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Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 24th May 2011
My first stop at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show last Monday 23rd was the B&Q garden. Designed by Patrick Collins and architect Laurie Chetwood its brief was to be an urban edible garden, part apartment block and part allotment style strips. TV presenters Loraine Kelly and then Kirsty Allsop had turned the central walkway into a runway and press... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 27th April 2011
The Economics of Happiness portrays a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalisation and the consolidation of corporate power whilst all around the world people are resisting those policies, and demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance. They are also... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 27th April 2011
We have three traditional pear trees in our forest garden but only one stands out, Merton's Pride. Flowering after the Asian Pear and the Cherry Plum as Springtime become firmly established, its blossom is incomparably delicate and is a riot of bees. One year I was so taken by the vigour and beauty of the tree's blossom that I made a flower remedy... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 6th April 2011
I worry about planting extotic sounding fruit trees in the forest garden. Our chalky soil and variable English climate has put paid to early experiments with freestanding peach, nectarine, and almonds which were billed by nurseries to be hardy for the south of England. With nearly 80 fruit and nut trees we cannot nurse the delicate and... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 29th March 2011
One of my favourite trees in our garden is the Plum Myrobalan, Prunus cerasifera . It is robust enough to be used as a hedge plant but if you let it grow as a standard within a hedgerow, it will grow to 25 feet in 20 years. In March, its branches are alive with honeybees enjoying the nectar from the abundant pure white flowers. It is the first... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Monday, 28th March 2011
There is little food in my garden at this time of year. The coldframes are full of salads – self-seeders and other leaves that have survived the winter snow in their protected environment. There's a few carrots left, spring onions and some cavollo nero and beetroot. We are still eating jams and preserves from last year and there is fruit frozen in... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 24th February 2011
Take a barrel with a tap that's not connected to a downpipe. Add rainwater. Then add comfrey leaves (the deep tap root 'mines' the minerals from the soil), stinging nettles and any other weeds (before they have gone to seed) and a shovelful of manure. Leave to 'brew' for a few weeks. Be prepared for the pungent smell and avoid contact with your... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Thursday, 24th February 2011
There are so many compelling reasons for growing even a little of your own food in the garden or allotment, on the patio, or even on the windowsill. Take for instance the humble lettuce. On average of over 11 pesticides are sprayed on lettuces, more than any other vegetable crop. In one study by what is now the UK Department of the Environment,... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 8th January 2011
There is a treasure in the woods near me: a semi-rotten beech tree that hosts oyster mushroom mycellium. Every year, after a very cold snap (usually in January) the mycellium runs and its fruiting bodies appear. Behold! Sumptuous oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus). Last weekend on our regular walk Tim and I went and checked the tree and saw... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 1st January 2011
Happy New Year to you all who kindly read this blog or who have just stumbled upon it. Welcome. The New Year is an opportunity to pause and reflect: What do I want to focus on this year? What do I want to change and how can I better find my joy and be a more effective human being? I don't usually set myself a long, self-critical and impossible... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Saturday, 18th December 2010
Yesterday I went Christmas shopping in my local town, Petersfield. I know I am a bit late in the day but I recently have to switch from being an editor to an elf: our own Green Shopping has been busy this year and our customers always come first. I couldn’t face driving to our nearest city on a Saturday, sitting in queues and then paying an... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 30th November 2010
Earlier this year Tim and I had a call from a BBC producer. Would we like to appear on another programme that wanted to feature permaculture? We are always interested in deepening understanding of the subject, but also wary. It is so easy to trivialise permaculture and wrap it up as an alternative form of organic gardening. We asked how long we... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 20th October 2010
A dear friend of mine who spent much time in the beautiful Western Isles of Scotland once told me a story about the Queen. HMS Britannia was on its annual summer voyage with its royal passengers and stopped at a small bay one quiet afternoon. The Queen disembarked and waved away her bodyguards and other familiars and set off for a rare walk on her... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Wednesday, 6th October 2010
Ah, autumn is well and truly here. The gooseberries, currants, greengages, plums and figs have all been eaten. We’ve feasted on berries and succulent fruits like Brown Turkey figs and Oullin’s golden gages, as exotic as mangoes. Though the evenings are getting shorter, the pleasure isn’t over yet. This is one of the real joys of the permaculture... more
 
Maddy Harland |
Tuesday, 7th September 2010
My feet haven't touched the ground in the last few days. On Saturday I went with Ben Law and Tim to launch Ben's new book Roundwood Timber Framing at the Weald and Downland Museum in Sussex. It was the museum's 40th birthday and they put on a great English country fair event with acrobats, vintage cars, horticultural competitions, crafts and of... more
 

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