The Art of Gardening

pleatchingTraditional skills Part 1: Pleatching


Most hedgerows survive a full pleatch – the bravest gardeners should come to HoBB Real to see the fantastic results, witness the problems with over-cutting and maybe have a go themselves. It’s a traditional skill but provides far more habitats for nesting birds than wire and post fencing!

Trees are very tolerant. After tracking done the “Tree Circus” on a Web site, my garden design skills took off in a new direction. Way beyond topiary, bonsai, training and pruning, plants can be created to fill ‘space’, balance views and even inter-fuse, making the garden into a Plant Circus for those Gardeners keen to be the new circus trainers.

If you are interested in working with plants and getting to grips with the real roots of gardening, then contact us and become a volunteer gardener at the HoBB Gardens.

Look around, the HoBB Virtual Web Site – join our ‘International Friendship Garden’ scheme, or attend a live weekend on plant design at ‘HoBB Real’.

Volunteering is always a useful way of getting experience if you are planning a career in gardening or just love to pick up tips for your own garden design. When C.A.T. was the ‘National Centre for Alternative Technology’ [N.C.A.T.] I spent many days working there as a volunteer when the gardens were nearly all slate. CAT is not far from here for those interested in including a visit to pick up loads of alternative gardening tips.

Bring a plan and some photographs of your own garden with you to HoBB Real, and we’ll do some design thinking and drawing around your personal lifestyle – after a full day in the gardens there’s always a moment around the log fire to chat about your plans and the latest gardening ideas.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

Wild, and larger than life – My Mother or Verbascum?

My mother (right) Filming: It was alongside a dis-used Railway embankment in Pencader, Carmarthenshire, where my mother first saw spires of wild Verbascum causing butterfly theatrics around their yellow vertical prongs. So good were they at promoting their presence that nearly all their leaves had gone having had the local slugs and snails over to eat too many times.

I tried to grow them from seed at nearby Aber Gwen Mill but they never germinated.

Now we are a few miles further north at the HoBB, and alongside the Mid Wales Railway Line, we’ve found some more growing and have managed to get their seeds to germinate. Not only do we keep the slugs away from their wonderfully soft leaves but their tall complex seed heads are harvested, dried and bees-wax polished for use in the most spectacular of dried flower displays.

~~~~~~~~~~ <+))))))))>< ~~~ waves from Grant

Picture above : My mother (right) Filming: “The Fasting Girl” (‘Pencader’ Platform)