That’s me done for christmas. Am closing the lid of my computer for a few days. Wherever you are have a wonderful, peaceful and ethical christmas. See you in the new year. Best wishes Allan
Have I got the coldest, most shadiest garden in Britain? There is no sun in my garden now, and there wont be for weeks. I have a great view though, I can see the sun slowly creeping towards me across the valley as the day progresses, but it never quite reaches me! Here’s a photo to show you what I mean. Gardening happens anywhere – who wants to have a perfect south facing garden with year round sun, where’s the fun in that? Shiver, sneeze, brrrrrr!
If you want to make compost quickly you need to turn your heap every few days. If this sounds like too much work get a tumbler bin to make things easy for yourself. Check out this home made tumbler bin from two guys in the US who call themselves the urban homesteaders. I’ve been watching their website with interest. They’re pretty cool. And they’re getting it together with great video coverage like this.
More encouragement for compost lovers: The Little Book of Compost receives its second translation deal in less than a week – this time into French. The book will now be available in France, Spain and Finland, as well as all English speaking countries. While I’m here thanks for the Christmas card Katherine. I really appreciated it. Happy Christmas right back at you. Allan
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks. Elspeth Thompson of The Telegraph chooses The Organic Garden as one of her books of the year, The Little Book of Compost gets a Spanish translation and compost lover gets its own column in Garden News magazine (published weekly and available in most news agents). I’m going to be writing a column every fortnight based around my own experiences as an organic and eco gardener. On top of that I’ll be putting more stuff up here – especially all those important things there just isn’t room for in the column. The first one is published on January 9th. Hope you can get yourself a copy and join me back here on the web. Best wishes Allan
Just some news on the vine – Elspeth Thompson chose my book The Organic Garden as one of her books of the year in the Telegraph on Sunday. An amazing thrill for me, especially with so many great gardening books published ever year. Garden Answers magazine also chose it as one of their Books of the Year. The Little Book of Compost got good mentions in The Observer, Garden News and Organic Gardening Magazine. I’m going to be signing books at Much Ado Bookshop in Alfriston in Sussex this coming sunday so come along if you’re in the area. Its not often I venture out of my valley to see what’s happening in the rest of the world so I always feel like Bilbo Baggins when I do. Last week I went to Edinburgh and Yorkshire. Today I’m heading down to the South East. My friends and family seem to be usefully clustered.On my way to Edinburgh I had a really amazing conversation. Sometimes train journeys can drag and sometimes you just happen to connect with someone and the hours just fly by in great conversation. Stupidly I never asked your name so I can’t say a personal thank you for the great couple of hours I had but I’m thinking about your two gardening problems and will post my answer up here some time. I hope the advent house went down well (for those of you who don’t know each day the child puts their hand in through the chimney to search for a gift).I’ve been thinking a lot since then of making my own christmas presents. It seems a much nicer and more sustainable thing to do. Anyone got any ideas feel free to post them here and pass them on.A few years back I saved the adverts from the colour supplements and used them as wrapping paper. They always made more personal, interesting and vibrant surrounds for the presents, so long as you ignored the things they were advertising. I tried to pick out nice things and left the car ads on the cutting room floor. I’m not going to say what I’m going to do this year, in case anyone I know is watching – but you can.While I remember – although you probably don’t need reminding of this – save all your wrapping paper, christmas crackers and other compostable stuff and get it in your compost bin. So long as you mix it with twice as much green stuff – vegetable waste, grass clippings, annual weeds, dead stems and flowers – it will make great compost. Crunch it up into small balls and toss in randomly with the green stuff. Of course if you’ve really got too much, recycle it or turn it into logs for burning on the fire. CAT sells log makers – http://www.cat.org.uk/shopping – all my books and lots of other great Christmas presents.I’m hoping to go to Kew gardens whilst in London – for the winter fun. Anyone got any other great gardening things to do over the christmas season please post them up.Next week I hope to have some exciting news about what’s going to be happening next in my life but I’m just going to hold that back for one more week.Best wishesAllan