Nigel has been suffering from raspberry deprivation ever since we moved house in 2011. He has always taken responsibility for the raspberries in our life. Finally his yearning is satisfied as he gets on with terracing the raspberry beds and getting new plants in at Tin Bath House.
Of course on a slope nothing is simple. It has taken days of levelling, shovelling, wooden boxing and much swearing about stones to get the beds prepared. I did forget when we moved here how tricky a sloped garden makes everything. Never mind the amount of digging, and the stones, it costs a good deal more than I always expect to buy the wood for making beds and retaining walls.
How it began!
How it finished!
And the result is just about equivalent of an 18 feet length row of bare rooted raspberry plants in now.
I chose 3 varieties –
Glen Moy – an early fruiting (from June) newish cultivar with no spines, and a an ‘Award of Garden Merit’ from the RHS.
Tulameen – a new variety, spine free with fruit in July and August.
Polka – a new variety fruiting from August to the first frosts.
And so you can see that the under-gardener should get his raspberries from June to October in succession!
My pace of work has taken a dive. Firstly I am recuperating from neurology surgery last year, so I have less energy and have to not exert myself. Secondly family duties are taking me away from home for much of my time this spring. So the indoor seed sowing season is sliding past me and I’m not getting much done yet.
Any of you who have looked on my website for this year’s gardening course dates will be disappointed – though thank you for looking. I hope to run a few of my usual ones but from a later starting point. ‘Love Wild Flowers’ will be running from June.
And if you can’t wait, there are some exciting courses at Cotswold Gardening School with Caroline Tatham at Gossington Hall near Stroud see http://www.cotswoldgardeningschool.co.uk
I am a visiting tutor on their One Year Diploma course and I am developing a programme of courses on food growing which will begin there soon. Gossington Hall is a beautiful setting, and the gardening school has great facilities and wonderful grounds. I will also be running my old hardy perennial course there ‘Know that Plant’ – a course for everyone who wants to spend their money wisely at the garden centre.
The third Stroud Permaculture course which is now a legendary fixture will be running again from September. It attracts folks with incredible enthusiasm and eagerness to learn together and it carries a lot of energy. The group who did the first year said they had so much fun they all want to do it again!