Fireweed – A Useful Summer ‘Weed’

In various parts of my property, and along the roadsides close by, one of the most noticeable and abundant weeds at this time of year is Epilobium angustifolium or Chamaenerion angustifolium, known in the UK as rosebay willowherb or bombweed and in the US as fireweed. I welcome this weed into my forest garden andContinue reading “Fireweed – A Useful Summer ‘Weed’”

Tips for a More Sustainable Van Life

Speaking to a friend recently, we were discussing the growing trend for a more nomadic and less settled lifestyle. We were talking about how ‘van life’ can more than just pay lip service to sustainability. Obviously, those who decide to live in a van already negate all the emissions associated with a permanent abode. ButContinue reading “Tips for a More Sustainable Van Life”

No One Should Be Exempt From Environmental Regulation

I was rather angry today to hear that the Queen, in spite of being one of the largest landowners in Scotland, has exercised the right of ‘Queen’s Consent’ to exempt her properties from the draft law passing through the Scottish Parliament – the ‘Heat Networks Bill’. The draft law has been altered so that the Queen’sContinue reading “No One Should Be Exempt From Environmental Regulation”

Shrubs or Drinking Vinegars

Shrub is a term not just used to refer to the type of bushy plant. It is also a word used to describe a type of soft drink which was common in the US during the colonial era. Though drinking vinegars fell out of favour since the advent of modern refrigeration, this can still beContinue reading “Shrubs or Drinking Vinegars”

Lammas Harvesting and Planting

On Lammas, or Lughnasadh, it seems fitting that I spent some of my day in the garden. But on this traditional holiday of the harvest, I have not just been harvesting, but also planting too. This time of year is a time of year when many new gardeners who sowed in spring will be harvesting theContinue reading “Lammas Harvesting and Planting”

Case Study: Subtropical Australia Permaculture Garden

This higher level concept plan is for a garden in greater Brisbane, Australia. The clients were keen to develop a plan that would allow them to make the most of their garden – currently mostly laid to lawn. They wanted a lush and tropical feel and a space that they could use for recreation –Continue reading “Case Study: Subtropical Australia Permaculture Garden”

What Makes a Sustainable Home?

There are many different schools of thought in sustainable construction. Some favour an approach which maximises insulation and does not worry too much about the carbon cost of materials used. Others favour an approach where the sustainability of materials comes first. There is, of course, also a middle way, which involves treading the balance betweenContinue reading “What Makes a Sustainable Home?”

Bolting: Is it Too Late to Harvest from Plants?

With heatwaves being experienced this summer in many regions, you may be coming up against the problem of plants bolting. Bolting is the name given by gardeners to the sudden and premature development of a plant to the flowering/ seed producing stage. It is, in essence, plants rushing to enter the reproductive phase of growth.Continue reading “Bolting: Is it Too Late to Harvest from Plants?”

Planning For Your Own Future and Future Generations

When we are planning in life, or designing our homes and gardens, it is important to think beyond a five year plan. It is, of course, great to set short term goals to work towards. But it is also important to take the longer view. No matter how young we are, it is a goodContinue reading “Planning For Your Own Future and Future Generations”

Allelopathy and Mutualistic Symbiosis in Plant Interactions

Allelopathy is the biological term for plants having a (usually negative) impact on other plants growing close by by producing one or more biochemicals. The main time that we hear about allelopathy is when it comes to walnut trees or Eucalyptus . Though there are a number of other plants which can also act onContinue reading “Allelopathy and Mutualistic Symbiosis in Plant Interactions”