Journalism

I write for newspapers and magazines on gardening, growing food and any aspect of outdoor living with a specialty in making the most of small urban spaces. Publications include The Sunday Telegraph, the Saturday Telegraph magazine, Waitrose Food magazine, Sainsbury’s magazine, Gardeners’ World and Easyjet Traveller.

From ‘Trowel Squats’ to the ‘Secateur Squeeze’: why gardeners have no need for the gym. Daily Telegraph, August, 2015

How we got stung by the urban beekeeping craze. Daily Telegraph, June 2015

Why fewer people will be getting jars of green tomato chutney for Christmas this year. My piece on Britain’s bumper harvest for The Sunday Telegraph

I’m ‘G’ for ‘Grow Your Own’ in The Telegraph’s Saturday magazine Al Fresco A-Z. These are my top five container crops. For a photo of my 10-year-old self with early 80s hair you’ll have to buy the magazine

My advice for budding rurbanites who don’t have a garden to dig in for The City Planter

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Some jobs are fun to do – and some are REALLY fun to do. One minute you’re contemplating the aphids on your roses and suddenly you get a phonecall from The Sunday Telegraph and are in a taxi at 6.15am on the way to Eurostar. The occasion? The appointment of James Priest at Giverny. Click below for my interview with him in The Sunday Telegraph…

The deep green pond may look serene, but look closely and there are ripplings among the water lilies, a rustling in the wisteria. Giverny, home and inspiration of Impressionist painter Claude Monet, magnet for half a million camera-wielding visitors a year, and second only to Versailles as the most iconic garden in France, has a new head gardener. And he’s from Merseyside. Zut alors!

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Growing Pains, my column for The Sunday Telegraph, was subtitled Feeding the Family from a Tiny London Plot though it should really read Trying to Stop the Children Trashing a Tiny London Plot. From recycling Petit Filous pots to growing things just because they’re blue, it’s all about my naive belief that I can grow a meaningful quantity of fruit and vegetables out of a 50x15foot city garden. Click below to read some of them…

It’s the time of year when Europe plays vegetable swapsies

When are the new people moving in?” I ask, trying to sound casual – not easy when you are hiding a pair of 6ft loppers behind your back.

Compost is taking over my garden… and my life

How to make composting fun fun fun

Petit Filous pots and why, sadly,  you can’t grow cheese

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My guide to Europe’s Top Spring Gardens in April 2010’s Easyjet Traveller
It’s spring and from Milan to Manchester, Europe is changing colour, shedding its washed-out browns and greens for reds, yellows and creamy whites
feb2010February 2010 Easyjet Traveller. My musings from Aalsmeer in Amsterdam, the largest flower auction in the world.It’s before seven in the morning and I’m standing on a metal catwalk looking down on what looks like an explosion in a paint shop. Blocks of retina-burning oranges, yellows and reds dash below, held aloft by a battalion of forklifts that weave around each other at dizzying speed.


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If you happen to be jetting off for a weekend mini break this month, and have tired of looking out the window or turning your little overhead air thingy on and off, check out Blooming Ugly, my article on the medlar fruit in November’s Easyjet Traveller magazine. I loved learning all about these weird fruits that must be left to rot before eating but that make the most delectable amber jelly – like a smoky spiced apple… though I do have to agree with French medieval peasants that they look like ‘a dog’s arse’…
Here are a couple of articles I wrote for The Sunday Telegraph

I don’t know if it’s because I grew up on a fruit farm, where we spent our childhood in a halcyon Enid Blyton-style haze of bike riding through orchards, pulling apples and pears off the trees to eat as we went, but the idea of growing fruit and vegetables seemed like a natural thing to do

How to grow a spicy salad box for winter

I wrote a gardening column for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper for five years, the subjects of which ranged from the benefits of putting sheep fleeces under peach trees to her shameful pleasure in cutting caterpillars in half with secateurs. Click on the links below to read some of them…

I have identified a new garden pest, hitherto undiscovered in British gardens. Known as the Theodorus minimus, it has two legs, a three-wheeled scooter and a mouth permanently smeared with tomato juice…

For most of the year, the kitchen gardener’s psyche tends toward the brooding and gloomy. We toss and turn over methods of snail murder and type the existential cry “runner bean pollination failure why?” into Google.

Amazingly, the potatini is not the only vegetable I have discovered in my three short years of kitchen gardening. Last summer saw the advent of the carrotette…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a person in possession of a kitchen garden must be in want of a dinner guest to bore stupid about how much tastier their vegetables are than anything you could buy in a supermarket…

I am the victim of a crime, as yet unsolved. Meandering around the garden one morning recently, I came upon a horrific scene…

I also write one-off lifestyle features, such as this one for The Sunday Telegraph about searching the countryside for wild food with master forager Miles Irving

Miles prepares a lunch, as you do, of puffball mushrooms with pennywort, ox-eye daisy and crunchy fool’s watercress followed by venison with sea-buckthorn berry sauce and steamed sea beet…

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