Year: 2016

The Horticultural Diaries of Che Coles Part 1: Santiago and the the glacier climb

  Two hours to Madrid, fourteen to Santiago. Thirty degree heat and a pisco sour, I find myself in Chile and about to embark on an epic journey south. Hills rise from the streets. A haze of smog below the Andes. Shade seekers somber the leafy plazas drinking cups of Mote. Welcome to Santiago! Staying in the Bellas Artes area of Santiago I was in walking distance of two noteworthy green spaces. One was Cerro Santa Lucia, who’s garden climbs upto panoramas of the city. The other Parque Forestal, whose shady trees shadow the crowds below.   After a few lazy days in the parks and hills in the down town city, a sudden opportunity had occurred to join a small group of men to climb upto Glacier a la paloma at 2700 MASL north west of Santiago.  Of course I jumped at the chance! With a few extra items of trekking gear purchased, I find myself ascending the andes, acclimatising to the altitude slowly.   Intense sun and brisk breeze. Swathes of shrubby Fabiana imbricata …

Green fingered families

Three years ago I was asked to write for a family blogging site encouraging green fingered family activities involving food. Here it is again with some pictures of my apprentices from this weekend just gone. Thank you Martha and Stanley you were great. I hope the tips below will help you. Spring is coming so let’s get cracking on the garden. You know, the place outside your door. The weelie bin storage area, the dump, the play area or the concrete yard. Whatever you call it or however big or small, it’s a great place to explore with your children and get them to understand the seasons and where our food comes from. Have you ever thought about growing some vegetables, flowers and fruits but not sure how? Or have you tried and failed miserably and given up. Fear not I’m here to help. It’s quite easy really… But how, you may ask? Ok, firstly, it’s not rocket science. Yes, you need soil, water and light BUT but before you go mad buying massive quantities of …

Easter at Rousham

An early Easter Sunday morning I find myself at Rousham with fellow Allhorts.  A garden designed by Kent, William Kent. It was early indeed, the clocks had gone forward and a few of the group rocked up tardy. Some had wind problems, thankfully the weather kind, others chronological issues with alarm clocks. They promised rain, well heavy downpours in fact but we were very lucky indeed. The sun burst forth from the gloom in glorious array. For a fiver you can enter the garden which has many features to admire. Firstly around the house you see a rose beautifully tailored to the walls clothing the stone to precision. Check out the size and age of some of those stems.   Opposite the house were swathes of stripes running in the lawns but what caught my eye were the trinity of trees.   Moving on, round the corner two statues had a conversation. If you where a statue, what would you say?  Others had a cocaine issues by the look of their noses. The next three features …