Delights of broad beans and wine | Brief letters

Guardian and Observer charity appeal | Broad beans | Vinotherapy | Moscow, Cumbria | Sack José

On behalf of your readers, I would like to thank all of you who gave up their Saturday to answer the phone for your charity appeal (£40,000 boost on one day from telethon, 17 December). Your paper is what has kept me sane this year, and the privilege of speaking to one of your journalists was something I would not have missed.
Barbara Foster
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

• How delightful to read about Mark Cocker planting broad beans in his dark black soil (Country Diary, 18 December). Only he could make this activity so interesting and educational. He might like to know that my broad beans “Aquadulce”, planted several weeks ago, are now flourishing and around four inches tall in my vegetable patch some 20 miles further south in Norfolk.
Ron Brewer
Old Buckenham, Norfolk

Continue reading… JARDINERO ESTEPONA JARDINERÍA ESTEPONA Cosmética Natural Marbella Herboristería Estepona

How to grow trees in a small garden | James Wong

Think you don’t have the space for a tree in your garden? The simple solution is to use pots

As we head towards midwinter all seems quiet in the garden, but now is the perfect time for the most exciting of horticultural new beginnings: planting a tree. Worry you don’t have the space? Gardening on concrete? Concerned about the foundations of your house? There is a simple solution to all of these common problems: grow a small tree in a pot. This is often overlooked so, in an effort to change that, here’s a round up of the best species for pot culture, which will work well in even the tiniest of city gardens.

The most commonly suggested candidate for this treatment is an olive – and with good reason. They are evergreen, have character from a young age and, hailing from the often thin soils of the Med, don’t mind the root restriction and the faster rate of drying out that inevitably happens in containers. The ability of small trees in pots to be sited up against the walls of houses without affecting foundations means these exotic trees can benefit from the warm microclimate the brickwork creates as it absorbs heat in the day to then emit it overnight.

Hailing from the often thin soils of the Med, olive trees don’t mind the root restriction

Continue reading… JARDINERO ESTEPONA JARDINERÍA ESTEPONA Cosmética Natural Marbella Herboristería Estepona

Stuck for gift ideas for the gardener in your life?

Seeds, string and secateurs… A few present suggestions for the green-fingered people you know

All I want for Christmas is a steaming pile of manure, though I’m always happy to be given seed. Brown Envelope Seeds in West Cork does a Christmas card packed with seed. I like their ‘Peas on Earth’, and their gift boxes, too. I have ordered a Baby’s First Dinner Box for a friend who brings her newborn to the allotment. I’d love to find a Tomato Rainbow Box under our tree. I am also taken with Piccolo seeds, packaged like posh chocolate bars, a fine gift for any kitchen gardener. Or a sweet pea selection from Roger Parsons. I have a hankering for his Spencer or Old-Fashioned mixes.

Earlier this year, we lost our Implementations copper trowel, though I’m still hoping to discover it buried with the beetroot. A straight replacement of a shiny Castor trowel would make me happy on Christmas morning. I am almost addicted to their dibber and my short-handled Phoenix hoe.

Continue reading… JARDINERO ESTEPONA JARDINERÍA ESTEPONA Cosmética Natural Marbella Herboristería Estepona