularly sensitive shoots such as emerging clematis with copper rings.

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It starts with the wonder of seeds……

Senior sister Elaine kicks off: OK, I ask myself, why do I do it – EVERY year? The seed catalogues plop through the letterbox every winter, and the Cottage Garden Society seed list, and the RHS seed list, and seed offers too good to miss.  Sarah Raven and Thompson & Morgan are two catalogues to pore over endlessly – the first for the beauty of the presentation, the second for the amazing range.  And so it starts. It’s a bit like childbirth – your mind blanks out the stress and difficulty of it, as you dream of white delphinium spires

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