September 17, 2019

Garden Diaries

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 6.4.17: Growing Gardeners

I hadn’t really noticed RHS National Gardening Week before now, but apparently there’s been one every year for five years, and it’s happening again this week. Maybe at this time of year one’s too busy actually gardening, but it did catch my eye this year because it’s “all about helping new gardeners to get growing plants”. Ah! Learning new skills, getting people to grow plants; good idea – it’s what lots of us are doing in the villages for the Plant Fair (coming soon, 11 June!)

Also, I noticed that the Week includes an exhibition “The Diary of a Gardener” at RHS’s Lindley Library, showing how people have documented and described their gardens – another compelling reason to follow the event…..

Looking back at my old notebooks, I see I started to keep a garden diary in March 1974; we’d just moved into our first house after several moves since getting married. Some of the previous rented places had scope for growing plants – a window-box, or a back-yard – but at last, to have a decent garden was wonderful. The previous owners had liked the garden and gave me a little map of it with names for the main plants; Deutzia, Rose Crimson Glory, Broom Burkwoodii, so I kept up the practice of noting names:
“10 March Planted RHUBARB (Champagne); took FORSYTHIA cuttings and put in bed”
“12 March Bought from WI Market and planted AGROSTEMMA (red flower) and yellow POLYANTHUS, and sowed PARSLEY in seed box.”

And so the diary goes on with almost daily entries of new plants bought; digging, planting, sowing seeds, pricking out, potting up.
So what grew this gardener? Simple really; as a child I had my own garden (an abandoned pig sty), and someone who loved gardening and showing me how to do it; and probably the genes from Granny.

Interesting Old Invoice from 1882

Item for sale on eBay dated 1882.

Link below

Garden Diaries

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 6.01.17: 2017 is here

And June 11th is suddenly quite close – help! That’s the date of the Sand Hutton and Claxton Plant Fair, as I’m sure you will have etched in your brain as well as on your calendar. I’m hoping my plants know as well that it’s their big event coming up. Actually they’ve mostly gone to sleep, and don’t seem too bothered about getting ready; the perennials have disappeared completely, the Kerrias, jasmines and Philadelphus are just a set of sticks in pots, and it’s only the Hebes who are properly dressed and waiting to go.

All this started off in 2015, when the Village Hall committee wondered about having a plant fair to raise some money for the Hall, and since there’s a number of us who are keen on growing plants, the decision was made and a date fixed. 2017 seemed a long way off but we did know that to have decent plants ready to sell then, we had to get a move on, so the work began; cuttings were taken, seeds sown, plants divided and potted up.

It’s been a fascinating exercise for me in doing things that I’ve done all my life but on such a different level; so, OK, I take cuttings every year of a few favourite plants, and sow a couple of pots of seeds and I’ll get enough successes to have some new plants to keep the garden stocked – but now to aim for at least a hundred healthy interesting plants that are attractive to buyers at just the right moment………Well, they’re out there in their pots, so far, so good. The big issue at the moment is over-wintering; the temperature last night was -4°C, and I won’t know until spring who has survived.

Proposed Sustainable Housing Project

I’d be very grateful if you could help spread the word about a sustainable cohousing community I’m working to get off the ground at Claxton Grange Cottages. The development will offer 14 affordable homes, with priority for lettings given to those living and working within the Parishes of Flaxton, Claxton & Sand Hutton. Please visit for further details, or contact me directly at to register for a site visit this coming weekend, Saturday 24th September.
Thank you in anticipation,
Delton Jackson
0796 257 2491

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 27.4.16: The Art of Gardening

Last month, I went to the exhibition “Painting the Modern Garden” at the Royal Academy in London. It’s had rave reviews, with good reason, and it was a marvellous opportunity to see Monet’s triptych of water lilies displayed as such when normally the three pieces are on their own in separate galleries. And of course, great to see so many beautiful paintings of things I love the best, flowers and plants in gardens. What could be better?

Well, after looking at a few paintings, I began to want to be in a real garden, in the open air, with sweet smells, birdsong, looking at real plants, not in a stuffy room, heaving with people listening to their audio guides. I found myself returning to look at one of Monet’s paintings of a woman in a sunlit garden because it had exactly the right feel, and then I saw the famous painting of Gertrude Jekyll’s boots. Aha! Now, there’s someone who was both an artist and a gardener, just like Monet, but for her, art lay in making her garden – painting was gardening. As she says in her book “Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden”, plants are “paints set out upon a palette”, and in gardening, we “use the plants to make beautiful pictures”.

But now I’m back home in the garden with my camera (for the Photography Competition), I’m on Monet’s side again. At the exhibition, seeing painting after painting of water-lilies, I did rather wonder what he was trying to do and why was he so obsessed, but now I understand. Flowers led Monet to painting; they’ve led me to photography – the more I focus on a flower, the more I’m entranced and the more I keep trying to capture its beauty perfectly.


Ryedale District Council News Updates September 2015

Follow the ink below :

News from Ryedale District Council and our partner organisations including North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

RDC News Update

RSPCA Team Animal – Yorkshire Marathon @ Sand Hutton – Volunteers Needed

The PlusNet Yorkshire Marathon will again pass through Sand Hutton on Sunday October 11th. We have been contacted by Kathryn Follis on behalf of Team Animal – who are raising funds for the RSPCA as part of the event. See details and link below :

We are currently looking to recruit own place runners and volunteer cheerers to join the RSPCA’s Team Animal for the Yorkshire Marathon 2015 on Sunday the 11th October 2015. This is a great opportunity to either run for Team Animal or to get involved in this one-off volunteering opportunity. The deadline for joining Team Animal for the Yorkshire Marathon 2015 is 25th September. This is the link to our Yorkshire Marathon pages where there is the opportunity to sign up as either an own place runner or a volunteer:

Further Development at FERA / DEFRA

Capita and Newcastle University have been chosen to create a joint venture with Defra to help run Fera, the Food and Environment Research Agency as part of Defra’s ambitious science programme. The joint venture will unlock £14.5m of new investment.

This is part of Defra’s ambitious science programme and recognition of the importance of cutting-edge research. The joint venture will expand the agency’s world-leading scientific capability and strengthen its role in food safety research. It will enable Fera to play an even greater role in helping to drive growth in our £100 billion agri-food industry.

- See more at:

Caroline’s Garden Diaries 28.11.13: Planting bulbs and autumn thoughts

At last got round to getting bulbs in the ground, better late than never. But all in a rush, and for the first time, haven’t bothered to record where I put what. This feels strange and rather risky not to do usual obsessive note-taking, but what could happen? Either the bulbs come up next spring and I’ll get a nice surprise because I’ve forgotten they’re there, or they won’t come up in which case, because I’ve forgotten, I won’t know they haven’t, so it doesn’t matter.

I think I’m getting old.

I did actually take some notes in the spring e.g. “put more Leucojums near purple hazel” but come October there weren’t any in the shop and instead got a rather random set of tulips. Then, planting late November, main aim was not to let them rot in the shed so just had to guess where they might look nice in the garden. There might be a general lesson here (as I often think about gardening and life), which is, rather than trying for perfection and failing, just do what you can now. I am getting old.

But getting old brings its glories, at least if you’re a leaf; haven’t the autumn colours been wonderfully gorgeous and warming this year? The changes in leaves as they die and fall have been so dramatic; they really shout about the significance of seasons as context for our lives. They’re also far removed from our fiddling around with plans for the garden, there’s a much bigger picture out there. That’s my excuse, anyway.

For more of Caroline’s Garden Diaries Click Here :

RAY – Touch Stones : Funds available to establish Credit Based Exchange Scheme : Action by End November

FROM John Short :


Touch Stones is a ‘credit based exchange scheme’, which Rural Action Yorkshire are setting up. They see it as a major project and have some funds to support its set up. From a quick perusal it seems like an exchange for goods, service and time without involving money.

They’ve addressed their letter to ‘Village Halls and Community Buildings’

Attached are scans of a letter about the scheme. If anyone is interested in setting up and running such a scheme they should contact Tania Weston (numbers, e-mail in the attachments).

more info is at