Apologies for the gap in news but the autumn has been spent on seeing something of gardens on the fringe of Eastern Europe and the southern regions of Spain including a lecture tour to the Costa Blanca Gardening Circle, The Amanzora Valley Gardening Club and the Axarquia Gardening Club. Now I am catching up with writings as well as my own gardening including tirying an overgrown autumn garden after the autumn rains and coninued good growing temperatures, picking and milling olives and finalising winter vegetable sowings and plantings.

Tidy up for Christmas

With Christmas just a month away and an overgrown but colourful garden now is the time to make the garden more presentable without reducing the chance of a colourful Christmas and year end garden before starting the annual winter cut back in earnest. Where friends would like cuttings these are being planted up to produce new plants for spring plantings.

Winter vegetable plantings and sowings

It is not too late to make plantings and sowings of overwintering vegetables such as peas, onions, garlics, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflowers, lettuces, beetroots, carrots and leeks in the garden and in containers. This year the growing in builders buckets according to the ten-tub principles first launched in the book ‘Growing healthy vegetables in Spain’. With the mild autumn we are still harvesting the last tomatoes, aubergines and peppers from tubs.

bucket vegetable growing


Healthy mushrooms growing in the garage or underbuild

Unlike last year it has been possible to buy blocks of spore impregnated straw and compost blocks for growing healthy oyster and shitake mushrooms. They are now installed in the garage under a west facing window to provide good growing conditions. With luck there will healthy harvests for the Christmas period. Look out for spore impregated blocks produced by Cultisett.

Revamp of book ‘Authentic Valencian Paellas’

Have recently added a few more tips for producing tasty and healthy Valencian Paellas and a new more apppetising cover to the now well selling english language version of the book ‘Authentic Valencian Paellas’. If you have been disappounted by recent commercial offerings have a go yourself next time you entertain the family or friends. The book not only traces the history of the meat, vegetable and herb based mountain paella and provides the recipe,method of cooking and eating but most importantly also highlights and gives solutions to the copmmon problems of some restaurants and newcomers to the art of home cooking. The book is most easily sourced via The Boook Depository or Amazon Books etc.



Time to buy ‘How to use less water in your garden’



During the past tree years of drought and the forecast of less rainfall in Spain in future decades more and more gardeners along the Spanish costas and in inland valleys have become aware of the sense of revising garden designs, plantings and practices.As a result our book Using less water in the garden is collecting an enthusiastic following. Actions need to start during the cooler winter months so the book available from The Book Depository and Amazon Books would be a timely Christmas present.

Vetiver for solving erosion and terracing problems

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I recently came across this useful plant for solving soil erosion and terracing problems as well as general landscaping problems. Vetiver is being grown and sold in Spain by Vetiver Spain. Their website includes a wide range of photographs to illustrate the way the plant can  be used. It is so important that I will be shortly posting a full article about its propertiesand potential uses.

Are garden suppliers ethical?


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This is for each gardener to decide based on their experience of buying and raising plants, the availability of eco garden care products, the landscaping solutions costs and aftercare etc.. The above book may be interesting reading to hobby gardeners still running organisatiions and also the proprietors of gardening supply and contracting companies. Again it is stocked by The Book Depository, Amazon Books etc..

Making the most of what grows in the garden




Having now survived two cancer operations by 22 years by living an active outrdoor life and eating a generally Mediterranean Diet from my own growing and harvesting efforts I recording some of my experiences  for others to peruse. It is encouraging that the book is purchased by a good number of persons attending my talks , especially when they live in areas where traditional agriculture has ben largely abandoned and eco grown and distributed produce is hard to come by. Again may I suggest that the book would make an interesting Christmas stocking filler. Sorry but again The Book Depository and Amazon Books are convenient suppliers.

Lastly if you have an interest in the forementioned books an author search for Dick Handscombe often  brings  up the books in one go.