Gardening Blog

Preparing to grow Vegetables

Here are ten top tips on starting to grow vegetables and preparing a new piece of your garden or taking on an allotment.  You can follow these & more hints & answers as ‘live’ tweets on Twitter  via #WoolliesAskAlison every Thursday evening 8-9pm UKtime. As summer comes to an end it’s time to look at […]

The original blue pot man

Jacques Majorelle Who?  I would like to introduce you to an early 20th Century French artist who I can safely say has had a huge but inadvertent influence on popular garden design.  Quite simply he is responsible for blue: the use of blue paint and glaze for walls, fences and pots started with his beautifully […]

Get a bigger garden!

Sitting outside in summer offers a good chance to look at the overall layout of your garden and question whether you are making best use of the space – especially if it is small and enclosed.  Using perspective and the odd optical illusion can increase the sense of space and subtly change our perception of […]

Pruning fruit trees

Pruning is an area where many gardeners seek advice and with fruit trees, where the object is to maximise your crop, it pays to understand how good pruning can help.  Of course, nature produces apples on apple trees without the gardener’s intervention but left alone the branches grow longer and taller each year and your […]

Lawns – the good, the bad & the easy

A  few tips on lawns as the summer progresses from my WoolliesAskAlison twitter tweetorial: Established, healthy lawn withstands dry summer without watering. Top may go brown but will recover when it rains. Spring & summer lawn feeds high Nitrogen for lush green growth, autumn higher potassium for tougher leaves pre winter. Newly turfed or sown […]

The tropic of West Kent

If you don’t get a free copy of the Town Crier magazine – here is my June article It is easier to create a tropical-looking garden in our temperate climate than you might think and does not require without a greenhouse to protect all the plants in winter.  Choose plants with a strong architectural shape […]

Grow Your Own – Exotic Kiwi fruit

Have you seen Kiwi fruit growing over a sunny pergola whilst on holiday in Italy? Or bought them from the exotic fruit counter in a supermarket? Well how about growing your own right here in South East England? Many people have read that kiwi fruit are tricky to grow and needed warmth and a long […]

Germination & growing runner beans

Germination: Runner beans need water to germinate but do not need any other special conditions or treatment; they will germinate in the dark (underground) or in the light. The root always starts to grow first and it always grows downwards.  The plant is sensitive to gravity and the root grows towards gravity.  This is called […]


10 tips for great Planting Plans

My tweetorial on Planting Plans for the Woolly Green #WoolliesAskAlison Q&A on March 6th Work out number of plants needed for space & don’t be tempted to overfill or you’ll be dividing and removing in 2 years General rule plan on 3 large or 5 small perennials per sq. metre. Large shrubs 1 per sq.m, […]


Why has my Camellia gone yellow?

Plants such as Rhododendron, Azalea, Camellia and Acers are often described as ‘ericaceous’, indicating that they thrive in an acid soil.  In fact, it is more accurate to say that these plants do not thrive in an alkaline soil, they are perfectly happy in a neutral soil especially if iron is added.  Here is the […]